How to Prepare (Abacha)African Salad is explained in this article. Read it carefully and learn how to Prepare Nigerian African Salad.
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African salad is a local snack made with cassava flakes called abacha. It is native to the Igbo folks of Nigeria. It can be eaten as a main course meal or in between meals.
To prepare abacha, you need cassava. The quantity of cassava used depends majorly on the amount of abacha or salad you want to obtain.
Peel off the brown bark of the cassava. Wash the cassava and boil it till it is done. There is a special grater that slices the cassava into tiny and slim flakes.
The cassava flakes are then left overnight in cold water. The following morning, remove them from the water and sun-dry them.
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The ingredients needed to make African salad are as listed below:
- Abacha (or cassava flakes)
- Ugba (ukpaka)
- Palm oil
- Powdered Potash (food tenderizer)
- Fish (fresh, dry or stockfish)
- Onion (a big bulb and a small bulb)
- Pepper (dry)
- Seasoning cubes
- Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)
- Ogiri / Iru
- Fresh utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)
- Ponmo /Kanda (cow skin)
- Garden Eggs
- Garden Egg leaves
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The amount of the items used depends on the quantity of salad you want to have at the end of the day. Ugba is made from oil bean seed.
It is also known as Ukpaka and the Ibibios call it ukana. These dry brown seeds are picked and soaked for some hours before being cooked for many hours until they are soft.
They are then picked out and sliced into thin flakes and tied up in broad leaves to ferment.
How to make African salad
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Here are the guides on How to Prepare Nigerian African Salad:
- Roast the ehu seeds. Peel them and grind them dry.
- Cook your kanda or ponmo (cow skin) till it is tender. Chop them into tiny bits.
- If you are using fresh fish, fry or roast it. If you are using dry fish, just debone it. For your stockfish, soak it in water or add to the kanda to boil for a little while.
- Wash the vegetables and cut them into tiny pieces. For the big onion bulb, dice it into tiny bits. The medium-sized onion bulb should be cut in circles. Just wash the garden eggs. You should not chop them yet.
- Grind or blend your pepper and crayfish.
- You have to soak the Abacha in cold water to soften the flakes. When it is soft, drain out the water with a sieve.
- Untie the ugba and rinse it with water (lukewarm).
- Pour the powdered potash into a cup or bowl and add cold water to it. The water should rise above the powder. Stir well and leave it for some time.
- Pour out the brown water from the potash powder into a small pot.
- Pour in your palm oil and let them mix. Stir the mixture until you obtain a yellow paste.
- Add the crayfish, ehu, diced onions, ground pepper, crushed seasoning cubes and ugba (ukpaka). Stir very well.
- Add the ogiri/iru. Stir until everything is properly mixed.
- Add the diced ponmo / kanda and stir again very well.
- Pour in your soft abacha and stir it till everything blends.
- Add the sliced Utazi leaves.
- Add salt last. This is to make sure that the salad is not over-spiced after adding all the ingredients.
- If you want your abacha warm, you can put the pot on the fire and let it simmer over low heat. If not, add your sliced garden egg, fish, and round onion rings.
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In Nigeria, African salad is best enjoyed with chilled palm wine popularly known as palmy.