Ishapa is traditionally a Yoruba recipe, although it is made popular by Ekiti state indigenes. The ishapa soup is made from Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) which is a species of Hibiscus native to West Africa. This soup is a special delicacy with is best enjoyed with pounded yam and other solid meals.
- Grounded Egusi
- Fresh / dry isapa
- Dry fish
- Cow foot cut into bite sizes
- Palm oil as you desire
- Red pepper
- Chilli pepper
- Locust beans
- Diluted potash
- Egg (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Cook the assorted meat in a pot; add salt, stock cubes, curry, thyme and all-purpose seasoning. If you are adding cow foot, cook for longer because it needs to cook for a decent length of time to make it soft. Once cooked, leave aside.
- Add your palm oil to another cooking pot, leave to fry for a few minutes on really low heat.
- Break an egg into a bowl (optional) and add the blended egusi (you can mix the egusi with little water if you don’t want to use the egg). Mix well until thin and gently add them in little balls into the oil to fry on very low heat.
- Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, scotch bonnet and red onions until it is smooth. Add the palm oil in a separate pot and leave to fry on low heat for 2 minutes, add the blended peppers, add your seasonings and locust beans. Then add stock fish to the mixture.
- You can now add the egusi balls into the cooking pepper one at a time. Leave to cook for about 10 minutes on medium to low heat.
The Ishapa leaves should be soaked with boiling water in a container and covered overnight. You will need to wash the leaves about 6 times or more, you can then change the water to cold water at intervals. If you are using the dried ishapa leaves, it requires extra care as it can be more dirty, and full of sand. You will have to pay more attention to it and wash thoroughly.
You can also use potash to wash the leaves properly before use; you can also wash well with boiling water instead. You can now add the washed Ishapa leaves to the egusi sauce and let it boil for a few minutes.
Here is a video on how to prepare Ishapa soup
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