Nothing beats a well-made Onugbu, Ogbono, Nsala, Ora, in Anambra State. These delicacies are priceless. Like every craft, there are those who are pro and those who are regular, after all, a quote says all men are equal but some are more equal than others. Some Onugbu, Ogbono, and Nsala are more equal than others.
I kniw for a fact that one of the “local’ restaurants in Anambra makes the soup so well that it is “exported” in cooler through GUO early in the morning to Lagos, Abuja, Delta to clients who know that there is bliss in every scoop of that deliciousness.
Anambra food vendors especially the local ones make such amazing soups, with the local spice of Ogiri in large proportion, their magic is better tasted. Surprisingly, 90% of the cooks listed below are residents in suburban areas.
Each of them has the special delicacy they are known for although they cook almost all the major foods. It is that house specialty that would be cooked 2 pots while the others will be cooked one pot each and the two pots will finish before the others.
I have tasted all the foods below and I can tell you, it is the bomb. A plate of food is usually less than N2,000 ($4.87).
Ada Mazi na Amichi
Ada Mazi is a young woman, mid-40s, she is also stylish, peculiar for her leg chains, but her fingers are magic. She has her outlet at Amichi where she attends to over 200 customers daily!!!. At least 5 times a day, an Anids cab comes from Onitsha or Awka to buy food and go back to Awka.
She makes quite a chunk of money from that food business from Amichi, rural place in Anambra State. Quality at its peak. Her house specialty is Okazi. Her Okazi soup is moderately peppery, with bottom mama’s pot taste, garnished with the right amount of fish and gallops. For each scoop of soup, you don’t want it to leave your tongue.
It is said that Ada Mazi does not cook her food herself. There are women in their late 60s, about 5 of them who join her in the kitchen daily and leave once the food is ready. Rumor has it that they are the architects of her magic.
Osiri Ora na Ora Ukwu
Osiri ora is his business name which he adopted as a title. Almost all men in their mid-50s in Anambra know Osiri ora. He became a household name over 30 years ago. Osiri ora sends coolers of food from Ora Ukwu through GUO first bus to Lagos. It is not a myth. His food is highly sought after. His specialty is difficult to pinpoint. His menu has Ora, Onugbu, Ogbono and Nsala among others
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As someone who has eaten all from Onugbu, Ogbono and Nsala. It is hard to pinpoint which he is best at.
Osiri ora is late now, the business is currently run by his children who have followed in the same line but the business angle is not as rock-solid as it was when Osiri ora himself was running it.
This is not because the food doesn’t taste as good, it is just a psychological deterrent when a food business owner dies and the audience feels they cannot trust the succeeding hands.
Ekwi Nteje, Nteje
Ekwi’s outlet is in Nteje, Oyi LGA, Anambra State. He is known for one particular recipe. He is the typical jack of none, master of one. If you arrive in Anambra and you ask anyone who is versatile. Where can I eat quality Nsala soup? Ekwi Nteje is synonymous with Nsala in Anambra.
His recipe cannot be duplicated, how he makes the steaming hot Nsala with the right quantity of mangala, Ogiri, chicken, cow leg, goat meat sometimes, remains a mystery.
His menu always has Onugbu, Ogbono, and Nsala.
Ada Amaenyi, Abba
Ada amenyi na abba is the real Anambra woman. “Real” because Anambra is known for its traditional meal Onugbu. She is for real. Ada Amenyi lives in Abba, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s hometown. I am certain once or twice the renowned author must have had to eat from that delicious pot of goodness dripping onugbu.
She is as renowned as renowned gets. If you are an Anambra man or a visitor who wants his native onugbu as hot and spicy and mama’s pot as possible then Ada Amenyi na Abba is your go-to woman of all times. Her menu always has Onugbu, Ogbono, Nsala Ora among others.
During Christmas, her outlet is responsible for traffic in the town, men who have come back from abroad from all over the state drive down to Ada Amenyi for original onugbu taste. It is worth any stress you take.
Akunnaya Muota na Ogidi
For the love of anything “draw soup” as we call it, Akunnaya is your woman. She makes mouth-watering draw soup that will surely make your mouth water.
She has been in business in Ogidi for over 20 years. Because of its proxy to Onitsha, every afternoon “Umu boy” will come with bikes or keke to buy her delicious soups for their Oga. In the evenings, the Oga’s themselves close shop to come and enjoy her delicacy. She has been accused of taking many husband’s stomachs away from their wives.
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In fact, for peace to reign in the household, some men come, hide to eat at Akunnaya Muota’s outlet.
Asides from these spots, to eat the best Onugbu, Nsala, Ogbono soup in Anambra, there are others that may not be so popular but they know their pot well and they attract a large chunk of clientele from all over the state. They include the following.
Bejoy na Ichida: Her onugbu is also mouthwatering;
Ofiaku fast food in Awka: They make nice soups generally;
Stannel Awka: Stanel makes very tasty oha soup;
Madam 12 na Onitsha: Her specialty is Rice and Ofe Akwu. Her Stew Akwu is unrivalled anywhere.
Iya Bose Nnewi: This lady in Nnewi is a Yoruba woman married to an Nnewi man. Her outlet is around St. Mary’s Cathedral, Uruagu. She makes very very nice Jollof rice, Rice and stew and, of course, tasty soups.
The list of worthy local cooks in Anambra is not exhaustive. If you know any other than these 10, feel free to comment. I will go there, try out their house specialty and write about it.
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