Ogbono Soup (Draw Soup)


Ogbono soup is a delectable Nigerian concoction soup and it's super easy to prepare. It's a thick and hearty stew made with Ogbono seeds (wild mango seeds) loaded with meats and fish simmered in a light delicious broth.

 Ogbono soup is a Nigerian dish made with ground dry ogbono seeds. Ogbono seeds (the local name for Irvingia) originated and were first grown in Southern Nigeria with considerable local variation. According to research by Chris Chinaka and J.C. Obiefuna, Ogbono is an indigenous forest tree associated with plants classified as 'non-timber forest products. It goes by various indigenous names in Nigeria. In the Igbo-speaking region it is called 'ogbono/ugiri' depending on the variety of Igbo. In Nupe, it is called 'pekpeara', 'ogwi' in Bini, 'uyo' in Efik, and 'oro' in Yoruba.


Draw soup


Draw Soup






Igboland or Igbo-land


Ogbono seeds, water, oil, leaf vegetables (bitter leaf and celosia), other vegetables, seasonings, meat

The ground ogbono seeds are used as a thickener and give the soup a black coloration.

 Besides seeds, water, and palm oil, it typically contains meat and/or fish seasonings such as chili pepper, leaf vegetables, and other vegetables. 

 Typical leaf vegetables include bitterleaf and celosia. Typical other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. Typical seasonings include chiles, onions, and iru (fermented locust beans).

 Typical meats include beef, goat, fish, chicken, bush meat, shrimp, or crayfish.

It can be eaten with fufu, or with pounded yam. In other countries, the soup may be available in the packaged prepared form in some markets that specialize in Western African foods. Ogbono soup has a mucilaginous (slimy) texture, similar to okra soup.


 Meat of choice, 



dried fish

Ogbono seeds

Palm oil


Ground crayfish

Medium onion, sliced

Seasoning cubes (Maggi/Knorr)

Ugu (pumpkin) leaves. Alternatively, you can use spinach or bitter leaf

Salt and pepper to taste (hot pepper)


 Ogbono soup should be thickish and draws, hence try not to cook ogbono soup with too much water – usually the little stock/water from cooked meat.


Get the major ingredients ready. Grind the Ogbono seeds with a dry mill. Pick and cut the pumpkin leaves, cut the okra, and set aside. Defrost chopped spinach if that is what you are using. Grind crayfish and pepper, and set aside.

Wash and clean the meat thoroughly. Cook with sliced onions and seasoning cubes to taste. Cook on low heat – cover the pot and allow to it simmer for about 30 minutes. This allows the meat to cook tender and soft, but also helps to release its natural juices.

After 20 minutes, add the stockfish and dried fish. Add the hot pepper and ground crayfish, and continue to cook for the next 10 minutes. Add palm oil, cook for another 5 minutes to allow the palm oil to melt, and combine well with the cooking contents.

Put heat to very low and stir-in ogbono gradually, stir continuously – this allows ogbono to dissolve nicely, and eliminates forming lumps. You will notice the Ogbono start to thicken and draw – keep stirring till the ogbono has completely absorbed the meat stock.

Combine thoroughly and leave to cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Taste for seasoning, salt, and pepper – adjust if necessary. Stir occasionally, scraping the ogbono that sticks to the base of the pot.

Finally, add the okra, and pumpkin leaves (or any of the alternatives leaves you using). Stir very well, turn the heat low and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

Best served with pounded yam or garri (eba). OR serve with your favorite kind of fufu (swallow).

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