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Ila Alasepo is indigenous to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is simply the Yoruba way of cooking okra. This recipe does not use onion because it is believed that onion affects the sticky nature of okra- I can’t categorically say how true this is?. The Ila Alasepo recipe completely changes the game and will turn a non-okra loving person into an ardent faithful.


  • 25 pieces of okra (4 cups of okra)
  • 2 cooking spoons of fresh palm oil
  • Assorted meats ( beef, shaki, pomo, roundabout, etc.)
  • Stockfish
  • Dry/smoked fish
  • Fresh prawns/shrimps
  • Iru
  • Edible potash- ngo (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. of ground crayfish
  • 2-3 pieces of fresh red peppers (atarodo)
  • A piece of red bell pepper (tatashe)
  • 1 tbsp. of dry pepper
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Vegetable (optional)
  • Salt

Cooking Directions

  • Blend or pound half of the okra, then chop the other half.
  • Clean and soak the smoked fish in hot water for about 15 minutes, then drain.
  • Blend the pieces of fresh red peppers and finely chop the bell pepper.
  • Wash the meat thoroughly and set to boil together with the stockfish; season with stock cubes, salt, and dry pepper. The water level should be a bit above the level of the meat and stockfish.
  • When the meat and stockfish become soft and tender, scoop them out leaving just the stock in the pot. To the stock, add the palm oil, crayfish, iru and the ngo (melt a little bit of the ngo in a small quantity of water, pour the water into the soup and keep the residue aside). Allow cooking for 8 minutes.
  • Add both the blended and chopped okra and stir thoroughly, then add the smoked fish, peppers (atarodo and tatashe), shrimps and vegetables.
  • Add salt and let it cook for an extra 6 minutes or till the shrimps turn pink.
  • Set aside and serve with the swallow of choice. Enjoy.

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This article was first published on 5th June 2018


Amara Adanna Ogbonna is a Christian, foodie, and lover of arts. She spends most of her time on Facebook.

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