Okoho is the native and traditional soup of the Idoma people of Benue State, Central Nigeria. The soup is made from a plant called Okoho by its native people and also by Igbos and Igalas from the East and Central parts of Nigeria respectively. The Yorubas from the West call it Ajara or Orogbolo and Hausas from the North call it Dafara. This plant is a herbaceous vine with a protruding stem that grows as a wild plant particularly in the North-Central region of Nigeria.
Okoho is peculiar for its extremely slimy, viscous and draw nature as compared to other draw soups in Nigeria such as Ogbono and Okoho soup. It is normally prepared with bush meat (alligator, smoked meat, grass-cutter) and egusi (melon) balls traditionally called abawu, and other ingredients.
The delicacy is traditionally served with pounded yam (Onihi) by the natives although other swallows such as semovita, garri (eba), amala (yam peels), fufu can be eaten with it.
As a guest in Idoma Land, be rest assured that on arrival, every home in the community will serve you this special meal. However, let me hint you on something unique about this soup. You would need to be skillful when eating this soup in order not to drink it all at once from the plate. You also cannot use a fork or spoon for this meal.
It has to be eaten by hand. I know, I know, this is unusual but that is what makes it exceptional. And I know you are now curious about the soup. That is why you should try it.
It is also served at traditional weddings, birthdays, burials, naming ceremonies and other events.
Okoho is said to be very medicinal as it aids digestion. The natives would normally eat Okoho soup when suffering from constipation. So the next time you are want to ease your bowels, try Okoho. You won’t regret it!