Pepper soup is one of the most enjoyed of all dishes by Nigerians, it can be served in a variety of different ways. However, several pepper soup spices can be used in cooking and these spices have been proven to be medicinal, traditional medicinal experts have confirmed that pepper soup spices are very medicinal.
Most of them will have alternative names in their native tongues, and many of them will be used in other dishes.
In this article we’ll be listing a few of these spices together with their local names, you can even add fresh herbs like parsley, mint, basil, and fragrance leaf for added freshness, color, and flavor to your pepper soup.
If you’ve never tasted any Nigerian pepper soup then you’ve been missing out a lot on this sweet tasting and medicinal soup, also in this article, we’ll be showing you how to make a pepper soup spice with traditional spices.
Pepper soups over the years have been prepared with a rich mix blend of local spices. These spices are very common in West African cuisine and can be found in several ethnic soups.
List of Pepper Soup Ingredients
(1) The Calabash Nutmeg – Pepper Soup Spices
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(2) Monodora Myristica
it is also known as Erhe – Urhobo; Ukposa – Bini Iwo – Itsekiri; Ehuru – Igbo; Ariwo – Yoruba; Gujiya dan miya – Hausa.
It also consists of seed and shell, although the edible part is the seed.
(3) Gbafilo – Pepper Soup Spices
Other names for this species include rough-skinned, Guinea plum, and Grey.
Chrysobalanus icaco (Chrysobalanus icaco)
Gbafilo/Gbafilor: Itsekiri, which is also known as Grageru or Abageru in Brazil.
It is made up of sandpaper, similar to a shell, and a kernel.
Uses: as a condiment in soups, and spice blends for pepper soup.
(4) Grains of Selim – Pepper Soup Spices
The fruits are 2 inches long, slender, slightly torulose, dark brown or black, and incurred in clusters (separate carpels) on a thick peduncle (The Useful Plants of West Africa).
African, Guinean, and Ethiopian pepper are some of the other names for this plant.
Xylopia Aethiopica is the botanical name.
Urheri is Urhobo, Unien is Bini, Atta is Ibibio/Efik, Uda is Igbo, and Eeru is Yoruba.
It is made up of skin and seeds. The seeds are astringent.
Both parts are used–the skin is used more frequently, ground and added to soups, or bruised and used whole.
Uses: As a seasoning in soups, in spice blends for pepper soup, in agbo (bitters), to purify water, and as a flavoring agent in palm wine.
Other names for Guinea Cubebs include West African Black Peppers and Bush Peppers.
Edusa in Ibibio, Eti-nkeni in Efik, Uziza in Igbo, and Iyere in Yoruba.
It’s made of dried blackberries.
Uses: As a condiment in soups, rice, and other dishes.
(5) Alligator Pepper – Pepper Soup Spices
Other names: Paradise Grains
Aframomum Melegueta is the botanical name.
Ose oji/okwa – Igbo; Oburo – Yoruba; Bini-Ehie ado; Ntuen – Efik; Oburo – Yoruba
It is made up of skin and seeds. The seeds are aromatic and pungent, with a cardamom flavor in some strains.
Pulverized seeds are added to soups and stews, and they can also be ingested with kola nuts for a numbing effect.
It is used to season soups, in spice blends for pepper soup, in agbo (bitters), to purify water, and as a flavoring agent in palm wine.
Alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta), which is used to make pepper soup spices, has a variety of health benefits, including the ability to prevent infections and treat wounds, to protect against travel dangers, and to treat stomach problems such as ulcers, worms, and diarrhea.
(6) Tetrapleura Tetraptera – Pepper Soup Spices
Aframomum Melegueta is the botanical name.
Aridan – Yoruba; Inang – Efik; Ighimiakhie – Bini; Usho usho – Igbo
It consists of two hardy edible wings, two soft and delicious edible wings, and two long-winged fruit pods.
This recipe calls for soft wings, which are edible used in soups and sauces: roasted and ground for soups and sauces; ground for soups Palm wine is occasionally flavored with ground pulp.
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(7) Omilo/Umilo – Itsekiri
Efrin, Nchanwu, African Basil, Allspice Basil, Ocimum gratissimum This peppery herb is used in pepper soups, salads, pottages, and as a vegetable on its own. (nine) Uyayak (Aridan, Prekese, Tetrapleura tetraptera). Among the macro-elements found in abundance are potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Nigerian Pepper Soup Spice Mix is made from scratch with traditional African spices.
Nigerian Pepper Soup Spice Mix is incredibly easy to make and has a far superior aroma to store-bought versions.
Aside from the fresh aroma, you’ll know exactly what goes into your pepper soup spice mix because it has no additions or preservatives.
This is how you make it.
Below are the ingredients needed;
Nutmeg 6–8 calabash chunks
8 pieces of negro pepper (Uda seeds)
1 tablespoon Aligator pepper seeds (Atariko/Ulima seed)
This amounts to around 3 tablespoons of pepper soup spice mixture.
Note: If you want to add dried ginger roots and cubeb peppers (uziza seeds) to your mixture, go ahead.
Roast the calabash nutmeg in a frying pan until it is dark brown and emits a pleasant aroma. With a gentle peeling motion, remove the outer layer of skin.
Preparation of Pepper Soup Spice
Begin by roasting the Calabash Nutmeg in a frying pan until it turns dark brown and emits a pleasant aroma. Then, gently peel off the outer skin to remove the seed from the inside.
Second, grind the calabash nutmeg, Negro pepper (Uda seeds), and Aligator pepper (Atariko/Ulima seeds) into a fine powder in a blender.
Fill an airtight jar halfway with the mixture and store it somewhere dry. Finally, if properly stored, this pepper soup spice blend can last up to a year.
You now have your own homemade pepper soup spice to use in any Nigerian pepper soup recipe.