Fiery Nkwobi: A Spicy Nigerian Stew Recipe

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Nkwobi is a classic Nigerian dish that delivers a delightful punch of flavor and texture. Made with cow feet, offal, and a rich, flavorful spice mix, it’s a dish that’s both hearty and surprisingly delicate. Nkwobi is a staple at traditional gatherings and celebrations, and for good reason – it’s a true crowd-pleaser (for those who are adventurous eaters!).

This recipe will guide you through the process of making your own Nkwobi at home. Be prepared for a little prep work, but the final result is absolutely worth the effort.

Nkwobi- Spicy Cow leg
Nkwobi- Spicy Cow leg


2 cow feet, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces [You can substitute with 1 pound of beef tripe, thoroughly cleaned]

  • 1 pound assorted cow offal (liver, kidney, heart), cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 habanero peppers (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground crayfish
  • 2 tablespoons bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground egusi (melon seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Water

  • For the Utazi Garnish:

  • 1 bunch utazi leaves, washed and chopped (can be substituted with chopped scent leaves)
  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Cow Feet and Offal: In a large pot, bring enough water to a boil. Add the cow feet and offal pieces. Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until tender. Drain the water and set the meat aside to cool slightly.
    2. Make the Spice Mix: While the meat cools, dry roast the habanero peppers in a pan over medium heat until lightly blistered. Grind the peppers along with the ginger, garlic, and egusi seeds into a fine paste.
    3. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat palm oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    4. Add the Spice Mix: Stir in the prepared spice paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to release.
    5. Incorporate the Meat: Add the cooked cow feet and offal pieces to the pot along with the ground crayfish, bouillon powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir well to combine and coat the meat in the spices.
    6. Simmer and Flavor: Pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover the pot. Let the Nkwobi simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the flavors have fully developed and the sauce has thickened slightly.
    7. Finishing Touches: Taste the Nkwobi and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped utazi leaves (or substitute) just before serving.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

    Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Calories: 400-500

  • Fat: 30-40g
  • Protein: 30-40g
  • Carbohydrates: 10-15g
  • Sodium: High (due to bouillon powder)

  • Conclusion

    Nkwobi is a unique and delicious dish that offers a complex combination of flavors and textures. While it may not be for everyone, for those who appreciate a bit of spice and adventure, it’s a culinary experience worth trying.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I substitute the cow feet and offal?

    Yes, you can substitute the cow feet and offal with 1 pound of beef tripe, thoroughly cleaned. You can also adjust the offal selection to your preference.

    2. What if I can’t find utazi leaves?

    Utazi leaves can be substituted with chopped scent leaves, which offer a similar flavor profile.

    3. How spicy is Nkwobi?

    The spice level of Nkwobi can be adjusted to your preference. The recipe calls for 4 habanero peppers, but you can start with fewer and add more to taste.

    4. What is egusi?

    Egusi is a ground melon seed used in West African cuisine. It adds a slightly nutty flavor and thickens stews and soups.

    5. How long does Nkwobi leftovers last?