Recipe for making Ikokore

By Dickson Osas

Ikokore is a lovely food in the Yoruba land (Western part of Nigeria). This food is typically from Ijebu Land, but almost all the Yorubas cherish this meal. Ikokore is a Yam porridge meal made with African water yam, popularly called Isu Ewura in the Yoruba language.

To make it richer, you must include as many nutritional food substances as possible such as animal intestine, Edible animal skin (Ponmo), Fresh Chicken, mutton, Gizzards, fresh Turkey, dried Fish, and fresh fish, among many others also available.

The traditional Ikokore recipe does not go well with chili pepper; instead, it prefers red pepper (popularly called Ata rodo in the Yoruba language) and, occasionally, dry grounded black pepper (also known as Ata gungun in Yorubaland).

Water Yam with the botanical name Dioscorea alata, a species significantly distinct from conventional white yam, is used to make this meal, which is highly good. When cooked using palm oil and additional ingredients such as dried shrimp, locust beans, and vegetables, the nutritious value of this food is substantially increased. It also has an excellent fiber and mineral content. 

The food also serves different functions like 

1. Blood sugar control: It is readily absorbed by the body, which prevents blood glucose levels increases. As a result, the meal qualifies as a diabetic diet recommendation and aids in controlling the body’s blood sugar level. 

2. Weight Control: The meal has few calories, making it an ideal diet for weight loss and control. 

3. Bone Formation: Vitamin C is found in food and is essential for the immune system and bone growth. It suggests that vitamin C increases calcium absorption, vitamin D’s impact on bone metabolism, and stimulation of bone-building cells.

Ingredients For Ikokore

  • The half tuber of yam (specifically water yam)
  • Red oil (two tablespoons)
  • Four cups of meat stock (either beef or chicken)
  • One Shombo/Tatashe or four tablespoons of grounded dried Chili (Atagungun)
  • Red pepper 
  • Smoked fish (any available fresh fish in the market)
  • Two cups of cooked, shredded meats (Animal intestine or edible dried animal skin) 
  • Croaker fish (3 tablespoons)
  • Smoked shrimp (Half cup)
  • one teaspoon of Ogiri Ijebu (also known as Fermented Locust Beans)
  • Two seasoning Cubes (Knorr Chicken flavor cubes)
  • Include adequate salt to give a desirable taste

Preparation:

  •  Cut the water yam into little pieces. When you’ve finished crushing the water yam, season with salt, 1 tablespoon of crayfish, and pepper if you can handle the heat. Peel each piece before using the tiniest setting on your grater. Then disregard. 
  • Shombo/Tatashe and Scotch Bonnet should be thoroughly blended before being set aside. Then, combine the chili on its own if you’re only using that.
  •  Grab a medium-sized saucepan on the stovetop at medium heat. After heating, put the palm oil into the hot saucepan, then the locust beans.
  • After a minute of frying the locust beans in oil, add the chopped pepper, followed by the Knorr Cubes and salt to taste. Don’t add salt when you’re using stock because the stock is already seasoned.
  •  Allow the stuff to fry until the oil reaches the surface. It should take about fifteen minutes; occasionally stir to prevent burning. Add the chicken or beef stock if used; if not, add water and sauté for an additional two minutes. Add the fish, smoked prawns, or other ingredients, such as ogiri, for 10 minutes of cooking. Remove all of the meat and fish from the stew after 10 minutes, leaving only the stew in the saucepan.
  • Add the grated yam to the stew in large and small quantities after lowering the heat. The smaller granules dissolve in the stew and provide a mushy consistency, while the larger lumps generate the lumpy Ikokore texture. Mix a bit with a spoon after letting the mixture boil over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes without stirring. Stir it to separate it if you believe it’s too blotchy; otherwise, leave it alone. Once you’ve tried the cuisine, adjust the salt and spice as necessary.
  • Add the remaining shrimp to the saucepan after adding the cooked meats and fish back in, and give everything a gentle swirl to combine. Be careful not to disturb any clumps as you go along.

It must steam for about 3 to 5 minutes before being ready to eat. Therefore, the best way to eat Ikokore is to eat it alone or include a soft, already prepared Eba.

Please note, If you’re only using a red Chilli or powdered red pepper, endeavor to put the blended red chili or crushed red pepper into the palm oil before moving on to the other procedures. Omit the pepper frying step.