The idea of a new series on the blog came up a few weeks ago when I went to the market and posted a picture of something I found which I had no previous knowledge of. It was dried okro. I had never seen it before, certainly never tasted it. I came across it by happenstance as I ventured into a part of the market I had never been in before. It never occurred to me that anyone would dry okro, since the fresh ones are always available.
Since I have quite a number of Instagram friends (feels weird to call folks “followers” when one is not Jesus, biko), I decided to post the picture and find out if anyone knew anything about the dried okro.
Best idea, ever!
I not only got tips on how to use it, the taste was broken down, the best ingredients to use in highlighting the flavor were recommended and I even got a video recipe. As a matter of fact, a kind someone even offered to cook me some when next I am in Abuja. How awesome is that? I went ahead and posted the same thing on Facebook and the response was just ah-mazing!
So, like that the idea for a new series was birthed. There are so many Nigerian foods that it will be beneficial if we could learn about them and who knows, even find out if our ancestors used them in some medicinal capacity.
My idea is to
- Post a picture of a Nigerian food item at least twice a month on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
- Get fine folks like yourself to comment on the items
- Collect this information and make a blog post out of it. Like this one
- Credit everyone who shared something.
Although I had started off with posting pictures of local Oysters, the idea only came with this dried okro post so I am making it the first one in the series. Oysters will come next.
So let’s begin.
Dried okro has a deeper, richer flavor than the regular fresh okro
Dried Okro is simply Okro that is roughly chopped and sun-dried. It is believe that these are the Okro that are too hard to make it into a fresh pot of soup.
During the height of its season, rather than let the surplus fresh Okro waste, it is dried and used up later. Even the stalks are used, so not just the fleshy parts.
- Yoruba: Orunla or èekú or Epemu
- Ebonyi: Ukpo Okwuru
- Hausa: Busheshen Kubewa
- Benue (Tiv): Gyande or Gbodi (the powdered/ground form)
- Middle belt/North: Busheshen Kubewa
- Igbo: Oro jagada
Where it is eaten: Looks like this is all over Nigeria. So many people laid claim to it that I am not sure it makes sense to list it all here. So, Northern Nigeria, the Middle Belt, Eastern Nigeria and the West. Interestingly, I did not hear anything from those in the Niger Delta area but that may be beaches no-one from that area saw the post. I really couldn’t say.
In fact, it is even eaten in “Northern Ghana, especially the upper regions during the dry seasons with tz, banku or fufu.”
Dried okro has a deeper, richer flavor than the regular fresh okro. It appeared to be preferred to Fresh Okro. A lot of people were of the opinion that it was best cooked with smoked fish and game (bush meat).
Make Your own
You can make your own sun-dried Okro. All you need to do is to is : “Just slice fresh okro & sun dry in a tray till its crispy dry. Blend immediately in a blender mill or pound in a mortar until it’s powdered or almost powdered (according to ur taste). (You may blend with a little potassium [kahun] if you want it to be extra drawing soup , that’s if you still use potassium in your soup). Store in a air tight jar. Cook as you would ur normal okro soup, the less the cooking time (5-7 minutes), the better it tastes, the more it draws.”*
It can be paired with stew and eaten with the usual swallow meals – Tuwo, Eba, Pounded Yam, Fufu, Acha, e.t.c.
@dooneyskitchen @victoriananabah @cocoterranaturals @quintessentiallady @rebirthbyjayla @emsstrands @duosmum @omho_a _themogulette ifatoroaduni yango991 fitnessgeneral88 noolz_ lumonaturals **tinuadeb e_charisma carmelahippe eveobak egunsifoods
While I have tried to accurately relay all that were in the comments I received, you may wish to read the original comments yourself. Click here for the Facebook post and here for the original Instagram post.