Cookbook:Efo Iyana Ipaja Soup
Efo iyana ipaja soup is a Nigerian dish prepared using leaves called "tree spinach" in English. The leaves are called iyana-ipaja by the Yoruba people and ugu oyinbo by the Igbo. In Nigerian Pidgin English, the leaves are called "hospital too far" leaves, because of their attributed health benefits.
- Tree spinach leaves
- Fresh Scotch bonnet chili peppers
- Red bell peppers
- Tomatoes, washed
- Fresh ginger
- Assorted meat, rinsed and cut into pieces
- Palm oil
- Onions, chopped
- Ground crayfish powder
- Iru (fermented dried locust beans), rinsed
- Salt to taste
- Smoked dried fish, rinsed
- Seasoning if desired (such as stock cubes)
- Soak the tree spinach with salt and water for 5 minutes to avoid irritation while washing and cutting the leaves.
- Cut your tree spinach into pieces, and put in a strainer to drain.
- Blend the chili pepper, bell pepper, tomatoes, and onions together to make a smooth paste.
- Peel your ginger and garlic, and blend together into a smooth paste.
- Combine the meat, ponmo, diced onions, salt, and ginger-garlic paste in a pot. Cover with water, and cook until soft. Remove from the heat.
- Heat the palm oil in a pot. Add chopped onions, and cook for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the blended pepper paste, meat, stock from cooking the meat, ground crayfish, salt, and iru. Cover and boil for about 13 minutes.
- Stir in the fish and tree spinach. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Make sure not to overcook the greens.
- Serve with eba, amala, rice etc.
Notes, tips, and variationsEdit
- If picking the tree spinach yourself, make sure you wear a glove or nylon on your hand to prevent itching. The vegetable typically is a home to insects that can bite and irritate the hand. You must avoid the whitish milk from the leaves from touching your hands, as it can cause irritation and allergic reactions.