Variety is the spice of life. Yorubas are quite monotonous with their dishes and honestly, it gets quite boring eating the same efo-riro every time. This led me to branch out and find other dishes like the Edikaikong soup to add to my healthy lifestyle repertoire. I tried this soup on a whim one day and it was an amazing experience. It tasted so healthy and right there and then, I decided to learn how to make it.
Edikaikong soup means “vegetable soup” and it originated amongst the Efik people of Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State in Southeastern Nigeria. This soup is a delicacy among some Nigerians and is served during occasions of importance. We make it for people we consider special. Yes, it is a love language. It is a highly nutritious, delicious, and savory vegetable soup natively prepared using ugu (the native name for fluted pumpkin leaves).
This dish is quite expensive to prepare. After all, better food na money kill am. Ahh, the day I went to the market with the mission to prepare it, my mouth was agape at the prices of everything. You will definitely stay healthy if you eat this soup regularly. This delicious soup is very rich if prepared properly. The ingredients include beef, dried fish, shaki, periwinkle, ugu, water leaves, etc.
Benefits Of Edikaikong Soup
What are the wonderful benefits of Edikaikong soup?
Come, let me tell you some of the benefits of this mouthwatering soup.
The vegetable soup is nutrient-dense! Edikaikong is packed with micronutrients like Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium, which can support your overall health and well-being. These micronutrients are important for vision, wound healing, reproductive health and so many vital functions that the body needs.
Its high fibre content supports healthy digestion! The high fibre content can help keep your gut muscles well-toned and prevent constipation. It aids efficient bowel movement by adding bulk to faeces and you won’t have to spend hours sitting on the toilet seat waiting for the mass movement to occur. Studies have shown that sitting on the toilet and heaving and pushing predisposes you to hemorrhoids. Yes, pile. So you see why spicing up your food menu makes sense?
Also, it helps to boost the immune system! The vegetables and other ingredients in this dish are high in antioxidants, which helps to boost your immune system and protect against illness. Did you know that the body is constantly at war against opportunistic invaders looking for warmth and shelter? Your body is constantly on guard defending you and preventing infections. It is left to you to help your body by eating more vegetables. You get?
Furthermore, it also promotes healthy skin and hair. The nutrients in Edikaikong help keep your skin healthy and supple, and your hair gleaming with the right texture, shine and lustre. They also potentially reduce the risk of suffering from certain skin conditions and hair loss.
They also are healthy for diabetics. This is because they reduce blood sugar levels and prevent the levels from spiking unnecessarily. The heart and blood vessels also benefit from its assortment of micronutrients.
Eating healthy truly is golden. It’s certainly cheaper and less dramatic to incorporate this dish into your menu as compared with hospital visits and its brouhaha.
What’s the Recipe for Edikaikong?
Here’s a good recipe you can try:
- A bunch of ugwu leaf
- Two bunches of water leaf
- One kg beef or chicken
- Medium size stockfish head
- Two cups periwinkles (optional)
- Kpomo kanda (finely diced) (also optional)
- Dry fish
- Three tablespoons of crayfish
- A cup of palm oil
- Scotch bonnet (don’t fear, it’s ata rodo)
- Knorr seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
1. First, wash your pumpkin and water leaves thoroughly. Then cut them into fine shreds, place in a sieve to drain out the water and dirt. (they can help you cut at the market as well if you desire)
2. Afterwards, wash your beef and kpomo very well. Place in a cooking pot, add your stock cubes and salt and leave to simmer for about 2 minutes. I find that simmering helps the natural juices flow out and improves the taste. After this, add a moderate quantity of water to cook for a while.
3. Add in the stockfish and dry fish and continue cooking until the beef apparently well cooked and most importantly, the quantity of water has reduced. You need very little water in this soup because water leaf already has a lot of water in it.
4. When it has cooked sufficiently, pour in the palm oil, periwinkle, crayfish, pepper, knorr cube, and salt to taste, then allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, remaining very small water in the pot.
5. Finally, pour the water leaves into the cooking mixture on fire. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Then, add in the sliced fluted pumpkin leaves and cook for 1 minute.
With this, you have your vegetable soup still looking fresh retaining the greenish color and not overcooked. This really is the best way to make vegetable soup.
How To Incorporate Edikaikong into Your Meals
To incorporate Edikaikong into your meals, you can serve it as a main dish with rice or swallow (a Nigerian staple food made from cassava or yam flour). Edikaikong is often served with local staple foods such as garri (cassava flakes), fufu (cassava flour dough), eba (garri flour dough), pounded yam, or semovita (semolina flour dough). It can also be served with other Nigerian soups such as Egusi soup, Okro soup, or Ogbono soup.
I’m sure you’re salivating already.
Some people also like to eat Edikaikong with boiled yam, plantains, or rice. You can incorporate Edikaikong into other Nigerian dishes, such as jollof rice by adding it as a side dish or mixing it into the rice. Alternatively, you can use Edikaikong as a side dish to accompany grilled or roasted meat or fish.
I think my favorite combination is Semovita and Edikaikong soup. It’s filling and super healthy. I highly recommend that you try this out. You’ll be glad you did. And please, be quite liberal with your budget, if you know what I mean.
Until next time! Bye!
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