Ogbono soup is actually a soup prepared from ogbono seeds, assorted meats, fish, palm oil, and traditional spices. Also called Irvingia or wild mango, ogbono seed is first ground and then combined with other spices to make a nutrient-packed delicious meal.
The choice of meat could be Shaki, Goat meat, or beef. Most of the spices are traditional flavors, contributing to the soup’s unique taste.
Ogbono soup is rich in protein, calcium, dietary fiber, and other nutrients that are highly essential for the body.
Curious to know more about the nutritional value of ogbono soup? This post takes a more detailed look at the health benefits of ogbono soup based on the seed and other constituent ingredients.
Top Health Benefits of Ogbono Soup
According to studies, dika seed packs 8.65% of protein. As you might know, protein helps build up cells and muscles. It also helps repair worn out tissues.
Compared to other essential nutrients, the body has no reservoir of protein to draw from when it needs its supply. To prevent protein-deficiency, humans must take in enough protein from dietary sources.
Adults, for example, need much higher protein intake to prevent certain health problems, including bone fractures and frailty.
Apart from the ogbono seeds, other ingredients such as meat that constitute ogbono soup make the delicacy an excellent protein provider.
ALSO READ: Is Afang Soup Healthy?
The ogbono seeds also provide calcium. Naturally occurring in the body, calcium helps build and maintain strong bones. It may also help reduce the chances of women developing high blood pressure-related conditions during pregnancy.
To prevent preeclampsia, getting enough calcium is paramount for pregnant women to avoid certain health conditions that could lead to premature birth. The mineral is also required for healthy and strong baby bones.
More so, calcium helps other nutrients to function at their best. While supplements found on the market are a good alternative, dietary intake of calcium remains the best way to get the right amount of calcium.
Studies have found ogbono seed to contain 38.9% of dietary fiber, thereby packing nutrients required for optimal health. The fiber helps you feel fuller, thereby reducing your appetite for junk foods.
Dietary fiber also regulates blood pressure, which helps prevent diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and some other diseases.
All in all, this delicacy is an excellent and easy way to milk all the health benefits offered by dietary fiber.
Medicinal and Economical Value
Apart from being nutritious, ogbona seed also has medicinal and economic value. The mucilage in ogbono seed, for instance, is used in medicine to help relieve mucous membrane irritation.
Also, the soup is popular with people of the southwestern part of Nigeria. This makes the seed a commodity that is highly sought after.
Ogbono seed is ground, packaged, and exported to other countries. This packaged ground ogbono is usually sold overseas.
ALSO READ: Is Oha Soup Good for a Pregnant Woman?
How to Get Ogbono
You can get ogbono seeds directly from its tree. The seeds start to fall off after reaching a certain stage of development. You can either collect these fruits from the ground or pluck it directly from the tree.
The ogbono seed is enclosed in a couple of layers. To extract the seed, first pulp the fruit, leaving behind the nuts. Or you can leave the fruits for a few days to decompose.
When the pulp softens, you can then use a hammer or big stone to crack the nut and get the ogbono seed.
Afterward, dry the seed in the sun. Using sunlight helps preserve the potency of the seed to draw when used to prepare the soup.
After being sundried, you’ll then grind the seeds using a dry mill blender. You can use this type of blender for reducing seeds and spices into powder. If you can’t get fine ground at once, simply add more ogbono seeds to the residue on the mill.
Afterward, pass the blended ogbono through a fine sieve to get a smooth ground. Getting a fine blend is vital to prevent lumps in your soup.
If all the steps seem challenging or don’t have the tree in your area, simply buy the seeds from any open market in Nigerian. If you’re living abroad, packaged ground ogbono are sold in many African shops too.
Possible Issues with Ogbono Soup
You’ll find several online recipes showing different approaches to cooking ogbono soup. Missing a step or not following a procedure properly could become evident in the final product.
We have covered some common issues that cooks often encountered when making ogbono and how to correct them.
Ogbono Did Not Draw
First, you might have bought the wrong type of seed. Another seed looks similar to the authentic ogbono seed. Regardless of the recipe used, your ogbono will not have that slippery and viscous texture if you use the wrong species.
Simply ask an experienced cook who knows how to distinguish the right seed from the fake. Alternatively, you can break the seed and rub them together to see if both make a sap that draws. If they do, then you have the authentic ogbono.
Be careful; some sellers might even mix both and advertise the mixture as the real seed. In this case, you’re better off buying from a reputable seller.
Your soup may also not draw if you purchase packaged ground ogbono. Ogbono starts to lose its ability to draw after it is grounded. And this will also depend on factors such as storage conditions.
Adding too much water to the condiment can also cause the problem. Watery ogbono will not draw. Therefore, make sure to use the right quantity of ogbono.
ALSO READ: 10 African Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Ogbono Got Burned When Cooking
Cook at medium to low heat. When cooking, make sure to scrap all ogbono that sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Your ogbono might also burn if you add crayfish too early. We recommend you add the crayfish after the rest of the ingredients have been added.
Ogbono soup is a very appetizing dish when prepared the right way. Apart from being delicious, the ingredients that constitute the delicacy are excellent sources of nutrients your body needs.