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Omabala Nsala Soup

Omabala Nsala Soup

Nsala soup is a tasty, fast and easy soup recipe that has its origins in the Riverine areas of Nigeria. Also known as white soup because palm oil is not used in its preparation. It is typically prepared with fresh fish and dry fish. Nsala Soup is perfect for a cold rainy day due to its spicy taste. Because it is so easy to prepare, you can count on it to save the day when you run out on soup a few days before the big soup day.


  • Cat Fish: 4 one-inch thick pieces
  • Chicken
  • Fresh or dry Utazi Leaves (Gongronema latifolium)
  • Thickener: Raw White Yam/Yam Powder/Potato Puree
  • Habanero peppers: to taste
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 handful crayfish
  • 1 stock cube (Maggi/Knorr)
  • 1 Ogiri Okpei (Nigerian traditional seasoning)


  1. Rinse the chicken and put it in a cooking pot, preferably one that is big enough to make the quantity of soup you desire. Spice it with stock cubes, onions and salt and cook on medium heat.
  2. Cut the catfish into 1 inch thick cylindrical discs and remove the intestines. Place in bowl and pour very hot water on the fish. Leave for about 2 minutes and wash the fish with cold water.
  3. Boil a few cubes of raw white yam. When soft, pound with a mortar and pestle till a smooth paste is formed, then set aside. You can substitute white yam with yam powder or potato puree for the thickening.
  4. Wash and pound/blend the utazi leaves, the chilli pepper and the crayfish and set aside. Utazi is bitter in taste and only used for flavoring so one or two leaves should be enough especially when using the fresh leaves.
  5. Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish. Add the seasoning and cook till done. Feel free to add beef and dry fish to this soup recipe.
  6. When the catfish is almost done, add the chicken, the crayfish, pepper and utazi leaves blend. Also add the yam paste in small lumps and salt to taste.
  7. Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste has dissolved.

The Omabala Nsala Soup is ready to be served with any swallow of your choice.

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