Okay Tribe, glad to see the phrase soup staples being taken on. I have seen it mentioned very many times by all of you, and phew, I hope very soon we will phase out the word “swallow”. Loooool. Don’t mind me, I am trying to find some humour in today. Soooo, not a morning person. Arrrrrrgh!!! Anyways, Dooney’s Kitchen Old School series week has been a good one so far, scratch that, great one. I mean, I got to prepare Okro peppersoup twice, I attempted starch in a frying pan, something I haven’t done in ages, I made Eguoo (starch and plantain) for the first time, and yesterday, something amazing happened too. When I posted Black Soup on Instagram and Facebook, the buzz was incredible. Gosh, we do love our soups don’t we, like we have some emotional connection to it, and rightly so, because many of our fond memories are tied to food.
Anyways, many comments coming through mentioned a soup staple combination called Ema (yam pounded with fufu). My grandma must not have liked it, because I can’t remember her doing this, or maybe it is because I wasn’t allowed to pound, so I wasn’t sure what went in. After seeing pounded yam and fufu repeatedly, it sparked a memory of my Igbo neighbour. She pounded yam with garri (eba). I found it quite fascinating then, especially because the texture wasn’t pounded yam, and it wasn’t eba too, but something stretchier than both as individual staples. The taste was also sweet and sour. My memories were that of yellow garri, because the resulting lump was pale yellow. All I had at home was white garri, so I asked on Instagram and Facebook if I could use it. I wasn’t expecting the flood of comments. WHAT!!!!! Not only was it very common, people started giving other examples of soup staple combinations. I read closely amazed at the golden information that was pouring out through the internet, and of course I just had to document it. I mean, where else would you find you find such information?
I haven’t made soups in a while, well partly because I have been getting busy with creating The New Nigerian Cookery-esque recipes, but also because my taste buds are now kinda bored. Pounded yam used to be a novelty, something to look forward to, now with the food processor, it is just an ordinary staple to me. Trying the #Iyaneba yesterday brought back that novelty feeling I always attached to Pounded yam. It tasted so good, and fresh and new. Armed with all these combinations, you bet I won’t be bored for a very long time. If you are in the same boat as me, hop on for a ride through the river of Nigerian Soup Staple combos. Be prepared to be amazed. Here goes:
- Iyan anomo (Kwara State) – Yam and sweet potatoes pounded together
- Ema (Edo State) – Pounded Yam and Fufu
- Ghanian Combo – garri, yam, unripe plantain and cocoyam. All pounded separately and then combined into one bowl and pounded
- Onunu (Rivers State) – yam and very ripe plantain
- Eguoo (Delta State) – Starch and very ripe plantain
- Yam and unripe plantain
- Cocoyam and unripe plantain
- Garri and Fufu – garri made first with hot water and pounded with fufu
- Nri Oka – cornmeal and cassava flour. This is made like semovita
- Fufu and Cocoyam
- Cocoyam and Garri
- Amala and Fufu
- Nigerian Combo – mix yam, yellow gaari and fufu to make pounded yam. Cook the raw fufu mixed with yellow garri pound it then return to fire. Then pound the yam and now add the cooked fufu and pound together
Some sound stranger than fiction, pick the ones you think you can try, or better still, make up your own combinations. Don’t forget to share on Instagram tag @dooneyskitchentribe with the hashtag #NigSoupStapleCombos or share with the Tribe at tribe.dooneyskitchen.com
Here is the video below of me making Pounded Yam and Garri.
I just had to record it. #yameba ???. Yup, tastes like that of my neighbour's. I added the Eba after the yams had been mashed, so they both came together to form a ball. If you look closely at the video, the first time you can see the mashed yams, Eba was on top. The mash up of both is waaaay more elastic than regular pounded yam and it has a little sourness to it. Just fabulous. I made too much, who wants?
I shaped them into pillows. So tell me which of the combinations above are you willing to try?