Local Foods in Ugep, Ekori, Nko, Mkpani, Idomi, Agoi, Nyima, Assiga and Yakurr


By Ekubi Bassey™
1st July,2023.

The Yakurr people of Cross River State are mainly agrarian in nature. All year round they grow variety of crops enabling them to have different foods season by season. The following are just a few mouth- watering dishes for the young and old. Let’s xray the following:

1) The Cocoyam porridge: Called Ekpang by the Efiks and Ottoh by the Yakurrs is one of our richest nutritional dishes. Consisting of crated water yam or cocoyam wrapped with the cocoyam leaves with periwinkles ,crayfish, meat and other spices to taste and rich quantity of palm oil.

This is one local meal that has gained international credence via the Calabar kitchen. Hygienically served during special occasions.

2) The Fern soup: Ikpaladi is one our soups especially to those living near the swamps where the ferns are common. Either cooked with goat meat as white soup or with the reddish oil with fresh fish or other ingredients.

The taste of these rich delicious leaves is soothing and highly medicinal. It has served generations for centuries.

3) The Three leaves yam: The Yakurr people call it “Ledem“.It requires hours of constant heating on the fire to it to get done properly. At cooling the coverings are easily peeled off even with mere fingers. Usually boiled overnight to be consumed the following morning. The mashed pepper, ogbono, palm oil and other ingredients are used to eat this special yam with mostly yellow colour.

4) Zea Maize: ‘Esama’ is one of the annual crops planted in our vast farms. Used fresh and dry to compliment our meals. Esama is either roasted, boiled with fried vegetables to go with. Used for pop corn, pap and corn porridges. It is common from May to July during the wet season.

5) The salad sauce: Yedem blong earlier discussed vividly in the other series is a gathering meal served in meetings and during leisure. It goes well with palm wine and skin meat or dry fish. It is a health booster just like the pepper soup. It is also served to visitors who have discovered the efficacy of the salad leaves called Afang by the Efiks.

6) The Cassava fried cakes: The people call it Akara Kebaejen is our breakfast meals especially during market days. Eaten to await the lunch of either Fern leaves soup, Afang soup, Okra soup, Editang, bitter leaves soup and of course the Edikang Ikon soup.

These foods are now common place in big cities like Calabar, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Uyo, Abakalike, Abuja and the rest.

Yakurr to the world!!

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