Home ARTS & CULTURE Onitsha’s Very Own Nsala Soup

Onitsha’s Very Own Nsala Soup

by chioma okereke
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Photo Credit:Kamdora.com


Have you ever had Nsala soup? Well, if you have not been privileged to taste this version of heaven, you should be excited that I am willing to give you a feel of it all. Nsala soup tastes like a smooth sauce made with lots of African spices, a feel of pepper and other flavors bursting in your tongue with plenty dried fish and other blockades swimming in the soup.

Ofe Nsala or Nsala soup is a delicious soup that belongs to the Onitsha people by River Niger in the southeastern part of Nigeria, the city of Onitsha became a metropolitan town even before Nigeria’s independence and assumed a cosmopolitan structure after independence, especially with the famous Onitsha main market. This market with its West African connections and the hospitality of the indigenous people of Onitsha (Onicha Ado N’idu) made it possible for Ofe Nsala to become popular in the eastern part of Nigeria.

Ingredients of Ofe Nsala (Nsala soup)

  1. Utazi leaf
  2. Uziza seed(seasoning)
  3. Uda seed(seasoning)
  4. Crayfish
  5. Pepper (fresh or dry)
  6. Spices (maggi, star or knorr,  )
  7. Thickener (yam or flour) – Onitsha people insist on yam
  8. Fresh fish (asu isi, the fish with the big head)
  9. Dry fish
  10. Meat of your choice
  11. Onions
  12. Stock fish (okporoko) – optional

Cooking Directions

  1. Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish. Add the seasoning and cook till done. Feel free to add beef and dry fish to this soup recipe.
  2. When the catfish is almost done, add the crayfish, pepper and utazi leaves blend. Also add the yam paste in small lumps and salt to taste.
  3. Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste has dissolved. While cooking, if you think that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you can remove some that are yet to dissolve.

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