Let’s talk about Ofe Achara Soup – Benefits, Preparation Using Akpuruakpu Egusi (Mgbam)
Ofe Achara Soup is a delicious Igbo native soup prepared by the people of Abia State in South East of Nigeria. This Achara is loaded with lots of nutritional elements, which help in the body’s function.
The akpuruakpu molded egusi is another way of cooking egusi. It’s best to achieve when cooked with this delicious ofe Achara.
What are the health benefits of this ofe Achara Soup
The health of ofe Achara soup is numerous. here are some beneficial health
- Reduced risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, aiding in digestion, lowering blood pressure and sugar, and healing the wound.
- Achara Rasanaya. Antioxidants protect cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage.
- It contains a high content of dietary fiber
- highly rich in Vitamin A and C.
- If you really want to reduce weight, give this recipe a try because it helps in weight loss
- It serves as a booster to the immunity system
Ingredients for Ofe Achara Soup
For a pot of soup, you will need:
- 300g egusi (melon) seeds
- ½ teaspoon dry pepper
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 cup broken pieces of Achara (~15 stalks of Achara)
- 2 cooking spoons red palm oil
- 40g osu
- 1 handful sliced okazi leaves
- 3 pieces stockfish
- 1 dry catfish
- 1 ogiri okpei
- 3 small stock cubes
- Habanero pepper (atarodo, ose oyibo, atarugu)
- 1 handful crayfish
Note before cooking
- Grind the egusi seeds and the ósú with a dry mill.
- Peel the achara by removing the coarse outer husk till you get to the tender part. Then break the tender part into 1 cm long pieces. Any part of the shoot that is not brittle (easily breakable) should be discarded. Rinse the pieces of Achara and set them aside.
- Rinse your meat and soak the stockfish and dry fish with cool or lukewarm water to soften. When soft, clean thoroughly and debone
- Grind the crayfish with the ogiri okpei, also with a dry mill or spice grinder.
- Pound the habanero pepper with a mortar or grind with a hand blender.
Preparation of Ofe Achara Soup
- Cook the stockfish with the stock cubes (seasoning cubes) till soft and pour some of the stock into a bowl. Yes, this has been soaked earlier, but stockfish is quite tough, and soaking alone does not get it as soft as we need it. The soaking is necessary so that you can clean it very well.
- Pour most of the ground egusi (about 70%) into a clean, dry bowl.
- Season the egusi with dry pepper and some of the crayfish and ogiri okpei blend. It’s necessary to season the egusi very well so that the mgbam will not taste bland when one bites into it.
- Add some of the fish stock to the egusi and mix till a thick dough is formed.
- Mold the egusi dough into flat discs as big as a coin and set aside.
- Boil some water and throw the molded egusi into the pot of boiling water—Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Set the pot of meat and stockfish on the gas cooker. It should still contain some stock from cooking the stockfish. If not, add the water from boiling the egusi balls.
- Add the deboned dry fish, habanero pepper, and the remaining crayfish and ogiri okpei blend and bring to a boil.
- Once it boils, please take off the fish and set it aside.
- Add the remaining ground egusi to the stock, stir and cook till you see some clear egusi oil come to the surface.
- This should take 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the soup often, so it does not burn. Add the water you used in boiling the molded egusi when necessary.
- Once you notice oil at the top of the, add palm oil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the boiled akpuruakpu egusi, Achara, okazi, and the fish we took out earlier.
- Add salt to your taste, cover, and once it boils again, it is done!
Serve with any Nigerian fufu meal.