I have truly come far with Nkwobi. The very first time I made it was last year. I wrote a post about it (click HERE) and since then I have been trying it out, adding a couple of twists to it but never blogged about it because I was waiting to get the traditional wooden bowl. On Saturday, I produced a truly delicious bowl for a client, as part of her Meal Drop off Service. It was so good, I literally had to stop myself from continually dipping into it. You see, I charge per 500ml bowl for Nkwobi, so I couldn’t afford to shortchange the client. Hahahahahahaha.
Anyways, I had told my neighbour Funmi that I would be bringing her Nkwobi, which I planned to make yesterday. Despite trying Nkwobi a couple of times before Saturday, I felt that there was something missing but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks to Adeola P. she sent me a message asking me to try adding Ugba to it. Ka ching!!!! Adding Ugba, to this dish yesterday, just took me back to those joints in Lagos. Digging into hot Nkwobi and topping off with very cold Maltina. Gosh, the memories of eating Nkwobi. How cheated I always felt when the heaped bowl arrived, only for it to be shallow. Seriously, those bowls are very deceptive and totally unfair. My bowl arrived from Lagos recently and I knew I was going to be making Nkwobi soon. Having a client order it just gave me the push I needed. In the future I would make this and plate it all 2014-esque Dooney’s Kitchen style, but for now, permit me to stay with the traditional method. This is the best Nkwobi I have ever made. I hope the pictures speak for themselves.
You will need
7 – 8 Ehu/Ehuru seeds – calabash nutmeg
3 – 4 tbs of Ugba – oil bean
1 tbs of Cameroon Pepper – this is my twist to it, you can use freshly ground ata rodo or dry pepper
2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
2 – 3 cooking spoons of Palm oil – depending on how much cow leg you have
2 big handfuls of chopped boiled cowleg
Potash/Native Salt – akaun, kaun, uhieru
Chopped Utazi to garnish – i substituted with basil (efinrin, nchawu, scent leaf, ntong)
P.S – If you want to make Isiewu, just replace the cow leg with goat head. Good luck to you. Never tried Isiewu in my life before, and can’t bring myself to.
1. Crack the shell of the ehuru and extract the seeds.
Let me share a tip I got from some wonderful ladies. Heat up the eru seeds in an empty pot for a few minutes.
When the shell has browned sufficiently due to the heat, take it out and bash gently, or use your teeth to crack it
the shell should come out neatly with the seed intact
2. In a mill, grind the seeds to a smooth powder
3. Rinse the ugba and boil in a salted water for 3 – 5 minutes
4. Pound the potash to a powder
mix with water to form a solution
5. Chop the cow leg into big chunks, removing all bones
6. Grind the Cameroon Pepper
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: i used cameroon pepper for heat and flavour. I have tried dry pepper and fresh ata rodo in the past, but there was something extra special about using Cameroon Pepper.
7. Pour the palm oil into a pot and sieve in the potash and water solution. I ran out of potash, and I used native salt. Same result.
8. As you are poring the potash solution into the palm oil, stir with your other hand and notice the palm oil curdle and change colour to a pleasant shade of orange
picture below, using potash from my client’s order – told you, same thing. Lol
9. Add the ground seasonings and stir. From Right – Left: ground crayfish, ground Cameroon Pepper and Ground Ehuru. This forms what the Igbo’s call Ngo Sauce.
10. Add the chopped cow leg
give it a good stir
11. Once properly combined, the Ngo sauce should coat the cow leg, with some still left in the pot. This is what makes Nkwobi lickably yummy. There should still be some ngo sauce left to scoop with your fingers. Hahahahaha
12. Strain out the Ugba from the pot of water you boiled it in and add to the pot. Stir properly to combine.
13. Place the pot on medium heat to warm the entire thing through. Taste and re-season if needed. I added a little salt, just to pump up the flavour. Once it warms through, that’s your Nkwobi served.
Keep the hubby’s home this weekend. Serve Nkwobi with onion rings and chopped Utazi. You can substitute Utazi with scent leaf (efinrin), or even uziza.
If you have the traditional wooden bowl, all the better for you. Re-create the Mama Ifeanyi joint experience in your own home. Serve with a chilled beverage. Preferrably alcoholic to complete the experience. If you guys don’t drink, go my way and serve cold Maltina. Lol.
There is something about that traditional bowl that just makes Nkwobi rock.
It is not too late to try Nkwobi out this evening. Treat yourself with delicious, sticky, yummy, goodness.