Gnetum africanum, commonly known as Eru is a wild plant that is harvested from the forest in Cameroon. A traditional meal to the Bayangi tribe. In Nigeria, it is called Ukazi or Afang. Natives of Cross Rivers State use it to prepare the famous Afang soup.
Afang soup has a striking similarity to Eru but it is more “soupy” and the Eru is ground or pounded prior to preparation.
Another soup that really looks like Eru is the Edika Ikong, also prepared by the Calabar people of Cross Rivers State in Nigeria. It looks almost like Eru.
Being a popular dish through out Cameroon and the world at large, i am yet to come across someone who doesn’t like this delicacy. I’ll show you below how to make the perfect Eru everytime but first let’s look at some Eru don’ts:
-Don’t add water after adding in your Eru. It is a ‘dry soup’ You sure need water to cook your meat/fish but make sure the water is dried before you put in your spinach/waterleaf. The spinach will provide the moisture you need.
-Don’t add onions to Eru. I have seen some recipes including onions and that is just out of place. Original Eru needs no onions.
-Don’t cook Eru without crayfish. My Mom always says, “crayfish is the ingredient of Eru.” No amount of dried fish can replace crayfish in Eru.
-Don’t eat Eru with a spoon or fork, use your fingers (I’m NOT kidding on this one!)
Let’s start cooking:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
6 cups of Eru / Ukazi approximately Eru for 700FCFA
2 bundles of waterleaf about 100FCFA each
2 kilos of meat/fish of choice(beef skin/canda, beef stripes, beef, goat meat, dried/smoked fish, stocked fish, snails, and/or others)
2 cups of crayfish about 100CFA each
3 cups of palm oil (make sure to check on high quality that doesn’t couagulate on getting cold)
1 crayfish seasoning cube (Maggi Crevette)
– Wash your meat and put in the pot to boil. I used beef skin and beef stripes AKA canda and towel.
– While the meat boils, chop your waterleaf and set aside.
– When your meat is half-boiled, season with salt. When it is cooked, add in the waterleaf and start stirring.
– Wash and drain Eru and add to pot. The small liquid from the waterleaf will make the Eru soft so don’t let it boil too dry lastly add crayfish
– Create a gap at the center of the pot then add the palm oil, and some seasoning cubes.
– Tip : Progressively add salt and pepper along the line to suit your personal taste
Stiring well and constantly is very important.
Eru is ready. Serve with Water Fufu (Akpu) or Garri.
ENJOY YOUR MEAL
“Let us know what you want us to cook next in the comment section or if you have another method”