Saturday, 9 August 2014

How to make Nkwobi

So I have this uncle who runs a pub popularly known as Beer parlor here in Nigeria. Classy???....errrmmm, i wouldn't say but such establishments surprisingly tend to reel in the men like bees to honey. On my recent visit to his beer parlor, i couldn't help but notice that one of the meals he serves up quickly is Nkwobi. If he prepares a full gigantic pot of this meal, it gets finished within few hours. And to think it doesn't come cheap baffles me. A plate in an average restaurant like his ranges between 600-1500 Naira and for a typical Igbo man, this is good business. What makes this dish irresistible is the sauce which could be really addictive.
As soon as i left his beer parlor, i headed straight to the market to get ingredients for Nkwobi. The first stop i made was at the slaughter house to get fresh cow leg. After Haggling the price with the butcher for about 10 mins, we came to an agreement and concluded i was going to pay N1500 for a full leg. Once the meat was paid for, the butcher scraped the skin of the leg to remove dirt and excess hair before chopping it up into smaller bits. 
Now, this dish isn't your average home cooked meal as it's mostly sold in restaurants or bars as a special delicacy. Nkwobi is a Nigerian dish which Originates from the Eastern part on Nigeria. It's a delicacy which delights the heart of any man i tell you. Do let me know how it goes once you try it out. 
P.S: Isi ewu is also prepared the same way. The only difference is, Goat Head is used instead of cow leg
Cow leg
How to make Nkwobi & Ugba
• Prep Time:
 40 minutes
• Cook Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
• Serves:        5-8 people


Ingredients::: 
• 1.5 kg Cow leg (cut into sizable pieces) 
• 2 Seasoning cubes 
• 8 Cooking spoon palm oil 
• 1 small sized Edible Potash(akaun/ kanwa)/ 1 tbsp. ground potash 
• 2 tbsp. Ground crayfish 
• 2 Fresh red scotch bonnet pepper/ 2 tbsp. Ground chili pepper 
• Salt (To taste) 
• Water 
For Garnish::: 
•1 Medium sized Onion 
•10 Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)



Preparation:::

Before preparing Nkwobi you have to take note of these:

1. Cow leg: Cow leg is the Original bonny meat to use for this dish. This means it's got more of bones and less beef on it. If you don't have cow leg, you could substitute for goat leg or Calf leg. Before cooking cow leg, you have to take note that it takes a very long time to cook. If you have a pressure cooker, you could use it to save time and Gas.
• Wash the cow leg thoroughly and place in a pot. Add some chopped onion, Seasoning cubes and cook till Soft. Make sure the liquid left in the pot is minimal and concentrated to ensure the seasoning gets into the bone meat. -Set this aside.

2. Ehuru/Ehu seeds: This is what gives the dish its authentic local flavor. It cannot be substituted for the normal Nutmeg. To make it easy to remove from the shell, it could either be pan roasted or roasted in open flame
. Pan roast: Place the ehuru seeds on an empty dry pan and leave to heat while tossing once in a while on dry heat till you hear it crack open. Peel the skin and place the the peeled ehuru in a mortar. Pound and set aside
Open flame roast: Place the ehuru seeds on a dry burner on medium heat. leave for a while till it chars. Crack open and place the the peeled ehuru in a mortar. Pound and set aside

3. Potash: This is the special ingredient that makes the palmoil Curdle and change colour. To prepare, place the powdered potash in a bowl. Add some water and stir. What you need is the liquid and not the residue. Just stir and set aside. An alternative to potash is Ngu which is more Local than potash but its quite rare and is mostly found in remote areas.


4. Utazi leaves: Utazi is Used as a garnish for this meal. It has a Bitter taste and gives the dish a wonderful Bitter flavor. It's Used sparingly though since most people cannot stand the bitter taste. To prepare, wash and chop -Set aside


5. Ugba: Usually, Nkwobi on its own is tasty but when oil bean seed 'Ugba' is added, it becomes simply mouth watering due to the additional flavor it gives the dish. To prepare, wash the ugba with clean water and set aside.

6: Onions: This is Usually used as a Garnish and is eaten raw. To prepare, wash and slice the onion into rings - Set aside.

Now you are done preparing the ingredients, its time to prepare the Main Nkwobi.


Preparation of the Nkwobi sauce

Step 1: In a Medium sized pot/pan, Heat the palm oil till it gets a little bit hot (Not bleached). Gently sieve in the dissolved potash liquid making sure you don't pour in the residue. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture by stirring thoroughly.


Step 2: Keep stirring till the Oil Turns bright yellow and thickens.


Step 3: Add the ground ehuru, Pepper, Crayfish to the sauce and mix.


Step 4: Gently add the Ugba, pour the cooked cowleg into the sauce (with very little meat stock). Stir Very well and place the pot on the Burner and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-8 minutes.


Step 5: Dish Out into the traditional
 Nkwobi bowl  and garnish with the sliced onion rings and Utazi leaves.
Serve with a Chilled drink or a glass of palmwine.



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39 comments:

  1. OMG! You make cooking this so easy , thanks for the follow. Just followed back . This looks delish! Great job.

    www.stylenbeautylounge.com

    ......

