One sure way to understand a tribe of people is through the food they eat. This trip takes us to the South-South people of Crossriver and Akwa-Ibom states in Nigeria to understand how they make the delicacy known as Ekpang Nkukwo.
If you are wondering how this meal gives you a balanced diet, it exposes you to nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and oil.
This mouth-watering local delicacy is made with grated cocoyam or water yam – wrapped in cocoyam leaves and cooked with periwinkles and palm oil. The cocoyam leaves are sometimes alternated with pumpkin leaves commonly known as ‘ugwu’ (spinach). This local Nigerian food is cooked with assorted meat, chicken, fish, periwinkles, and pomo (processed cow skin), using palm oil as the base.
It is originally cooked with cocoyam leaves; however, this can be very difficult to come by in the markets, and that is why pumpkin leaves or spinach are mostly used as alternatives.
This is a very special meal to the extent that it is mostly reserved for very special occasions.
Here’s how to make the meal;
- 5 Tubers of cocoyam
- 1/3 water yam tuber (optional)
- A bunch of pumpkin leaves or young cocoyam leaves for wrapping
- A generous amount of palm oil
- 1 cup of crayfish
- 2 cups of shelled or unshelled periwinkles (as desired)
- Assorted beef and offal
- ½ kilo of chicken
- Dried fish
- 200g of pomo (processed cow skin)
- 2 medium-sized onions
- Ground pepper & salt to taste
- 3 seasoning cubes
- A handful of scent leaves ‘Nchuawun’ ‘Efirin’ (scent leaves)
Preparation of Ingredients:
- Rinse and cook the beef, chicken, offal and dry fish until it is properly cooked and tender.
- Peel, wash and grate the cocoyam and water yam (that is if you are using it). Mix them together and set aside, otherwise just grate your cocoyam and set aside.
- Prepare the pot by rubbing the insides generously with palm oil, so that the food doesn’t burn at the bottom.
- Rinse the tender cocoyam leaves and tear them into medium pieces. If it is pumpkin leaves that are being used, wash them and set them aside.
- Wash the shelled or unshelled periwinkles to remove dirt or sand.
- Blend the pepper and crayfish and set aside.
- Rinse and slice the scent leaves into small pieces.
Method of preparation:
- If you will be using unshelled periwinkles, put them at the base of the oiled pot.
- Take a small quantity of the grated cocoyam and/or water yam and roll into a piece of the torn cocoyam leaf or pumpkin leaf till the whole mixture is finished.
- Add the pepper, crayfish, onions, shelled periwinkles and assorted beef
- Add some hot water to the level of the contents of the pot and set to cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes till it starts to boil. It should not be stirred while it cooks so that it does not end up looking all messy and irritating. After this stipulated time, you can then stir gently.
- Add the scent leaves for about 5 minutes, and a generous amount of palm and salt to taste. Leave for an extra 5 minutes, after which you can turn it off and serve.
This meal is Best served HOT!
Follow these steps and share pictures of what your outcome.
Do you have any questions or comments? Do share with us in the comment section.