Isi ewu literally means goat head. It is a spicy delicacy from the eastern part of Nigeria. One of my aunties came visiting and decided to make isi ewu for us. I was excited at the prospect of tasting something new, and the fact that it involved goat meat made it all the more appealing.
The aroma filled the house, I imagined it would taste as good as it smelled. When it was time to eat, I eagerly threw a piece of the isi ewu into my mouth, and boy was I disappointed! I was not prepared for what hit me at all, it was bitter. It was as if a whole bunch of utazi leaves had been put inside. Now, it might not have been as bad for the others who were eating, but for a 9 year old who didn't like anything remotely bitter, it was a disaster. That was my first isi ewu encounter. I'm happy to say that experience didn't put me off completely. I make my isi ewu myself now and my family just loves it.
1 goat head, cut
1/2 cup palm oil
2 stock cubes
1 bulb onions, sliced
3 fresh pepper, pounded
2 utazi leaves, sliced
3 ehuru seeds, open the seeds and pound the inner part
1 small potash
salt to taste
Soak the potash in a plate with half cup of water
Wash the goat head very well. Scrape the inside of the ears and the tongue. Put the goat head in a pot, season with one stock cube, a little onions and salt to taste. Add just enough water to cover the meat and cook until soft.
In a separate pot, put the palm oil over low heat and when it is hot pour in half the potash water stirring. Add onions, pepper, ehuru seeds, stock cube and half the utazi leaves, allow to boil for abot a minute. Turn the goat head with a little stock into the sauce and stir well with a wooden spatula. Add the remaining utazi leaves, cook for about three minutes.
Remove from heat and serve.
When we are eating it with rice, I increase the quantity of the meat stock and use corn flour to thicken the sauce so that the quantity will be much. I do not use the goat brain as some members of my family won't eat it.