Ila is the Yoruba word for Okra and Asepo literally means “To cook together”, ila Alasepo is mixed okra soup. In regular Yoruba style, okro is typically served with stew on top. The fact that the ingredient that would normally go into the stew goes into the soup itself makes this a “lesser’ soup for the affluent Yoruba folks. Ila alasepo according to my grandma is something you cook when you are out of money. On the nutrition scale: okra is rich in Fibre, protein, Vitamins k/c, Folate and Magnesium. I turned this soup into a “rich” soup by making use of a wide variety of proteins.
2 cups chopped okro
3 cups beef stock or water *
½ teaspoon cooking potash (Kaun) *optional
1 cube maggi (2 cubes if using water)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 table spoon Blended crayfish
¼ cup palm oil*
Salt to taste
Prepared meat and fish (I made use of Oxtail, dried catfish, chicken gizzard, dried prawns, ponmon and goat meat)
*(use less water if you are not adding lots of meat to the soup)
* You can make this even healthier by avoiding palm oil use
1) Place a medium sized pot on medium heat , pour in the meat stock (or water), cover and bring to a boil.
2) Add in the cooking potash, reduce the heat to minimum. Add in the prepared meat, okro, crayfish powder, magi and chilli. Combine. Leave the pot uncovered; simmer until the soup comes to a rolling boil.
3) Stir the soup with a spoon, taste and adjust for salt.
4) Add in the palm oil, simmer for another 10-12mins.
Serve with Semolina, fufu, garri or pounded yam and a bottle of your favorite drink (I prefer coke) . Enjoy!