Ofe Nsala: A Delicious Nigerian White Soup Recipe

Posted on

Ofe Nsala is a classic Nigerian dish with roots in the Igbo heartland. This rich and flavorful stew is traditionally made with white pigeon peas, assorted meats, and a unique blend of spices. It’s a hearty meal perfect for any occasion, from a celebratory gathering to a cozy family dinner.

This recipe breaks down the preparation of Ofe Nsala into easy-to-follow steps, ensuring you can create this delicious dish in your own kitchen.

How to make OFE NSALA // White soup
How to make OFE NSALA // White soup


1 ½ cups dried white pigeon peas (akara)

  • 1 pound beef (assorted cuts like chuck roast, brisket, or short rib)
  • 1 pound chicken (assorted cuts like drumsticks, thighs, or breast)
  • 1 whole smoked fish (stockfish or catfish)
  • 1 cup chopped palm oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 habanero peppers (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground crayfish
  • 1 teaspoon Cameroon pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Salt to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Pigeon Peas: Pick through the pigeon peas, discarding any debris. Rinse them thoroughly under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak the pigeon peas in enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

    2. Cook the Meats: In a large pot, bring enough water to a boil. Add the beef, chicken, and smoked fish. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the meats are cooked through. Remove the meats from the pot and set them aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, shred the beef and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Debone the smoked fish, discarding the skin and bones, and flake the flesh.

    3. Sauté the Vegetables: Heat the palm oil (or vegetable oil) in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and bell peppers. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened and translucent.

    4. Add the Spices: Stir in the habanero peppers, garlic, ginger, ground crayfish, and Cameroon pepper (if using). Cook for an additional minute, allowing the aromas of the spices to release.

    5. Incorporate the Tomato Paste: Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

    6. Simmer the Stew: Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil. Add the soaked pigeon peas (including the soaking water) and the shredded meats. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pigeon peas are tender.

    7. Final Touches: Season the stew with salt to taste. Add the flaked smoked fish and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

    8. Serve and Enjoy: Ofe Nsala is traditionally served hot with a side of pounded yam, fufu, or rice.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Please note that this is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.)

    Serving Size: 1 cup

  • Calories: 500
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 40g

  • Conclusion:

    Ofe Nsala is a delicious and satisfying Nigerian stew that is sure to leave you wanting more. The combination of tender meats, flavorful vegetables, and aromatic spices creates a truly unique and unforgettable dish. So why not give this recipe a try and experience the rich flavors of Nigerian cuisine for yourself?

    Ofe Nsala: Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Can I substitute the white pigeon peas with another bean?

    Yes, you can substitute the white pigeon peas with another type of bean, such as black-eyed peas, kidney beans, or pinto beans. However, the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the bean used.

    2. What if I don’t have palm oil?

    You can substitute the palm oil with vegetable oil. However, palm oil adds a distinct flavor to the dish that cannot be replicated perfectly with other oils.

    3. How spicy is Ofe Nsala?