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Recipe For The Week: Nkwobi

Nkwobi is a classic and very popular delicacy which originated from the Igbos. Made with cow-leg which is a major ingredient, this appetizing recipe is made into a thick sauce that is simply irresistible.

Not to be confused with the equally popular isi-ewu “goat head”, Nkwobi is simple to make. It can easily be prepared at home to be enjoyed with family during weekends or friends during festivities, or better still whenever you have a need to try a delicacy away from the regular.

Nkwobi (

Finding the right ingredients is however important in order to recreate the very real authentic Nkwobi just the way an Eastern Nigerian will do it. Let’s take you through ingredients and method of preparation Nkwobi


  • Cow leg
  • Ground pepper (black, red)
  • Ground edible potash (called “kaun” or akanwu; used for thickening)
  • Salt, palm oil, chopped onions, ground crayfish
  • Sliced ugba (oil bean)
  • Sliced utazi (bitter native vegetable leaves)
  • Ground “ehuru”/efuru (a kind of seed, can be ground along with the crayfish)
  • Seasoning cubes

Method of Preparation

First step

  • Make the ‘Ngo Sauce’.
  • Ngo is a mixture of kaun (Potash) and palm oil. This is the vital part of this dish, kaun (potash) is first dissolved in a small bowl of water (small quantity of water).


Prepare by gradually pouring kaun (already dissolved with water) over gently heated palm oil. Ensure there are no lumps of kaun in the water! The red oil in the pot begins to turn bright yellow and thickens, continue to add the kaun water and stir until you get your desired thick yellow sauce. In place of water, meat stock can also be used, if cooked.

Second Step

  • Cut cow leg into pieces, season with salt and onions. Cook till tender, then leave to cool.
  • Add “ugba”, ground pepper, crayfish and ehuru to the “ngo” sauce.
  • Stir till ingredients are well blended.
  • Add the cow leg seasoning and salt, then allow to simmer for three/five minutes.
  • Now, mix well, and place in traditional earthenware/wooden serving bowls and your nkwobi is ready to serve!

 How To Serve

Nkwobi is best served heated a little (warm). However the utazi (vegetable leaves) should not be cooked but chopped and sprinkled on dish and topped with onion rings.

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