Alapa [Waterleaf Soup]



Recipe for 5 servings

• 3 cups of ground melon (egusi)

• 1 kilogramme of cow leg (bokoto)

• 1 large onion (crushed)

• 2 cooking spoons of palm oil

• 1 small bundle water leaves (picked and shredded)

• 2 large dried fish

• 1 large stockfish

• 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish

• Salt and seasoning to taste


Wash, season and cook the meat till tender. Wash and add the stockfish and dry fish to the pot. Cook for 20 minutes and set aside. Fry the onion in the palm oil, add the egusi, and stir for some seconds before adding the stock gently until lightly thick. Add other ingredients, stir and simmer until it is well cooked. The waterleaves will be the last to be added and few seconds are ideal to retain the freshness of the leaves.

Before adding the waterleaves, make sure they are well picked. Wash in plenty water, adding a little salt (salt helps the sands in the leaves to quickly settle at the bottom of the bowl). Drain and vigorously rub the leaves together. As you do this, the slime will be removed and the leaves will be broken into smaller pieces. Wash again and drain. Add to the soup and simmer gently with the pot slightly covered.

Make sure that bits or whole egusi are not found in the soup. Neither should the soup be watery, especially because the waterleaves already have high water content. Enjoy it with semovita, eba, pounded yam or fufu.

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