Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baobab Leave Soup Kuka Soup

Kuka Soup is a traditional Nigerian recipe for a classic fish stew in a chilli and tomato sauce that's thickened with okra and baobab leaves.

The full recipe is presented here and I hope you enjoy this classic Nigerian version of: Kuka Soup.
Baobab leaves are a staple of certain West African cuisines. They're often used, dried, as a thickener in the same way that dried sassafras leaves (filé powder) is used in Cajun cookery. Indeed, in a pinch you could substitute 4 tbsp filé powder for the kuka leaves in the recipe below.

225g dried kuka (baobab) leaves
225g dried, ground, okra
1 fresh chilli
4 fresh tomatoes
1 small onion, sliced
500g dry or fresh fish
6 tbsp palm oil
1l stock or water
salt to taste

Kuka Soup Preparation:
Wash and clean a fish (if it's fresh season with salt and black pepper). Grind the tomatoes, onion and chilli to a paste in a pestle and mortar or a a food processor. Pour the stock into a large pot and add the tomato paste and the palm oil. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cut the fish into steaks some 3cm thick, add these and cook for 15 minutes. Add the okra and baobab leaves then cook for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste and serve hot on a bed of rice or with fufu.

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