Nsala Soup

Nsala soup (white soup) is one of the most delicious of all Nigerian soups, this year alone I have made and eaten more of it than any other.

Ofe nsala, as we call it, is a delicacy in Igboland.

I enjoy lots of the foods in Nigeria but there are quite some of them that kinda tastes better and more delicious to me. 😀

Melon soup (ofe egusi) for instance is like the number one for me.

The reason is that… sometimes we like to eat a combination of two or more different soups in our home and egusi blends perfectly with most of the soups in Nigeria, sometimes I even blend with nsala soup (also called white soup).

The image below is a combination of both white soup and eba

Nsala Soup

It is the only soup in Nigeria that is made without palm oil… just like pepper soup and ewedu soup, the use of palm oil is not necessary.

You can use plain beef or assorted meat for this soup. I used chicken

It is very popular in the south and eastern part of Nigeria, the efiks and Igbos are the top makers and consumers of this delicious soup.

So if you are dating or married to a man from the south or eastern part of Nigeria, you can try giving him a meal of pounded yam and ofe nsala tonight.

Below are the ingredients for nsala, the ingredients below would serve about five persons for three consecutive times.

Soups in Nigeria can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, most times it is better to make lots of soups and then refrigerate the remainder.

White Soup Ingredients

Serving 12

Preparation time: 80 minutes

Yam (six to eight slices…baby fist size)
Ground crayfish (1 cup)
3 seasoning cubes
1 teaspoon Uziza seeds
1 cup sliced uziza leaves
Dried or smoked fish (two medium sizes)
Snails (Optional)
1.3KG / 3lb Chicken
Small dawadawa
handful sliced utazi leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Here are some of the ingredients used for this soup.

white soup ingredients

You might wanna start by peeling and boiling the yam, this should be pounded with a mortar and pestle.

Pounded yam serves as the thickener for nsala soup

Combine the crayfish, uziza seeds, dawadawa, and grind to a powder.
Wash and slice the leaves.

Nsala soup ingredients

You can wash snails with lemon/line juice to remove the slimy fluid, although, you would be amazed to learn that there are people in Nigeria that cooks snails with the slimy fluids, sometimes without even removing the shell.

I am talking about a delicious Ijaw Recipe – Keke Fieye

Parboil the chicken with all the necessary ingredients, season with 2 stock/seasoning cubes, a teaspoon of salt, half a cup of sliced onions, and half a teaspoon of ginger/garlic.

You can see the video below.

I made this soup with chicken, alternatively, you could use a combination of different parts of cow meat – assorted meat.

Parboil the meat for about 7 minutes… until it is soft enough for consumption then you can go ahead and add the hot-water-washed dry fish. This could be added earlier if you are using a strong dry fish like mangala.

Add about 3 cups of cold or boiled water.

cooking white soup

The amount of water for nsala soup depends on the ingredients/thickener available and the number of people that you are making the soup for.

Boil the combination for another 7-10 minutes until they are both soft for consumption then go ahead and add the ground crayfish/uziza seed/dawadawa combination, and ground red pepper (pls taste before adding red pepper, the uziza seeds are also very pepperish).

Your pot should be looking like this.
Making nsala soup

Taste your soup at this time and add a seasoning cube and salt to improve the taste if it doesn’t taste nice yet.

Add the pounded yam.

It should look like this.

Ofe nsala

You can add half and watch the soup for the next five minutes if it is not thick enough you can add a little more; I just don’t like the soup to be very thick. I like a very light nsala soup, it tastes better that way.

Once your white soup is thick enough and the pounded yams are well dissolved.

You can now go ahead and add the sliced uziza and utazi leaves. The utazi should be used sparingly for white soup; the reason is just to add a faint bitter taste.


Allow for the next few minutes and you can go ahead and serve your delicious ofe nsala with pounded yam, fufu or eba.

it should look like this.

white soup

Video For Nsala Soup (white soup)

Here is a simple video for making the popular white soup, although we are gonna come out with a better video soon. This would give you a clue as to what the soup really looks like.

