OKOHO: No Soup Tastes Better for the Idoma People of Benue State

OKOHO: No Soup Tastes Better for the Idoma People of Benue State

Okoho is the main traditional food peculiar to the Idoma people of Benue State , Central Nigeria. It is made from the plant Cissus populnea belonging to the family Amplidaceae (Vitaceae ).
It is a soup made from the Okoho stick which is very slimy after preparation. It is usually prepared with bush meat (such as grass-cutter, alligator and smoked meat etc.) and best served with pounded yam (aka Onihi). It can also be eaten with semolina , eba (made from garri ) and yam flour. This soup is usually prepared without the use of oil. It is the most respected and demanded food in all Idoma events such as; traditional weddings, burial ceremonies, birthdays and other festivities. Okoho soup is highly medicinal and also known for its ability to aid digestion. Other Nigerian tribes such as Ibos and Igalas also refer to it as Okoho, while the stick is known as Ajara or Orogbolo by the Yoruba tribes of northern and southern Nigeria. The Hausas usually call it
Dafara.

However, the soup is highly medicinal and also aids in digestion.

It is best eat with pounded yam, amala. semo, eba, etc.


Step1: Peel the white layer of okoho stem by scratching the body gently with a knife.

Step2: Place your peeled okoho stem on the side of mortar and hit it gently with pestle to loosen it.

Step3: Remove the layer in rope form and throw away the hard stick.

Step4: Wrap into a bunch together like sponge and put in a bowl, add hot water and live for 10 minute to simmer.

Step5: Check to fin

d out if the water is lukewarm enough to put your hand into, if not too hot then put your hand and begin to press and squeeze with your right hand inside the bowl while your left hand is holding it.

Step6: Continue to squeeze until the water becomes thick and slippery (draw), set it aside.

Step7: Parboil your bush meat, add some slice of onions, ground pepper, maggi seasoning and salt to taste, allow to boil.

Step8: Pound your locust beans to become smooth and add,  also add your stock fish, dried fish allow to cook for like 15 minute.

Step9: Grind/Blend your Egusi with Crayfish.

Step10: Get a bowl, put the ground Egusi inside and add little hot water then begin to knead, if it is very strong add water again and continue to knead until it begins to bring out oil.

Step11: Cut and mold like balls, after molding it all, add to your pot on fire and allow to cook for some minute,

Step12: Use spoon to remove your meat and the molded Egusi from the pot while boiling and set aside.

Step13: Remove the rope inside your Okoho paste, leaving the thick Okoho liquid then pour inside your boiling pot.

Step14: Use your spoon or cooking broom to turn your soup, stir for 5 minute.

Step15: At this point you can see that your okoho soup is almost done, put on low heat.

Step16: Add your meat and molded Egusi, stir together for some minute and turn off the heat. Serve with  Pounded yam or any “Swallow” of your choice. Okoho is so slippery that it needs some special skills to eat it.


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