It is mostly safer to post about a food everyone can relate to but I’m going back to my roots with achicha. Achicha, also called Echicha is my favourite food from my paternal side Nsukka. Nsukka is a town in Enugu state of Nigeria. The town that nurtured Nigeria’s literary giants like Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chika Unigwe and others. Like most Nsukka (Igbo) food, the preparation of the cocoyam starts long before you cook it, that is why it is not popular. There are different types of achicha, this achicha is simply a beautiful blend of dried and smoked cocoyam (ede) and pigeon peas (fio fio).
- 2 cups of Achicha (dried and smoked cocoyam)
- 2 cups of fio-fio (pigeon peas)
- Yellow scotch bonnet peppers
- 2 big onions
- Ground crayfish
- 250ml Palm oil
- Locust bean (ope). Optional.
- Ugba (Sliced African oil bean seed)
- Scent leaves (Basil).
•Soak the achicha in warm water for 20 minutes, wash and sieve.
•Boil the fio-fio and put the achicha in a sieve, then place it on a stand in the pot. Water must not get through to it, what you are trying to achieve is the fio-fio boiling while the achicha is steaming. Alternatively, you can tie it in nylon or wrap in banana leaves or aluminium foil and put in the pot as the fio-fio is boiling.
•While it is cooking, blend the yellow peppers, locust bean, crayfish.
•When the fio-fio and achicha are ready, add salt, ugba, melted ope and sliced onions to the paste and fry with palm oil for about 5 minutes.
•Mix the achicha and fio-fio with paste thoroughly. Then your achicha is ready.