Compare Nsala Soup & other Soups

I love this soup and Pounded Yam here

How to Make delicious Pot of Okra Soup (ofe Okro)

I would like to see your comment below, do you like this delicious Nigerian soup?.

Nsala Soup Recipe

Nsala Soup Recipe (White Soup) | Igbo People Foods

Chef Chidi
Nsala soup, also know as white soup is a popular soup in Igboland. Igbo is a popular Nigerian ethnic group. This soups is also loved by the Efiks and Ijaws in South-South Nigeria.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Igbo Recipe, Nigerian Cuisines
Servings 12 People
Calories 470 kcal


  • Pots


  • 1 KG Pounded Yam
  • 1 cup crayfish
  • 3 seasoning cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Uziza seeds
  • 1 cup sliced uziza leaves
  • 200 g Dried fish
  • 8 Giant Snails Optional
  • 1.3 KG Chicken
  • Small dawadawa
  • Sliced utazi leaves
  • Salt to taste.
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers


  • Peel and boil some yam, then pound and set aside. You need about 1KG of pounded yam.
  • Combine crayfish, uziza seeds, dawadawa and blend to a powder.
  • Prepare all the other ingredients (slice the leaves, wash the snails using lime or orange juice)
  • Season the chicken with 2 stock/seasoning cubes, teaspoon each of ginger and garlic, teaspoon of salt and allow to boil then add the washed fish.
  • Add about 3 cups of water.
  • Bring to boil, you want the meat and fish soft and easy to chew. Then add the crayfish, uziza seed blend. The pepper should be followed after tasting.
  • You can taste your soup. You can add an extra seasoning cube or more salt to taste
  • Introduce the pounded yam in small portions.
  • Let it dissolve and thicken. Then the leaves should come in.
  • Let it simmer on low heat for few minutes and you are done.


Keyword Anambra Foods, Igbo soups, Nsala soup, Ofe Igbo, White soup



5 stars
Can I make nsala soup if I do not have uziza seed? I live abroad and I have no access to it but I have pepper soup spices. Can I use the pepper soup spice as a replacement for the uziza seeds? I have uziza leaves though.

June 13, 2024
Chef Chidi

Sure you can, but it will taste a little bit different.

June 17, 2024

Can i use stockfish to prepare my nsala
Nd can i grind the yam in a blender?

March 16, 2024
Chef Chidi

Sure, you can do exactly that.

March 22, 2024

5 stars
You need to see my nsala soup after using your recipe,it was delicious 🇳🇬 Thank you 😊

February 25, 2024

5 stars
Ogiri igbo

January 2, 2024

It ogiri igbo i do use not dawadawa
Everyone nd deir difference

April 16, 2024
Marvelous unstopable

Thanks so much for this your lesson I have learned alot from your teaching Goodnigh bless you and please what is dawdawe?

March 2, 2023
Chef Chidi

It’s a local ingredients made from locust bean and abundant in Nigerian local markets

March 3, 2023

Your page has always been my “go to” when I want to explore new meals but the ingredients mentioned for Nsala is a bit confusing (1 teaspoon Uziza seeds
1 cup sliced uziza seeds) am thinking d sliced uziza “seeds” should be sliced uziza “leaves”
2. Can you recommend meals for someone who is anemic
Thank you

October 25, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, Sorry. I just edited that. It should read uziza leaves.

October 25, 2020

Tanks so much for your lessons but, do you think after putting uziza seed, it will be necessary to add the leaf.

September 27, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

I use both the seeds and leaves for nsala soup. The seeds for the aroma, the leaves for the color.
Thanks for your question.

September 29, 2020
mabel edet

5 stars
Can I add stock fish to the nsala ?

August 31, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, Sure.

September 1, 2020

Thanks so much for this recipe
I’ve been wondering what makes white soup to have a kind of brownish color each time I eat in most restaurant
Now I know and if not mistaken, I thought is was dawadawa

August 29, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, thanks for your feedback.
More blessing.

August 31, 2020

5 stars
My mum makes nsala like no other. We are from Anambra. I am trying to suprise her since she keep saying that I can cook like Igbo woman. Thanks for this recipe.Ozioma.

