Written by David Ugbabe
The Idoma people of Benue State are blessed with abundant foods and a very rich soil to grow them. It is no wonder the motto of the state is “the food basket of the nation”. One special meal that is loved by these people is the Okoho soup, which is made from a stick – the slimiest meal anyone can taste. It is the tribal soup of the Idoma people who are from Benue State and one of the dominant tribes in the state. The soup is highly medicinal and aids in digestion.
The okoho plant is scientifically known as Cissus populnea belonging to the family Amplidaceae ( Vitaceae). Made from the Okoho stick, it is very slimy after preparation.
Unlike other soups, oil is not used in the preparation of the okoho soup yet the taste is awesome. The okoho soup is usually prepared with bush meat (such as grass-cutter, alligator and smoked meat etc.) and best served with pounded yam (aka Onihi). However, it can also be eaten with semovita, amala or eba e.t.c. The okoho soup can be eaten anytime of the year however, it is the most respected and demanded food in all Idoma events such as; traditional weddings, burial ceremonies, birthdays and other festivities.
The YouTube video below explains in deatils how to prepare the Idoma traditional soup.
Although commonly known and associated with the Idoma people, the soup is also eaten by other tribes who have different names for it. It is referred to as okoho among the Igbos and Igalas, the Yorubas call it Orogbolo while the Hausa tribes refer to it as Dafara.
The Okoho soup has been found to be very medicinal and has essential properties that make it a very meal for its ability to aid digestion.