Ipapara soup (Epe ipapara) in Ebira tribe, commonly known as Ebira melon soup is a very common soup among in Ebira land. When the soup is made, meat, spices, and vegetables are added to nourish and enhance the taste. Ebira people love this food very much and almost every household in Ebira land eat this soup every day. Also, this soup is prepared to celebrate festivals and other celebrations like wedding, burial and naming ceremonies.
The ipapara soup is usually cooked with vegetables which can be leaf (such as spinanch, amaranthus) or Ireru leaf, or uzi (bitter leaf). Other than meat, Ebira people love adding what we call upa huuru (sheep or goat skin) which is very different from the ponmo (cow skin) that the Yoruba people use and the reason for this is not far-fetched from the health benefits.
So, we can say that the native foods of Ebira people are healthy and carefully selected on the basis of their nutritional benefits.
Upa huuru is the native name of sheep or goat skin in Ebira land. The upa huuru is very different from the cow skin which the Yoruba people call ponmo. Aside from the fact that it is healthier than ponmo, it also gives a better taste enhancement to food than ponmo (cow skin). Ebira people use the upa huuru of ponmo in cooking the ipapara soup because it makes the soup sweeter compared to when ponmo is used.
Get a clean pot to cook the meat. Pour the meat in the pot and the upa huuru. Add the necessary spices such as onions, salt, one seasoning cube. Add some quantity of water and cover the pot. Place on the fire and cook till it is tender. After cooking, keep aside for later use.
Blend the melon using a blender until a smooth texture is obtained.
Blend the pepper and tomato using a blender. Add small quantity of water and blend until it is smooth and paste like.
Mix the blended melon powder with small quantity of water to obtain a thick paste-like consistency
Get another clean pot add, place on the fire and add 2 spoon full of red palm oil and cook till it is hot. Pour the grinded pepper, 2 seasoning cubes, salt, meat, upa huuru, and crayfish and allow to cook for about 5minutes.
After this, add the paste-like melon to cook until it is assuming a thick coagulated appearance. You may add small water quantity while cooking. Add your desired vegetables and cook for 3-5 more minutes. After following all these steps, your soup is ready to be served with any swallow food.
To get the best taste of this soup, ensure you get the complete ingredients listed in this article or at least, the most important ones. Although the soup can be served with any swallow, the Ebira people often eat this soup with iya (pounded yam). If you eat the ipapara soup with pounded yam, you will have an amazing food experience because the feeling during that period will be unmatched.
In fact, when wives offend their husbands in Ebira land, they prepare this ipapara soup with pounded yam and serve it to their husband to settle the fight
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