Let’s discuss the Benefits of Achicha Ede (Echicha) – Enugu Meal.
Enugu State has been a hub for a local delicacy for ages. It is in the Eastern part of Nigeria with rolling hills and valleys and is also known as a Coal City-State. Ndi Enugu (Enugu people) has lots of cultural heritage, and they are blessed by ”Chi Okike (God of Creator)” with a variety of natural nutritious, and local delicacies.
Achicha being one of them is mostly consumed by Nsukka people, a town in Enugu State. If you need to eat a healthy local meal, consider having a real Nsukka person as a friend or visit any Nsukka kitchens because this legion is extremely good at cooking natural delicacies.
Achicha Ede: Achicha, also called ”Echicha,” is a native dish to Igbo in the Eastern part of Nigeria. This dish or ingredients consist of dried Cocoyam, egbugbu (Pigeon Pea), shredded oil bean locally known as ukpaka, crayfish and palm oil.
Traditionally, cocoyam can be planted in the rainy season and usually harvested in the dry season; hence the meal is mostly enjoyed in the dry season because you will have much in the market to buy.
How is Achicha Ede Processed?
Achicha Ede (cocoyam) is planted in the rainy season and harvested in the harmattan season. It is uprooted from the soil, wash with clean water cooked until it becomes a little bit tender. When it is done cooking, you can decide to choose a smoke-dried or sun-dried method. Consider processing it during the harmattan period; harmattan fastens its dryness.
Benefits of Achicha Ede – How to make a delicious Achicha Ede
Believe me not, after making this delicious meal; you will have no option other than to make it regularly. Achicha Ede is made by steaming the dried cocoyam, egbugbu locally called fiofio ( pigeon pea), or white yam separately until soft.
Here are the benefits of the key ingredients used.
Benefits of Achicha Ede
Achicha ede is a root food that is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients. Surprisingly, this rich root food has properties that help fight, prevent, and cure many diseases.
The benefits include:
- Achicha plays a great role in the antioxidant activity of your body. It is extremely high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other useful phenolic antioxidants found in taro root (aro root is a starchy root vegetable), which helps to promote immune functionality and also help to eliminate free radicals.
- It contains beneficial properties which help in overcoming rheumatoid arthritis.
- Achcha contains a considerable amount of potassium, which is proven to be an essential mineral that is needed to stay healthy.
- Vitamin C found in taro roots helps the immune system to create more white blood cells, which assist in defending the body from pathogens and agents.
- Achicha help in the digestion of food because it contains high dietary fibers.
- Achicha contains antioxidants that help boost vision and prevent free radicals from attacking ocular cells and cataracts or macular degeneration.
Benefits of Pigeon Pea
Pigeon pea is extremely rich in protein, dietary fiber, thiamine, phosphorous, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, etc.
The benefits include:
- The Potassium properties in pigeon pea act as vasodilators and help in maintaining blood pressure.
- Pigeon peas are a good source of folate, which helps prevent anaemia and defects in the unborn child caused by folate deficiency.
- It is a healthy option for weight management because it is low in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
- Pigeon pea is enriched with Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Niacin. Which promote the metabolism rate and prevents fat storage, and helps to boost energy levels
Benefits of Oil Bean ( Ukpaka or Ugba)
Oil bean seeds ( Ukpaka or Ugba) are a great energy source, amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamins, protein, calcium, and manganese. More so, It is an excellent source of phytonutrients such as alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, sterols, and glycosides.
The benefits include:
- The presence of anti-inflammatory properties makes it excellent for dermatological purposes, such as it is used to produce local ointment for treating insects bites, bites, cuts, itches and wounds.
- A comprehensive study showed that oil beans could reduce cancer growth. However, consuming fermented oil beans as a supplement or adding them to meals is a great way to keep healthy.
- You can use oil beans to treat gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhoea.
Ingredients for Achicha Ede
- 4 cups achicha ede (cocoyam flakes)
- Green leafy vegetables. You can either use:
- Utazi leave
- Nigerian pumpkin leaves (ugu)
- ½ cup red palm oil
- 1 cup of Fiofio
- ½ cup ukpaka (ugba)
- Scent leaves (nchanwu, efirin)
- 3 onions
- 2 Habanero peppers to your taste
- Salt to taste
- Seasoning cubes
- FioFio (Pigeon Pea, Agbugbu)
Note before cooking
- Rinse the dried achicha and soak in water overnight or for 6 hours.
Benefits of Achicha Ede – Directions
- Rinse the dried achicha and soak in water overnight or for 6 hours. Thoroughly watch the achicha and remove it from the water.
- Pound into pieces.
- Wrap the pounded achicha ede with banana leaves, uma leaves, or aluminium foil and cook in a pot with some water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- In a pressure pot, or pot add the fio fio with a quantity of water, cook to tender.
- Rinse and chop the following ingredients: ugu, scent leaves, onions, blend the pepper and crayfish.
- When the achicha ede and fiofio are soft, remove them from the pot and set them aside.
- In a heated pot, add the red palm oil and allow to heat. When the oil is hot, fry the onions for 3 minutes.
- Add the crayfish, 1 cube of knorr and ugba to fry for extra 2 minutes.
- If using ugu leaf, add the chopped vegetable and stir till it heats up. I prefer using utazi leave because of the leafy green properties. Note that I didn’t heat the utazi leaf, and also, some people don’t like adding utazi because of the bitter taste.
- At this point, mix up the cooked achicha and fiofio in the fried content in the pot, stir very well and add salt to taste. Your meal is ready!!
Kindly drop your experience in the comment season below. See you in my next post.