Nkwobi- Spicy Cow foot is a delicious Cow foot dish from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. I’ve always loved Nkwobi and have been wanting to do a recipe for some time now. Luck shone on me when my lovely friend, Daniella decided to make a big pot of Nkwobi for her yesterday. See, Daniella is a very good cook who knows her onions a little too well, I’d heard about her Nkwobi skills from a friend who swears by it, so, when the opportunity came to see her work her magic, I jumped at the offer, who wouldn’t?
Luckily, we live in the same apartment building, so all I had to do was waltz to my apartment to go get my camera and props…yay!
Daniella prepares her Nkwobi with stock fish and this was my first time of trying the combo and boy, was I swooned??? It was absolutely delicious, if you’ve never tried this before, please give it a shot, it’s truly amazing. We couldn’t get Ugba, oil bean so we had to make do without though Ugba isn’t an absolute necessity.
Although Ehuru was used for this recipe, Daniella added pepper soup spice as well and what a huge difference this made. Pepper soup spice is optional as it’s not part of the original recipe but to enhance the taste of your Nkwobi, I’ll advise you add pepper soup spice as well.
So, Nkwobi, let’s get started…
2 Big Cow foot Cut into Small Chunks
3-4 pieces of Medium stock fish/ Okporoko/ Panla (Optional)
1/2 Cup Palm oil
1.5 Cups Ugba/Oil Bean
1 Levelled Tablespoon Ground Ehuru (Calabash nutmeg seeds)
2 Tablespoons Pepper Soup Spice
1 medium Onion ( Optional)
3-4 Scotch Bonnet/Atarodo
1 Teaspoon Kaun/Akawun/ Edible Potash
3 Tablespoons Ground Crayfish
3 Knorr Cubes, Preferably Knorr Chicken
Salt to Taste
Chopped Utazi leaves
2 Medium Size Red Onions Cut Into Rings.
First, thoroughly clean, then wash and boil the cow foot on medium to high heat. Add enough water to boil, then add the whole onion if you’re using any. Add the Knorr cubes and salt to taste. Boil till very soft, then discard the onion. To save time, you can use a pressure cooker for this.
Add the stock fish into a medium size pot, add one Knorr cube and salt to taste and boil till tender. Alternatively, you can just chuck them into a microwaveable bowl, add water to cover and heat on high heat till tender. When it’s tender, shred into bite size chunks and set aside….
Dissolve the Akawun/Potash in a cup of stock from the boiled cow leg. Alternatively, you can just use hot water. You won’t succeed in dissolving all of the Potash, some particles will settle at the bottom….
Add the scotch bonnet, crayfish and the ground Ehuru into a blender, blend till smooth…
If you’re using Ugba, pour the Ugba into a small pot, add water and salt to taste, boil for 3 minutes and set aside…You don’t need to boil your Ugba if you trust the source, however it’s advisable to eliminate all traces of dirt and germs. Better safe than sorry.
Place another pot on the hob on medium heat, or just transfer the boiled cow foot into another container and place the same pot back on the hob. Add the palm oil, then add Akawun mixture gradually, be careful not to add the particles/ residue and be careful not to add too much of the mixture, you’ll need the consistency to be thick and not fluid, stir till it thickens considerably. This is called the Ngo sauce…
Now add the boiled cow leg, make sure the meat has cooled down first and isn’t piping hot….
Add the shredded stock fish….
Now, add the blended pepper and crayfish mix, pepper soup spice and mix thoroughly.
If you’re using Ugba, strain and add into the pot at this time, stir. Combine thoroughly and leave to cook for 3-5 minutes, and it’s ready….
Serve immediately, garnish with onion rings and thinly sliced Utazi leaves….