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Nigerian Pepper Soup

February 27, 2012 | 38 Comments

nigerian peppersoup

Nigerian Pepper Soup is an incredibly spicy, intensely flavored and aromatic broth like soup made primarily from a blend of native seeds and good amount of water, to which small cuts of a protein of choice is always added. The protein could either be in the form of goat meat, shaki/tripe/towel, cow skin/kpomo, chicken, fish, turkey. The protein component of the soup could also be the innards or offals of an animal or parts of the animal that would normally be discarded. Some of these parts could include intestines, hearts, liver and other such parts.

The choice of protein to use is purely either out of preference or financial instability. If one is relatively ‘boxed up,’ or rich, you could get choice parts of meat, but if finances are scarce and one is on a 0-1-0 or 0-0-1 or 1-0-0 diet, then the cheapest parts would obviously be the innards/offals. *0-1-0 means no breakfast, lunch and no dinner :: 0-0-1 means no breakfast, no lunch and dinner while 1-0-0 means breakfast, no lunch and no dinner. You could make other number variations as well, it’s a Nigerian ‘thing,’ lol.*

Nigerian Peppersoup is eaten year round in Nigeria, despite the hot weather. It is a soup that has the capacity to stop a cold/flu in it’s tracks if done the proper way.  Lots of Nigerians love to eat peppersoup (I’m yet to come across one that doesn’t! Actually, I don’t really care for it unless I’m down with a cold). However, the bone of contention that often stumps those who attempt to make it are the ingredients used in the soup. There’s always the case of ‘if I see it, I’ll know it! I just don’t know what it’s called!) As mentioned in the opening paragraph, native seeds are really what bring the soup to life. These seeds are then ground and added to water (or stock). *see #6 in notes for information on using water or stock)

Nigerian Pepper soup is an intricate soup to make and as such, in order to provide a better explanation without overwhelming one post, I will divide this post into two parts: Part 1 will cover the recipe, while Part 2 will be more in depth on the ingredients needed. So, after reading through the recipe, you are encouraged to read through the ingredients post for a better explanation.

Requested Recipes are a series of posts geared towards recipes YOU’ve requested! Thanks to Latunia, Seyi, Saradoubleu, Lawrence, Bimpe, Divine, Stella, Sherri, Bukky, Sade,  Adelola, Seyi O., Grace, Asa M., and Faith for the request! If you’d like a particular recipe featured, let me know!

Now, on with it! To learn how to make Nigerian Pepper Soup, here’s what you’ll need:

Recipe Cost: $37.15 Prep: 2 hrs 30 mins Cook: 1.5 hrs Difficulty: Intermediate Serves: 1-2

nigerian peppersoup.ingredients

1. Add ulima seeds, uda seeds, calabash nutmegs to a bowl and fill with waternigerian peppersoup.ingredients in water

2. Rinse goat meat and shaki/pomo. Transfer to separate pots

3. Trim excess fat off cow skin/kpomo and pluck out excess hairsnigerian peppersoup.kpomo

4. Add water and slice 2 garlic cloves into pot with shaki and kpomo, boil over medium heatnigerian peppersoup.shaki.kpomo boiling

5. Add water and 2 sliced garlic cloves to goat meat along with crushed red pepper and 2 knorr cubes, boil over medium heatnigerian peppersoup.goat meat boiling

6. Add seeds to blender with 5.5 cups (44 ounces) waternigerian peppersoup.ingredients

7. Blend away!nigerian peppersoup.ingredients

8. Let blend 1-2 minutes, add 4 more cups water (32 ounces) and blend till it begins to turn brown in colornigerian peppersoup ingredients blended

9. Let blend 2-3 more minutes

9b. Soak nchawu/scent leaves in water, swish around with spoon or fingers to loosen dirtnigerian peppersou.nchawu leaves

10. Stop blending. Using a sieve over a bowl, strain blended liquidnigerian peppersoup liquid

11. Strain a second time, to rid it of sedimentsnigerian peppersoup

nigerian peppersoup

nigerian peppersoup

12. Strain sediment with the back of a spoon to get the extra concentrated liquid out. Discard sediment once done.nigerian peppersoup

13. Set strained liquid aside, check on meat, shaki and kpomo. Add water as needed till meats are softnigerian peppersoup.goat meat

14. Sieve soaked nchawu leaves, rinse under running water for a few minutesnigerian peppersoup.nchawu leaves

15. Rinse out blender, add nchawu leaves, habanero peppers and crayfish with 1 cup waternigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

16. Blendnigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

17. Blend till relatively smoothnigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

18. Rinse out sieve, strain crayfish blendnigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

19.  Use back of spoon to strain out concentrated liquid from remnantsnigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

20. Add strained liquid to first strained liquidnigerian peppersoup.crayfish blend

20b. Add crayfish remnants to liquid

21. Add liquid to a large pot, add 2 knorr cubes and boil over medium heatnigerian peppersoup liquid

22. Meats should be soft. Remove from pots, discard stock, set aside.nigerian goat meat peppersoup

23.  Add boiled meats to boiling peppersoupnigerian peppersoup.boiled meats added

24. Let simmer 20-30 minutes over low heatnigerian peppersoup boiling

25. Turn heat off after alloted time, let sit 5 minutes before serving.

26. All done! Servenigerian peppersoup, nigerian goat meat peppersoup

nigerian peppersoup, nigerian goat meat peppersoup


  1. You don’t have to use habanero peppers, but I like to do so for that extra kick of pepper. If you decide to use it, you can always vary the amount you use based on how hot you want it to be.
  2. Some like to add a small amount of palm oil as the last step in the cooking process. This is a step I skip, but if you wish, you are more than welcome to do so.
  3. To eat your pepper soup, you can add small cuts of boiled yam into it as well for a more satisfying soup.
  4. You can either use water to make your pepersoup or you could use a spice grinder to grind the ingredients into a powder form and then add that to stock from boiling the meat. However, because the primary base of peppersoup is the liquid, I prefer not to use stock as it is more concentrated and the stock from goat meat and shaki and kpomo is quite strong and unappealing to me. However, if doing so is easier for you, by all means, go with that method.
  5. The garlic cloves are added to the boiling stage of the meats to quicken up the softening process, this is optional. Sliced onions can also be used.
  6. Crushed red pepper is optional for boiling the goat meat.
  7. I used skinless goat meat, since I was already using kpomo. You can do both or either or, I just thought it would be overdoing it.
  8. If you don’t have a powerful enough blender, you can get away with using a mortar if you have one. If you have neither, you can try soaking the seed ingredients overnight in a bowl of room temperature water to help soften it up and not totally destroy your blender.
  9. Adding the leftover habanero/crayfish/nchawu blend is optional. If you prefer just a clear, brown liquid, you can skip adding it in, however, if you’d like the texture, you can add it in. I also removed the rodo/habanero seeds floating in the liquid. The seeds hold most of the heat, not the skin.
  10. You don’t have to use up all the liquid in one day, you can freeze some for another day and just boil some meat or your choice of protein and thaw the liquid, boil, add some knorr cubes and the boiled meat and you have quick peppersoup!
  11. When you add the crayfish remnants back into the liquid, they will settle to the bottom of the bowl, but once you start boiling, they will float to the top.
  12. Conversely, you can also buy the pre-ground pepper soup spice from African markets/stores. I just like to do things from scratch :), plus buying the powder would mean adding it to stock :(


  1. You can use any combination of meats to your heart’s desire. Though not a huge fan of peppersoup, my favorite combo is goat meat, shaki and kpomo. Catfish peppersoup is the probably the second most popular version.
  2. You can replace the nchawu/scent leaves with bitterleaves or ukazi/utazi. The main thing is to use leaves that have a slightly bitter element to them and the leaves are to be chopped up into smaller pieces.

Serving Suggestions:

I have this simply with a bottle of cold water! You can add some small pieces of boiled yam in there to make it more hearty if you like!

nigerian goat meat peppersoup



The Recipe Cost of $37.15 is approximate for me in US dollars, but should be used an estimate only. Please keep price fluctuations & exchange rates in mind. If you’re based in the US, the grocery store(s) you frequent might have the same items cheaper or more expensive than what I purchased.

If you’re international, please keep in mind that exchange rates vary constantly. I recommend using this site to convert it from US dollars to your local currency. You might also have some of the ingredients at home already, thereby reducing the cost.

If you’d prefer to see an individual ingredient cost breakdown, let me know!


Enjoy :) {I missed you too!}

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Rating: 7.4/10 (11 votes cast)
Nigerian Pepper Soup, 7.4 out of 10 based on 11 ratings

38 Responses to "Nigerian Pepper Soup"

  1. Bukky says:

    YAYYYYYYYYYY finally the peppersoup recipe is up…Cant wait to try it later this week.
    Couldn’t help but notice you also have a Ninja as well. This could possibly be the best kitchen gadget I own..