July 7, 2020

5 stars
Thanks for this recipes, you have the best recipe for nsala soup.

July 5, 2020

Hi, thanks for the insight, has been helpful indeed
Can I use powdered cocoyam in place of yam as we don’t have yam where I live

December 18, 2019
Chidi Anegbu

Never tried powdered cocoyam, but it should suffix.

December 23, 2019

Chidi, can I use fresh fish instead of meat?

June 11, 2019
Chidi Anegbu


June 12, 2019
Esther Ade-davids

Pls I want to cook white soup n I can’t pound n there is no light to blend d yam, can I use poundo yam? Expecting ur reply soonest… Thanks

March 28, 2019

Hello, you are really doing a great job here, I refer to your site often. I was going to your nsala soup recipe and I noticed you said its the only soup in Nigeria made without palm oil but that is not correct. One am very sure of is the traditional delicacy of the Idoma people of Benue state, it is called Okoho soup made without palm oil or any vegetable, it was strange to me but I tried it and enjoyed it. Am sure there are other soups like that too

September 10, 2018
Chidi Anegbu

Wow, thanks for your feedback, I would like to try this Okoho soup someday.

September 11, 2018

I can’t wait to try it.

August 24, 2018

Thanks for the wonderful recipe , just want to ask maybe ogiri is needed to be added to this soup; I’m a Yoruba by tribe and just learning.

June 8, 2018
Chef Chidi

I don’t usually add Ogiri to nsala, but you can try it.

June 11, 2018

tanx so much……really my husband will be so happy to taste it.

May 12, 2018
abigail anya

Wow!! I tried this nsala recipe and it came out yummy.What a great way to end the day.

April 14, 2018
flexzy (eddy boy)

am flexzy, am a yong man who love to be friendly in my kitchen to great good meals and fresh drinks. i lov your site to see yr wanderful perfomance from yu kitchen.

March 26, 2018

I just tried Nsala soup for the first time on Saturday after going through your recipe and it came out just like the picture you have here. Thanks alot for helping me acquire this new skill.

February 12, 2018
Dillishnelly esther

I have not tasted it before but im happy for getting dis knoweldge in case i get married to a man dat loves nsala soup thanks dear

January 21, 2018

Thanks for this recipe, I just finished cooking it for my husband and he’s busy leaking his hand instead of saying thank you.

March 25, 2017
Chidi Anegbu

Lol, kudos to you my dear.

March 28, 2017

Hi, hmmm tnx even though am a Hausa woman i really enjoy your recipes and it has added to my menu thus i now have more
for my family. Thanks.

January 26, 2017
Happiness chinwe

I love nsala soup. Thanks for the recipe. How can I get ur cookbook and how much pls.

December 30, 2016

I have been looking for this and I can’t wait to cook it for my husband. Thanks so much

November 21, 2016

Pre, point of correction, Nsala soup is igbo soup and not calabar soup. It’s own by the igbo people and not Calabar people.

October 11, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Oh, noted. There are several verieties of nsala soup. The calabar version however, is the most popular.

October 11, 2016

Please what is this Uziza leaves in Yoruba or the popular English name

October 6, 2016

Gosh! How on earth did I Land on this site? God will surely bless you Chidi. I’ve always been afraid of the kitchen for fear of not knowing what to cook, but now, I can’t wait to test every single recipe of yours

July 26, 2016
mrs Atiko

Very good site, welldone

July 1, 2016

Hmmm, nawa ooo What a great woman u are! may God bless u ma and a weldone job to u.

June 19, 2016

Weldon Ma, please I will like to try out your recipe but scared of adding uziza seed, heard its capable of aborting a child, cos iam pregnant and so want to eat this soup.

June 8, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Uziza is a major part of nsala soup. I think you should wait until you deliver.
There are just too many soup that would be great for your condition.

June 13, 2016

Keep up the good work. Please can I use cocoyam instead of yam

May 31, 2016
Bridget Viashimah

Thanks for the great work you are doing. Beneficial to me.

May 30, 2016

hmm tank u so much u just taught me how to make ma husbands favourite soup (nsala soup) but is d uziza seed very important or optional?

