Nigeria – Nkwobi
by Verdzekov Bernard
With the local cuisines of Africa, rarely will you fine the preparation of a meal without local ingredients being used. This local ingredient defines the heritage and culture of the people. This local ingredient is so valued in Africa and many other places around the world thou the are difficult to be found in other parts of the world for reasons I don’t know why than to say is because of the variation of soil type around the world. Most African food spices are expensive when exported out to other countries. Some are seasonal and some are not, and grow all times. Nkwobi is a typical Nigerian Cuisine. It is an expensive dish with cow foot as its main visible components. It is often termed as food for the rich. This is because the dish is expensive and for an individual to prepare this dish at home, maybe for a party or for home consumption, that person should be rich. You will see this dish also in Nigerian restaurant. The price also high and eating by those with money. Hope you understand what I mean. Lol.
The use of local tools in the preparation of this dish is also a sign of culture. Valued by the people. There are some ingredients below which you may not see in your local area, but don’t worry, just follow guide below;
- 2-3kg of cow foot
- Palm oil
- Ground cray fish
- One or two bulbs of onions
- Ehu nutmeg
- Curry powder
- Cut cow foot into eatable sizes.
- Wash very well.
- Cow skin is usually very difficult to cook. If you don’t pressurize or precook the caw foot, it may not get ready well during cooking process. So, it is good to precook the cow foot. Using a pressure pot to precook the cow foot could take at list 25min – 30min and at most 35min. That is if you want it to get ready well.
- Ehu nutmeg is difficult to see out of Nigeria. But this ingredient is so traditional to the Nigerian people. Preparing Nkwobi out of Nigeria, you may not use Ehu because it is difficult to see. But that shouldn’t be a problem because you can go ahead with the cooking process without it. But if you In Nigeria, and you have the means to use Ehu nutmeg, do include it into your ingredients and cooking process.
- Slice your onions
- Grind your pepper. Normally, you will use a blender, but in the traditional way, a flat stone is used to put what so ever you are grinding, and a round stone to grind.
- Grind your crayfish and set aside.
- Remove the Ehu shell, that is if you are to use it, grind.
- When the cow foot is ready, remove and transfer into the main cooking pot with stock. Turn on heat, add chopped onions and maggi into the pot with cow foot.
- Reduce heat and add a small quantity of water. The water added is to prevent burns from the pot.
- 10min into cooking time, add your palm oil.
- Using a wooden spatula, stir. Stir well for about 1min – 2min. when steering, observe the color of the oil in the pot. when the color turns yellow, stop and add crayfish and pepper and stir. Allow for about 5min, then add salt.
- Allow the pot until water is dry and the soup is pupping. Add your curry powder and Stir well.
- The Nkwobi is ready. To serve, you may want to garnish if you are selling in a restaurant or you want to serve well. Put in pan, if you not having use a plate, cut onions and some green spices and add on the Nkwobi.
- You may eat this with boiled ripe plantains.
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