The popular saying in Nigeria “The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” has been proven in many situations. The taste of a delightful meal after a hard day’s work is very refreshing indeed. With the hundreds of tribes in Nigeria, healthy foods that are peculiar to each region can be enjoyed. This article will highlight the healthy foods of Efik and Ibibio people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States in South-south Nigeria.
Cross River and Akwa Ibom states were one state since Cross River was created in 1967. Akwa Ibom State was established in 1987 when President Ibrahim Badamosi Babandiga created two new states in the country. Even though they are separate states, their foods and culture remain largely similar.
Efik and Ibibio Cuisine
When it comes to preparing mouth-watering dishes, the Efik and Ibibio people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states have very few competition. These tribes are generally addressed as Efik, and they are known for their mastery of handling seafood and aromatic spices. Let us review some delicacies from these states that will tease your appetite and leave you wanting more.
Edikang Ikong Soup – a vegetable soup that originated among the Efik- Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. It is a nutritious soup and expensive to prepare, and has been described as being mostly eaten by rich people in Nigeria. Some of the ingredients used prepare it include different proteins, 2 different leaves, palm oil, and spices. Edikang ikong can be served with fufu, wheat flour, eba, or pounded yam.
Afang soup – another vegetable soup that originates from the Efik people of in Cross River State and the Ibibio People of Akwa Ibom State. It is a dish popularly known by Nigerians and also some parts of Africa. It is served at homes and at ceremonies such as weddings, burials, and festivals. Afang soup is very nutritious and the cost of preparation can be adaptable based on family needs. The ingredients used to prepare Afang soup include beef, fish, 2 different types of leaves, and some sea foods.
Ekpang Nkukwo – commonly also known as cocoyam pottage. This special delicacy is made in a time-consuming process. The cocoyam or water yam is grated, wrapped in cocoyam leaves (nkukwo) or any vegetable leaf and allowed to simmer. Various types of proteins and seafoods are included, and it is cooked to perfection.
Other Efik Dishes
Abak Atama Soup – the Efik and Ibibio people’s own version of banga soup. This yummy soup is prepared with palm fruit extract, and has abundance of periwinkle in it. Along with other ingredients, this soup includes the aromatic herb locally called Atama.
Ukang Ukom – a simple and popular dish served mostly at weddings and parties in Calabar and in other places. This meal combines unripe plantain, cow foot and/or head for a truly fascinating dish. It is generally recommended for diabetic patients.
Afia Efere Soup – the Efik version of the popular white soup known as Ofe Nsala in Igboland. This Efik version is a little more aromatic because of the addition of Uyayak, the aidan fruit. It is traditionally made with goat meat or fresh fish, and an be enjoyed with pounded yam.
As we have seen, the healthy foods of Efik and Ibibio people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States are very delightful. Have you ever enjoyed any of these healthy delicacies of the Efik and Ibibio people? What was your experience like? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.