Ipapara Soup is an Ebira Soup which is made with melon seeds and enriched with spices and vegetables. It can be prepared with leafy vegetables, such as ugu (fluted pumpkin leaves), bitter leaf (UZI), spinach and the likes.
Below is my Moms’ favourite, a recipe prepared with Uzi (bitter leaf) & Upa Huuru.
What is Upa Huuru (Sheep Skin)?
Upa Huuru is an animal skin gotten from Sheep and Ram, made for human consumption a.k.a Kpomo in Yoruba language, but the Kpomo that Yoruba people refer to is purely Cow Skin, which researchers shows that it’s not good for the health, mainly because most of these cow skins are made particularly for industrial use but people put it for sale.
So if you want to be on a safer side (health wise) I will urge you to go for Upa Huuru instead of Cow Skin. For it’s more tasty and still got nutrient compare to normal Kpomo (Cow Skin)
Note: Upa (Ebira Language) means Skin.
Ingredients for the Ipapara Soup (with Uzi/Upa Huuru)
- 3 medium cups Ipapara Seeds (melon seeds)
- Upa Huuru or Assorted meat (Sheep or Cow Meat, cow meat, goat meat, turkey meat, chicken etc.)
- Assorted dry fish of choice (stock fish etc.)
- Dried Prawns (optional)
- Red Palm Oil: 2 cooking/serving spoons
- 1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
- Bitter leaf(as desired)
- 2 seasoning cubes
- Pepper (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
Cooking directions for Ipapara soup
- Boil the Skin (Upa Huuru) assorted meat and stock fish, with chopped onions, one seasoning cube and salt to taste.
- Cook until tender and set aside for later use.
- Clean the dried prawns by separating the heads & tails from the centre.
- Grind the heads & tails and set aside to use in the soup. Then soak the centre in hot water, to soften and clean it.
- Grind the Ipapara seeds until smooth and then dissolve with lukewarm water to form a paste.
Now to cook the Ipapara Soup
- Heat up the palm oil until hot, add diced onions and the dissolved Ipapara. Fry for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens.
- Add the bitter leaf (uzi) and a little water or the meat stock. Add the prawns and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
- Now add the Skin (Upa Huuru) meat and stock fish. Add the ground prawns (or crayfish), ground pepper and
seasoning cubes. Boil for 15 minutes.
- Add the sliced spinach leaves and simmer for 5 minutes and the soup is ready.
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