May 28, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Yes, Uziza is very important, except you want to avoid it for personal reason. But you will not get the same aroma and taste of Nigerian Nsala soup.

May 30, 2016

Can ogiri be used as well?

December 22, 2017
Precious Felix

This is awesome, among all the blogs online u are the only one that got tge real receipe and direction on how to prepare white soup. U are simply the best. Keep it up.

May 13, 2016
Osas Omoh

Sorry but Igbos make the best Nsala soup. The uziza leaf and taxi leaf you used is too much and also the soup is too thick, Nsala is best when it’s a bit runny but in all you thanks for sharing your own tips.

May 4, 2016

This soup is one of my favorites. But I want to ask if one can use cocoyam as the thicker instead of yam. Thanks

April 16, 2016
Attoni Elizabeth

You are doing great, well done and you have increase grace to do more. God bless you.

April 13, 2016

I was taught using a different method but will try this over d weekend . thanks a million.

March 6, 2016
Iweka Ngozi Philomina

This is nice but you didn’t add the 2teaspoons of oziza in the video clip. Weldon sis God bless you for the update.

March 2, 2016

I ate dis soup once in a restaurant bcos we’ve neva prepared it in my home, I enjoyed it, bt neva liked d sight, bt urs looks more attractive n am sure delicious. Am not married yet, but I’ll like to try urs at least before den in my family house. Tnx Chidi n to Nigerian kitchen for dis great opportunity

March 1, 2016

Hi Chi, can corn starch be used as a thickner to help people over seas who can’t easily get yam but are anxious to cook nsala.Please reply.God bless

February 16, 2016
Oluchi A.

Thank you Chidi, I have learn a lot from you and improve in my cooking.
God bless you.

February 16, 2016

Thank you 4 this one too,but can I add little oil to it and also what other thickner can I use bcs my house is a student house and there’s no how I can get pounded yam.waiting for ur reply soon.God bless u ma.

February 12, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

You can make a little adjustment, but your final result may not be the same.

February 12, 2016
chinwendu monalisa

kudos..I am a chef..I come here regularly to upgrade my ideas.. I love Nigerian foods..

February 12, 2016

Waw!!This is really good…am on the run to making my own nsala soup right away but apart from pounded yam wat else can be used as a thickner in this soup bcos I can’t pound any hard food.Plz ur reply will do me a lot of good n its urgent.biko

January 29, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Nsala soup is primarily made with pounded yam. thanks

January 29, 2016

Thank u sis, i enjoyed d lesson now i can cook soup Yipyyy ?

January 11, 2016

you’re too good.tanx for d knowledge

December 30, 2015
Grace Goyit

Googled for white soup and among all d recipes yours was d easiest, I tried it and wow even though I am a northerner it came out soon well, I have never made white soup this good. Thanks a lot

December 18, 2015

Thank you so much Chidi, for these wonderful Nigerian recipes. I am a Creole African American whose fiance is Nigerian. He is going to be so surprise when I present some of these Nigerian dishes to him. You are a good cook. I love to cook myself. So thank you once again for sharing your expertise.

December 17, 2015

Ma,pls can i use catfish to cook this soup,if yes i’ll like to know when it can be added so that the fish does not get over soft.

November 2, 2015
Chidi Anegbu

just ten minutes before youu turn off the heat.

November 5, 2015

Thanx alot,now i know where to fall back to

August 13, 2015

thanks for the good work.

August 12, 2015

wow, i love this soup. can’t wait to have a taste of it

August 10, 2015

Hi, you didn’t mention how you added the egusi,

June 16, 2015

Thanks for this recipe,will definitely try it thiss weekend.keep up the good work.God bless you for us

February 18, 2015

I have made this recipe for my fiance and also on my former lecturer’s birthday. I must confess, they really enjoyed it.

February 12, 2015
Beatrice Yakubu

OMG! i just cant wait to prepare this delicious soup. you need to imagine how i salivate while watching the Video. Thanks a lot dear. i give glory to God and also appreciate your skills. i will keep thanking you.

February 10, 2015

thanks for the recipe, the way you cooked it make me to fall in love with the soup, i will try it.