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Bukky!

      I know! At last, lol. Yes, that Ninja blender is everything and then some!

      Keep me posted on how the recipe turns out for you!

  2. Yetunde, see how you so eloquently described pepper soup! And I quote: “incredibly spicy, intensely flavored and aromatic broth like soup.” Ha! You have a way with words. I have made pepper soup many times, but sometimes, it ends up tasting more like ‘agbo jedi-jedi’ than pepper soup … LOL! And I can see why. I left out several key ingredients. I like how you put substitute ingredients, because I don’t think I have seen Nchawu leaves at my local African grocery store before. Optional ingredients I have never seen in pepper soup before: yam and palm oil. I would never have guessed.

    P.S. 0-0-1 is a fast now.

    • Yetunde says:

      Lol, I try :) Agbo? Lol, nothing witty from me on that, just stay away! Use of the right ingredients are obviously key to getting the right taste. Most African stores should have it, it might just be labeled as ‘scent leaves.’

      Yes o, yam is a big one. I’ve haven’t tried either before, but yeah… I’ve never actually thought of 0-0-1 as a fast, however, now that I think about it, it obviously makes sense. I’m sure it goes both ways though.

  3. Jessica says:

    So helpful , my mum didn’t know the english names for the ingredients.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Jessica!

      Glad you’re finding it useful!

  4. Chibi says:

    Oh my!! Your website is PERFECT!!! My friend shared one of your recipes on facebook a few hours ago and now I am hooked. I love how you take pictures of every stage and your subtle humour too.. perfect for newbies with two left hands in the kitchen (or two right hands, depending) and seasoned chefs looking to brush up on their skills!

    Will definitely be trying out these recipes and drinks in the coming weeks, and will ask my housemate about the kunun gyada recipe (I have an idea of how to make it but it’s been a while plus she might have better methods). Sooo helpful like you have no idea (ok will give you a hint: one of my new yr resolutions was to cook a good number of meals (number concealed lol) this year. Bought a recipe book already but it contained Western meal ideas).

    Bless you!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chibi!

      Thank you!! I’m immensely glad that you’re finding the site to be of assistance. Definitely keep me posted on how your trials turn out, I’d love to know! Well, you’ll probably surpass that number you had in mind for the year ;)

      Thanks so much and hope to see more comments from you!

  5. chidera says:

    Aunty.. I sent you an email about possibly putting up something on spring rolls but I haven’t heard back. Ejor.. when you have the time :)

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chidera!

      Lol, I’m no aunty o, abeg!! I got the request, I usually don’t respond to requests, but I add it to my tracker. I can’t promise a specific date, but know I have it in mind :)

  6. Grace says:

    I love you die for this recipe Yeti!! LOL


    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Grace!

      LOL! A mess, try it though and let me know how it goes! ;)

  7. Judith O says:

    lol… Just saw d video…. you sound very different from what I imagined…You write very naija… but sound kinda oyinbo…. lol… Mad love though!!! Now we just need to see your face….

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Judith!

      Really?! Lol, I guess I do write Naija, but it comes out different, oh well. So long as I’m understood is all that matters! Mad love right back hun! Lol at seeing my face, someday, one day… might be sooner, might be later. One step at a time ;)

  8. HoneyDame says:

    Madam Yetunde, I am still awaiting you take on that my “copycat” dish o!
    And buying the premixed peppersoup spice is just soooo much berra for me jare

    • Yetunde says:

      Madam HD!

      I just thought about it yesterday too, it will go up, either this week or next week at the very latest. No vex abeg. Lol, hey, whatever works!

  9. Adhis says:

    It does sound uber peppery spicy. Can’t wait to try it. Do people choke and cough the first time they taste it? LOL…my palette is not pepper ready, but I will be trying it!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey lady!

      It is, but, you can always tone down the heat if you’re just starting out! I mean, if someone tries it for the first time, oh yeah, it’s like sputtering, choking, downing a glass of water all in one breath, lol. Years back, a friend’s African-American boyfriend tried it, was trying to be brave, ate the whole bowl and then ran to the bathroom with ice cubes, LOL

      So yeah, baby steps with the heat and you’ll be juuuust fine ;)

  10. chika says:

    hi yetty!u jst made me salivate,am seriously itching to try dis peppersoup as the one i have been doing in the past doesnt come out the way i expected.my problem is that i am 8 weeks pregnant and i dont know if its safe for me to eat peppersoup at dis stage of my pregnancy.pls dont laff at me o cos i am a first time mummy to be.thanks.BTW i love ur blog.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chika!

