6/5/18 O&A NYC GOING BACK TO AFRICA WITH WaleStylez: African Okro Soup

African Okro Soup is both quick and healthy. Oh so easy yet yummy! Okro Soup African style loaded with shrimp , oxtails with or without Egusi.

Here is a one of my healthier take on Okro soup. It  consists of okra, spinach, crayfish, meat, and egusi.The recipe intentionally do not include oil in this soup okra because oil contains a boat load of calories, which does not add flavor or texture to this meal.The texture of the egusi cuts the slipperiness of the okra and makes this dish a perfect  one for those who are leery of its consistency 

One pound okra fresh or frozen
½ pound meat oxtail
½ pound Shrimp
½ cup medium –sized Onions chopped
½ cup ground Crayfish
1 tablespoon Maggie
3 cups of chopped Spinach
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
½ cup ground Egusi optional
Salt and pepper to taste

In medium –sized sauce pan boil oxtail seasoned with garlic salt, smoked paprika, pepper and onions until tender (approximately 30 -40 minutes). You can shorten this process in half by using a pressure cooker.

If using fresh okra wash the okra, remove the tops and tails, and slice into rounds.
Blend the okra to a coarse consistency in a food processor or you can finely chop the okra into coarse consistency using a sharp knife.

Add the ground crayfish and egusi into the pan of boiled meat , cook for 5 minutes
Then add shrimp, cook for another 5 minutes and finally add the spinach and stir for about a minute or 2 .

Serve warm with Fufu( any kind).

To To make it even healthier 
Use very little or no egusi (pumpkin seeds)- You can easily purchase pumpkin seeds in most super markets . Use a coffee grinder to grind.

Use stew beef instead of oxtails . Oxtails are have more fat . But can’t help but indulge – what I do to cut down on the fat is to  remove the thin layer of fatty oil that comes to the top of the oxtail stock. You can do this by using a spoon  or better yet boil the oxtail a day in advance, refrigerate, and  gently remove the layer of fat.

Crayfish  is optional in this recipe you can cook this soup without it too.

You can also  use dried or smoked fish. If  it is readily available. It’s a luxury for me.

Ugali (Corn Fufu) — Easy to prep, soft, very delightful and filling side dish. A perfect cornmeal side dish for greens, stews and proteins.

In most parts of Africa, cornmeal, is a side dish you would find in restaurant menus and in home kitchens around the continent – under different aliases. The most notable are fufu corn (West Africa) couscous de maize (French speaking African Countries) Ugali (Kenya) Nshima – Zambia, Nsima – Malawi and South Africa – Meilie pap.

4 cups or more water
2 cups fine corn meal
½ -1 teaspoon salt

Add about 4 cups of water to a heavy large saucepan. Add ½ teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil, remove about a cup and set aside
Gradually whisk in the cornmeal, until you have add the whole thing in the pot, a little bit at a time and keep stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent any lumps. You may have to remove saucepan from heat while trying to get rid of lumps- to prevent burns.
Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens.
Then add the remaining boiled water, reduce heat, cover, and cook- for about 10 or more. You may add some more water if desired. Turn off the heat. Scoop out balls with a small bowl – shake and form a ball by rolling around a bowl. Or place on a saran wrap plastic (I have been told several times not to do this – health wise so be mindful of it)

Recipe Notes
Be prepared to do some stirring to get a smooth paste. Be mindful that cornmeal hardens as it cools down, so if you want like really soft Ugali add more water.

Recipes courtesy of AfricanBites

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