How to prepare Nkwobi
When you ask what is Nkwobi made of, someone might tell you it’s just goat meat. It is just goat meat but taste it and you start craving for more. In this post, the details and preparation are about Nkwobi, the type you will find in an exclusive restaurant.
Here is how to prepare nkwobi
- 2kg (4.4 lbs) cow foot (you will cut it into sizeable pieces)
- 20cl (200ml) Palm Oil
- 1 tsp ground Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)
- 10 Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)
- 1 tbsp of powdered edible potash
- 2 tbsp of ground crayfish
- 2 habanero peppers (depending on the flavour you want)
- 2 big stock cubes
- 1 medium onion
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 medium onion
What you need to know about the ingredients used to prepare nkwobi:
- First, the cow meat (2kg) might seem like a lot but it is not. After preparing the Nkwobi, you will realise cow meat has too many bones and just two people can finish what you have prepared.
- Buying cow foot can be expensive to cook as it takes time to soft, taking so much gas from your gas cooker. Buy calf foot instead.
- Calabash nutmeg (Ehu seed) should not be replaced with ordinary nutmeg. The Ehu is common to Nigeria and foreigners might find it hard to get it. Sadly, there is no other alternative than the real Ehu seed. You don’t need a lot to make your Nkwobi. Just a little will do. For people who are trying to make the dish on foreign soil, ask people at home to send the seeds to you.
- Traditionally, there is an ingredient called Ngu in Igbo culture. This item is used instead of potash. Potash is common and available in the market but if you could get Ngu, it’s fine.
- Utazi leaves add a kind boisterous taste to the Nkwobi. An alternative to this leave is spinach.
It is time to get work.
- Your cow meat is already in chunks, either you do it or the butcher does it.
- Now, put some of the powdered potash in a bowl of four tablespoons of water. Stir.
- Sieve the mixture and put the clear water aside.
- Cut a big chunk of onion into just four pieces. Blitz the pepper or pound the pepper in a wooden mortar.
- Put the crayfish in a blender and grind it.
- Remove the shells of the Ehu seed and grind the seeds using a coffee grinder.
Preparing the Nkwobi
- The cut cow meat should be washed with water. Put them in a pot, crush the stock cubes and add them. Also, add the four chunks of onion.
- Add a little water and start cooking. When the water reduces, add more and keep cooking. The point of this is that the meat shouldn’t burn and the water should dry by the time the meat is cooked.
- While the meat is cooking, you should prepare another pot and put it on fire to let the inside dry. Pour the palm oil. Pour the liquid potash and stir it in using a spatula as you pour. The oil will begin to curdle and turn yellow. Keep staring.
- Time to add the pepper, grounded crayfish, and the Ehu seeds. Stir it well and let it mix properly.
- Turn to the cooking meat. Add salt and stir, then taste. Allow this to cook.
- Pour the cooked meat into the palm oil paste. Use the spatula to stir well.
- Put the pot on fire again, allowing the meat to become hot. Stir regularly as the meat is likely to get burnt.
- It is time to prepare the garnish. Slice the Utazi leaves and cut the Onions into rings.
- The best place to serve the Nkwobi is inside a small wooden mortar. After serving, put the slices of onions and Utazi on the meat.
Other things you need to know
- Drinks of different kinds go with this dish. A traditional person will prefer palm wine but you can enjoy Nkwobi with beer, soft drinks or juice.
- The steps in this post can be used in preparing Isi Ewu. Just substitute the cow meat for goat meat.
- Your choice of a pepper depends on you. Some people prefer Cameroon pepper to Ata Rodo. Try one out at a time. You will find the choice that suits you.