At the start of this year, I decided to go on an Amala fast, to put some spice in my food life, such that when I eventually ate Amala again it would be a supernatural and rejuvenating experience.
I broke this fast a couple of days ago with a plate of Amala with gbegiri and ewedu soup. To say the least, it was an out of body experience and my faith in God was strengthened like never before.
For those who don’t know, Amala is a staple meal of the Yoruba people in Western Nigeria. It is usually taken with gbegiri and ewedu soup, a super combo known as abula. It is best eaten hot, with sweat dripping down your face as the hot Amala stings your tongue.
The Abula Super Combo
If you’re going to try Amala for the first time, I would not recommend you have it at an upscale restaurant. Eat it at a local buka where there is always an Amala community. A place where you take your bowl and join a queue, where your Amala is dished by atrocious looking old women, who then drown the Amala in puddles of green, red and yellow soup.
There is just something about being surrounded by fellow Amala eaters sweating it out over a bowl of steaming Amala.
Once you see these large pots of stew and meat, you know you’re in the right place.
After all that has been said, there remains a population of people who have tasted this black magic, and have proceeded to say horrendous and defamatory things about the holy meal.
Well guess what?
Studies have shown that individuals who dislike Amala are about 5 times less happy than the average Amala-consuming Olu. They also tend to be judgmental and manipulative, with a reduced sense of empathy.
Nonetheless, if you have such persons as friends or family, you cannot desert them, as Tender Loving Care is highly recommended. From spontaneous hugs to simply asking if they’re okay, it’s the little things that make them feel most loved. Rest assured, one day, you will love them back to the light.
I leave you with these confessions of a former Amala hater:
“When I was younger I didn’t like Amala because it tasted bitter. But one day, I ate this Amala with ewedu and gbegiri and I have not looked back since then. I dream about Amala now. I anticipate seeing Amala more than seeing some people”.