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African Delicacy

Posted: Apr 3, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rita Okoye

Nkwobi With Isi Ewu (Goat Head) & Palm Wine



Isi Ewu “Goat head” is a popular delicacy which originates from the eastern part of Nigeria. It is also known as Nkwobi. It’s made with goat head and every single part is edible including the brain.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Serves: 3 people



  • 1 medium sized Goat head • 4 Seasoning cubes • 2 Ehuru seeds “Monodora myristica • Palm oil • 1 small sized Edible Potash • Ground crayfish • 2 Fresh red scotch bonnet pepper • Salt (To taste) • 1 cup Ugba (also Known as Ukpaka) • Water

For Garnish

  • 1 Medium sized Onion •10 Utazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium)



Before preparing Isi ewu you have to prepare the ingredients. Here’s how to do it.

(a) Ehuru/Ehu seeds: This is what gives the dish its authentic local flavor. To make it easy to remove from the shell, it could either be pan roasted.

(b) Potash: This is the special ingredient that makes the palm oil curdle and change colour. To prepare, place the powdered potash in a bowl. Add some water and stir. What you need is the liquid and not the residue. Just stir and set aside.

(c) Utazi leaves: Utazi is used as a garnish for this meal. It has a bitter taste and gives the dish a wonderful bitter flavor. It’s used sparingly though since most people cannot stand the bitter taste. To prepare, wash and chop -Set aside.

(d) Ugba: Usually, isi ewu on its own is tasty but when oil bean seed ‘Ugba’ is added, it becomes simply mouth-watering due to the additional flavor it gives the dish. To prepare, wash the Ugba with clean water and set aside

(e) Onions: This is usually used as a garnish and is eaten raw. To prepare, wash and slice the onion into rings – Set aside.



Goat head is usually very dirty when you buy it so you have to take time to clean it properly. Soak the head in salted hot water for about 20 minutes and wash properly with clean water making sure you focus on the teeth, tongue, ears and every other part of the head.

Step 2: Place the washed head in a pot. Add some chopped onion, 2 seasoning cubes and salt to taste. Cook for about 30-45 minutes till it gets soft. Make sure the liquid left in the pot is minimal and concentrated to ensure the seasoning gets into the skull. Once it’s properly done, all you have to do is squeeze the skin off the head and it will come off easily exposing the skull -Set this aside.

Remove the skin, ears and tongue from the head, chop into smaller pieces set aside. With a cutlass or hammer, break the skull, remove the brain and set aside also.

Step 3: In a medium sized pot/pan, heat the palm oil till it gets a little bit hot (Not bleached). Gently sieve in the dissolved potash liquid making sure you don’t pour in the residue. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture by stirring thoroughly.

Step 4: Keep stirring till the Oil Turns bright yellow and thickens.

Step 5: Add the ground ehuru, Pepper, Crayfish to the sauce and mix.

Step 6: Gently add the Ugba, pour the cooked goat head chops into the sauce (with the meat stock and brain). Stir Very well and place the pot on the Burner and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes

Step 7: Dish Out into the traditional Isi ewu bowl and garnish with the sliced onion rings and Utazi leaves.

Serve as an appetizer with a chilled glass of palm wine.