How to Prepare African salad (Abacha)

How to Prepare African salad (Abacha)

African salad (Abacha) is a delicious west African food that is native to the ndi Igbo (people of Igbo), here is all you need to know about this Nigerian Delicious Dessert and even all the ingredients used in preparing it.

This meal is very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria; it is one of the most Popular Igbo Foods, I don’t visit Eastern part of the country and come back without having a taste of this Nigerian delicacy.

African Salad is Igbo Food

Abacha – as the Igbos love to call it –  is one of the most popular food in the eastern Nigeria, it serves best as kola to visitors.

As a matter of fact, there are villages in the eastern part of Nigeria that only offer ugba or abacha to visitors and even visitors have come to love and desire the delicious delicacy.

How To Make Abacha From Cassava

The fresh Abacha (African salad is a by-product of cassava). There are a lot of processes involved with obtaining the fresh abacha that is used in preparing the African salad that we all know.

Most rural dwellers are very familiar with the process of turning cassava tubers into dried abacha that is used for this recipe.

The first thing to do (if you live in the village or own a farm) is to obtain cassava tubers.

Wash thoroughly and boil along with water for twenty to thirty minutes then pill to remove the brown outer layer, and cut to tiny bits.

The sliced cassava is then soaked in water for 18 hours. The last thing to do would be to wash thoroughly with clean water then sun-dry and store in an airtight container.

Dried cassava chips can last more than a year if stored in an air tight dry environment.

That above is dried abacha.

But if you live in developed cities you probably wouldn’t need to go through this cumbersome and tiresome process, just buy every one of the ingredients in the market.

Here are the ingredients that are needed for preparing Abacha (African salad) whether you are within or outside Nigeria.

Some of them are extremely necessary while few of them are optional

Ingredients for African Salads

6 to 8 cups of Abacha (African Salad) {image above}
Ehu 3 seeds (optional)
1 to 2 cups Of Ugba (Ukpaka)
half cup of crayfish
1 to 2 cubes of maggi or knorr
100ml of palm oil
Edible powdered potash(1 teaspoon)
salt and pepper to taste.
3 to 5 garden eggs (optional)
Utazi leaves (optional)
Garden egg leaves (optional) (imagee below.)
Meat/dry fish or stock fish.(optional)

I told you that most Nigerian foods are served with either fish or meat. Even the African Salad (Abacha) is also served with either fish, meat or even stock fish (okporoko).

Although, I have not included meat, fish or okporoko in this recipe.

ingredients for abacha

Ugba in one plate, ground crafish/ground ehu in another plate.

Spiced abacha

In the end, you spice up with this leaves, garden eggs and onions.


I like using the dried abacha (as you would find in the plate above) instead of the freshly made wet abacha the only reason is that the former gives you the advantage of heating at the beginning for few minutes without getting overly wet.

You can either heat or soak the dry Abacha in boiled water for about three minutes, then sieve and keep on a separate bowl.

Blend your crayfish and also slice the onions, garden egg leaves. It is advisable to dissolve the powdered potash in about half a cup of clean water; this is a trick I employ just to easily filter out unwanted solid materials that are often embedded in potash.

How to Prepare African Salad – Abacha

Filter the dissolved potash into a mortar or pot leaving out the residue.

Making nigerian abacha

Add about 100ml of palm oil and stir to form a yellowish paste (ncha, as addressed by the igbos),

This is the first part of making Abacha (African Salad), Stir very well to get the yellowish paste. then add the ground crayfish and pepper, stir, then add the ground ehu if you like.

Ugba is an important ingredient in the process of making African salad, it is considered incomplete without the presence of this ingredient. Ugba is usually sold in most Nigerian markets or African shops (if you live outside Nigeria).

Add the ugba to the mixture and stir, and then add the abacha, salt. It is advisable to heat the abacha (using the method outlined above) just a few seconds before you use so it doesn’t get cold.

Most people in Nigeria like their Abacha to be a little bit warm.

Abachi making

Stir the whole combination and you are almost through with the preparation part.

The Toppings

The garden eggs, the leaves, and the onions are used mostly to spice up or for decoration purposes and not added during preparation but while dishing out.

They are often sliced and kept aside in different plates or bowls, then added while individual plates are dished out; this also goes for the meat or fish used.

Serve with the meat and also add the garden eggs (sliced) and leaves to individual plate, most people in the rural centers like to take African salad with palm wine. So get a bottle of palm wine or your favorite soft drink


Paul Taidi is a blogger, an entrepreneur with passion for web design, UI/UX design and most importantly diy......

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