How to make yam and goatmeat Peppersoup (Ukodo)

By 5/25/2017 , , , ,

It rained heavily today so I thought to make this yam pepper soup (Ukodo) for my family for supper. As you already know, when it rains during the day, the chills only sets in at night and when this happens, there’s nothing as amazing as a warm bowl of yam pepper soup to escort you on your journey to dream land.

This yam pepper soup recipe originally was my mother’s, she would make this mostly after the Christmas celebrations where there was bound to be goat meat left over from the festive cooking. With the typical erratic power supply, you can trust that there would never be electricity to preserve the meat for too long. As a result, you can be sure that the weeks succeeding Christmas would be laced with recipes from these left over meats and I must tell you they were always delicious. I need quickly say here that I never ascribed this yam pepper soup to any culture, I just saw it as a meal my mother made after Christmas week which I longed for. I however, discovered that this dish is a south-south delicacy.

Ukodo as it is called by the Urhobos, is a traditional breakfast or mid-day pepper soup dish served at weddings, naming ceremonies or on New year’s day and it is made essentially with goat meat, yams, plantains, lemon grass and a blend of pepper soup spices which gives this dish its amazingly rich and fragrant soup. The Urhobos usually serve this porridge dish to their guests with palm oil and this is done in case you felt like dipping the yam into the oil for another refreshing taste. I think this dish is fit for kings because, it is really delicious!

I urge you my dears to try this recipe for your family today, you don’t have to wait for any ceremony to make something nice for your family; After all, they are all kings and queens in themselves. Try and go minimal with the dried chilies, so as to make this dish friendly for the kids and I am very sure you will put a smile on everyone’s face. Did I say anything about the aroma of this dish? Oh my! It is something else altogether.

Let’s cook!

1) Goat meat 1kg ( you can add offal’s as well)
2) Small size yam
3) Small bunch lemon grass
4) Scent leaves ( I used this at the end for garnishing)
5) 20g ground crayfish
6) Ground dried chillies (Use as desired)
7) Pepper soup spice mix ( Ehru seeds, gbafilo, umilo, uheri pod) 30g
8) Seasoning 10g
9) Salt 2g ( traditionally the Urhobos use native salt Ughweri)

1) Prepare the ingredients

2) In a clean pot, Add in the well washed goat meat, water, seasoning, pepper soup spice mix, lemon grass, dried chilies, crayfish and salt. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is partly cooked

Cooks tip: I had to buy the whole lemon grass plant from a horticulturist so I could have it for keeps, I know I will have many more uses for this fragrant grass. I really like the aroma it adds to this dish.

3) Once the meat is tender, take out the lemon grass, and add in more water, about 2 cups

4) Add in the yams, and cook until soft, if you like it thick, allow it to simmer for longer until it begins to thicken, if not, it should be ready at this point. Just check for seasoning and salt and adjust accordingly and your delicious yam and goat meat pepper soup is ready

A proper Urhobo woman will serve you this amazing dish with palm oil, but for me, I am stopping right here. Enjoy!

Be inspired!


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