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Isi-Ewu (Sauced Goat Head)

Editor’s Note : This is a Nigerian Valentine Menu Special recipe contributed by the lovely Nma of the Nigerian food blog Exquisitely Golden. Do try out the recipe and check out her blog for amazingly inspired Nigerian recipes.

Nigerian valentine special : Isi Ewu Revamped with Ukpaka

I am so excited about this recipe, I once posed a question on my facebook wall asking what my friends would love to eat with their loved one(s) on valentine’s day. Trust my dear friend Loki to come up with isiewu, nkwobi, and ugba with palm wine all at once. It was truly inspiring though; because although my friends call me “Ajebutter” (meaning a soft person in Nigerian vanacular), I am a home buddy kind of girl who will eat fufu with her man, fingers and all. Infact I will even be the one to cook it and serve it with the water to wash our hands, I am not shy about such classic delicacies.

let us get right to the recipe


  • One goat head (Cut into Bite size pieces)*
  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • 8-10 ehuru seeds
  • 100-200ml  palm oil
  • 2-3 Scotch Bonnet peppers (ata-rodo)
  • Handful utazi leaves (sliced)
  • Handful ukpaka (optional)
  • Maggi or knorr  – 1/2 cube
  • Crayfish (optional)
  • Salt – To Taste
  • Dry grinded pepper – To taste

*Goat head  should be washed with a strong sponge & warm water. brain should be removed and set aside.

*If using potash – Dissolve in a tablespoon of water


  1. Put your goat head in a large pot, add enough water just to cover the meat. Season with salt and onion and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the meat cook until it softens
  2. Add reserved  brain into the pot of meat.  When water is almost dry, remove from heat and set aside
  3. Meanwhile, toast ehuru seeds and finely blend in a blender with the ata-rodo, a few slices of  onion, and the brain
    • if you have a motar you may pound it all together
  4. Strain ngo or potash mix to remove any residue. Set aside
  5. In another pot or in a large mortar pour in some palm oil and stir in the ngó mix or dissolved potash until a slightly thick oil result
    • This resulting oil blend is called Ncha
  6. Add the blended/pounded ingredients (From step 3) , ukpaka, and some of the utazi into the oil mix.  Thoroughly combine. Add meat  (from step 1) along with dry grinned pepper.
  7. Season with maggi and a pinch of salt.
    • If the mixture is too thick add some water or isi ewu stock,  return to the stove on low heat and stir for about two minutes. Remove from heat.

Your Isi ewu is ready to serve (Garnish with fresh onion utazi) . Serve with a side cold bottle of palm wine .

Isi Ew - Salad - healthy - Nigerian - food - recipeRecipe Transformation – Isi Ewu Salad

This is a great option for those on the #fitfam journey. To Prepare: Toss prepared isiewu mix (sans ukpaka, reduced palm oil)  with some kale and red leave lettuce. Serve with chopped tomatoes, utazi and onion.
Bon appetit!

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