Irvingia is a genus of African and Southeast Asian trees in the family Irvingiaceae, sometimes known by the common names wild mango, African mango, bush mango, dika or ogbono. They bear edible mango-like fruits, and are especially valued for their fat- and protein-rich nuts.
The fruit is a large drupe, with fibrous flesh. The subtly aromatic nuts are typically dried in the sun for preservation, and are sold whole or in powder form. They may be ground to a paste known variously as dika bread or Gabon chocolate. Their high content of mucilage enables them to be used as thickening agents for dishes such as ogbono soup. The nuts may also be pressed for vegetable oil.
Ogbono is the seed of a wild (bush) mango plant called dika or the African-mango (Irvingia gabonensis) used in preparing a protein rich delicacy called ogbono soup.
The Ogbono also called ogbolo or etima seed, when ground and combined with vegetables and spices and cooked with fish and or meat, is used to make the popular ogbono soup in Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Like okra, it is used in preparing “draw soup” that brings a mouth watering tangy flavour. The soup (draw soup) is popular and found very appetising.
Substitutes for Ogbono
- Ground ogbono seeds also go by the names agbono, apon, etima, dika and odika. They can be hard to find if you don’t have an African market near you.
- You can get some of the effect of their thickening power by doubling the amount of okra in your recipe.
- Or try substituting ground pumpkin seeds (pepitas).