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  2. Replies
    1. it tastes yummier too :)

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  3. Chim oooo.....this is delicious,Dobby I luv d way u present foods... very attractive. Thumbs up babe! I will want 2 try this someday in d kitchen....if only madam Emem d most popular nkwobi woman in calabar dosn't relocate 2 her hometown bikoonu...dat woman can prepare nkwobi for Afrika. Pls can u do a recipe for FISHERMAN STEW pls pls

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you her excellency. Hopefully, really needs to relocate so you can practice this skill in the kitchen...lol! With this recipe, yours would definitely be better :). Okay, Would do fisherman stew soon just for you ;)

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  4. I woke up thinking I would make this tonight and now I will! Fortunately, Cow leg is much cheaper here in the states.

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    Replies
    1. Really? i had a feeling i was being ripped off. I probably have to up my bargaining game then...lol! How did it go?

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  5. Anonymous12:47 pm

    Weldone dobby, you make cooking very easy.

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  6. Atarhe7:40 am

    This site is the bestest ever!!!....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yayyy!!! *Dancing*...Thanks Atarhe, glad you like it :)

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  7. I never knew that the cow-leg could be cooked with seasoning, all these while I've been cooking with only salt o. Thank God I read this post, I'll make it just like you have done.
    Lovely, lovely pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Adaeze, i'm sure you'd love it :)

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  8. Anonymous3:50 pm

    Dobby dobby..I hail u .. U r doing a wonderful job..when ever I get lost on what to cook I visit our blog, n believe u me I always get what my family would love to taste...pls between cow leg n goat leg, which is tastier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anon :). They are both tasty. The only issue is the size and how it's sold. Cowleg is Larger, more expensive and fleshy than goat leg which is smaller, cheaper and has less meat on it.

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  9. Anonymous4:38 pm

    Hummmm! This is mouth watery

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  10. Anonymous4:41 pm

    The best thing about your site is that u show step by step ways of preparing your food with pictures. Your indeed a darling. Thanks

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  11. Anonymous10:03 pm

    I tried your recipe today. It took me over 7 hours to prepare! Blame it on it being a Sunday n most igbos don't open on Sundays in the north. I had to go to d 4 corners of Kano to buy the ingredients. It was worth it cos immediately hubby ate it, he credited my account. Lol.
    Thank u love. U just spiced up my marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you could share the love too with my own account Anon *Winks :D*. Thanks alot for the feedback, i really do appreciate it :)

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  12. Anonymous11:05 pm

    Hi dobby...... just came across ur blog.... good job u r doing here, I have tried this recipe several times and it's never OK. the problem is to get the oil to thicken. is there any special technique to thus or its use too much oil or less potash.... it's don't just get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, there's no special technique needed to make the oil curdle as the addition of potash makes it curdle and thicken. There's a probability you use too much oil with very little potash in the preparation.

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  13. Anonymous9:56 pm

    Thanks for ur response..... I av actually tried using more potash and less oil but it's same result. I was thinking If there are some oil dat don't curdle with potash. I get my oil from my village - auchi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hmmm!! Palm oil is supposed to naturally curdle on contact with potash except there's something wrong with it or it has been diluted with coloring as most sellers do to increase the volume. i used to stay in the village, nsukka to be precise and to get "Pure Undiluted palmoil" to bring back to Lagos i usually had to journey to a deeper part of the village known as the Source.

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  14. Anonymous5:06 pm

    omg!!!! I accidentally ran across your site...I have perused through a few recipes and **faints** what a pleasant surprise!! its sooo hard to find good/accurate naija recipes! This Nkwobi recipe is on point (I haven't made it in a while and I needed a refresher). I know I sound a bit dramatic but you just don't know how excited your blog makes me. Kudos and God bless mama!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Anon :). Glad you found the site useful.

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  15. Yum!. Def trying this out.

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    Replies
    1. Do let us know how it goes la monomaniac

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  16. Just found this blog out and I have been perusing through most of the recipe.. Needless to say I was searching for a food blog because hubby said he was tired of egusi meal and I needed to spice it up a bit for him hence my search and yesterday soup turned out great. I had to refrigerate on time as he kept asking for more soup


    I am going to try the ofe akwu soap today and I hope it comes out well as I have never made this before. Even though I'm igbo, I remember feigning illness anytime it's made at home because I don't wanna pound.

    Do you have isi ewu recipe please?? I have search and didn't find one because I'm suppose to make that. I made it last 2yrs ago and need a refresher

    Thanks

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  17. Anyone that says I'd not prepare this tomorrow is just a joker, or, probably dreaming!! Stopping by the market on my way back from work. Will let you know how it goes! Excited!

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    Replies
    1. Haha!Please do Nj. And let me know so i could stop by :)

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  18. Anonymous6:08 pm

    Good job Dobby its a wonderful experience perusing this blog, I have tried these dish twice but the palm oil will not cuddle, is there any special way or timing one needs to apply for oil to cuddle

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, you need nothing special really. you have to make sure you use good palm oil and good potash. Once the two comes together, it'd change the colour of the oil.

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  19. Anonymous9:18 am

    Morning dobby,please I v been trying to make this since last note buh it has really been frausterating. In fact just tried it again now,the process of thickening the oil and making it yellow hasn't been working. What could b the cause??,could it b the quantity of water??..can that b specified please. In really vexed now cause I v been wasting oil or can it b used for something else??..please I really need u to reply ASAP. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i guess its the potash you are using. Bad oil could also be the reason.

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  20. Anonymous10:37 am

    Great job dobby,please I noticed the procedure for making isi-ewu sauce and that of nkwobi is same or is there something am missing out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi anon, the procedures and ingredients are the same. The only difference is, isi ewu is made with goat head while nkwobi is made with cow or goat legs.

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