Homemade Nkwobi


nkwobi recipe1

A few weeks ago on one of my numerous outings to the African store, I found some ugba and was very excited because it meant I could finally make nkwobi for my blog! I was very excited about making it and called my aunt in Nigeria that owns a catering business to ask the best methods to achieving perfect nkwobi. After taking notes over the phone, I set out to buy the rest of my ingredients and here we are. Nkwobi is an Eastern Nigerian delicacy made out of cow leg (most times). Boiled until very tender with delicious spices. The meat is then mixed with a palm oil and potash puree that has been flavored using some traditional spices and served immediately warm in African inspired calabashes.

When you live abroad, it is always a challenge to get recipes to be as authentic as back home (Nigeria). Sometimes it is because of the varied cooking methods (firewood vs electric) or even the kinds of ingredients (processed and killed live-and-direct). This does not mean that you should only have your faves when you are in the motherland, it means that you have to adjust your palette based on where you are. My nkwobi came out awesome based on the circumstances. I felt it was missing something that I could not place my hand on and I would keep trying until I can produce something very similar to what I ate in Nigeria 6 months ago. Speaking of Nigeria, I would be in the motherland In a few weeks, If you want to meet up for collaborations, hire me for a private dinner, just hangout, pick my brain regarding cameras/food etc, Shoot me and email and we can make something work. 🙂  Here is the recipe for my Nkwobi! Tastyyyyy and as always, simple!


Serves 2-3
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Serve Hot
Region Nigerian
Nkwobi recipe. eastern Nigerian delicacy.


  • 1lb cow leg, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup ugba (oil bean seed)
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
  • 1 teaspoon potash (akaun)
  • 1 tablespoon crayfish
  • 1 onion (1/2 diced)
  • 2 maggi cubes
  • 1 teaspoon calabash nutmeg
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 handful utazi leaves (garnish)


Step 1 In a pot, add the diced cow feet and boil with one maggi, pinch of salt and pepper for 30 minutes or until the cow feet is very tender. Add water as needed.
Step 2 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 3 In a pot, add the palm oil and potash water and stir till the palm oil is now a thick yellow paste.
Step 4 Add the ugba, diced onion, crayfish, and calabash nutmeg and stir. Finally add the diced cow feet and stir. Turn on the heat to a medium to make the nkwobi warm (not to cook it) and continue stirring. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and maggi if needed. Add the cow feet stock if they nkwobi is too dry
Step 5 To serve, garnish with the chopped utazi leaves and fresh onions.


I used goat meat and cow leg because I felt like it...you do not have to.


nkwobi recipe2 nkwobi recipe 3

I hope you guys have the courage to try this recipe out! Let me know as usual!

Till next time




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  1. Chidiuto Says: June 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I love your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. My mouth waters for this!

  3. what it is missing is the brains. its what make the sauce tase really rich and some ogili isi (just a dash). used to make it and sell in my mum’s store in Naija

  4. Precious Oguamah Says: November 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    hmmm, its almost like making african salad

  5. Precious Oguamah Says: November 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    i will def try this

  6. Colette Says: June 3, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Hi Cynthia thanks for this insight. Would you explain how the brain is incorporated in it? Thank you.

    • Cynthia Says: June 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      You put the brains in ziploc bag while cooking the meat. Then when you are making the sauce, mix the brains with oil, salt, pepper, a little potash and about 2 tbsp water, blend well in the mortar or pot and add the meat and leaves for ganish and mix everything

      • Colette Says: June 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

        Thank you for finding time to explain this Cynthia. Would I boil the brains-in-ziploc with the cowleg or I am to mix it with the oil as it is raw?? Didn’t get that part quite clear.

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