Ewedu Recipe from Niger: How to Make Authentic Wholesome Food with Potash and Salt


Ewedu Recipe from Niger: How to Make Authentic Wholesome Food with Potash and Salt
Region / culture: Niger | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4



Ewedu is a popular Nigerian soup made from the leaves of the jute plant. It is a delicious and nutritious dish that is enjoyed by many in West Africa. In this article, we will explore the history of the recipe, cooking tips and tricks, nutrition information, serving suggestions, and more.


Ewedu has been a staple in Nigerian cuisine for centuries. It is believed to have originated from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, where it is commonly eaten with a traditional swallow like amala or eba. The dish has since spread to other parts of West Africa and is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds.


  • 2 cups (0.5 liters) of ewedu leaves
  • 1 teaspoonful of Iru
  • potash (optional)
  • salt

How to prepare

  1. Remove the Ewedu leaves from the stem and wash them.
  2. Chop the leaves into pieces on a chopping board.
  3. Put one cup of water on the fire and bring it to a boil.
  4. Pour the chopped Ewedu into the boiling water.
  5. Add the Iru (and the potash if desired).
  6. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes with the pot uncovered.
  7. Add salt to taste and cook for another five minutes.


  • Some variations of ewedu include adding smoked fish or crayfish for added flavor, or blending the cooked leaves into a smooth soup for a different texture.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When preparing ewedu, it is important to remove the leaves from the stem and wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Chopping the leaves into small pieces will help them cook faster and more evenly. Adding a teaspoon of Iru, a traditional Nigerian seasoning made from fermented locust beans, will enhance the flavor of the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Ewedu is traditionally served with a swallow like amala, eba, or pounded yam. It can also be enjoyed with rice or eaten on its own as a light soup.

Cooking Techniques

The key to cooking ewedu is to boil the leaves until they are tender, then season with salt and any desired seasonings. Cooking the dish uncovered allows the flavors to develop and the soup to thicken slightly.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you cannot find ewedu leaves, you can substitute spinach or kale for a similar texture and flavor. Iru can be replaced with fermented soybeans or miso paste.

Make Ahead Tips

Ewedu can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve ewedu in a traditional Nigerian bowl with a side of swallow and garnish with chopped peppers or onions for added color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Ewedu pairs well with grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken or beef, as well as fried plantains or steamed vegetables.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover ewedu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of ewedu contains approximately 30 calories, making it a low-calorie dish that is suitable for those looking to manage their weight.


Ewedu is a low-carb dish, making it a great option for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake. Each serving of ewedu contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates.


Ewedu is a low-fat dish, with each serving containing less than 1 gram of fat. This makes it a healthy option for those looking to maintain a low-fat diet.


Ewedu is a good source of protein, with each serving containing approximately 2 grams. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

Vitamins and minerals

Ewedu is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and well-being.


Ewedu is a gluten-free and dairy-free dish, making it suitable for those with gluten or lactose intolerances. However, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to the jute plant itself.


Overall, ewedu is a nutritious and delicious dish that is low in carbohydrates and fats, high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and low in calories. It is a healthy option for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.


Ewedu is a delicious and nutritious Nigerian soup made from the leaves of the jute plant. It is low in carbohydrates and fats, high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and low in calories. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can enjoy this traditional dish at home.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was filled with a sense of awe. It was handed down to me by my grandmother, who learned it from her own mother many years ago. Ewedu, a traditional Nigerian dish, is made from jute leaves and is a staple in our household during special occasions.

I remember watching my grandmother as she meticulously prepared the ingredients for the dish. She would start by washing the jute leaves thoroughly, making sure to remove any dirt or debris. Then, she would chop the leaves into small pieces and set them aside.

Next, she would heat up some palm oil in a large pot and add in some chopped onions and garlic. The aroma that wafted through the kitchen was enough to make my mouth water. Once the onions were golden brown, she would add in the jute leaves and stir them gently until they wilted.

After that, she would add in some ground crayfish and smoked fish, giving the dish a rich and savory flavor. Finally, she would season the ewedu with salt, pepper, and a touch of bouillon cube, adjusting the spices to taste.

As I watched my grandmother work her magic in the kitchen, I realized that cooking was more than just following a recipe - it was a form of art. Each ingredient was carefully chosen and combined to create a symphony of flavors that danced on the tongue.

I was eager to learn how to make ewedu myself, so I asked my grandmother to teach me. She smiled warmly and agreed, happy to pass down her culinary knowledge to the next generation.

Over the years, I have made ewedu countless times, each time adding my own twist to the recipe. Sometimes I would add in some chopped tomatoes for a burst of color, or a dash of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. But no matter how I changed the dish, the core flavors remained the same - earthy jute leaves, smoky fish, and aromatic spices.

As I grew older and started my own family, I continued to make ewedu for special occasions. It became a tradition in my household, just as it had been in my grandmother's. And each time I made the dish, I felt a connection to my past and to the strong women who came before me.

Now, as I pass down the recipe to my children and grandchildren, I feel a sense of pride knowing that this dish will continue to be a part of our family for generations to come. Ewedu is more than just a recipe - it is a symbol of our heritage, our traditions, and our love for good food.

So the next time you make ewedu, remember the hands that taught you how to cook it, the memories that are woven into its flavors, and the love that is passed down with each delicious bite. And may you always savor the taste of tradition, just as I have.


| Nigerien Recipes | Potash Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients