Quaker Oats as Alternative to Cocoyam in Nigerian Soups
As a continuation of the flours that make the best alternative to cocoyam in Nigerian soups, I bring to you the results of testing Quaker Oats as alternative to cocoyam when preparing Nigerian soups (Bitterleaf Soup and Ora Soup) that require the use of cocoyam as thickener. I have actually done this test a long time ago and have been using it as alternative but completely forgot about posting the results! Today I saw the video clips of the test I recorded in my old external hard drive and I was like … Chineke m oooo! 😀 😀
So after trying it with my authentic Igbotic Nigerian taste buds 😉 , I can confirm that Quaker Oats is the best alternative to cocoyam in Nigerian soups. In fact, Quaker Oats is the number one alternative because you wouldn’t notice any difference between the soup prepared with it and that prepared with cocoyam; that is if you follow the directions below.
I keep saying Quaker Oats because it is the brand that worked best in my testing. I tested another brand of oats and the smell and taste were so off you would think the soup was prepared with plain flour.
To use Quaker Oats as thickener in Bitter Leaf and Ora Soup, you need to do the following to prepare it for addition to your soup:
Grind the Quaker Oats into powder with a dry mill. In some places, you can buy powdered Quaker Oats.
Boil some water.
Pour a small quantity of the hot water in a pot, if possible the pot you use in making semolina. You need a pot because the process involves vigorous stirring. LOL
Start adding the powder oats bit by bit into the hot water and mix at the same time with a spatula like you are making Semolina fufu. Please note that this is done off the stove.
Keep stirring till you get a smooth mix that has the consistency of the cocoyam paste we use to cook soup. Watch the video below to see it. Add more hot water as you mix if you feel it is too thick.
The thickening ability of oat paste is much more than that of cocoyam paste so use this Quaker Oats paste sparingly so that your soup will not be mushy, what we call gbudu-gbudu in Igbo language. This is when your Bitterleaf Soup or Ora Soup is filled with cocoyam instead of having the right balance of cocoyam and bitterleaves.
I will recommend using half to three-quarters of the quantity of cocoyam paste you normally use for a pot of soup when using Quaker Oats paste. For example if you normally use four tablespoons of cocoyam past for a specific pot of soup, for Quaker Oats paste, use three tablespoons for that same pot of soup.