Cameroon – Okok and Yellow Garri

by Nghonazie Annabel

Okok is a mixture of eru leaves and water leaves. This is a staple eaten all over the Cameroon’s national territory. It is referred to as eru in the south west region, North West region and west region while those from the littoral, center region and the east region call it okok. Okok is a mouthwatering dish that has taken over many other dishes in Cameroon especially in restaurants. Due to the economic crisis in this country, most internally displaced people have decided to involve themselves in small food businesses and most of what they cook is okok and yellow garri, white garri, water fufu. Okok can as well be eaten with boiled plantains, mbobolo, dodo, boiled cassava. This extra accompaniments is commonly seen with the people of the center and littoral region of Cameroon. Those from the North West and south west eat okok or eru strictly with yellow or white garri and water fufu.

The cooking method here is stewing and boiling

Cooking ingredients for okok and yellow garri

  • A bundle of sliced okok leaves
  • A bundle if water leaves
  • 1kg of cow meat
  • ½ kg of canda
  • 5 sizable smoked fish
  • 1 liter of palm oil
  • Crayfish
  • Red pepper
  • Maggi and salt to taste
  • 2 large cups of yellow garri
  • water

Cooking process for Okok

  • Wash, select and slice water leave and put in a drainer to drain off water
  • Wash eru leaves thoroughly and leave in a colander for water to drain off as well
  • Wash cow meat; slice and bring to the boil. Add Maggie and salt and allow to boil half ready
  • add canda and fish and allow to cook well
  • Put water leaves into the meat fish and canda and allow to boil just for about 2 minutes. This is to make sure that the water leave doesn’t turn into a brown color. So boiling the water leave just for 2 minutes helps to maintain that attractive green color
  • Now add the eru leave and mix well making sure you do not have lumps of eru leaves all over. The use of a wooden spoon is advisable so that it can help in homogenizing the mixture
  • Add Cray fish and stir well. Also add yellow pepper at this stage
  • Add oil and mix well, cover the pot and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  • when the content of the pot must have dropped to a certain level and the eru leaves looks soft, stir and put off the flames
  • okok is ready to be served

Cooking process for Yellow garri

  • add 2 liters of water in a pot and bring to the boil
  • when the water boils to 100 degree, remove some and put in a flask to main its temperature
  • pour the garri into the remaining water making sure the water level is above the garri
  • use a wooden stick to mix
  • Add the remaining water carefully and stir. Make sure the water is not too much since it will make the garri to be too soft which is not good
  • Use a rubber flat surface spoon and cut out small quantities at a time. It can either be rounded and put in a flask or wrapped in small white plastic rappens
  • yellow garri is ready

Okok is served in a plate and yellow garri by the side. It is eaten with the fingers though some people prefer using a fork. Good appetite

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