All Nigerian Foods

African Salad

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.
dried abacha

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.

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


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.

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

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

African salad recipe

African Salad Recipe | Abacha Igbo Foods

Chy Anegbu
African salad (abacha) is a popular delicacy in Igboland, Nigeria.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 4 People
Calories 228 kcal


  • Pots


  • 8 cups Dried Abacha
  • 2 ehu seeds calabash nutmeg
  • 2 cups Ugba Ukpaka
  • 1/2 cup crayfish
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • 100 ml of palm oil
  • 1 tsp Powdered potash
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 5 garden eggs
  • Utazi leaves
  • Garden egg leaves
  • Meat/dry fish or stockfish. optional


  • Blend your crayfish and also dissolve your potash in half a cup of water.
  • Slice the onions, garden egg leaves. and Utazi leaves. Set aside, they will be used as the topping.
  • Soak the dried Abacha in boiled water, allow three minutes and drain the water.
  • Transfer into a sieve to allow water drain further.
  • Heat the ugba in a small pot with 3 tbsp water (30ml) and allow to heat for 4 minutes
  • Filter the dissolved potash into a mortar or pot leaving out the residue.
  • Add 150 ml of palm oil to it and stir until it forms a thick-yellowish paste
  • Stir properly before adding the crayfish and pepper, followed by the ground ehu.
  • Add the Ugba and a seasoning cube. Stir all together and taste for salt.
  • Now you can add the abacha
  • Serve with fried meat or fish. Then the leaves and a few slices of onions.


Keyword abacha, African salad, Igbo Cooking, Igbo Foods

Video on Making African Salad

Below is the video guide on making Abacha (African salads), it includes a detailed guide as well as all the ingredients used in the process.

Other Nigerian Delicious Foods

These two foods share certain resemblance African Breadfruit – Ukwa

There is another delicious igbo recipe that I don’t like to miss when I am in the village; it’s boiled white Yam with Palm Oil Sauce.

The sauce is made with palm oil, ugba/upkaka, pepper, salt and ogiri (which is optional).

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Chy Anegbu

African salad is definitely my number one Nigerian evening dessert

November 13, 2012
Esther Nwankwo

Is there any other thing one can use to substitute the potash, because the last time I used it it purge me.

June 22, 2020
Chy Anegbu

There is another native ash, ngu. Is it possible that you used too much? half a teaspoon is enough.

June 23, 2020

You can use baking soda or bicarbonate soda as an alternative and gives the result. I don’t like potash.

December 7, 2020

I love this Nigerian recipe. I would love to learn about other desserts

July 4, 2013

Hello dear, thanks for setting up this wonderful recipe. I love all Nigerian foods and would really love to be able to make foods for my family. I was brought up in the UK but ended up being married to a Nigerian man. Thanks for this wonderful articles and ebooks, I love the “50 Delicious Nigerian Recipes”. I have been able to make different Nigerian food, I made fried rice last night but have not tried this particular recipe (african salad) because I can’t find the ingredients here in the UK. Thanks for the Great work.

July 4, 2013

I have been making Nigerian foods for a very long time but I haven’t quite thought of foods for other Nigerian tribes. I am from cross river and I am surprised that you can make most of the cross river foods even when you are from Igbo. I think I will also learn to make igbo foods, It would be nice to start with African salad. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and videos too. I am blessing by name

July 9, 2013

I like to take this with palm wine, that is the way we do it where I come from. I am a typical igbo man. My mum makes the best abacha in the whole world. You are also great, Judging from your video. Infact you just got me hungry. Please I will like to know the recipe for nkwobi.

July 14, 2013
nelly may

Dear Chy,

I definitely enjoy African salad as my best dish but the problem i have is the claim that the edible potash used in its preparation causes kidney problem,i do not know how true that is but it has definitely affected the intake of my favorite dish.
Is this claim factual?Is there any other way out of it?
Please help!!

November 14, 2013
The Nigerian Kitchen

Hello Nelly, thanks for your comment, I have not heard anything about edible potash causing kidney troubles. However you need only a tiny piece when preparing African Salad and it would be definitely alright if you consume only a small amount in a whole week. Even penicillin causes problems when taken in large quantity at a particular time :wink:. thanks

November 15, 2013

whoa it look so delicious i will like to learn more how to prepare abacha because my is not like this pls.

December 28, 2013

There is this Igbo food call Okpa is like moi moi but is not. I would like to kown d recipe for dat food. I apprecaite dis site. Keep d gud work. Our culture most not fade away.

