By Ebun Sessou
OMISAGWE is a delicacy prepared with groundnut. It is a soup popular in some Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria although prepared differently. Omisagwe is also called groundnut soup and it is common amongst the Etsako people of Edo State. The Etsako people call it Omisagwe.
This delicacy can be made with or without leafy vegetable and it can be of a thickly or watery consistency. Bitter leaf is used for groundnut soup traditionally but it can be replaced with Ugwu or spinach leaves, where bitter leaf is unavailable.
Groundnut (roasted or raw)
Medium size smoked fish
Medium size dried stockfish
Efinrin/Basil Leaf (Optional)
Scotch Bonnet (Atarodo)
Salt to taste
Step1: In this section, we will be using scotch bonnet, tomatoes, onions, uziza seeds, bitter leaf and roasted groundnut. First, boil the meat, starting with the tougher meat, add them into a pot and place on medium heat. Add water to cover, add half of the chopped onions, season and add salt to taste. Boil till slightly tender.
Step2: Add the softer meat, to the already boiled meat. If you are using tough dried stockfish, add at this time. Also add the blended pepper and the crayfish, boil till soft. While you are waiting for the meat, prepare your groundnut paste. If you are using raw groundnut, remove the shell and roast on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
Step3: Pour roasted groundnut into a blender or dry mill, blend till smooth. Add some of the stock into the blended groundnut, add the uziza and uda or both, add the rest of the chopped onions and crayfish, blend till you get a thickish fine paste and set aside.
Step4: Wash your bitter leaf thoroughly to get rid of some of the bitterness, also soak your efinrin if you are using the dried one. Soaking your efinrin removes dirt and debris and revives the leaves a bit. Check on the meat, when it’s slightly tender, add the smoked fish, and make sure it is cleaned first to remove all traces of dirt, switch off the heat and leave the smoked fish to simmer in the stock for 2-3 minutes.
Step5: Now add the palm oil into the stock, leave for 5-6 minutes. Add the groundnut paste gradually, don’t add it all at once, this is so you can control how thick or watery you want your soup, add season, taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Stir and make sure it is not clumpy, leave to cook for five minutes.
Step6: Now add the washed bitter leaf. Stir and combine, leave to cook for two minutes. Be careful not to add too much bitter leaf, otherwise you’ll end up with a bitter groundnut soup.
Step7: Turn off the heat and add the efinrin or basil leaf, leave to simmer with the residual heat for three minutes. At this time, some of the palm oil would have floated to the top. Your groundnut soup is ready. Serve with your favourite swallow or boiled white rice.