African salad | Abacha

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abacha recipe

A few weeks ago I was in Chicago for a friends wedding. I helped cater the wedding and had to make a quick run to the African food store to get some ingredients. When i got there, while looking for crayfish, I saw abacha and ugba. I almost caused a scene with the squeal that came from my mouth! I was so excited because a few months ago, I had asked a friend to bring me ugba and abacha from Nigeria but he forgot them in the fridge while he packed. Finding it when I was not actually looking was such a joy! I was so excited to come back home and finally make abacha for my blog! Now what is abacha? Abacha is made out of dried shredded cassava. Cassava that has been processed can also be turned into garri or tapioca. The remaining parts that are sometimes not used for garri ( a major source of carbohydrates in Nigeria) instead of thrown away, are dried and then shredded resulting in abacha.

I remember having abacha or African salad as it is popularly called when I was very young. My mother had bought it and brought it home and had only giving me about two spoons worth and I was hooked! After that first experience it took about 10 years for me to taste abacha again and the taste was just as heavenly! Going to Nigeria last Christmas, I made sure I found a place that sold it and quickly asked for a recipe. As usual it was difficult to get recipes with proper measurements so I had to try it a few times with different measurements and thankfully I got it right on my second try! I had mine with some fried fish (Yes I spoiled myself that day) and it was all SO delicious! Here is my quick and easy recipe! I hope you do try it if you have access to abacha and ugba!

Abacha- african salad

Serves 2-3
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Region Nigerian
African salad recipe. Abacha recipe. Igbo food.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups abacha (shredded cassava)
  • 1 cup ugba (oil bean seeds)
  • 1/4 cup palm oil
  • 1 teaspoon akawun (edible-potash)
  • 2 tablespoons crayfish
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cubes maggi
  • 1 teaspoon african nutmeg
  • 1 cup protein of choice (goat/kpomo/stockfish/beef-diced into small pieces)
  • salt and dry pepper to taste
  • 1 handful utazi leaves (to garnish)

Directions

Step 1
Sprinkle salt, pepper, curry, and half a Maggi on the mackerel and allow marinate for 5 minutes. Fry in hot oil and keep in a warm place.
Step 2 In a bowl, soak the abacha in warm water and set aside for 20 minutes. Soak the ugba for 5 minutes and set aside.
Step 3 Roast the calabash nutmegs by placing in a hot frying pan and frying till they are very dry. Mill in a dry blender till they become a powder.
Step 4 Place the potash in ½ a cup of warm water and set aside for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, strain the water to remove the stones and save the water.
Step 5 In a pot, add the palm oil and ½ the potash water. Stir until the mixture is a yellow color. Add more water if needed to make a runny paste. Add the blended nutmeg, pepper, salt, crayfish, 1 maggi cube and stir. Taste if more salt or maggi is needed.
Step 6 Add the ugba, goat meat/kpomo and diced onions. Stir it all in together. Finally add the abacha. Turn on the heat to a medium heat to make the abacha warm (not to cook it) and continue stirring. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and maggi if needed.
Step 7
To serve, garnish with the chopped utazi leaves, Fresh onions and the fried fish.

abacha recipe

 

african salad

 

Regarding everything I used in this post, I either got them from Nigeria, the grocery store in Toronto or from grocery store in Chicago, Check you local African store for the ingredients or ask a family member. They might be able to help..:D

Have a great week guys and if you do try this recipe, please let me know! I really love the pictures too! I am travelling for work again later in the week and might be MIA till next week but I would try and schedule a post in my absence!

Till next time,

Lohi

xx!

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Comments

  1. Hi Lohi,

    I love it when you go somewhere and find something from home that you weren’t expecting. It can be something really simple too. Like how my friend and I went to a Lebanese restaurants and they had glass-bottled cokes. That is an ANOMALY where I live so I was uber uber excited.

    I am glad the business is going well with you catering weddings and such. Totally deserved.

    Can you not just grate and dry cassava on your own as opposed to having to buy the actual product? Just wanted to be clear.
    Best

    A.

    • you know I never thought of doing that eh. I would make sure there is no specific processing done to the cassava and I will try it out myself. Thank you Adhis!

  2. Hello dear. I just discovered your blog as I was searching for breakfast ideas and have been gulping down every post..lol..
    As regards d abacha, yes it is very easy to make once you can lay your hands on fresh cassava tubers. All you need do is cut into small pieces like you would your yam and cook till done. Then allow to cool down, grate into any size/shape you want with your normal grater and soak overnight. Wash the next morning and voila you have your fresh abacha. Dry to get dry and storable version

    • oh wow! I didnt know it was that simple. I do find cassava very often so I would try and make it by myself this summer when i can dry out what I do not need. thank you!

  3. […] Image credit – Lohi’s Creations […]

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