Abacha: As Served by Phina Chinenye Ezigbo


As a very traditional Igbo man I have seen and eaten abacha prepared in various ways. I enjoy this delicacy that originates from the Eastern Nigeria in general but made popular by Ndigbo of the Nsukka/Enugu and Awka/Anambra extration.

I have eaten abacha as prepared by commercial food vendors in Onitsha and Awka, and as prepared by my mother who always makes it a special meal. These days it has become a more special meal because my wife brings a different flare to how else it can be made thereby bringing a unique flavor to it.



  1. Abacha (cooked and sliced cassava)
  2. Warm water
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. Diced and seasoned turkey/chicken/beef
  5. Broth from the seasoned meat
  6. Knoor cubes
  7. Salt
  8. Green pepper and ose nsukka
  9. Onions
  10. Basil
  11. Crayfish
  12. Fresh garden tomatoes
  13. Chopped spinach (if you like)

Abacha is soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes.

The meat is seasoned with spices – salt, knoor cubes, ose nsukka, onion, basil.

Abacha is mixed with meat broth and allowed to steam until broth dries up in the bottom of the pot.

Vegetable oil is allowed to heat a bit and crayfish and green pepper is fried for about 4 minutes and the cooked abacha is poured into the oil and fried at low heat until there is no water or oil that can be scooped.

At this point abacha is ready to be served with diced fresh tomatoes, onions, and or chopped spinach.

Note: quantity of ingredients depend on how much abacha you wanna make.

I have heard people refer to abacha as a desert but it is not true. Abacha is a full household meal for the igbo family and the men will always enjoy it with nkwu ocha – palm wine.


Photo and Recipe Credit: Chinedu Ezigbo, reporting from Canada