Plain okra soup is one of the Nigerian simplest soup anyone can cook, some call it okro and it is also known as ila in Yoruba language. To prepare plain okra soup and still get he vibrant green color do not cover the pot while cooking. Although some okra tend not to be green after cooking because of their type if you follow the instructions below you should get viscosity and green vibrant okra soup if the type you buy is a good one.
If you’re buying fresh okra and you don’t know if it’s good enough because there are some okra that is very hard and no matter how you chop or blend it you won’t get the viscosity you want in okra.
So, to avoid this, when buying snap the tip of the okra to one side and if it breaks without any resistance it is good also don’t go for the big size okra, the smaller the better. Some people add “kaun” a.k.a potash to the okra soup I don’t use it instead of using it I’ll suggest you use bicarbonate powder just add a pinch in the water or when you add okra.
If you don’t like to eat iru/locust beans whole you can blend it with the okra (that’s what I do for my kids) and this also helps with the flavor. I added, shrimp, vegetable, and onion these are all optional if you don’t like them or can’t access them you don’t have to use them. When your okra is ready just serve it with your favorite side; morsel a.k.a swallow, I linked some soup that you might like to try your okra with.
You might want to try;
- 12 oz. Okra (clean and chop/blend to your preference)
- 1 Teaspoon Iru/locust beans (adjust to your preference; rinsed)
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped vegetable (optional)
- Few pieces raw shrimp (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Ground crayfish
- Seasoning powder/cube (if you don’t use seasoning powder replace with salt)
- Handful chopped onion (optional)
- Salt to taste.
Do not cover the pot throughout the cooking process.
Clean the okra if you’re using fresh chop or blend and trash the ends. If you like it smooth blend by using the pulse button on the blender until you get the smoothness you want, if you like it chunky chop the okra with a knife or pulse in a blender for a few times and if you the like blend of the two, chop half of the okra and blend the half and combine with this it won't be too smooth or too chunky. If you’re using frozen okra thaw before you chop or blend.
Heat small water in a saucepan or pot and bring to boil (you can reserve some of the hot water), add chopped okra and combine. If you use a lot of water to blend the okra you might not need to boil water. If it’s thick then boil small water and add the okra, shrimp, crayfish, iru, stir and continue to cook. Season with seasoning powder/cube (if you’re using) and salt. Cook for about 3 minutes. I added the shrimp with the okra because they're not jumbo size and it will cook about the same time with the okra but if you're using the jumbo size of shrimp you can slightly boil with (halfway done) remove it then add it back when the okra is almost done. By the way, adding shrimp is totally optional. Also, my kids don't like eating iru/locust beans so I usually blend the iru with the okra or just nix it completely.
Add the onion, and vegetables (if you’re using) and combine them if the content is too thick add part of the hot water you reserved earlier to get the consistency you want.. Cook until the shrimp is pink and opaque or until fully cooked. Also, the vegetable is also optional.
Enjoy with your favorite side and stew/soup.
Some people add "kaun" a.k.a potash to okra soup I don't use it instead of using it I'll suggest you use bicarbonate powder and add a pinch in the water or when you add okra.
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