- 125 ml (4 oz) water
- 1 kg (2 lb) lean lamb shanks or chops, or shoulder of beef cut in chunks
- salted pig's trotters, jointed and cleaned
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 3 large, ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and puréed
- 750 g (1½ lb) palmnut pulp
- 250 ml (8 fl oz) boiling water
- chilli pepper or fresh, ground red chillies (hot peppers) to taste, (optional)
- 4 large mushrooms, cleaned and peeled
- 2 giant crabs cooked whole in salted water and drained (remove legs but not the claws - save cooked legs to be added separately to the soup)
- 1 kg (2 lb) fish cutlets (salted, smoked, grilled, deep-fried or sundried)
- Place the water, the meat and the pigs’ trotters in a very large, heavy-based saucepan (not a crockpot because the initial process of cooking this dish requires fairly high heat and a crockpot does not afford that level of heat to start with). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the onions and cook ‘dry’ on medium heat, stirring continuously, until the outside of the meat is ‘sealed’. Add the tomatoes. Continue to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the palmnut pulp with the boiling water, beating with a wooden spoon to form a creamy, smooth consistency. Add this to the meat mixture with ground chillies (hot peppers), the Mushrooms, giant crabs and crab legs. Simmer on medium heat for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring only occasionally to prevent food sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Prepare your choice of smoked, grilled, deep-fried or sundried by removing any residual bones. Add the either whole or in chunks to the soup during the last 30 minutes to prevent it from breaking up too much and becoming ‘mushy’ in the soup. Once all the ingredients are added, continue to simmer slowly until soup thickens.
- Serve hot with fufu. You may choose to continue simmering the soup to thicken it and turn it into a palmnut stew, in which case you serve it with gari or cassava powder, rice or the carbohydrate of your choice.
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