February 10, 2015

Tnx so much for this…. Will try it out 😉

February 10, 2015

Thanks Dear, this what i made this Morning for today’s dinner. wanted to cross check a recipe for chicken sauce

November 27, 2014

i tried to prepare nsala soup adding uda and ogiri to your ingredient, the taste was not too gud

October 9, 2014

Thnx dear for teach me hw to cook nsala soup thnx again

June 19, 2014

Gud day,tnks 4d white soup recipe. ♍Ɣ huband luvs d soup n av been lookin 4d recipe 4 a̶̲̥̅̊while now,tnks a̶̲̥̅̊ million. But pls,instead of utazi leave what else can be used? Can bitter leaf be used in place since its used 2giv a̶̲̥̅̊ litle bitter taste.

May 31, 2014

So nice! Am si lighted to read this I will try it, but am confused when u mentioned Uziza seed, I thought is leave . Pls clear me. Thanks. U are doing great work (women) in our lives

May 25, 2014

Hello P,

Please I want to try this nsala soup, buh can’t pound yam…lol, can I use poundo yam as substitute?.

Thanks ma

April 17, 2014

Am nt an Igbo girl but I tried dis recipe and it turned out to b great and its actually my first time…u aint a boring cook,love ur work,keep it up plssssssss

March 29, 2014

Nice recipe. Can’t wait to try that tonight. I ve only learnt to make nsala with cat fish and chicken not goat meat. Defintely trying it with goat meat

January 29, 2014
The Nigerian Kitchen

Ok, just don’t forget to tell us how it all turned out @ Chioma

January 30, 2014

Hi Chidi,

I want to thank you really for your wonderful recipes. It helped me greatly this festive period. Made Nsala (white soup) and pounded yam for the first time with the help of your recipe on Christmas day and it turned out perfect. Had my man and friends licking their hands and it did make me feel proud of myself. Hehehe

Appreciate you and would love to learn more recipes as I love cooking.

Thank you.

January 11, 2014
The Nigerian Kitchen

Nope, just make sure the yam is older than six months. Newly harvested yams are not so good for nsala soup. Thanks for your question.

December 2, 2013

please ma where canbi get your recipe book I really need it. your cooking is awesome.

May 11, 2019
Chidi Anegbu

Call us on 08035051468.

May 13, 2019

Pls I want to know,in making ofe nsala(white soup).can a lady use just any type of yam,or is there a specific yam specially used for making ds delicay called nsala.thank u.keep up the good job.

December 2, 2013

This site is the best thing dat happen to me recently, I just keep opening all d different recipes, as for nsala soup is my best soup and I cook it well because very well train delta igbo woman most knw how to prepare nsala well. Thanks for making women a more better cook.

October 9, 2013

Dear, each time I looked at the picture of the nsala soup I salivate so I had to prepare it. it was delicious. Its almost close to what we. call “afia efere ebot “in Akwa Ibom. in afia efere we use yam as thickener and we dont add utazi.Thanks so much.

September 11, 2013

Greetings, I cherish what i see in your website, I have been following your site for the past few days. I discovered you via google search and must say that you are doing pretty great. I want to be able to make great meals for my husband. I have subscribed to your free weekly e-mail though i havent received a confirmation e-mail but I heard it is cool and very informative. I would love to be one of the best cook ever, God helping me. Thanks

August 27, 2013

Hello Peace, how are u doing? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. You are my favorite cook in the world, I have been trying some of your recipes and I just want to know if I can use cocoa yam for nsala soup. I just want to know why most people prefer to use pounded yam when cocoa yam (the normal soup thickener) is easier to get

August 22, 2013
The Nigerian Kitchen

Hello Pre, thanks for your comment

August 19, 2013

OMG! How did you know to make my favorite soup. Nsala is a tupical calabar soup, made best by calabar women and not igbos. Thanks for the recipe and keep the drum rolling because you are the best cook in town

August 18, 2013

Ftom the name, you should know it is igbo soup not calabar.

August 17, 2017

Smh!! ar yu a racist ?Must you start tribalism by soup? both Igbos,calabar and Delta, we all eat ourselves soup

November 6, 2019

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