Isiewu Without Potash Recipe: Easy Spicy Goat Head Delight

Spicy Goat Head Recipe

Today, we’re going to explore a traditional dish known as Isiewu, a spicy goat head delicacy originally from Eastern Nigeria. This dish has won the hearts of many across the country, becoming a favorite in various Nigerian tribes. Typically, Isiewu is made using potash, but in this recipe, we’re going to do something a bit different and prepare it without potash. So, let’s get started on this culinary adventure!


  • Goat Head: Properly washed, including the tongue
  • Onion: 1 chopped
  • Seasoning Cubes: 2
  • Salt: To taste
  • Water: As needed for cooking
  • Crayfish: For blending
  • Abacha (Shredded Dry Cassava): Used as a thickener
  • Hot Boiled Water: For blending the Abacha
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper and Ogiri: For pounding
  • Goat Brain: Optional, can be cooked with the head
  • Palm Oil: A quarter cup
  • Crayfish and Ehuru Seeds: Blended
  • Uziza Leaves: Or fresh Kutaisi (optional)
  • Salt: To taste
Isiewu Without Potash Recipe: Easy Spicy Goat Head Delight - Ingredients
Isiewu Without Potash Recipe: Easy Spicy Goat Head Delight – Ingredients

Cooking Steps

Preparing the Goat Head

  1. Cook the Goat Head: Start by cooking the goat head with chopped onion, seasoning cubes, and salt. Add water and let it cook for about 1.5 hours or until tender to your liking.
  2. Blend Crayfish: While the goat head cooks, blend some crayfish and set aside.

Creating the Sauce

  1. Blend Abacha: Blend the Abacha with hot water until smooth. This will be used instead of potash to thicken the sauce.
  2. Prepare the Pepper Mix: Pound the scotch bonnet pepper and Ogiri. If using goat brain, cook it with the head or separately wrapped in foil.
  3. Separate and Chop Meat: Once cooked, separate the goat meat from the stock and chop it into smaller pieces.

Mixing It All Together

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a clean pot, mix the blended Abacha with the pounded pepper mix and goat brain.
  2. Add Palm Oil: Stir in the palm oil until well combined.
  3. Add Seasonings: Incorporate the blended crayfish and Ehuru seeds (or Uziza leaves), and then season with salt.
  4. Add Goat Head: Finally, mix in the cooked goat head pieces, ensuring each piece is well coated with the sauce.

Final Cooking

  1. Steam: Transfer the pot to the stove and let it steam for about 6 to 8 minutes on low heat. This allows the flavors to meld together.

Serving the Dish

Isiewu Without Potash Recipe: Easy Spicy Goat Head Delight
Isiewu Without Potash Recipe: Easy Spicy Goat Head Delight

Once cooked, your Isiewu is ready to be served. You can garnish it with onion rings and parsley, or if you’re in Nigeria, use Utazi leaves. If Utazi isn’t available, baby spinach is a great alternative. The blended cotton seed added earlier gives a touch of bitterness that Isiewu enthusiasts adore.

Health Benefits of Spicy Goat Head Meat

Goat meat, often overshadowed in the culinary world, is actually a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s an excellent alternative to traditional red meats for several reasons:

  1. Leaner Protein Source: Goat meat is leaner than many other red meats, meaning it has less saturated fat. This makes it a healthier choice for maintaining heart health and managing weight.
  2. Rich in Nutrients: It’s packed with essential nutrients like iron, which is crucial for preventing anemia, and protein, vital for muscle building and repair.
  3. Lower in Calories: Compared to beef and pork, goat meat is lower in calories, making it a beneficial option for those watching their calorie intake.
  4. High in Potassium and B Vitamins: It contains potassium, which helps in maintaining blood pressure, and B vitamins, which are key for energy metabolism.

ALSO READ: A Taste of Kenya: Cooking Goat Dry Fry with Collard Greens and Ugali

Origin and Cultural Significance

Goat meat is a culinary staple in many regions around the world, particularly in West African and Middle Eastern countries. Its use in these cuisines dates back centuries and forms a significant part of the food culture.

  1. West African Cuisine: In countries like Nigeria, goat meat is celebrated for its rich flavor and is used in a variety of dishes, from spicy stews to grilled delicacies.
  2. Middle Eastern Dishes: In the Middle East, goat meat is often slow-cooked or grilled, seasoned with regional spices, and served in traditional feasts.
  3. Cultural Celebrations: Goat meat is not just food; it’s part of many cultural and religious celebrations, symbolizing hospitality and generosity in several communities.
  4. Sustainability: Goats are easier to rear and more sustainable than larger livestock, making goat meat a more environmentally friendly option.

In summary, incorporating goat meat into your diet can offer numerous health benefits, and its rich history in various cultures adds a unique depth to its culinary enjoyment.


Congratulations! You’ve just made a delicious pot of Isiewu without using potash, proving that you can still enjoy traditional flavors with a twist. This dish is perfect for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to something uniquely flavorful. Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family, and let them enjoy the rich and spicy flavors of Nigerian cuisine. Happy cooking!

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