February 7, 2014
Chy Anegbu

Patty, thanks for the comment, I will send you the article on how to make okpa.

February 12, 2014
Godswill Onyebest

I will like to learn how to prepare this

April 5, 2020

African salad is good i try to prepard and it comes out very yumm.

April 12, 2014

My hubby don’t like eatin abacha but after doing it step by step it came out delicious am so grateful kip on d gud work

May 6, 2014

I hope to try this out. It’s good to know we have somewhere reliable to get most of these Nigerian food recipe. It’s a job well done

July 22, 2014

potash is not good for consumption due to the particles in it dat is harmful to human health. U can use roasted palmfrond leave which is the main solution for making “ngòò or soup for abbacha. I LIKE DIS SITE FOR REAL. I HAVE TRIED COOKING LOTS OF FOOD THROUGH DIS SITE. KUDOS TO ALL IN D HOUSE!!!

September 11, 2014
Chy Anegbu

Thanks for your tips Meme, there are just so much we eat in this world that can cause harm to our body, however, if you eat them occasionally and in small quantity, the body can deal with that much, thanks for your comment.

September 13, 2014

Pls, I need the recipe for okpa. Thanks, keep up the good work

September 17, 2014

I love this site,pls kip d gud work up.My cooking has changed so much
Pls I would love to hav d Okpa recipe too.

October 7, 2014

WOW!!! from now on my way of preparing salad will now take a different shape. i love this site.
please keep sending me more recipes on how to prepare other food or soup.
i will love to also take part in the cooking competition.


October 22, 2014

Wow…Keep up the good work sis! More recipes pls…esp Okpa…thanks!

January 5, 2015

I did not see where youb added “Ogili Igbo” did u forget? because Abacha cannot be complete without ogili igbo!

This site is quite educative…Keep it Up.

January 9, 2015
Chy Anegbu

I did add ogili, see the video. However, it is not compulsory.

January 10, 2015

we the Enugu state call it abachugba. I Luv it

June 1, 2015

Keep up the good work.. But what happened to the Ehuru… I didn’t see you add it?

August 16, 2015
Chy Anegbu

The ground ehuru is added the same time as ground crayfish, half teaspoon is enough.

August 17, 2015

i love this site,, from now on my shape of preparing my salad will change

August 31, 2015

I’ am grateful for I can now proudly prepare my Abacha without asking too much questions. Thanks and God bless for your info.

September 2, 2015

A great job was done there. Funny enough my hubby favourite dish, I thougt it was difficult to make. This evening it MUST be prepared.
Thanks a lot.

October 17, 2015

Please is it the potash water that you would add to the oil or the potash residue..really need to know cos I tried putting the water to the oil and it was

February 1, 2016
Ogbonna Michael

May God bless this site. I am from University of Nigeria Nsukka, I was given assignment on how to prepare abacha, guese where I got my four page answere?

February 17, 2016

God bless u dear, ur site hve really helped alot of us. God wil reveal more recipes to u.

September 24, 2016
Chy Anegbu

Amen, Thanks for your feedback.

September 24, 2016

Wow, your work is incredible and lovely. Can’t say how grateful I am you you, am glad I bombed into this site today and I just subscribe to it. I would love to learn more. Thanks

January 22, 2017

am happy for this website God bless u all

March 14, 2017

Is there a way to prepare abacha without “ncha”. For example, frying the oil?

December 16, 2017
Chy Anegbu

Yeah, that is done too.

December 20, 2017
Queen Success

I want to follow u

February 1, 2018

I really appreciate dis site, just yesterday my husband asked me if I know how to make African salad, of course I told him no, because I couldn’t, but with this,am gonna make it for him, am sure it’s gonna surprise him. Thank you so so much.

April 20, 2018

Please what is this ehuru

February 14, 2019
Chy Anegbu

Calabash nutmeg, you can look it up using the search engine.

February 19, 2019

Can a pregnant woman eat abacha prepared with potach/kaun/akanwa

March 28, 2019

5 stars
Yes I guess but it depends if ur body system will accept it! I mean now you’re pregnant . but try it out and see. Thank you.. Hope this helps?

November 15, 2020

how did abacha contributed to the economic development of Enugu

March 28, 2019
Uba blessing

5 stars
I really love this, i have been seeing this but i do ignore it thinking it’s not important. my dear you really tried, i really appreciate alot for this thanks

January 21, 2020

5 stars
Thanks very much

July 29, 2020

Pls Anty Chy i want to prepare Abacha na Akidi (Black Beans) and also okpa. I want to make it today wan am back from church pls. Thank you

April 25, 2021

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