Bitter yam , cluster, three leaf yam according to what it is calling English or ona ji , esuru or Ulayi in Nigerian by few regions.
Ona is a root vegetable in the family of yam (tube crop) it is cultivated in Nigeria in west Africa, a staple food for many people in Nigeria both old and young. I have taken to read and also interview people if they have heard or eaten ona before, i got these response.
It is food for old people, diabetic patient, people suffering from arthritis , anyone one that has stomach pains or menstrual disorders. Some say they get allergy after eating ona, to some it has a bitter taste. All these are very true and it makes ona more attractive to eat.
Ona (bitter yam) is a seasonal food which is always available for eating in the month of November till march. After that cultivation of new products takes place for fresh ones to be ready the next season.
Ona (bitter yam) contain phyto- nutrients which make a good for everyone that is health conscious or a natural food lover.
Phyto- nutrients are the nutrients that help prevent disease and keep your body working properly. These nutrients are found in some fruits and vegetables like
I mention just few. This food boost immune system, support the eye health, reduce the risk of cancer, boost antioxidant activities.
How to prepare ona to retain it nutrients, do not peel the skin off before cooking.
1. Remove all the stem from the body of the ona,(bitter yam)
2. Wash with clean water, put in a pot and cook with high heat, use pressure pot if you have one or cook with a pot.
3. Cook till its well cook, it can take hours depending what you cooking it with, most people cook overnight while some cook it same day and eat.
4. Puck the utazi leaf off the stem, wash with clean water and slice to your desire shape or pound with molter.
5. Clean the fresh pepper and pound roughly.
6. Bring a clean bowl, add the slice or pounded utazi, pepper, oil bean ,locust beans, salt and red oil, mix them together.
7. Peel the cook ona , slice to the shape you want, serve it with the utazi sauce.
This meal is very healthy for everyone, do not wait till you are sick, you can prevent sickness by what you eat. Eat right.