      Lol. Congrats on the pregnancy! How do you typically make your peppersoup? I don’t know that it would be an issue having pepper soup while pregnant, I’m sure pregnant women in Nigeria have done it for years, BUT if you have concerns, I would definitely recommend talking with your doctor before having some to avoid any issues. And when explaining to the doctor, be sure to let him/her know, it’s a VERY spicy soup!

      Nothing to laugh at with being a first time mum, I’m not one yet, but I wish you a happy and easy pregnancy filled with lots of Nigerian food ;)

      Thank you, I appreciate your support!!

  11. Nigeria News says:

    This is lovely recipe. Thank you for taking me back home. You are too good.

    • Yetunde says:

      You’re welcome! Glad you liked! :)

  12. dat1okrikagirl says:

    how did i miss this post? as a port harcourt woman peppersoup runs in the blood lol. there is always a pot of it in the house, i rarely cook goat meat peppersoup we eat alot of fish so i grew up on fish peppersoup. it may sound weird but its comfort food for me. your pics are superb. hope your having a great day.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey lady!

      I don’t know how you did! ;) Peppersoup is one of those year round dishes for you I see. It’s once in a year for me, if that… then again, I didn’t grow up eating it as much, so that would make sense.

      Comfort food varies for everyone, so no weirdness there!

      Thank you!

  13. fabulousgee says:

    Finally! Peppersoup! i have been waiting for dis for so long! i cnt wait to try it! Am thinking some time really soon to start cooking every dish on ur blog staring from the beginning. And i do have to say thanks a lot for ur blog it has helped out a lot. Also r u open for suggestions? Like someone sending u a recipe not on here?

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      Long time! Lol, Peppersoup at long last. I would love to see you do that, be sure to take photos and send to me, so I can share as well. I’m glad the site has helped you, that’s what it’s meant for! It’s OUR site and we’ll all continue to build it, so I’m totally open to you sending a recipe not on here already.

      Did you have one in mind? Just send the recipe and photos to submit@avartsycooking.com

  14. fabulousgee says:

    Oh yea and i have recommended ur blog to every and anybody i know! And dey always come back wit good feedback.

    • Yetunde says:

      Aww, aren’t you special?! Thanks for doing that, I think recommending the site and spreading the word is the biggest compliment for me, so I appreciate it and love that they all loved it as well! :)

  15. samog says:

    This a nice job and more grease to your elbow. I am a guy and was searching for a simple Nigeria and nutritious meal plan and i was interested with what i saw before i started clicking and i got to pepper soup area. I believe with this the next peppersoup i will prepare will be better than the previous.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Samog!

      Many thanks! Glad you like what you see, let me know how it turns out or if you run into any issues, be sure to ask! :)

  16. CHERRYSWEET says:

    Hi ,really found this recipe helpful, will be looking forward to try this at my boy friend’s brithday party this month.

    • Yetunde says:

      I’m sure they’ll love it! Just be sure to have extra water bottles on hand ;)

  17. Ren says:

    I had a cold and a nice bowl of pepper soup came to my mind. So, I decided to not only make myself one but also follow your recipe. It was successful as usual and I got so many compliments from my friends! What an ego boost! Haha… Great recipe. Really appreciate this. I have exams soon so no time to try out other ones but as soon as I’m done, efo riro next! Will let you know how that goes.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Ren!

      Aww yay for your success! Keep me posted on how the efo riro goes and good luck with your exams!

  18. REE says:

    Aww!!….thank you soo much for this post…because of you I’m goin to dazzle my family with pepper soup with boiled yam for dinner tonight, and they are all looking forward to it.Just discovered your blog today, and I hope to try out EVERYTHANG!!! Lol.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Ree!

      You’re welcome love! Let me know EVERYTHANG turns out boo! ;)

  19. bobo says:

    My peper soup is bitter,do u think it’s because I used fresh scent leaves n blendd it?

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Bobo!

      If it’s bitter, it could be there is not an even balance of the native ingredients to seasoning, so you probably have more native ingredients in there than is needed. Those ingredients are pretty potent, so a little goes a long way.

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