Abak Atama Soup
Atama Soup is a delicious palm nut soup, native to the Efiks/Ibibio people of southern Nigeria.
This traditional Nigerian soup is very similar to Banga soup; the major difference is the Atama leaves which gives the Atama soup it’s distinctive taste and aroma.
Atama leaves is an aromatic vegetable, wildly grown in the southern parts of Nigeria but can also be found in the eastern boundaries.
In the absence of Atama leaves, Nigerians in diaspora can ”remix” the taste with a combination of bitter leaf and a little Tarragon(Heinsia crinita).
Ingredients Abak Atama Soup :
* 400g of canned Palm fruit pulp/ 850g Palm kernel Fruits
* 500g of assorted Meat: beef,bush meat,cow foot,goat meat,tripe or ponmo (cow skin)
* Dried fish/smoked fish(optional)
* Stock fish (optional)
* 150g fresh fish
* 1/4 cup periwinkle or baby snails (optional)
* 1 tablespoon of ground uyayak (Aidan fruit)
* 1 handful atama leaves
* 1 small onion bulb, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoonful ground crayfish
* 2 stock cubes
* Chili pepper or scotch bonnet( to taste)
* Salt to taste
Cooking Directions for Abak Atama Soup
1a. Boil meat and stock-fish together with 1 stock cube, chopped onions and salt to taste. Let the meat boil in its own juice for 5 minutes, then add a little water and leave to boil until tender and set aside for later use.
b. Slice the atama leaves finely or pound the leaves and set aside for later use.
c. If you are using fresh palm kernel fruit(nut),Boil for 30 minutes and check to be sure the skin is soft. Then pound lightly in a mortar to extract the oil. Try not to break the nuts while pounding.
Pour in some hot water and strain the extract through a sieve. Put in a pot and boil until it thickens and the oil rises to the top.
If using the canned palm nut pulp, pour into a pot and heat until the oil begins to rise to the top.
2. Add the meat stock into the pot of palm kernel pulp.The less stock you add, the thicker the soup would be. Then Leave to boil for 10 minutes.
3. Now, add the assorted meat, stock fish, dried/smoked fish and periwinkle(if you’re using). Mix well and add the pepper, ground crayfish, ground uyayak and remaining stock cube.
Cover and leave to boil for 8 minutes.
4. Now, add the fresh fish, cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the fish is done.
5. Finally, add the atama leaves and salt to taste; simmer for 3 minutes, mix well and your Abak Atama Soup is ready. ENJOY..
Abak Atama Soup is similar to Banga Soup and Abak Mbakara, so it can also be served with Starch, Pounded Yam, Amala, Wheat Meal, Tuwo Masara, Tuwo Shinkafa or Eba.
We appreciate your comments and feedback 🙂
For we that are in diaspora, how do we get uyayak?
Thank you…Now I know the usefulness of atama n uyayak. I thought it's was for herbal doctors.so enjoying your page. Making the soup tomorrow join me all
I cooked Atama soup and added melon as a thickener ! It was delicious. I ate it with wheat.
Thank you. Now i know
Nky thanks a great deal. Is it necessary to wash/ boil the chopped atama leaves in hot water before using it ?
Thanks so much for this. Been wanting to learn how to cook Efik food cos I'll be marrying from there. This has been helpful. Although U don't know what the uyayak and atama leaves look like. Guess I'll find them in d Mkt.Thanks again.
I did like to subscribe to ur blog
Hi Grace, there is a subscribe button at the top of the page.
Pls how can I subscribe for updates
Hello nki. Great job u are doing. Please I would like to know if atama soup is the same as fisherman soup, if not, could you please share recipe for fisherman soup. I really love it and will like to cook it for my family.
Thanks Maureen, I'll have the recipe up soon-
Hello hello nki, great job u are doing?. Please I lld like to find out if atama soup is the same as fisherman soup. If not, could u please share the recipe for fisherman soup, I love it and will like to cook it for my family.
Can i use smoked fish if fresh fish is not available at the moment?
yes you can, violet 🙂
I tried it was great. But can I also add waterleaf.
yes you can 🙂
I tried it and it turned out great. Can one add water leaf before d atama .
Now I can confirm the adage that says "what you don't know is bigger than you". I was given Atama leaf sometime ago by a family friend. I kept the leaf in my fridge until it spoiled just because I don't know how to use it. If I had known this website then, I don't think I wouldn't wasted it. Anyways, i'm off to market now to buy atama leaf. Nky God bless you beyond bounds for helping some of us. I can now beat my chest and say I'm a Semi-Chef. Lol
Abioo , lol… thanks dearie, i'll be expecting your feedback.
I doff my hat to madame Nky as well. Indeed, what one does not know is truly bigger than him/her.Thanks to her, ignorance would still perpetuate me although I love good food!
Yummy, i hzve to try it.
ok dear 🙂
thanks for this atama recipe, i didnt know it was this easy. Hope I can add dried prawns too.
yes you can 🙂