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Isha (Beans Soup)

Isha is an Urhobo delicacy made from brown beans. It is prepared mostly during special occasions or festivities. The sweetness of the beans combined with native spices makes this dish something to die for. Unlike the Yoruba Gbegiri, Isha is prepared whole, with the skin and all. It is not mashed or grinded. Looking for a new dish to try at home, then this is the dish for you. 😀 Absolutely delicious.


Now let’s cook!

The ingredients are minimal but pack a punch.

spice Urheri/Uda

Get some brown beans, the small seeded ones.

Pick clean and cook with some thinly sliced onion in water until it is cooked. The onion will melt in.

When cooked, add some more water, while over flame.

Add oil and bring to a boil.

Follow up with the dried pepper, crayfish, dried shrimps and season cubes. No add salt yet o! 🙂

Also add the urheri and cook for 5 minutes. This is the magic ingredient that will give a “Gbosa!”, “Boom”, “Kapoooaw” effect to this dish. 😀

Then include the dried fish, meat and meat stock to the cooking pot. Some native salt and or cooking salt to the soup making sure you taste for salt so as not to make the soup salty. Cook some more.

The Isha is ready! 🙂 Akpo miemie! Enjoy some Johnson Ajan here if you are an Urhobo or a lover of Urhobo music. It is titled “Ese”. You should see me now doing the Catch your gulder dance. 😀 Wondering why an Itsekiri girl loves Johnson Ajan? For your information, my Mum is Urhobo. 😉

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Urhobo waado! Mi Shegware! Serve with starch, eba, boiled yam or plantain.

dp 2i Isha


Here is a handy printable.

Isha (Bean Soup)
Serves 4
A Niger-delta delicacy made with brown beans, fish, meat and spices. It is peculiar to the urhobos of delta state, Nigeria.
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. Some beef
  2. 4 rolls of ponmo (cut into 2)
  3. Some dried fish (deboned)
  4. 2 cooking spoon palm oil
  5. 2 cups of brown beans
  6. 1/2 medium size onion (sliced thinly)
  7. 2 Urheri (seeds removed)
  8. 1 cooking spoon crayfish (grinded)
  9. A handful of dried shrimps (optional)
  10. Native salt to taste (optional)
  11. Seasoning cubes
  12. Salt
  1. 1. Boil beans in water with some thinly sliced onion until it is cooked.
  2. 2. When cooked, add some more water and palm oil and bring to a boil. Then add dried pepper, crayfish, dried shrimps and seasoning cubes.
  3. 3. Add urheri and cook for 5 minutes. Then add dried fish, meat and meat stock and cook some more.
  4. 4. Finally add native salt and or cooking salt and cook for a while.
  1. * Serve warm
  2. * Serve with starch, boiled yam or plantain.
  3. * Make the soup thick or light.
  4. * Remove urheri after cooking.
Matse Cooks http://www.matsecooks.com/
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28 thoughts on “Isha (Beans Soup)”

  1. Wow! never used Uda in anything but peppersoup/ofe nsala. I can only imagine how fragrant this beans will be. Love! looks delectable

    1. Chio dear. You’ve got it right it is delicious and Uda is used in soups. I will share another recipe in the future still using uda.

    2. Matse?
      This is childhood memory ,love this soup with starch.
      Keep up the good work. I sha beans also eaten by the Isoko’s too.


  2. Waoh, Matse you’re a genius, I’m an Urhobo woman but I’ve no idea how this is prepared, now I know so I’m good to go, thanks for all your wonder recipes and mouth watering dishes. Btw you cracked me up”catch your gulder” Johnson Ajah really?

    1. Thanks Uruemu. 😀
      Ah! Johnson Ajan is the man oooo! Come and see serious dance here. Even my baby is happy seeing her mum dance. Johnson is the Michael Jackson equivalent to the Urhobos. 🙂 Oya increase the volume and dance too.

  3. Oh dear,i can kill for beans.
    i don’t mind eating beans everyday. my week isn’t complete without beans.
    My addiction for beans baffles my hubby but he wont understand.
    the only time i couldn’t stand beans was during my first trimester and i cried bitterly because i didn’t want to loose my love for beans but to the grace of God,my appetite for beans came back in full force from 2nd trimester, i couldn’t be more happier choi.
    My mum do tell me how i would wake up at night to request for beans and wont sleep if i don’t eat.my grand-mum made sure the was always beans in the freezer when ever i go on visit
    Cant wait for day to break so i cook my precious beans.

  4. Nice one Matse. Never knew u could do this. I always look forward to your new posts. M adding to my knowledge of cooking. Keep up the gud wok.

  5. Hi Matse, thanks for all the mouth watering dishes. The Lord is ur strength. About the uda; my mum says it is not advisable for pregnant women to use it in their meals because it could abort the baby or affect it. Dunno if you have heard that cos she told me when I was pregnant and wanted to make peppersoup. All the same, God bless ur home.

  6. Thanks Matse. i remember my mum used to cook this soup back then especially at Christmas. Thanks for making this recipe looks so easy i’m sure going to try it dis weekend. I am adding to my cooking knowledge via your blog. welldone.


    1. Glad we have helped you to relieve a recipe from your childhood. We are happy to enrich your cooking repertoire dear Rose.

  7. I love beans. But erm, the idea of it being in a soup and to be eaten with Eba is a bit freaky o. Ah!

    About uda, I was told the same thing when I was pregnant. It supposedly makes the uterus contract and so isn’t good for pregnant women. On the other hand, it is supposedly fantastic during the postpartum period as it helps the uterus shrink back to its original size…all this one na supposedly sha but I did stick to the warning.

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