By Mary Fabeyo
Ebiripo, cocoyam is a tropical root crop also called taro by the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria; it is raised as a food primarily for its corm, which distantly resembles potato and nicknamed ‘the potato of tropics’.
Cocoyam as small as it may seem, has lots of health benefits. These benefits include: stronger immune system, reduces weight gain, low sodium, reduces fatigue, anti-aging effects and also rich in dietary fibber which reduces the amount of bad cholesterol within our body. The taro root also helps to prevent damage of the cells, reduce blood pressure and even build strong bones.
However, it has been noted that when the cocoyam is not properly cooked, it gives side effect which might result to kidney stones as well has other unpleasant health conditions.
Ebiripo is one of the numerous African dishes made from cocoyam. Apart from the inviting outlook and delicious taste, ebiripo is notable for its simplicity. It is popular among the Ijebus of the western part of Nigeria. It is often eaten with a rich sauce or egusi ijebu. We will be looking at ebiripo and tomato sauce this week.
Tubers of cocoyam
Moi-moi leaves (to wrap up)
2pieces of ata rodo (bonnet pepper)
1tatashe (red bell pepper)
1 medium sized red onion
Peel the cocoyam skin and wash thoroughly with salt and water
Grate the cocoyam with the tiny and closely fused part of the greater to give a smoother result. Add salt to the grated mixture and wrap in the local moi-moi leaves. Place thewrapped mixture in a pot with a leaf ling the pot base, add half a cup of water to the pot, place a spare leave on top of the wrapped cocoyam and cover the pot. Let it steam on low heat, and go ahead with the sauce.
For the source, blend the piece of tomato, 2 ata rodo, 1 bell pepper and onion together to get a perfect mixture, leave to boil for few minutes to reduce its water content.
Fry chopped onion in hot palm oil, add the pepper mixture and fry till it thickens a little, and add little water to dissolve. Add salt and seasoning as desired, allow frying a little; then the stew is ready.
Back to the ebiripo
Keep checking if water is still in pot, if not; add water as much as needed. Check if the wrapped mixture is hardened like moi-moi, when it is solid enough, the mouth watering ebiripo is ready.