The Best Way To Prepare and Eat African Salad (Abacha)

-If you are avoiding African Salad aka Abacha due to one health reason or another, you should read this. If African Salad is your favorite, read this. You will learn a new way to eat this delicacy.

 

African Salad and Utazi leaf (photo by Njide)

African Salad is a popular delicacy known as Abacha in African native dialects. I usually tell people who ask me the meaning of African Salad that it is a local condiment of soaked Tapioca. Tapioca, wet or dry is extracted from raw cassava. I don’t know for any other person, what draws me to this delicacy are the aroma and the manner of its garnishment.

The aroma of the local spices like efuru (African nutmeg), ogiri (fermented melon or egusi seed), Ugba (oilseed), and Ncha (made of potassium or local soda); make it always appetizing and lure people to demand African Salad. The sauces made from these local spices are used in the preparation depending on the locality and the people.



For the garnishing, garden eggs, onions, tomatoes, fish (dry or fry), green vegetables, Ugba, black beans, cow skin (kanda), etc are used. This is the major reason this delicacy is irresistible. Whenever this sumptuous meal is presented on an occasion, many people do make requests to be served.

Not because they like to eat it but because of the beauty of the rooftop. When I say rooftop, you should understand what I mean if you are a regular consumer of this meal. African salad comes with mouthwatering rooftops like dry fish, smoked fish, kpomo, ugba, black beans (fio-fio), and garden egg.

Once you turn your back, they will dismantle the roof and dump the rest. It is not strange to me why some people behave in such a manner.


This meal is like Jacob’s porridge.

It is not also strange to me why many people avoid this rich and mouth-watering delicacy. People like us avoid it because it gives us heartburn and indigestion. Others avoid it completely because according to them, it upsets their stomach and purges them.

I interviewed a man in a ceremony about why he rejected the offer of African salad. He said; “I don’t eat it. It disorganizes my body system.”

 

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I didn’t quite understand what he meant by that but I know everyone understands his or her body working system. I know for sure too that there is something the man should know about eating African Salad but didn’t know. I used to be in the category of those who avoid the meal for one health reason or the other.

The reason being that most of the local spices used in preparing this delicacy like sodium (akanwu), local soda (ngu) clog on the stomach lining. Again, condiments like Ugba, Okpei, etc are fermented. This could be one of the reasons some people experience heartburn and stomach discomfort after eating it as explained earlier.



The best and Healthier way to Garnish African Salad

Before you eat African Salad, there is a particular leave you shouldn’t exempt. That leaf is called Utazi leaf. Everyone knows about this leaf but we are yet to fully utilize its medicinal potent.

Utazi leaf also known as Gongronema Latifolium is a super digestant. It has an unpleasant bitter taste quite alright but it has many health benefits like anticancer property, ulcer healing property, antioxidant, etc. This amazing leaf does wonders in our body, especially where it concerns food digestion.

The way water and detergent clean dirty and oily sink is the same way Utazi leaves unclog toxins in our intestines and flush them out.

I will leave you with this advice: don’t avoid this leaf because it is bitter. If you have been eating African Salad without this amazing leaf, give it a trial. If you are avoiding African salad because of the negative things it does in your body system, try this meal again with a reasonable quantity of utazi leaf and thank me later.

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