Ila Alasepo (okra) is a soup native to the Southern parts of Nigeria. Okra is one of the green vegetables widely grown in the country. It is grown not only in farms but also in gardens in homes. Okra soup is referred to as draw soup in some parts of the country. It could be prepared separate, using stew as a complement. It is also prepared by the combination of the two. Ila alasepo could be taken with foods such as pounded yam, tuwo shinkafa, fufu, amala, pupuru and so on. If it is another partying weekend in Nigeria; okra soup would be served in various occasions. It is very popular in Owambe of the Southwest.
The ingredients for this recipe includes okra, pepper, ugwuleaves (optional), assorted meat, dryfish, palm oil, crayfish, locust bean (iru), stock cube and salt.
The okra is rinsed, sliced and then grated into smaller sizes. If you are using ugwu leaves, it should be rinsed and cut into smaller sizes. Assorted meat is washed and cooked (boiled). The dry fish is also cut into smaller sizes. Pepper (rodo and tatashe) is also grinded.
Ila alasepo is easy to prepare. The pot to be used is washed and then placed on a medium heat. A desirable quantity of water is poured into the pot, as it boils, the grinded pepper/chili powder is added. The finely grated okra is then added, stirring with a spoon making sure it spreads in the pot. After a few steaming, ugwu leaves are added. Locust bean, crayfish, assorted meat, dry fish are then added with considerable amount of palm oil. It is stirred again to make all the ingredients even. Stock cube and salt are added to taste and then stirred again. It is cooked for few minutes to perfect the combinations.
Okra soup draws when taken. It revolves around the meal with which it is taken and goes smoothly through the gullet to the stomach. It has a rich taste especially when served hot. Why not try out okra soup if you are in a buffet stand this weekend. It is a delicacy you won’t forget in a while. Bon-appetite.