Leaving far from home can have its advantage and disadvantage. I have always been a sojourner at heart, loved travelling and had the chance to travel/live in different part of my Country and other West African Countries. The good thing about this is the opportunity to savour different dishes. Also my dad being a chef while we was growing up had this positive effect of the love for cooking.
I spent the better part of my life in Cross-River and one of their delicacy I love so much is the edikaikong soup, I love this soup not only for its nutritional value but also for its ability to free your bowels.
Today here is my shared recipe for edikaikong soup for those residing back in Africa and for African’s in Diaspora, you do not have to bother about how to get the pumpkin leaves and water leaves. There are perfect vegetable leaves for this soup to taste the same in the stores.
EDIKAIKONG SOUP RECIPE
The Edikang Ikong soup or simply Vegetable Soup is native Efiks delicacy, in Cross River state of Nigeria. It is a general believe that Efik women have a special charm in preparing the Edikaikong soup, which entices their men never to abandon them. But this is not true, having lived among this people, the only secret is the condiment with which this soup is prepared and how delicious it is. This soup is prepared with a generous quantity of pumpkin leaves and water leaves, and can be eaten with not only the cassava meal (eba) or (fufu) but with rice, yam or plantain
How to Cook Edikang Ikong Soup
Ingredients for Edikang Ikong Soup
1kg Pumpkin leaves
500g Water leaves (Talinum Triangulare)
600g Beef, Cow skin or cow head or cow tail, intestines (towels) stock fish and Dry fish
Pepper, Salt and ground crayfish: to taste
200ml Palm oil
1 cup Periwinkle
2 medium onions
2-3 stock cubes
Before you cook the Edikaikong Soup
Wash and cut the pumpkin and water leaves into tiny pieces. Put them in separate sieves to drain out all the water as much as possible.
Cut the cow skin into small pieces. Cook the beef, cow skin, stock fish and the dry fish. spice with onions, maggi or knorr cubes salt to taste, I love to add garlic and ginger to my meat and stock fish to cook with as little quantity of water as possible.
When the meat is done and the water almost dried, add a generous amount of palm oil, the crayfish and pepper and leave to boil for about 10 minutes. The palm oil serves as the liquid in the Edikang Ikong soup. You should try as much as possible to make it the only liquid in the soup.
Add the periwinkle, which may be the ones with the shell or out of the shell. The Efiks loved to cook with the shell which is cut up and well cleaned. I love this too, because the palm oil and the soup gets into it and its more enjoyable when sucked. In most Nigerian markets, sellers help to cut for a price. Next add the water leaves and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. You may have to cook for less time at this stage so that the water leaves are not over-cooked.
Now add the pumpkin leaves and salt to taste. Stir the contents of the pot very well and turn off the heat. Cover the pot and leave to stand for about 5 minutes.
COOKING EDIKAIKONG IN DIASPORA.
Necessity they say is the mother of all invention, this is indeed true. Like l said before l love this soup and moving to the Western world I still needed my soup, so off I went to the stores trying to discover what to use or how to get things to make my African meals, since African food is quite expensive.
My first discovery was using spinach for water leaves and kale leaves as my pumpkin. In place of periwinkle, clams can serve. Recently l discovered the frozen chopped spinach nuggets in stores. These have become my life savers because with these, no need for kale or any other vegetable to serve as the pumpkin, these serve as both water leaves and pumpkin. Using the same other ingredients and method, the soup turns out very delicious.
Try it and have wonderful eating experience till our next kitchen corner special menu.