How to make Nkwobi
Nkwobi is a Nigerian dish which Originates from the Eastern part of Nigeria. It’s a delicacy which delights the heart.
You should try it out!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
• 1.5 kg Cow leg (cut into sizable pieces)
• 2 Seasoning cubes
• 2 Ehuru seeds “Monodora myristica”(Calabash Nutmeg)
• 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 chilli pepper
• Salt (To taste)
• 1 cup Ugba (also Known as Ukpaka)
To Garnish the dish, You’ll need:
•1 Medium-sized Onion
•10 Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)
Before preparing Nkwobi you have to take note of these:
- Cow leg: Cow leg is the Original bonny meat to use for this dish. This means it’s got more bones and less beef on it. If you don’t have a cow leg, you could substitute it for a goat leg or Calf leg. Before cooking the 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 it 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.
- Ehuru/Ehu seeds: This is what gives the dish its authentic local flavour. 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 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 peeled ehuru in a mortar. Pound and set aside
- Potash: This is the special ingredient that makes the palm oil 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
- Utazi leaves: Utazi is Used as a garnish for this meal. It has a Bitter taste and gives the dish a wonderful Bitter flavour. It’s Used sparingly though since most people cannot stand the bitter taste. To prepare, wash and chop -Set aside
- 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 flavour it gives the dish. To prepare, wash the ugba with clean water and set it 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, it’s 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 cowled 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 palm wine.