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The Efik-Ibibio are a minority ethnic group in Nigeria. They occupy the South-South geopolitical zone in the country and are also known as people of the Niger-Delta. The people have a rich culture; they are known for the fattening room tradition and the Ekombi dance.

On our food history segment today is a delicacy that is very dear to the heart of Nigerians. This food is the Edika Ikong Soup. It is a mouth-watering, nutritious vegetable soup that is indigenous to the Efik-Ibibio. Edika Ikong is the royal delicacy of the Efik-Ibibio. It is prepared during special ceremonies like traditional weddings, coronations, ordinations, child dedications, and so on.

This soup is prepared with a generous amount of pumpkin leaves and water leaves. Other ingredients used in making this soup are crayfish, locust beans, pepper, onions, stock cubes and salt. These ingredients can be gotten from local markets within the country. A well prepared pot of this soup is rich; assorted meat, seafood and different types of ‘obstacles’ must be present. In fact, every morsel that goes into a plate of this soup is not supposed to surface with ordinary vegetable; protein suppose follow am come.

Edika Ikong soup is very easy to make. However, here are a few tips that might be useful to the first timer. First of all, in making this soup, water leaf is added first. This allows it to bring out its water content which the ugu leaves, the last ingredient to be added to the pot, will absorb. Again, the soup is not a watery; therefore, you should boil your soup in such a way that you don’t end up with too much meat stock. Also know that even though you’re supposed to be a bit generous with palm oil it should not be so much that it will float on top. The soup can be enjoyed with fufu, pounded yam or any swallow of your choice.

Edika Ikong soup has a number of health benefits. It is a great food for new mothers. Apart from replenishing the blood lost during child birth, the nourishment from this soup supports proper lactation. This soup is also the perfect blood tonic for the malnourished; it helps to increase blood flow. It is also an anti-ageing food and eliminates stress. 


Dooney’s Kitchen

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This article was first published on 9th July 2019


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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