How To Make Isi Ewu

Soups have a special place in Nigerian cuisine: every part of Nigeria has their own beloved soup recipe they’re especially proud of and every Nigerian misses local soups while staying abroad.

Isi Ewu, or goat head pepper soup, is a famous Nigerian delicacy and right now you can learn how to make Isi Ewu!


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1. Isi Ewu ingredients

Before you finally find out how to make isiewu, here is what you’ll need to make your own pot of steaming, delicious goat head soup:

  • Goat head – 1
  • Palm oil – 150ml
  • Onions – 2 + 1 for garnishing
  • Stock cubes – 2 (beef flavour)
  • Habanero peppers – 2
  • Utazi leaves – 10
  • Ground Ehu seeds – 2tbsp
  • Ground edible potash – 1tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

2. How to make goat meat pepper soup

Once you have the ingredients for your soup ready, take the following steps on how to prepare Isi Ewu:

  1. Start by cutting the goat head. How to prepare goat head? Restaurants usually cook goat head whole, but if you don’t have a huge pot or don’t have a crowd to feed, it’s best to cut the meat. Remove the brain and wrap it in aluminium foil. The bits like ears and tongues need to remain whole
  2. Wash the meat thoroughly in water; use an iron sponge or knife to remove the roughness from the toughest areas of the meat.
  3. Peel and cut the onions into big chunks and grind the Ehu seeds; set aside.
  4. Put the ground edible potash into a small bowl, add about 4 tbsp of water, stir, and pour through a sieve into another bowl. Set aside.
  5. Put the cut goat head into a pot, cover with water, add the wrapped brain, onions and stock cubes. Cook on low heat until the meat is done. Goat head takes famously long to cook, so if you have a pressure cooker, make your Isi Ewu there. It’s important to cook the meat in as little water as possible, so top up the water only when absolutely necessary.
  6. While the meat is being cooked, peel and thinly slice the onion for garnishing. Cut 5 Utazi leaves into thin slices, which will be cooked, and the other 5 Utazi leaves into tiny bits, which will be used for garnishing.
  7. When the meat is tender, take out the onions, remove the brain from the foil and mash it up. Add salt to the meat, stir, and cook until the water has evaporated.
  8. Pour the palm oil into a separate pot and put on low heat. Slowly pour in your potash mixture, stirring the oil with the wooden spatula. The oil will start to curdle and change colour. Once the oil has turned yellow, stop adding the potash and take the pot off the heat.
  9. Add the Utazi leaves, sliced peppers, Ehu seeds, and mashed brain to the oil.Then add the goat head pieces and mix well to incorporate the oil mixture and the meat.
  10. Put the pot back on the stove and cook for an additional couple of minutes until the soup is nice and hot. Take off the heat.
  11. The traditional way to serve Isi Ewu is in wooden bowls. Garnish the soup with sliced onion and Utazi bits.

This is the authentic goat head soup recipe your family and friends will love – treat your loved ones to Isi Ewu this weekend!


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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 2-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!