By Vera Anyagafu
Bitter-leaf soup is a complete Anambra state traditional \delicacy with a combination of various nutritional ingredients and health benefits. It is now enjoyed in every part of the country because of its enticing taste.
Back in the days, the bitter-leaf soup was a medicinal soup that was often served with cassava flour meal or corn flour meal. Today, the soup has become a popular dish for a real treat at homes, parties and on festive occasions.
The leaf used in preparing this exotic bitter-leaf soup is known as Onugbu, in Igbo language, Shiwaka and Ewuro in Hausa and Yoruba respectively.
Bitter-leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) as the name implies, is a plant that has been around for hundreds of years and known for its bitter taste, medicinal and healing properties. This leaf contains some nutritional values, such as, vitamin E, A, C,B1, etc and when added in soups, be sure of realizing amazing health benefits that are essentially good for the body system. The bitter leaf grows everywhere in the country and the health benefits include blood sugar regulation, pancreas repairs and so on.
Bitter Leaf Recipe during the rainy season
Chicken, Cowskin (Pomo), Palm fruit juice, Uzuza leaf and or seed, Stockfish, choice dry fish, ground dry pepper, salt, choice culinary, freshly made cocoyam paste, squashed bitter leaf, local fermented castor oil bean, Cray-fish, ground Ehuru, use to achieve fragrant/aromatic delight. Yorubas call it Ariwo and Hausas call it Gujiya dan miya.
Preparation for a family of six:
The heat you’re cooked, squashed and sieved half paint bucket of palm fruit juice almost to a boiling point (Banga juice) Add your already per-boiled seasoned one-kilogram chicken wing or lap. Add nicely chopped cow skin (pomo), salt and choice culinary to taste. Cover to cook for 20 minutes
Add a tablespoon full of fermented castor oil bean. Add finely ground teaspoon full of ehuru, and uzuza seed. Add coarsely ground milk cup Crayfish. Add finely ground dry pepper to taste. Cover for 10 minutes
Add the lump-free coco-yam paste and cover for 10minutes to allow it dissolves in soup. Note that the amount of coco-yam paste depends on the base thickener desired.
Add your thoroughly washed choice dry fish and already washed and cook to tender stockfish
Add washed and sliced zuza leaf.
Stir soup and cover pot to allow ingredients to cook together to achieve concentration for 10 minutes
Add squashed bitter-leaf to your taste. Allow to cook and stir the soup occasionally from bottom up to ensure no stickiness until the leaf is well cooked, soft and the soup concentrated and ready to eat.
There you are! Your Bitter leaf soup is ready! Best serves with desired cassava flour meal, corn flour meal, yam flour meal. You can also eat it as a meal.