Nigerian Nkwobi

How to Make nkwobi, one of the Nigerian’s most popular evening meals.

Over the years I have received countless questions from members of the Nigerian Kitchen who require tips for making Nkwobi.


In case you know nothing about the Nigerian kitchen project, here is a link to my subscription page, become a member of the kitchen, scroll down to find the Newsletter op-in-form

This evening meal has been around for a very long time, initially, it was made with just bush meat (edible wild animals).

The likes of squirrel, grass cutter, rabbit and even antelopes could be used to make nkwobi. Along the line, however, people starting experimenting with domestic animals and even poultry birds.

If you are among the folk that are asking “what is nkwobi?” here is a simple definition;

It is Igbo delicacy that is made with different kinds of meats, in a little while you will read all the processes involved in making it and why it is very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria.

You will also learn about all the ingredients used in making it and different kinds of meats that could also be used.

I remember vividly the first time I had a plate of Nigerian nkwobi, it was very delicious and very pepperish.

Although you can use pepper to your taste. The last recipe I ate was made with chicken, but as I said initially, your choice of meat can vary but the methods remain the same.

Here are the ingredients that are used in making Nigerian nkwobi (for five to ten persons.)

Ingredients For Nkwobi

1 kg Meat (chicken, wild meat, goat, cow foot, assorted meat)
2 cubes of knorr
10 leaves of utazi
Edible potash (one teaspoon)
Palm oil 200ml
Ugba – 1 cup
6 Peppers (Scotch bonnet)
Onions – 2 slice
3 seeds of ehu (calabash nutmeg)
Salt to taste


In this recipe, I will be using cow foot as you can see below.
Cow foot nkwobi

The first step is parboiling the meat with some ingredients; onions, 2 cubes of stock cubes and salt will be enough.

Then allow cooking for another fifty to sixty minutes until the meat is completely soft.

This is necessary because nkwobi, as well as Nigerian pepper soup, is basically made with very soft meats, just so it is not hard to chew.

This is what you get.
Nkwobi Ingredients

Most preparation processes take place in a small mortar, (an African carved hollow wood), but you can use a pot if you are not in Nigeria.

This is just how it has been, some the Nigerian food customs have been around for years and we probably haven’t found a credible reason why they should be revoked.

Slice the onions and utazi, then set aside on a plate, some people choose to add these two during the preparation process while others use them for decoration purposes.

One way or another, Utazi and onions should be part of the ingredients used in preparing Nigerian Nkwobi.

You can boil the ugba in a small amount of water for about 2 to 3 minutes, this technique helps eliminate the fermenting bacterias.

Note that this ingredient is processed with the help of a harmless bacteria. This is just to be on the safe side even though most Nigerians eat ugba without heating it.

Cook the meat until it is almost dry, check to see the level of water. This is necessary so you don’t end up with another kind of pepper soup.

Stir the cooking meat in the pot to be sure that it doesn’t burn. Did I say that it is also necessary to cut the meat in small sizes?

How To Make Nkwobi

Dissolve the potash in about 250ml (one cup) of water and filter about half a cup into the pot, you will learn a little bit about this from the video below.

You will know exactly how this is done, although most Nigerians are familiar with this technique.

Add about half a cup of palm oil into the pot, stir to obtain a thick yellow paste (ncha) and you are just a few steps away from having a very delicious nkwobi.

Once you have the “ncha” add the ugba, a pinch of salt, a stock cube and [utazi leaves, ehu, and peppers] (all pounded together).

Also, add two spoons of ground crayfish, then stir very well before adding the meat.



Stir together and add the meat.

Note: If the meat is too hot, it would dissolve the “ncha” and turn it redish> allow the meat to cool for 20-30 minutes before using.

The utazi is very necessary because it adds a faint bitter taste which is an integral part of nkwobi. You pound some and you slice some.

