Ofe - Nsala ( Nigerian white soup recipe)

By 4/07/2016 , , , ,

Ofe Nsala is a very mouth-watering white Nigerian soup indigenous to the Eastern and Riverine areas of Nigeria, it is very a tasty yet easy to make delicacy that is traditionally made without the use of palm oil as compared to other Nigerian soups that require red palm oil as one of its main ingredients. The total absence of the Palm oil is what makes this dish so appealing to new mothers.

This delicious soup was originally made with catfish but I have made my version today with goat meat and offal’s as well. This soup has variations in its preparations, depending on the different tribes that it is synonymous with. Although the methods are quite the same; the variations lies mainly in the addition of different spices. For example the Efiks add Uyayak pod to the soup during preparation and their version is called Afia efere while this is not added in the Igbo version.

I got this recipe from my Igbo brother-in-law, He makes this dish for my sister whenever she puts to bed, for me it is something I relish so much; so I am always willing to tend to my sister the first few weeks of her birthing because I know the enjoyment that awaits anyone who does!

I will be making the Efik version at a later date but for now, enjoy this one.

Let’s cook!


1) Goats meat 200g

2) Goats offals 300g

3) Smoked fish 200g

4) Stock fish 200g

5) Crayfish 100g

6) Ogiri/Opkei 20g

7) Blended dried chillies

8) Oziza leaves 5g

9) Utazi leaves 1g

10) 1 Fresh Yam ( doubles as the pounded yam and thickener)

11) Nsala spices 30g (Orima, Ehuru and oziza seeds)

12) Seasoning 10g

13) Salt 2g


1) Prepare all the ingredients by first washing them thoroughly

2) Cut all the meat assortments into desirable sizes and add this into a clean pot together with the stock fish. Add in all of the seasoning and salt, sliced onions and 3 cups of water.

3) Parboil this for 25 minutes before adding in the smoked fish and then simmer for another 5 minutes or until soft and tender

Cooks Tip: I like to add my smoked fish into my soups when the meats have been tenderized because I like to have big fish chunks in my soups. I noticed that if the fish is added into the pot at the same time as the meats which requires more cooking time; the fish totally scatters into the soups and you don’t want that.

4) While the meat is boiling, peel and cut the yam into tiny cubes so they cook fast; place into a clean pot and cook until softened

5) once this is visibly softened, add the yam into a mortar and pound with a pestle until it is very smooth, set this aside

Cooks Tip: I have cooked and pounded a whole yam because I am serving the Nsala soup with pounded yam however, only a few pounded yam dollops are needed to thicken the soup

6) Cut the Utazi and Oziza leaves into very tiny shreds ( Utazi leaves are very bitter so it’s best to add very few to the soup)

7) I toasted the Ehuru seeds in an empty pot for 3 minutes, before blending with crayfish, Oziza seeds, orima seeds and crayfish. this brought such an amazing aroma to the finished delicacy

8) When all the preparations above has been done and the meats are tender enough, add in the blended dried chilies as you desire. I love spicy food so I made mine spicy!

9) Add in the ogiri and then the crayfish blend that contains all the Nsala spices

10) Allow to simmer for two minutes before adding dollops of pounded yam that we made earlier to thicken the soup

11) Then finally add in the utazi and Uziza leaves and stir well, allow to simmer until all of the pounded yam dollops has fully dissolved then check the consistency. If it is too thick you can add in more water as desired. And your delicious Ofe- Nsala soup is ready!! Serve this with hot pounded yam and thank me later.

 Don't forget to drop your comments below, let us know what you think. Enjoy!

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  1. Good evening what does an orima seed looks like pls. Nice post

    1. Thank you so much ! orima seeds are very small and are black in colour, if you ask for banga spices at the market, am sure you will get all of the mixtures. i personally prefer to blend my spices myself because that way i am sure of what goes in my pot.

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  3. I am so happy to hear that friedheim! please browse through there are lots of recipes