Eru Soup is a Cameroonian delicacy I first came across during one of the many get togethers we had at my church. Since my church family is blessed with a generous amount of Camerounians; it’s very common to have their traditional meals present at our events. It is a popular meal commonly eaten by the Bayangis a south-west tribe in Cameroun.
Eru Soup is a dish I enjoy for a number of reasons; it’s quite easy to make and is very similar to 3 Nigerian soups (Afang Soup, Edikaikong Soup, & Okazi Soup) in ingredient composition and cooking method. It is also full of flavour and has a depth of character thanks to the star ingredient of the soup “eru leaves”.
The leaves are gotten from the creeping plant GNETUM AFRICANUM also known as AFRICAN JOINTFIR which is an evergreen vine which grows wild in West & Central Africa. The leaves goes by different names in different African countries: Eru leaves (Cameroonian name),Okazi or Afang leaves (Nigerian name) Fumbua (DRC name) etc.
Eru leaves are highly nuitritious ; strong in amino acids, antioxidants and a good source of protien. It is also a rich in fibre and iodine; aids digestion and bowel movement.
You can use any protein of your choice; meat, dryfish etc. Serve hot with pounded yam, garri, etc
- 2 pounds beef
- 2 cups/1 pound dry fish;cleaned and deboned
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups of palm oil,(you don't have to use that much palm oil,you can use less or more, or evn add coconut or vegetable oil)
- ½ cup/8 tablespoons dry crayfish
- Dry okazi leaves; sliced
- 2 pounds frozen spinach
- 4 seasoning cubes
- Salt, to taste
- Hot pepper, to taste, optional
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Chunk of ginger, crushed
- Wash the beef thoroughly. Cut the beef in bite size chunks, season with salt, seasoning cubes, pepper, garlic, ginger, and onions. Cook until tender.
- Soak the dry eru or okazi leaves in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften them. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
- Use very little water while cooking the meat because eru does not need a lot of water . However, make sure you have at least 2 to 3 cups of stock from the beef. to use in cooking this dish.
- In a large pot, add the beef, dry fish, and 2-3 cups of beef stock. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes
- Add the frozen spinach; 2 seasoning cubes, salt,and dry crayfish. Stir thoroughly;cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add Eru/Okazi leaves and red oil. Stir thoroughly ensuring all the contents in the pot blend together .Cook for another 10-15 minutes, add beef stock /water if needed (The beautry and richness of this soup lies in marrying of the dry eru leaves and watery spinach leaves;If the dish is watery, you will not enjoy it)
You can add the palm oil before along with the meat and stock before you add the leaf