Hey guys my name is Flo and today we will talk about 15 facts about Nigerian Pumpking Leaves. The official name is pumpkin leaves. We have another vegetable in Nigeria that we call fluted pumpkin leaves because the stalk of that one is hollow hence the flute in the name. But this one is just pumpkin leaf. The Igbo name is Ugu. The G sounds like the G in GO, Ugu. The scientific name is Telfairia occidentalis. It has a unique leaf arrangement. You see that? One stalk comes out from the main stalk and branches out into 3 like this. No other leafy vegetable is like that. Ugu is Nigeria’s super vegetable. Just like you have kale in the western world. Because it is packed with nutrients and health benefits, you can use it in green smoothies. People drink Ugu smoothie to help them recharge after a bout of illness.
Ugu is one of the greenest vegetable in Nigeria. With some really fresh ones, I sometimes feel like the green colour will stain my fingers when I touch them. Ugu has a medium texture so when you add it to your cooking, stir and take the pot off the stove immediately else the vegetables will be overcooked and become unappetizing. Because of its mild taste, Ugu is the choice vegetable for a wide variety of Nigerian dishes: Yam and vegetable, Egusi Soup, Ogbono Soup. It can also be steamed on its own and used as a garnish.
Ugu is best planted in the garden in the rainy season. If you plant it in the dry season, you will need to water it often. You can also plant it in the farm but you can see that this one does not look as healthy as the other one in the back garden. Ugu is a climbing plant and it is best to build something for them to climb on.
The fruit of this pumpkin is like a massive cocoa fruit. Some of them weigh so much that one person cannot lift them up comfortably. The seeds are fat and embedded in this … I don’t know what to call it … spongy substance. Yeah! Nigerian pumpkin seeds are edible in some parts of Eastern Nigeria but I have never tasted it. Ugu is a tropical vegetable but has been proven to do well in the temperate regions. Nigerians in the US, in the UK, Germany and other countries in the temperate region have been planting Ugu leaves in their back garden since 19kpirigidim. That’s it! Thanks for watching those 15 facts. Which other Nigerian ingredient would you like to hear some facts about? .