Abacha [African Salad]

African Salad is a Nigerian delicious staple delicacy, that is made from shredded cassava and most times eaten separately with the likes of potash and palm oil mixture, peppers, ground crayfish, as well as other locally sourced ingredients.

This staple delicacy is not cooked and makes it a healthy salad

At other times, the shredded cassava can be combined with shredded fermented African oil bean seeds, popularly known as ukpaka or
ugba to produce a lovely relish.

For many South Eastern Nigerians, especially those from Abia, Imo, Ebonyi [African salad] without ugba is not complete!

Ugba is native to South Eastern Nigeria and it always undergoes extensive fermentation before it is considered edible. Well, let’s leave this story for another day!

Abacha is the name I grew up to know. It is a name I unconsciously got familiar with, especially every time my mother decides to prepare Abacha for the weekend.

Every Sunday afternoon was a memorable one. This is because my mum would relax and combine the palm oil with ground potash to get the NGU consistency, before adding all other ingredients.

And then, she will combine the shredded cassava with the shredded ugba … hmmm, the taste was always a yummy one.

One unique feature of Abacha is the fact that this food does not go through heat or fire.

Let’s get to the kitchen

Recipe for 3 servings

  • 2 cups of shredded cassava [abacha]
  • 1 cup of shredded ugba
  • 2 cooking spoons palm oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon potash [akaun] [crushed and smoothened]
  • salt to taste
  • seasoning to taste
  • 1 cup shredded smoked or dry fish
  • 1 cup softened shredded stockfish
  • 6 large green or white garden eggs [diced]
  • 1 small bunch of utazi [shredded]
  • 1 small bunch garden egg leaves [shredded]
  • 3 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 3 fresh red or Cameroon peppers [crushed] or
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 large peppered ponmo [sliced]
  • 1 sizeable onion [diced or sliced]
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  • Get a large clean bowl, pour in the palm oil.
  • Get a small deep plate and pour in the crushed potash.
  • Add a little water and stir until all the molds dissolve well.
  • Once it is well dissolved, the colour looks like grey or ashy.
  • Stir and add to the large bowl of palm oil.
  • Stir until you have an orange – yellowish consistency.
  • Continue to stir and gradually add all the ingredients, from the crayfish to the pepper, onions, salt, and seasoning to taste.
  • Once you have gotten a beautiful consistency, start adding the cassava, ugba, fish, stockfish, the ponmo, and all other ingredients.
  • The last should be the vegetables – utazi and garden egg leaves
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir well, garnish with garden eggs, smoked fish and any meat you like.
  • serve without cooking on the fire.

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