African salad is a delicious Nigerian meal 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 Recipe, I don’t visit this part of the country and come back without having a taste of this Nigerian delicacy.

Abacha – as the Igbos love to call it –  is one of the most popular evening desserts in the eastern villages, 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.

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 whole process involved.

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 or more. The last thing to do would be to wash thoroughly with clean water then sun-dry and store in an airtight seal. Dried cassava chips can last more than a year if stored in an air tight dry environment.

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

Here are all the ingredients that are needed for preparing Abacha (African salad) whether you are within or outside Nigeria. Some of them are extremely required while few of them are optional

Ingredients for African Salads

6 to 8 cups of Abacha (African Salad) {image below}
Ehu 3 seeds (optional)
1 to 2 cups Of Ugba (Ukpaka)
half cup of crayfish
1 to 2 cubes of maggi or knorr
About 10cl 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) (image in the tray 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 there is none of that in the image below.

Here is how to prepare African salad.

African Salads in Nigeria

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 because the former give you the advantage of heating at the beginning for few minutes without being 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 5 cl of clean water; this is a trick I employ just to easily filter out unwanted solid materials that is often embedded in potash.

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), This is the first part to making Abacha (African Salad), 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 present 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 few second before you use so it doesn’t get cold, as 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 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.

Taste the combination in the mortar or pot, if it is as tasty as you desire, you may also want to turn on the cooker and heat for few minutes if it is not as warm as you desire.

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

Video on Making African Salads

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 Salad And 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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  1. Chy Anegbu  November 13, 2012

    African salad is definitely my number one Nigerian evening dessert

  2. ann  July 4, 2013

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

  3. Anita  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.

  4. Blessing  July 9, 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

  5. Anita  July 14, 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.

  6. nelly may  November 14, 2013

    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!!

  7. The Nigerian Kitchen  November 15, 2013

    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

  8. jully  December 28, 2013

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

  9. patty  February 7, 2014

    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.

    • Chy Anegbu  February 12, 2014

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

  10. Justina  April 12, 2014

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

  11. isioma  May 6, 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

  12. Ogechi  July 22, 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

  13. meme  September 11, 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!!!

    • Chy Anegbu  September 13, 2014

      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.

  14. Tosin  September 17, 2014

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

  15. Ifeyinwa  October 7, 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.

  16. FAVOUR  October 22, 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.

    I SAY BRAVO!!!

  17. Victoria  January 5, 2015

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

  18. Pretty  January 9, 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.

    • Chy Anegbu  January 10, 2015

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

  19. Purity  June 1, 2015

    we the Enugu state call it abachugba. I Luv it

  20. Marian  August 16, 2015

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

    • Chy Anegbu  August 17, 2015

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

  21. eric  August 31, 2015

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

  22. Hope  September 2, 2015

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

  23. chika  October 17, 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.

  24. auta  February 1, 2016

    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

  25. Ogbonna Michael  February 17, 2016

    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?

  26. Queen  September 24, 2016

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

    • Chy Anegbu  September 24, 2016

      Amen, Thanks for your feedback.

  27. Nnenna  January 22, 2017

    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

  28. Precious  March 14, 2017

    am happy for this website God bless u all

  29. ann  December 16, 2017

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

    • Chy Anegbu  December 20, 2017

      Yeah, that is done too.

  30. Queen Success  February 1, 2018

    I want to follow u


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