November 28, 2022
ewedu-powder-for-ewedu-soup

Ewedu powder image

Fresh Ewedu for Ewedu soup

What is Ewedu?

Ewedu is a popular vegetable eaten in Western Nigeria by the Yoruba people. Ewedu leaves are used to cook ewedu soup which is a green soup with a slimy consistency just like okro soup. The English name for ewedu is Jute leaves or jute mallow.

In other cultures around the world, ewedu leaves are called several other names such as Molokhai, saluyot, lalo, Cran Cran and many more.

Traditionally, ewedu soup is cooked with ewedu broom which is called ijabe in Yoruba language. To learn more about this traditional recipe click here

Drying vegetables are a form of preservation

Drying vegetables is a centuries old practice in Nigeria. Vegetables such as okro, ewedu, scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, Bell peppers, cayenne peppers, and any more are dried as a form of preservation while they are in season.

In Nigeria, the most popular type of farming is organic farming. As a result, the availability and prices of foods or farm produces are seasonal in line with the three season.

There is the raining season which is usually from April till September. The dry season which is usually from January till March and September till November while the harmattan season is from December till Early January.

The raining season is synonymous with the abundance of vegetables. So all kinds of vegetables are available in large quantities at very good prices.

This is the reason why many people use the drying method to preserve some vegetables in order to save money in the dry season or harmattan when available vegetables are too expensive.

Ewedu Powder

The process of making ewedu powder is very easy and in this recipe I will be giving detailed explanations in simpler terms on how to easily make ewedu powder using two (2) methods. I will also be writing about how to store ewedu powder for future use.

Apart from making ewedu powder for preservation purposes, ewedu powder is also made as an alternative to fresh ewedu for many Nigerians in diaspora.

As the saying goes, “home is where the heart is”.

Often times, Nigerians who live outside Nigeria crave to eat ewedu soup but such cravings are left unfulfilled because of the unavailabilty of fresh ewedu.

In times like this, ewedu powder or dried ewedu is a pleasant alternative to enjoy and satisfy such cravings.

This is because ewedu powder can be easily shipped to anywhere in the world because of its long shelf and when properly cooked it has a great resemblance in taste and flour to fresh ewedu soup.

How to make ewedu powder

Things you need

Fresh Ewedu

Water

Big bowl

Trays

Sunlight

Oven

dehydrator

First Method – Solar drying (Sun drying)

This is one of the oldest form of food preservation. When foods are spread in the sun, the heat from the sun and the wind combines to dry moisture.

The steps stated below will help dry Ewedu remove moisture from ewedu leaves so that it can be turned into powder.

  • Get a big bowl
  • Separate the ewedu leaves from the stem and put the leaves in the big bowl
  • Dispose the stem
  • Pour a lot of water into the big bowl with the leaves to clean the leaves thoroughly

It is advisable to wash the leaves as many times as possible till the water is clear. This is because, ewedu grows close to the soil and as a result is prone to have impurities such as dust, sand, stone and sometimes you many find small insects on the leaves. This the reason why thoroughly cleaning ewedu leaves before cooking or drying should not be overlooked.

  • Put the cleaned leaves in a basket to drain out the excess water
  • Then scantily spread the leaves on flat trays
  • Put the tray of ewedu leaves in the sun to dry until the leaves are crispy and crumble when you easily
  • Immediately the well dried leaves are taken out of the sun turn into powder while the leaves are still hot.
  • Put some of the leaves in between your palm, and move your palms back and forth to crumble the leaves into powder form.

For maximum freshness, ensure that you use this method when the sun is hot and able to dry the leaves properly in 2 to 3 days maximum.

Second Method – Mechanical drying (Oven/dehydrator drying method)

This method is a result of technological advancements and innovations. This method will properly dry ewedu leaves in less than 12 hours.

  • Separate the ewedu leaves from the stem and put the leaves in the big bowl
  • Dispose the stem
  • Add a lot of water into the big bowl with the leaves to clean the leaves thoroughly – as stated earlier in the first method ewedu leaves MUST be thoroughly cleaned
  • Drain excess water from cleaned leaves by putting them in a basket
  • Spread the leaves on oven trays or dehydrator racks
  • If you are using an oven, turn oven on to 100 degrees 10 minutes before putting the trays with the ewedu leaves in
  • If using a dehydrator, ensure the dehydrator racks are not to crowded in order to have uniformed dried leaves.
  • Dry till ewedu leaves are crispy and crumble easily
  • Pour warm dried ewedu leaves in a blender and blend to a powder form.

When drying with this method,ensure to check the leaves at regular intervals to avoid the leaves getting burnt.

Dried Ewedu leaves

How to store Ewedu powder

Storing ewedu powder is equally as important as the process of making the dried ewedu itself. This is because adhering strictly to all the do’s and dont’s of making ewedu powder without storing it properly will simply result in a waste of time, effort and resources.

To store ewedu powder, do the following;

  • Get a water-proof container such as plastic, bottle or resealable water -proof food pouch
  • Wash and sterilise the plastic or bottle container(s) in warm water to remove all impurities
  • Leaves the container(s) on the rack to airdry
  • As a precautionary measure, also clean the dry container(s) with a dry napkin
  • Pour the ewedu in the dry containers
  • Keep in a cool dry area
Ewedu Powder

Tips to making top quality ewedu powder

  • Ensure you buy fresh green ewedu from the market
  • Start the ewedu powder making process the same day you buy the fresh ewedu. This is because fresh vegetables are perishable foods which begins to go stale from the next day
  • If you are using an oven for drying ensure you check the leaves at regular interval to avoid the leaves getting burnt
  • If you are using the sun drying method or the oven or dehydration, ensure that the trays or drying racks are not over-crowded with the leaves in order to achieve uniform drying.

Thank you for visiting my blog. You can also watch the video of this recipe below.

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