Amala (Yam flour stiff porridge) with Ewedu (Jute mallow soup) and fish is a great Nigerian meal for your infant.
When Amala is made from Yam that has been dried and blended into flour, it is often referred to as Amala Isu. This usually comes out dark brown in colour. Amala can also be made from Plantain and Cassava. Amala made from Plantain is referred to as Amala Ogede and the colour and taste is quite different from the Yam. The One made from cassava is often called White Amala because it is white (or off white). These are all great meals for the family.
Ewedu is the Yoruba name for jute mallow soup, a delicate leafy vegetable soup that contains a lot of vitamins and minerals depending on how it is prepared. It is often prepared with locust beans and crayfish and served with Amala and tomato stew; sometimes with Gbegiri (beans soup). Ewedu is mucilaginous; it forms a sticky or gluey consistency usually described as ‘drawy’ in Nigeria. As a ‘draw’ soup, it helps infants from as little as 6 months to consume it with the foods that it is served with. Very soft Amala can be a great first food with Ewedu for your infant.
It is important to note that the vitamins in Ewedu can be easily destroyed by heat and like other leafy vegetables; it should not be cooked for long to get maximum nutrients out of it.
Also, although the addition of edible ‘potash’ (kaun, akaun, kanwa) in foods either to soften them or make them more ‘drawy’ is well practiced, research shows that it is not safe for continuous human consumption and as such should be excluded from your infant’s meals. While your infant’s organs are fully developed, their body systems are not strong enough to handle many of the things we adult can handle.
In a nutshell, Amala and Ewedu is great for your infant and a great addition to your family meal.