Difference Between Okazi(Ukazi),Utazi, and Uziza leaves

Difference Between Okazi(Ukazi),Utazi, and Uziza leaves

Questions
- Utazi,Okazi / Ukazi and Uziza leaves..are they all the same? If not what is the difference between these vegetables. I'm confused...from Iboman's wife(via email)

- I am having difficulty knowing the different use for Okazi/Ukazi, Uziza and Utazi..They sound so alike and not helping matters.. can you help me with the different uses? :).. from Somto (via youtube)

Answer
Hi ladies, You are not alone in this one .These names are quite confusing. 
Years back ,I also had to ask my mum and a friend before getting it all right...*Giggles*
  My mum actually told me a kitchen tale about a newly wed(a.k.a Cathering practical) who wanted to impress her mother-in-law and decided to cook Ofe Nsala , but instead  of Utazi leaves , she made use of Ukazi; unknowingly converting the soup to Afang soup.....  her mother-in-law, chewed and chewed on the hard leaves and when she couldn't take it any more, made a big sigh and  said'' Chai, Nnem iga ji ini gia egbu Nmadu oo'' (meaning...''My dear, you are going to kill someone with your food oo''). ☺.
   Well, the situation could have been worse you know,Lol.. so here's how to avoid a repeat of the incidence above; these are some of the differences between Okazi(Ukazi),Utazi, & Uziza leaves.

* Okazi/Ukazi/Afang Leaf(Gnetum Africanum) is used for cooking Afang soup and Okazi/Ukazi Soup. The  leaves are tough(hard) and glossy and looks more like the leaves of an orange tree. It doesn't really have a distinctive smell,but it has a slightly bitter taste. Some people add it to egusi soup and other vegetable soups. While Some old efik men chew it raw with palm oil due to its medicinal values.
Ukazi leaves Afang Leaves  Gnetum Africanum Okazi leaves, Difference Between Okazi(Ukazi),Utazi, and Uziza leaves
Okazi / Ukazi/ Afang leaves

 * Uziza leaves(false cubeb leaves) :these leaves are also glossy but has a ''spicy scent''. It is mostly used for cooking Pepper soup, Gi Nmiri Oku(yam pepper soup), egusi soup & Oha/Ora soup.  The uziza seed(false cubeb pepper/black peppercorns) is ''hot'' and ''sometimes'' used to get the ''Uziza taste'' in  the absence of the leaves. This leaf has a wonderful aroma.


Uziza leaves false cubeb leaves
Uziza leaves(pic by aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com     
* Utazi /Otazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium):This leaf is  heart shaped with a somewhat bitter taste(not as bitter as bitter leaf) and is usually eaten raw. It is mostly used as a garnish for food like African salad(Abacha&Ugba),Isiewu and Nkwobi,but also used for soups like Nsala, utazi soup and a special fish and unripe plantain recipe for diabetic patients.

Utazi leaves Otazi leaves (Gongronema latifolium), Difference Between Okazi(Ukazi),Utazi, and Uziza leaves
Utazi leaves

 Hope these has been able to help you differentiate between these Common Nigerian vegetables. 
  Feel free to comment below, If you know of any other differences not listed here



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32 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:15:00 PM

    You can also use uziza as a vegetable in okra soup, in place of ugwu, it gives it a very delicious and spicy taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear. I will try adding uziza to my next okra soup :)

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:49:00 PM

    u are correct dear. very informative for pple who are confused about the leaves

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:38:00 PM

    Wao! Quite informative, I usually mistake uziza for cent leaves. Tnx l

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is good I'm learning to prepare Nigerian dishes for my husband as a surprise

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is good....I'm learning to prepare a Nigerian dish for my husband as a surprise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's nice dear, do let me know if you have any questions,I'm here to help.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous6:14:00 PM

    hello all,please does anyone know woorowo vegetable leaf(yoruba name) the igbo or english name.thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:47:00 PM

      Woorowo vegetable means celery.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous9:39:00 PM

    Kudos to u, U are doin a grt wrk ma. Can i add utazi leaf to banga soup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dearie.
      You can add utazi leaves to banga, but it will give it a slight bitter taste.

      Delete
  8. I have bought dried utazi leaves in London. Do you have any idea how can I use them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure dearie, use it as a garnish for Nkwobi , isiewu and catfish peppersoup

      Delete
    2. You can also use it for utazi soup.

      Delete
  9. Can I use utazi to cook egusi?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes you can, but be aware that it has a slightly bitter taste.

      Delete
    2. My dear, sister, use it VERY sparingly in the egusi soup o! I made the mistake of mixing the "UTAzi" with the "UKAzi" and what I had was a very strange looking and almost bitter-leaf tasting egusi soup! Mehnnnnn!!! But it was a lot of effort so had to swallow my annoyance and eat the thing. Thankfully, no one else has to eat it with me. Lol!

      Nky, thanks for explaining the difference between the leaves. this article really helped. Love and Peace to you, Sis.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous5:49:00 PM

    Pls what is d english name of utazi, uziza and okazi? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  11. What is the Yoruba name for Uziza?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Esther Cape Town11:26:00 AM

    Thank you so much it will really help me with my dishes

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous5:56:00 PM

    thanks for this wonderful information, i will not make mistake for these leaves any more. keep it up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need some not the dry one but the fresh one plz and are you guys here in Australia or out of Australia?

      Delete
    2. I need some not the dry one but the fresh one plz and are you guys here in Australia or out of Australia?

      Delete
  14. If the okazi leaves have been soaked in water for a week,are they safe to eat?

    ReplyDelete
  15. If the okazi leaves have been soaked in water for a week,are they safe to eat?

    ReplyDelete

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