Afiame soup is a beans based soup that is originally consumed in Edo state. It is very reminiscent of Gbegiri which is a beans soup consumed by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The difference is in the ingredients used to achieve this finger licking meal. Before I go into the details of this recipe, I must tell the story of how we got here.
So I went to Shoprite to pick up a few things for this recipe as I had already gone to the market a few days before. As I saunter through the aisles of the well lit air-conditioned grocery store I plopped necessary and unnecessary items into my basket. I was bopping my head and jamming to the backstreet boys blaring through the speakers and singing along with them. I glance at my watch and it’s 3:30pm so I race to checkout. Mind you, I got into the store 15 minutes earlier. I lay all my items on the checkout table and the attendant scans everything while looking up intermittently to smile at me. She scans all the items and points to the screen and announces the price. I bring out my debit card to pay and she says in the most nonchalant tone;
“ah madam the POS is not working”
“all of them?”
“Why didn’t you say so before I started scanning everything?”
Sorry ma is usually where these conversations end before they mentally move on and leave you there to make a decision. At this point, I am calculating that the ATMs in the mall never have cash and I would have to drive a fair bit to get cash to pay for these groceries.
“Madam should i save the receipt so you go to ATM and bring cash?”
Fighting all the anger in me, I glance at her and tell her to save it. I race out of the mall to get cash and come back at about 4:15pm to pay for my groceries. Luckily she still had them in the bags but she brings them out to individually scan them. At this point I am thinking hayyyy sun is going down. When would the soup be ready for me to shoot it? I have other things to shoot today. Anyway, I get home finally at about 4:45pm for a trip that should not have ideally taken so long. I begin prepping and finish at about 5:30pm, shoot the dish and I moved on to the next recipe.
First of all, the lesson here is that this dish does not take very long to be ready. If you don’t use beef and use just fish, its even a shorter time. Secondly, why don’t Nigerian businesses ever communicate!!!!!!! I mean this lady said the POS had not been working all day. Instead of announcing random things, communicate to the customers shopping so they can go and get cash early or shop according to the cash they have in hand. Even at the point of payment, communicate to me before I offload my basket. Anyway story time over, enjoy the recipe for Afiame soup.
Recipe for Afiame Soup
1 cup of beans powder
8 large pieces of Beef
1 large piece of Smoked Fish
2 medium pieces of Stock Fish
3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
A handful of chopped Scent leaves
3 cooking spoons of Palm Oil
3 pieces of Uda (Negro Pepper)
1/2 cup of Crayfish pieces
A handful of chopped Onions
Season beef with chopped scotch bonnet peppers, onions and seasoning cubes and bring to boil till beef is soft.
When beef is soft, wash the smoked fish and stock fish and add to the pot to cook.
Pound the Uda, remove the seeds and add to the pot of boiling meat and fish.
Add the crayfish pieces and pour in the palm oil and cook on low heat.
In a separate pan, on low heat, stir fry the bean powder till slightly brown.
Allow the roasted bean powder to cool then add water slowly and stir till a paste is formed.
To the pot of meats, slowly stir in the bean powder paste till all the powder is in the pot.
If your soup gets too thick, pour some water to loosen it a bit and allow to simmer.
Add the chopped scent leaves to the pot, stir and allow to simmer for about a minute.
Serve your afiame soup with any swallow of choice.