On our menu today is the Efik-Ibibio delicacy, afia efere which literally means ‘white soup” in Efik. It is usually prepared with goat meat or chicken. When this soup is prepared with goat meat, the people refer to it as afia efere ebot. When it is prepared with chicken, it is called afia efere unen. The ingredients for making this soup can be easily procured from any of the local markets within Nigeria. Afia efere is similar to the Igbo soup, ofe nsala. They share similar ingredients and both are thickened with pounded yam. However, while the Igbo nsala soup is prepared with ogili and utazi; these are not used in the preparation of afia efere.
Chicken, goat meat or both
2 pieces of ehuru (calabash nutmeg)
4 pieces of uda
How to Cook
Slice and boil a few cubes of white yam. When it’s done, remove the yam from the water and put in the mortar to pound or in the food processor to process.
Wash your meat, put it in a pot and spice it with stock cube, onions and salt. Set it on fire to boil. Blend your fresh pepper, crayfish, ehuru and uda. When your meat stock is ready, pour the yam water into it. Then add your blended ingredients. Stir well; taste for salt and seasoning. You can add a little extra if need be.
Rinse the uyayak pod very well, break it into two and add it to your pot of soup. Add periwinkle. Add the pounded yam. Stir thoroughly, cover the pot and allow the soup to boil for twenty minutes.
By this time most of the pounded yam would have dissolved into the soup and thickened it. It is pertinent to mention at this point that you determine the consistency you prefer for this soup. If you want it too thick, you can allow the yam to dissolve completely into the soup. You can also use your cooking spoon to dissolve the yam on the sides of your cooking pot.
I enjoy this soup when it’s slightly thick so I usually scoop out some of the pounded yam before it melts completely into the soup. For extra flavor, add the uziza leaf, stir again and turn off the heat.
Afia efere is best served hot and is best enjoyed with pounded yam.