Who can say no to a hot bowl of spicy and tantalising peppersoup with meat of all sorts? Not me, and I don’t think anyone of y’all my friends can resist all the ‘obstacles’ found in this bowl of spicy and peppery goodness. Except you are a vegetarian. Kai! You are missing something oooo!!!
Peppersoup was always cooked at my late paternal grandma’s in Mamfe, found in the South-Western Part of Cameroon. Even as a kid, I looked forward to spending my holidays at mami Maria’s, because of all the Nigerian delicacies she prepared when we were there. Mamfe being a town close to Nigeria with many Nigerians living there, we did enjoy a lot of Nigerian delicacies. Assorted meat pepper soup was one of them. Grandma always made hers with ‘bush meat’, nyamangoro (snails), ‘chukuchuku’ (Porkupine) beef, goat meat and offals. Chaiiiiiii, this brings back so many childhood memories.
Like how we use to go and gather snails at night, especially when dad wasn’t around. He hated snails. Even called it ‘poor man’s meat’ Lol! But we loved it so much. How can you say no to meat without bones and free of charge for that matter? He would say ‘if I catch anyone cooking that meat in this house, I will throw away the meat PLUS the pot’.
We didn’t even bother. We will team up with mum and strategise, plan and execute our snail-hunting project, washed the pot with our fingers before, he could blink an eye. Poor dad if only he knew! But pshippp don’t tell him!!! 😉
But let’s get back to the reason for this post: assorted meat peppersoup. Let me just say this: there’s no born-house (child-birth ceremony) without peppersoup. It’s simply a favorite. Heck, it’s an all-round dish. For cold or warm days, party or no party, peppersoup puts a smile on faces, every single time. It’s easy to make and waaaaay too delicious for words.
This is grandma’s recipe and my go-to peppersoup recipe. I call it ‘the miracle working soup’. She used some of the most medicinal spices as pictured below, to make the tastiest assorted meat peppersoup, EVER. Little, did I know back then how healthy this soup was and I guess she didn’t know either. Maybe you can recognise one or two on the plate. Pictured are
A: African nutmeg: an oily & woody but somewhat bitter taste. A study even showed that African nutmeg can lower cholesterol and even treat diabetes. Other names include calabash nutmeg, ehuru, ariwo, awerewa, ehiri, airama, African orchid nutmeg, muscadier de Calabash and lubushi.
B: Njangsang – Cameroon: seed with an oily chocolate aroma and a subtly aromatic and bitter aftertaste which we use to thicken soups like peppersoup, tomato stew and Bassa-style palm nut soup. Also called erimado (Yoruba), munguella (Angola), akpi/akpe (Ivory Coast)
C: Aridan – an oily, woody and aromatic medicinal called plant Quatré Coté or four corner in Cameroon because it has 4 sides, Prekese in the Twi language of Ghana, oshosho, ubukirihu, Efik calls it edeminang, Ibibio calls it Uyayak, Hausa calls it dawo. Research shows that this spice is effective for preventing high blood pressure and treating diabetes.
D: Negro pepper – a black aromatic pod also known as selim pepper, uda, Sénégal pepper, kimba pepper, Mohrenpfeffer, kili pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Kanipfeffer, African pepper, kieng, Selimskörner, moor pepper, Guinea pepper, Negerpfeffer, kani pepper, Senegalpfeffer, Chimba, Eeru alamo, Hwentia pepper. Negro pepper has been revealed to contains anti-oxidizing, calmative, laxative and antimicrobial properties.
I guess these may be called differently in your region. Let me know how you call these spices in the comment area below.
What I love most about this pepper soup recipe is the fact that it is easy to cook. I threw in all ingredients in a pot and just slow-cooked it for about 2 hours and was about it. It is low in carbohydrates, making it a healthy meal for anyone on a low-carb diet like ketogenic diet. Just make sure to cut off visible fats or use lean cuts of beef. I didn’t add any oil during the cooking process because most meats already have some fats.
Now let’s get cooking.
- 500g goat meat
- 500g towel (shaki)
- 250g cow skin (ponmo/kanda)
- 2 tbsp. Njangsang
- 4 African nutmeg (ehuru/pebe)
- 1 thumb-length Aridan (dawo/prekese)
- 5 pods negro pepe
- 10 garlic cloves,peeled
- 1 thumb-length ginger
- 1 tbsp. white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander (optional)
- 1/4 tsp marjoram (optional)
- 6 basil (Effirin) leaves
- 2 onions
- 2 - 4 habanero peppers
- 1 red and green bell pepper (optional)
- Bouilon cubes and salt to taste
- 2 litres water (or more), to cook
- Wash and clean meats thoroughly. Cut into bite sizes.
- Blend all ingredients well and add to the meats.
- Season with salt and bouillon cubes. Add water to cover the meats and slow cook untill meat is ready, adding water when necessary.
- Enjoy on its own, or white some yam, plantain or rice.