By Chinelo Nwagbo
Afang Soup, like the Edikang Ikong soup, is native to the Efiks, people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states of Nigeria, but is enjoyed by many Nigerians. It is highly nutritious soup as it consists mainly of vegetables. It has pounded yam or eba or cassava fufu as its base and is accompanied by a variety of vegetables (Okazi, water leaves), meat and fish. This dish supplies high-quality protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water which are essential for healthy living. The secret of most of Calabar indigenes looking young and healthy even in their old age is in the consumption of this soup. It is therefore highly recommended for everyone that wants to age gracefully and look young and healthy.
Therapeutic properties of Afang soup
Prevents premature aging
The vitamins and phytochemical element in vegetables have antioxidant and preventive effect from premature aging and some diseases. Findings from studies have shown that eating plenty of fresh vegetables, and fruits help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. One study linked eating lots of yellow and green vegetables to fewer wrinkles.
Treats/ prevents constipation (difficulty and passing out of hard feces)
This therapeutic property is due to the soup richness in fiber. Soluble fiber is relatively indigestible; it soaks up water like a sponge, which helps to plump out the feces and allows it to pass through the gut more easily thus help prevent constipation
Afang soup with pounded yam or cassava fufu or eba should be a fundamental dish for those wishing to prevent premature aging, it is also highly recommended for children, youths, pregnant and nursing mothers, convalescing patients (people recovering from illness) and all those that need a supply of high-quality nutrients, prepared in an attractive and delicious way.
Beef 8 medium pieces
Stock fish one medium head
Cow skin ten medium pieces
Smoked fish (Calabar type) 1 medium pair
Snails (Ekwong) 8 medium size
Periwinkle in shell (optional) 2 cups
Afang leaves or Ukazi 1 medium bunch
Water leave (Mmommoikong) 5 medium bunch
Crayfish 5 tablespoons
Dry pepper (ground) 1 tablespoon
Fresh pepper four large size
Palm oil 30cl (about one small bottle of Coca Cola)
Seasoning cube 4
Water 1 ½ litre
Salt to taste.
Method of preparation
Season the beef with a little salt, dry pepper, two maggi cubes, and stir.
Steam till juice dries up.
Add 1 litre of water, the snail, stock fish head, cow skin and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
Pound or blend the finely shredded Afang leaves till is very fine.
Pick, wash and shred the water leaves finely.
Add the remaining water, the fish, crayfish, pepper, seasoning cube, and the periwinkle.
Stir and allow to boil for about 5 minutes.
Add the palm oil, stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the water leaves, stir, cover the pot and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the Afang and stir thoroughly.
Add salt to taste.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with cassava fufu, pounded yam or eba.
Common or white yams are the staple food in many tropical regions. It is rich in carbohydrates inform of starch, B group vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium.
Yams are highly recommended for people that want to maintain a healthy heart and prevent cardiovascular disorders, particularly arteriosclerosis (narrowing/ blocking of the artery wall as a result of fat and cholesterol deposit) because of their low content of fat and their richness in potassium which is essential for a healthy heart.
Method of preparation
Cut, peel and wash the yam.
Put the yam in a pot, add enough water and place the pot on the fire.
Boil until the yam is cooked.
Drain off the water.
Pound the yam in a mortar or pounding machine until is free from lumps and slightly elastic.
Mould and serve with Afang soup.