Stir and serve. This is what you get.
delicious Nkwobi

Most times I serve nkwobi and boiled white yam, that’s just why you have the extra sauce. Alternatively, it is served in this wooden thingy as an evening snack.


Nkwobi Recipe

Nkwobi Recipe - Igbo foods

Chef Chidi
Nkwobi is a popular side dish in Igboland. Usually, It is served with palm wine in popular bars. Sometimes, we pair with yam and serve as dinner in our home.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Igbo Cuisine, Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 6 People
Calories 620 kcal


  • Pressure cooker


  • 1 kg Meat cow foot
  • 2 cubes of knorr
  • 10 leaves of utazi
  • 1 tsp Edible potash
  • 200 ml Palm oil
  • 1 cup Ugba
  • 6 Peppers Scotch bonnet
  • 2 slice Onions
  • 3 seeds of ehu calabash nutmeg
  • Salt to taste


  • Season the meat with onions, two seasoning cubes and a teaspoon of salt. cook for 45 minutes. 15 minutes if you are using a pressure cooker.
  • You just want the meat soft and easy to chew. The meat stock should be small and thick.
  • boil the ugba for just 3 minutes with small water to eliminate fermenting bacterias.
  • Disolve the potash in one cup of water and filter into a pot.
  • Add the palm oil to the pot and stir very well, it should thicken and become yellow.
  • To the same pot, add ground crayfish, Ugba, pepper and salt to taste.
  • Add a seasoning cube, [utazi leaves, ehu, and peppers] (all pounded together)
  • Stir together and add the meat.
  • Stir and serve.
  • Note: Some of the utazi should be pounded while the rest should be sliced. You add the pounded one during the preparation process and used the sliced one for decoration.
Keyword Igbo Foods, Nkwobi Recipe

Above is the video for making nkwobi, I used pre-cooked meat and didn’t use ugba for this video.

Compare Nkwobi & other Desserts


5 stars
You just made work sooo easy for me. Am forever grateful.. remain blessed.

December 17, 2023

I appreciate you sharing dis recipe….I just want to ask if it will be returned to pot fr warming aft completing d morter process….basically, is it going to be warmed?

October 11, 2022
Chef Chidi

It should be warm… and you can’t reheat it, the ‘ncha’ will turn back to plain red oil when heated.

October 12, 2022

Wow! I’m super glad to see this well detailed nkwobi recipe. Thanks ma’am

July 3, 2022

5 stars
I love nkwobi and j hope my classmates and teachers enjoy too
Tanxs for d recipes it is easy to understand

February 17, 2021

5 stars
Thank you for the explanation, was also concerned about the alternative for potash would definitely use the baking soda for health reasons. Thanks again

January 10, 2021

What about stock fish nkwobi?

May 25, 2020

5 stars
Anytime I quest for nkwobi so badly from my hubby the next question he will ask is .hmmmmm are you pregnant? Cos that’s always my usual anytime I take in. I will definitely try this out and if it works and I get the taste? Hmmmmm nkwobi will get tired of me . thanks so much.

February 9, 2020

Yes, the alternative to potash is baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) it is a perfect and healthier alternative. That is what I use for any recipe that requires potash

January 30, 2020

Good one but is there any alternative for potash?

August 15, 2019
Chidi Anegbu

Not yet.

August 16, 2019

Nice and delicious

March 29, 2019
Uzowuru emelda

Amazing kudos to Nigerian food

March 6, 2019
Famimi doris

Thanx a lot.u r doing a great Job,God bless you.the measure u give shall be given bk to you in 100folds

September 19, 2018

I love ma. thnk u nd God bless you

August 24, 2017

Thanks alot, I’ll try it this Christmas.

December 21, 2016
faith Rufus Izih

Great naija food

November 18, 2016


July 28, 2016

This is great my husband use to eat nkwobi when we were in Lagos in some buka but sure I’m gonna try this out this easter. Thanks

March 25, 2016
blessing Ehims

Thanks for the great work. Keep it up.
I will definitely try it.

