Friday, May 18, 2018

Nigerian goats head sauce-Isewu by Mariah Adeboboye

Isiewu also known as spiced goats head sauce, is an eastern Nigerian indigenous finger food made with goats head and spices. It is cooked and served in a spicy gravy like sauce which makes it even more delicious. The funny part of this dish for me is that, I learnt this recipe from a Hausa girl who was my room mate at the university; when she told me she wanted to make Isiewu, I actually laughed and I did not believe her until I tasted the finished product!
Just when your guests think the party is over, you serve this delicacy which is a perfect way to send your guests off . The fact that this finger food is so full of flavour, makes it even more perfect! That way, your guests take away the memories of a finger licking good delicacy and that’s what you should try to achieve every time.

I know many families have goats head stored in their freezers and have no clue as to what to do with it, especially if you are the type of families who buy a whole goat for Christmas; even if you are not, this is a must try recipe, you can buy fresh goats head from the butchers.

It does not even have to be served at a Christmas party, you can make it for your husband at date night, or any time at all. Just know that every part of this dish is something to savour, serve with fresh palm wine and it will be another story all together!

Let’s cook!


1) 1 fresh Goat head and legs (chopped in medium sized pieces)

2) Dried chillies

3) Palm oil ¾ of a cup

4) 2 medium sized onions (sliced)

5) Crayfish 40g

6) Ugba 100g (optional)

7) Fresh utazi 10g (congronema latifolium)

8) Pepper soup spice 10g

9) Seasoning 20g

10) Salt 5g

1) Wash all your ingredients and set them aside

2) Chop the goats head and legs into small or medium sized pieces, all that depends on your preference, you can also take them to the butchers to do it for you at a price, they do it perfectly

Cooks tip: you will have to take out the goat’s brain separate and tie in a plastic bag. You need this as your thicken agent for the sauce, it brings the rich goodness into the dish


3) Add the washed goats head and legs into the pot, add the goats brain in the plastic bag, slice one of the onions and add this into the pot too, add half of the season, dried chillies and salt, cover and allow to boil for 25 minutes or until very tender. This is a dish to relish! It is supposed to be soft enough to melt in your mouth, nobody enjoys tough meat.
4) After boiling the meat for about 5 minutes, the brain in the plastic bag will be steamed, take it out and open it into a bowl.

5) Add the rest of the seasoning, blended crayfish, salt and the rest of the blended dried chillies, Like I always say, I never measure chillies because I love spicy food and the good thing about isiewu is that you can make it really spicy or not. It is totally up to you, add the pepper soup spice and red oil and mix all this into a smooth thick paste. Remember I said the brain will be used as the thickening agent? Well this is it!

6) As the meat is boiling, add in the ugba and allow to simmer for 5 more minutes before pouring in the goats brain paste, mix very well until all of the meat is fully coated and the sauce has formed, if it is too thick, add in a bit more water to make it to your desired consistency. Allow this to simmer for another 3 minutes and the bring the pot down

7) While still hot, add in the rest of the onions and utazi leaves, stir and serve! I don’t even want to be hungry when I smell this! It is even more amazing when eaten.


Cooks tip: Utazi leaves tends to be very bitter, you might want to leave it out totally from your dish and serve it sprinkled at the top of the goats head sauce, that way whoever is eating it can decide if they want it in or not but if you get the timing right, then you are good to go. Also if you cannot get your hands on Utazi leaves, substitute with bitter leaves and that will do just fine. 

There you have it, the very famous Nigerian Goats head sauce. Make your family and friends happy today, try it out now!

Be inspired!


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