My Palmnut stew recipe! – How to make Ofe Akwu

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I went to Secondary school in Benin-City so a lot of my
school mates ate Banga and Starch, a delicious meal popular in the Niger Delta
and the old Bendel State.

What I didn’t know at that time was that the Igbo speaking
people also had something similar called Ofe Akwu. We didn’t eat it growing up
and it wasn’t introduced into our home until my late teens.

Ofe Akwu just like Banga is made from Palm kernel juice and
is a rich stew which is usually eaten with rice.  With the current upsurge in prices of
tomatoes I thought it would be nice to teach you how to make Ofe Akwu as I just
made a huge pot a few days ago.  I
believe that with most recipes you can always switch things up so use this as a
general guide.
·         To prepare Ofe Akwu you will need the following:
·        
Meat of choice (I usually use Chicken )
·        
Tripe / Shaki 
( I love Shaki !)
·        
Dry Fish
·        
Stock Fish /Okporoko (Must times I don’t add
this)
·        
A tin of Palm nut cream (you can buy the fresh
palm kernel and extract if you wish)
·        
A wrap of Ogiri or a tablespoon Dadawa
·        
A cooking spoon of Crayfish
·        
Fresh pepper
·        
Scent leaf (Basil, Nchanwu, Effirin)
·        
A bunch of Ugu
·        
Salt and meat seasoning

  •  First of all season your meats and boil. It’s important
    not to add a lot of water as this will affect the taste of the stock. If you
    have already pre softened your stock fish you can add it and your dry fish in
    with meat.
  • While your meats are still cooking add in the
    blended pepper, crayfish and ogiri 
  •  
    Add in your Palm nut cream and leave to boil
    until oil some oil starts to float, this should take about 10-12 minutes. If
    you are not happy with the taste then try adding a little crayfish and cooking
    for a few more minutes.
  • Add Scent leaf, if you don’t have access to the
    local Nchanwu then fresh basil leaf (about 50g) will do.
  • After a few minutes add in  chopped Ugu (this is
    optional and I don’t always add Ugu)

Voila! There you have it…Enjoy with white rice and fried plantain.
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