Immune Boosting Recipe | Nigerian Chicken Pepper Soup Recipe & Video

What you will need


  • 5-6 lbs soft chicken chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1-2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1-3 teaspoon dried ground Nigerian red pepper*  
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground uziza seeds*
  • 1 tablespoon ground ehuru (African calabash nutmeg) *
  • 1 teaspoon ground uda *
  • Hand full of dried nchanwu leaves*
  • Pinch of utazi leaves* optional
*Substitutions (these ingredients may be hard to come by if you live in the diaspora) I always buy them in Nigeria and bring them back to the US for personal us. However, some things can be bought in African grocery stores or even on amazon. If you can't find any of the African spices some things can be substituted for more common spices in America or Europe. However these African ingredients are key to achieving real pepper soup flavor. I personally have not tried these substitutions and would recommend buying pepper soup spice mix. 
  •  buy pepper soup spice on amazon that includes ground uziza seeds, uda, and African nutmeg. Use 2-3 tablespoons
  • nchanwu is known as "African basil" so you can substitute regular basil
  • utazi is optional but you can substitute parsley
  • cayenne pepper can be substituted for Nigerian red pepper

  1.  Add thawed chicken to pot and cook on medium heat. Do not add water to chicken Water will come out of the chicken, and this allows the spices to really penetrate the meat.
  2. Add diced onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, and "pepper soup spices."
  3. Stir chicken frequently to prevent from burning, and cook chicken all the way through
  4. Once chicken is done cooking, add nchanwu. Add utazi now as well but it is optional. add dice scotch bonnet peppers too.
  5. Fill pot with water just above meat
  6. Let boil for 10-15 to allow spices and leaves to infuse into water, stirring occasionally, taste, and add more seasoning to your liking
  7. Enjoy alone, with boiled plantain, boiled yam or rice! 

Key Ingredients That Fight Infection and Boost Immunity

Health Benefits of Nchanwu: also known as African Basil or Ocimum Gratissiumu as its botanical name. Nchanwu is know to be rich in flavonoids and has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti diabetic, and antibacterial effects in the body.

Nchanwu has long been used by Africans to treat a range of ailments including different respiratory disorders, cough, catarrh,epilepsy, stomach pain, diarrhea, cholera, chronic dysentery and vomiting. It can also act as a repellent to mosquitoes and other insects. Research has also found it to inhibit certain strains of pneumonia in particular.

Health Benefits of Uda: also known as “grains of selim” or by its scientific name Xylopia aethiopica once has been found to be useful in treating toothaches, bronchitis, asthma, and stomach-aches. The seed has high levels of phenols and antioxidant activity to rid the body of free radicals. It has also been to have antibiotic and fungistatic properties. Research has found it  to inhibit the growth of several strains of bacteria including lactobacillus, E. coli, salmonella, Klebsiella, and bacillus subtilis. 
Pregnant women should use uda with caution, as it induces labor and increases blood flow, lending to it having abortifacients properties, which is a primary reason eastern Nigerians give pepper soup with uda to new mothers to aid in passing blood clots and cleansing of the mother’s womb following childbirth. Uda can be purchased on amazon, if you don't have any African grocery stores near you.

Health Benefits of Ginger: Ginger can be considered a superfood with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Well known for its ability to improve stomach ailments like nausea and vomiting, it is also purported to prevent cancer, decrease pain and protect against arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Research has also shown that it can aid in treating and preventing diabetes by helping lower blood sugar levels.

Likewise eating ginger can help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Least but not least, it has strong anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties helping to fight infection. Ginger can easily be bought at any local grocery store whole, but is also available in powder form to easily add in any recipe.

Health Benefits of Pepper: Peppers are packed with vitamin C, and its well know that vitamin C helps boost your immune system. Chili and cayenne peppers in particular have a compound in it called capsaicin that has many health benefits. The most well researched benefit of capsaicin is its ability to alleviate pain. 

Capsaicin is used in creams and applied to skin, joints, and muscles to reduce arthritic pain. Spicy foods can also help treat colds, by opening up your airways and helping to clear congestion. Other health benefits include its ability to boost your metabolism, decrease hunger, lower blood pressure, and aiding digestion by helping to fight stomach infections. If you can't handle to spice and burn of pepper, you can take capsaicin capsules to achieve the same health benefits. 

In Conclusion:
Let food be thy Medicine!

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