How to make Nkwobi? The first time I experienced the preparation of Nkwobi was in a friend’s mother’s restaurant. She is an Igbo woman and was hosting her club members that fateful day. Wow! It was looking so rich, full, and inviting. I didn’t have the opportunity to taste it, but I wish I did.
Fast forward to the present, I make Nkwobi, that delectable Eastern dish served in beer parlors alongside alcohol or soft drinks comfortably in my home. You too can do the same. Just follow this simple recipe, and you will be good. Having said that let’s heat the pot running
Facts On How to Make Nkwobi
Nkwobi is a special delicacy from Igboland of Eastern Nigeria. It is a dish made with soft-cooked cow legs mixed in a spicy palm oil sauce. Other meat types or parts like goat leg, cow head, or cow skin (ponmo), can be used but Cow leg Nkwobi is the most popular type. A common dish similar to Nkwobi is called Isi-ewu (goat head in spicy palm oil sauce).
To enjoy your Nkwobi, the cow feet need to be boiled until very soft. This may take a long time so you can use potash (akanwu) to help the meat get soft faster. The sauce is yellow in color and can be made enough with Nkwobi to be served with a side dish of white rice or yam or boiled or roasted yam and plantain. Nkwobi is a simple dish that does not need seasoning like curry, thyme, garlic, paprika, or ginger. Instead, we make use of local herbs and spices like Ehruru (Calabash nutmeg seeds), akanwu (potash), utazi, Ugba (African Oil Bean Seed), and crayfish.
Ingredients on How to Make Nkwobi
- 1.5 kg Cow leg
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup Palm oil
- 2 tablespoons Akanwu (potash)
- 2 Ehuru seeds toasted and ground
- 1 cup Ugba (ukpaka)
- 3 seasoning cubes
- 1 tablespoon crayfish
- 2 scotch bonnet/fresh pepper ground
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 3-4 Utazi leaves thinly sliced
- ½ chopped scotch bonnet/fresh pepper
Directions on How To Make Nkwobi
- From the market, remove the large bone from the cow leg and cut it into small pieces. Wash neatly and place in a pot.
- Add two seasoning cubes, salt, and just enough water to bring the meat to cook. Then cook meat until very soft.
- When meat is ready, set aside to cool down.
- If you will use Ugba, pour it into a small pot, add salt and water, and boil for 3 minutes. You don’t need to boil the ugba if you trust the source but to eliminate germs it is advisable to boil. Set aside
- In a small bowl, put akanwu and water, stir until well mixed, and leave to stand to allow any sand to settle at the bottom.
- In a medium-sized pot, pour palm oil
- Add 4 tablespoons of the akanwu water in the palm oil pot to make ncha (It is the Nkwobi mixture called soap) and stir continuously using a spatula, keep stirring and add more potash water until the oil thickens and the color changes from red to yellow.
- Add one seasoning cube, boiled ugba, crayfish, ehuru, scotch bonnet, and about 1/4 cup of meat stock and stir well. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Scoop the cooked cow leg pieces into the mixture and mix to get the sauce into the chucks of meats
- Place over low heat to just warm through, about 1 minute, stirring.
- Dish into bowls garnished with thinly sliced utazi, onion rings, and chopped fresh pepper.
You can enjoy your Nkwobi with white rice, also with boiled or roasted yam and plantain. It is commonly taken as a standalone dish with any drink of choice