How to Prepare Nkwobi
The name Nkwobi is often heard above the din of road-side bars and joints because it is a special delicacy people tend to consume with lots of beer. It is a meal popularly prepared by people from the eastern parts of Nigeria. The significant component of Nkwobi is the goat head, and the method of presentation after preparation is serving it in a shallow mortar. I wouldn’t call it a main meal, but it is something you would like to eat if you want to pamper yourself… or if you are just feeling eccentric.
To prepare Nkwobi, you would need the following ingredients:
- 1 Goat head (No, you’re not seeing things)
- 2 teaspoons of ground traditional nutmeg, also known as Ehuru.
- 2 big beef flavored seasoning cubes
- 5 cooking spoons of palm oil.
- 3 big onion bulbs.
- 3 habanero peppers
- 1 teaspoon of powdered edible potash, also known as Akanwu
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 10 Utazi leaves
Preparation Steps for Nkwobi
- It is not practical to cook the goat head whole. To ensure that the goat meat is well prepared, chop the head into pieces, and take out the vital parts before cooking. While cutting, make sure that the essential parts, i.e., Ears, tongue, etc. are not cut in pieces.
- Remove the brain and put in an aluminum foil, then wrap it up like you would wrap up Moi Moi.
- Wash the meat properly, using a metal sponge where necessary. Use a small sharp knife to scrape off tough skin, especially on the tongue. Use the metal sponge to scrape off the soot from roasting.
- Most times, potash is bought in huge chunks. Crush pieces of potash into fine powder, then mix with a small quantity of water and stir well. If the potash is in powdered form, mix in water, stir adequately, pass through a fine sieve and set the liquid aside.
- Roast the Ehuru seeds over the fire. Once they look brown, remove from the fire, crack open the pods and pound the seeds to a fine powder. Set aside once you are done.
- Wash the utazi leaves, and chop them into tiny bits. Set aside.
- Cut 2 of the onion bulbs into big chunks and set aside.
- Pound the pepper and set aside too.
- Take the washed goat head, season with some of the chunks of onions, one of the seasoning cubes, and a little salt. Use very little water to boil the meat, so that once it is done, there will be no stock available. Cook the brain in a separate pot, still in the aluminum foil. Place a barrier at the bottom of the pot, then add a little water.
- Place the wrapped meat on the barrier (could be broken sticks); this is to ensure that the aluminum foil doesn’t stick to the pot and let in water.
- While the meat is on fire, slice the onion for garnishing into rings.
- When the meat is done, remove the onion chunks and set aside.
- Take the goat brain and mash it until it turns to paste, add some salt while mixing.
- Pour the palm oil into a clean, dry pot, and place on the fire. Pour in the potash mixture and stir with your wooden spatula. The oil will turn yellow as it begins to curdle. Keep stirring till everything is yellow. Try to use as little potash as possible because an excess of it can cause stomach upset.
- Bring the pot down from the fire, then add the mashed brain, pepper, Ehuru, and some utazi. Mix very well.
- Add the cooked goat head and turn very well with your wooden spatula spoon.
- Put it back on the stove until the Nkwobi is hot.
- Serve the meal in the shallow mortar and garnish with the onion rings and utazi.
If you really want to get the best experience out of the meal. I’ll advise you to serve Nkwobi will a refreshing glass of palm wine, beer or another cold beverage.