January 21, 2016

Thanks for dis recipe i have been missing dis nkwobi since i got married. Am really happy for dis.

August 3, 2015

Great,I cant wait to try mine.Thanks a lot chy

May 26, 2015

wonderful post,great meal thanks a lot!

May 2, 2015
lajide biodun

I wil try it on my own. So as to hav my own taste of nkwobi

December 23, 2014

I want tp give try to dis wonderful nkowbi I like it so much bt don’t knw hw to prepare it bt I’m happy I can learn it through all nigeria food

March 24, 2014

Nice work keep it up. I also use ehuru and little uziza seeds (grinded) to give it that special flavour.

February 12, 2014

wow! finally, I found dis. my husband usually says d way to his heart is not food but preparing different meat recipes. I will give dis a try and I’m sure He will b very pleased. No more gardens and ugba joint! thanks for dis recipe.

January 14, 2014

thanks for d tips…pls is ugba d same as ehu.

January 13, 2014
The Nigerian Kitchen

Nope, they are two different Nigerian food ingredients. However, the two are used for making Nkwobi

January 13, 2014

this is awesome! am a yoruba woman and av been thinking of how to make different delicacies for my family. thanks a lot for this nkwobi recipe.

January 4, 2014
Essor U.M

This is a great relief am gonna try it out dis xmas. Have been looking for special treat for my family excluding rice wow dis is d bomb!!!!

December 21, 2013

Am new here.but sure will try all the recipes. Also want to find out if you export yam powder outside Nigeria to other countries?

November 20, 2013

Wow!! Dis is amazing!!! Cant wait, am trying it out dis weekend. Think i’ll use cow tail.

October 24, 2013

Infact am excited to learn this here. Honestly it has been given me concern cos I have been longing to prepare nkwobi for my husband but don’t know how to start it. Thanks a lot.

September 27, 2013

Tanx so much for this recipe, i must say that i enjoyed reading n watching ur various nigerian recipes. thumbs up 2 u.

September 25, 2013

& also ehu, for a better taste 4 nkwobi

September 17, 2013

Hi there, u can also use kpomo but not the slim one. Make it very soft so that u can enjoy the nkwobi.

September 4, 2013

I know how to make nkwobi with isiewu, as a matter of fact, that is the best recipe in igbo land. You can also add the intestines and liver while making it – it is super delicious.

August 2, 2013
nwaneri amara chinelo

Nice one, I kinda like all the recipes that you have here. Keep up the work

July 30, 2013

Yes! Cow leg! I have eaten a lot of nkwobi that was made with cow legs as well as that of chicken. You can use any meat at all and it would taste nice if you really know what you are doing

July 26, 2013
The Nigerian Kitchen

Thanks for clearing out that Mary, you are right. The first nkwobi that I ate was made with goat meat, I have also tried one with chicken as well as the one with cow leg. Nkwobi with cow leg is actually the most popular recipe in Nigeria.

July 23, 2013

Thanks for this recipe. I am also new to making Nigerian foods, I have been following your site and weekly email for a couple of weeks. I am an American woman that is married to an Igbo Man, he has stayed in America for 16 years but still very fund of Igbo foods. I have learned to make a lot of them from your site, can I try this nkwobi? I don’t know If I will find the ingredients here in the States, maybe I should just stick to jollof rice and tomato stew. Thanks

July 18, 2013
Nky ezenwa

Give d nkwobi a trial.Its delicious

August 15, 2019

I think you can use any meat for nkwobi, although bush meats are the best, but now virtually all kinds of meat could be used

July 18, 2013

Thanks for the recipe, I just want to know if I can use turkey for nkwobi

July 18, 2013

This is one of my favorite igbo recipe, I like Nkwobi when it is well made. I know a man at Isolo Lagos that specialize in making this igbo delicacy. You can pay him a visit

July 18, 2013

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating