Nigeria – Abacha

Abacha is a speciality dish of the Igbo tribe and this delicacy is always served at weddings. The oldest woman in the bride’s family must make it. Bear in mind that she may be making it for up to 50 people!

Chenello, a financial journalist, begins to describe the intricacies of an Igbo wedding. After a complex courting ritual involving both families, a middleman and agreement over a bride price, the Igwa Nkwu or actual ceremony takes place.  It begins late in the evening and lasts till the following morning when the couple are escorted half way to the groom’s house by the bride’s family.

The bride weeps a while with her mother and then she follows her new husband and his family to her new home. There a party is held in her honour.

Cassava is a tuber similar to yam and is a staple in many areas in Africa. It’s the African potato. Ogiri is a West African spice, it smells disgusting warns Chenello To determine quantities, remember that the paste should lightly smear the cassava flakes.

  • Cassava flakes (bought or made)
  • Potash
  • Red chilli peppers
  • Palm oil
  • Ogiri (local spice, omit if not available)
  • Maggi (African stock cubes)
  • Salt

To make cassava flakes first cook the tuber in water, dry it and then grate it. Dry the flakes thoroughly (in the sun if you are really lucky!) until they are brittle.

Cook the cassava flakes; depending on preference you can either soak them in warm water or put them in a sieve and pour boiling water over them.

Grind a small piece of potash, some fresh or dried red chilli peppers and some ogiri to make a fine powder. Mix to a paste with a small amount of palm oil. Add some maggi and salt (the salt must be added last or the paste will separate.)

Add the paste to the cooked cassava flakes, turn thoroughly and taste. Serve with dried fish.