Ogiri is a paste of fermented oil seeds. There are many types of ogiri but the most common varieties are Ogiri-Ijebu, Ogiri-Igbo and Ogiri-Nwan. The names are derived from the region of origin.
-Ogiri-Ijebu is made from fermented Egusi seeds and is of Ijebu Yoruba origin – a south western Nigerian tribe.
-Ogiri-Nwan is fermented fluted pumpkin seeds
-Ogiri-Igbo are of two types and is of Igbo origin – a south eastern Nigerian tribe.
1. The ones prepared with a combination of melon seeds (egusi) and castor oil seeds (ugba seeds)2. The ones prepared exclusively with castor oil seeds (ugba seeds).
Castor oil seeds are available in all parts of Africa. In old times, castor oil was valued for its laxative properties and it is used by many new parents in caring for their newborn children
The Egusi seeds/ugba seeds are boiled until very soft. They are then wrapped tightly in banana leaves and left to ferment in large clay pots for about five days. After fermentation is complete, it is smoked for 2 hours and mashed into an oily paste which is ogiri.
Ogiri igbo follows the same process but the fermentation process could take three to five days. The longer the fermentation process, the stronger the Pungent smell, flavor and value .
Ogiri has an oily gray pasty consistency and a very strong pungent smell. The smell is greatly reduced when frozen.