If you’ve ever washed bitter leaves, you’d know that it’s one of the worst chores on earth. I did this chore a couple of times at my maternal grandmother’s; God rest her beautiful soul.
I remember the annoyance of washing the darned vegetable for what seemed like years only for Gran to taste it and order me to wash some more because it was still bitter. Now, I love ofe onugbu and I loved going to the village to spend time with my Grandmother. But each time my Dad scheduled a visit, I added one extra petition to my prayers. That petition was that God should not allow Grandma to cook ofe onugbu while I was in the village.
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The stress of washing bitter leaves which Anambra people call onugbu was not and is still not good for my health. I don’t know who first conceived the idea of selling washed bitter leaves but I pray God to bless that person. I have the deepest respect for all those who earn a living selling the washed leaves. Because of them, we can cook onugbu soup with minimum stress.
I guess you’re wondering why it’s now necessary for you to learn how to wash bitter leaves with a food processor when you can easily buy from the market. Relax, no knowledge is a waste. Learn this effective ajebutter way of washing bitter leaves. With this knowledge under your belt, if you ever have to cook emergency soup with bitter leaves and you can’t go to the market but you have some fresh bitter leaves at hand, you will finish your cooking in record time and with minimum stress too.
So, to wash fresh bitter leaves with a food processor, you will need the following:
Fresh bitter leaves
A food processor
Rinse the bitter leaves to remove dirt. Don’t bother picking the leaves off the stem.
Put the vegetable in a clean pot and boil for 7 to 10 minutes. This would drain some of the bitterness away. As it boils, the water will assume a darker colour.
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When the boiling time has elapsed, bring out your food processor. Attach the dough blade and rinse.
Add bitter leaves into the bowl then add a little water. Please take note of the word, little. If you add too much water, it will splash all over the place when the content of the food processor starts spinning.
Cover the bowl, turn the knob to the max and the food processor will do the rest.
It is pertinent to mention at this point that the food processor will do the job of washing the bitter leaves well in 6 to 10 minutes. However, the length of time that you run the engine of your food processor depends on the concentration of bitterness that you prefer. Thus, if you want to reduce the concentration of bitterness in your vegetable then wash in two cycles.
Bear in mind that each cycle should last for about 3 to 5 minutes and fresh water should be used for each cycle. If you do it this way, the food processor will reward you for trusting it by washing out the bitterness from your vegetable, leaving you with a bittersweet taste.
But if, on the other hand, you want to preserve some of the bitter taste, one cycle of 3 to 5 minutes in the food processor should suffice.
When the washing is completed, transfer the bitter leaves into a sieve. Rinse it out and squeeze. Your bitter leaf is ready to use.
Featured image source: Dooney’s Kitchen
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