Ila is the Yoruba word for Okra, and Asepo means “To cook together”; ila Alasepo is mixed okra soup. In regular Yoruba style, okro is typically served with stew. The fact that the ingredient that would normally go into the stew goes into the soup itself makes this a “lesser’ soup for the affluent Yoruba folk. Ila alasepo according to my grandma is something you cook when you are out of money.
On the nutrition scale: okra is rich in Fibre, protein, Vitamins k/c, Folate and Magnesium. I turned this soup into a “rich” soup by making use of a wide variety of proteins.
- 2 cups chopped okro
- 3 cups beef stock or water *
- ½ teaspoon cooking potash (Kaun) *optional
- 1 cube magi (2 cubes if using water)
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 table spoon Blended crayfish
- ¼ cup palm oil*
- Salt to taste
- Prepared meat and fish (I made use of Oxtail, dried catfish, chicken gizzard, dried prawns, ponmon and goat meat)
*(use less water if you are not adding lots of meat to the soup)
1) Place a pot on medium heat , pour in the meat stock (or water), cover and bring to a boil
2) Add in the cooking potash, reduce the heat to medium. Add in the prepared meat, crayfish powder, magi and chilli. Combine, simmer for 10-12 minutes.
3) Stir, taste and adjust for Seasoning
4) Add in the palm oil and Okra, simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
*You can add in some tomato paste when you add in the water, this will thicken the soup. You can also add in some chopped vegetables when you add in the okra.
Serve with Semolina, fufu, garri or pounded yam and Chilled Malta Guinness. Enjoy!