Dankali Ndalayi (Potato Pepper-Soup)


Potato pepper soup is a traditional Nigerian dish that originated in the kanuri region of the country. The soup is made with boiled potatoes that are then mashed and combined with a pepper-based broth, often made with palm oil, tomatoes, and spices. The soup can be enjoyed on its own or served with other dishes like rice, or pounded yam. Some people also add meat or fish to the soup for extra flavor and nutrition. One way I try to employ potatoes in my family’s meals is with potato peppersoup.

It is perfect for a chilly winter day or harmattan because, as its name suggests, it incorporates elements from pepper soup, which makes it very hot.

Ingredients of potato-pepper soup

  • 5 Irish potatoes, medium-sized
  • 300g of fresh fish (only the head and tail)
  • 10 medium-sized mushrooms
  • One red onion
  • Two habanero chilies
  • One teaspoon of ground ehu, or California nutmeg
  • One large stock cube
  • Black pepper, as small as it seems in the video
  • Five fragrance leaves
  • Three bay leaves, if desired
  • Salt (as desired)
  • Water

A note about the Ingredients

The amounts of the components can be changed to suit your preferences.

In the video below, I used gilthead sea bream fish, or “Dorada” in Spanish, but you may also use catfish, tilapia, or croaker fish. Mackerel doesn’t seem to go well with this dish, in my opinion.

The colloquial term for Irish potatoes is “spud.” I like to use Irish potatoes for this dish, but you can also use sweet potatoes or yam.

A mushroom may be found in the following places: Leman Kwado or Rumfar Kwado or Hular Kare (Hausa), Itu/Utun (Edo/Delta), Ikhowe (IsiZulu), Ero/Elo/Eru (Igbo), Oru (Igala), Udib/Annang (Efik/Ibibio), Olu (Yoruba), etc. Any large supermarket, including Shoprite and Spar, will sell it to you.

A highly traditional ingredient that is hard to get outside of Nigeria is ehu, or calabash nutmeg. If it’s not available where you live, omit it and up the black pepper. This cannot be substituted with regular nutmeg because they are not comparable in any manner. A little bit goes a long way, therefore if you have friends or relatives in Nigeria, they can purchase ehu seeds and send them to you.

Taste and modify according to your preference; the two habanero peppers made our lips burn.

Use parsley if you don’t have any fragrance leaves. While some individuals vouch for mint leaves as a fragrance leaf substitute, I disagree.

You may omit the bay leaves as they had no effect. Just as a test, I included it.

Before you cook potato-pepper soup

  1. After peeling and rinsing, chop the medium-sized cubes of Irish potatoes.
  2. Cut the tail and head of the fish into sizable pieces.
  3. Slice the habanero pepper into med-sized chunks.
  4. Divide every mushroom in half.
  5. Grind the ehu.
  6. Throughout the bulb, thinly slice the onion. This is so that the pepper soup would have more body when they heat up.
  7. Tear the fragrance leaves into small pieces.

Guidelines to cook potato-pepper soup

  1. Fill a clean saucepan halfway full with water, then place it on medium heat. The pot’s bottom should be barely covered with water.
  2. Add the crushed stock cube, powdered ehu, and black pepper.
  3. Gently add the fish pieces to the saucepan, stirring them in. Turn the fish around after the bottom has heated up to give it even heating and to make its sides tough.
  4. Take the fish out of the saucepan and add the potatoes once it’s well cooked throughout.
  5. After covering the potatoes with water and adding the bay leaves, boil the potatoes over high heat until they are cooked yet firm.
  6. After adding, sauté the mushrooms for two minutes.
  7. Add the onions, habanero pepper, and fish (gently) and simmer for two minutes.
  8. After that, remove the fish once more and season to taste. To prevent it from scattering, we add the fish, take it out, add, take it out, etc.
  9. To ensure that everything is combined, stir.

That is all! Top with the fragrant leaves and serve. Sip it with a refreshing beverage.

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