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On our food history segment today is Gbegiri. It is a popular Nigerian soup that hails from Oyo State in southwestern Nigeria. In fact, this soup is said to be one of the tickets to the heart of an Oyo man. On first acquaintance, gbegiri is not attractive. But it is well loved in Yoruba land where it is a buka special.

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Gbegiri is simply beans soup. It is another way to enjoy beans. Brown beans or black eyed beans are the best beans for making this soup. The beans is first peeled, then boiled and blended. Please note that it is not carved in stone that you’ll get all the skin off the beans before boiling it for gbegiri.

Other ingredients for making this soup are palm oil, crayfish, dry fish, locust beans, pepper, seasoning cubes, pepper, and of course, any meat of choice. These ingredients can be procured from any of the local markets within the country.

There are three methods of preparing and serving gbegiri. It can be cooked plain; in this case, the beans paste is seasoned with crayfish and seasoning cubes and then served separately with palm oil stew as an accompaniment. Gbegiri soup can also be prepared and enjoyed as a full soup in its own right. The last and the most popular method of enjoying this soup is what I call the three in one method. In this method, Gbegiri is prepared as a full soup and then it is served with ewedu soup and buka stew. My Yoruba friends claim that this three in one combo is simply a match made in foodie heaven. While I have enjoyed at various times gbegiri which is prepared using the first two methods, I’m not a fan of draw soup and I just don’t like the look of ewedu soup, so I can’t confirm my friends’ claims.

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Gbegiri is the Yoruba version of obo egwa soup. This soup should have a creamy, slightly watery consistency; first timers please take note. Do not overcook your gbegiri or it will become thick. Gbegiri can be prepared and enjoyed by the members of the fitfam club. Even vegetarians can enjoy and benefit from the protein content of this soup. The soup is enjoyed with amala, tuwo shinkafa, or any Nigerian swallow.


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This article was first published on 9th December 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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