Abacha Popularly known in Nigeria as African salad is a traditional meal which originates from the eastern part of Nigeria. No feast, festival or gathering is complete without this wonderful delicacy especially when its served with Fresh palm wine from the best palm wine taper. It can also be eaten in between meals. It is prepared from cassava and the cassava tubers which are well cooked, then sliced with a special grater, sometimes with knife. The sliced cassava is then soaked overnight in cold water, washed painstakingly and expose to dry under the sun.
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In preparing Abacha, you need Ugba. Yea it is the first to be kept handy as your African salad is incomplete without it. This simply means no Ugba no great Abacha. Just hold on! You’re wondering the English, scinetific or botanical name for Ugba right? Well it has a scientific name that is almost difficult to pronounce, Pentaclethra macrophylla Bentham, so I choose to stick with Ugba. *Clears throat* The Ugba salad is made from a flat, wide about 2 inches in diameter and one eight to a quarter of an inch thick seed produced by the oil bean tree.
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The Ugba tree is commonly seen in the eastern part of Nigeria and referred to as a bean. But the seeds don’t look anything like beans; however, they grow in pods, much like legume beans. It is advisable to use Ugba within two weeks to avoid it fermenting to the point of rot. You preserve unfermented in airtight cellophane wrapping. If you can’t find Ugba, you can use vegetables that can substitute for roughage.
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Ugba: African Salad
Abacha: African Salad
The preparation of the Abacha starts with getting the oil bean seed ready for use in the salad. This involves cooking of the seeds, slicing the cooked seeds into thin strips and washing. Then allow to ferment for 3 to 4 days before the slices turn into a grayish white color, and a dark brown color after fermentation, before it is ready for use in salads. However you can use ready made Ugba from the market and so won’t have to wait this long before preparing your salad.
Other Ingredients Include: – 1 cup, Palm Oil
– 6 Garden Eggs, diced
– 400g Abacha (dried shredded cassava)
– Stockfish- 10 pieces, spiced and cooked
– 10 pieces of Kpomo, spiced and cooked
– 100g Ugba, sliced
– 1tbsp Garden Egg leaves, finely chopped
– 1/4 tsp Potash
– 1 Seasoning cube
– Chilli Pepper to taste
– 2 tbsp ground Crayfish
– Boiling water
– Salt to taste
Directions: – Season and cook the stockfish and pomo
– Soak the abacha in cold water for about 10minutes
– Drain out the cold water, pour boiling water over it and quickly drain out the water
– Let it sit in a colander for about 5minutes
– Dissolve the potash in water and then stir with the palm oil in a pot
– Place on heat and add the pepper, crayfish and seasoning
– Stir properly then add the ugba,chopped garden eggs,the stockfish and pomo
– Add the add abacha and mix properly allowing all the ingredients to blend
– Garnish with chopped garden egg leaves
– Add salt to taste
Nutritional benefits: It was discovered through research findings that the oil bean extracts were effective as antimicrobials and antispasmodics as well as useful for treating diarrhea. John Ifeanyi Chidozie‘s presentation also showed that patients who regularly consumed fermented oil bean seeds had a reduced risk of cancer and tobacco-. diseases.