Oha soup a.k.a Ora/Uha soup or Ofe ede/ Ofe Oha/Ofe uha/ Ofe Ora. It is a traditional Igbo soup that has its origin from South Eastern Nigeria.
This Nigerian soup is one of the most delicious soups that are popularly eaten by the Easterners.
Although Oha soup is native to the southeastern part of Nigeria, most Nigerian families from other tribes also enjoy this delicious and nutritional meal.
Oha soup recipe is similar to the bitter leaf soup recipe the only difference is in the vegetables used in garnishing the sauce.
It is a seasonal soup, unlike bitter leaf soup which can be found all year round
Oha leaves are the leaves from the evergreen tree in Africa. The plant is botanically called Pterocarpus mildraedii.
Ora leaves are usually known as Oha leaves in most parts of Nigeria. They offer many health benefits to the body.
Traditionally, you can pick the leaves with fingers, wash them properly and cut into tiny pieces with hands.
Rumor has it that the color changes and the leaves turn a bit bitter when cutting with a knife (please let me know if you have experienced that in the comment section)
Oha Soup is traditionally thickened with cocoyam paste (ede ofe), though Achi /Egusi or Ofor can also be used.
Oha Soup and Pregnancy
The two basic ingredients in making oha soup are the oha leaves and cocoyam- ede ofe.
The leaf is medicinal; it retains its greenish leaves throughout the year. It also contains many nutrients such as iron calcium, amino acids, iron, potassium, fibre, vitamin A and C, etc.
While the cocoyam contains digestible starch, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and other nutrients that are good for a healthy lifestyle.
This means that ora soup is very good for pregnant women because they need Magnesium for fetus formation.
Above all, you can enjoy these advantages if you cook the cocoyam. You can also preserve cocoyam by drying after boiling and grinding into flour.
Oha Soup Recipe
Ora soup is easy to cook. Below is a detailed explanation on how to prepare:
Ingredients for Ora Soup
- Oha leaves
- 8 small corms of cocoyam
- 3 cooking spoons Red Palm Oil
- The meat of choice: Assorted Beef-ponmo (cow’s skin), shaki (tripe), goat meat, etc.
- Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and 1 big Stock fish head
- Chilli pepper, salt and crayfish (to taste)
- A handful of Uziza leaves (optional)
- 2 Stock cubes
- 1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (though optional but it gives ofe ede that traditional taste)
Firstly, parboil meat- the beef, shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish with the necessary ingredients till tender.
Secondly, add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add the cocoyam paste in small lumps and palm oil.
After that, cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.
Fourthly, add the ora (oha) leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
Finally, add salt to taste, stir and the soup is ready! Serve with any swallow of choice – Wheat, Amala, Semolina, Pounded yam, Eba, and Fufu.