‘Otula Ite’ – The Scramble For Joy

Kemka WeliKrus Blog, Tales & Fiction24 Comments

A few times while growing up we fought over food. Not because there wasn’t enough food for everyone but well if you said it wasn’t enough you won’t be wrong – there was never enough of the favorite part of the food which we fought over.

This food crisis always surfaced anytime the offering was a porridge – Otor, yam, plantain, or jollof rice and if it produced ‘Otula Ite’.

Otula Ite was the burnt part of the food at the bottom of the pot. Cooking with open fire ensured that the food almost always burned. It was crunchy & the most delicious part of the grub.

We, the henchmen would pretend not to be hungry when it was time to dish the food so that the top would all be exhausted. When it reached the kill zone, the fight began. Many factors determined who got the coveted Otula Ite. They included who got it the last time, how big the pot used in cooking was, who endured the hunger the most & waited out the dishing, sometimes it was the strongest as we actually fought for the pot, at other times it was who was in charge of the dishing – Mama was fairer, elder Sister? – that one no get time, if she no appropriate am for herself, she go abandon us to fight am out.

The ultimate Otula Ite was when Nene, our big Cousin started making ‘Agidi Jollof’ – the corn starch delicacy for sale. She’d cook it with the biggest pot you can imagine. She never missed to give us a little of the delicacy which we savored in heavenly delight especially when we got a chunk of biscuit bone and soft bone. But the ultimate glory was when we could descend on the Otula Ite which she always, always availed us. May God bless her kind heart!

These days when I enter the kitchen & see Otula Ite abandoned or the pot soaked in water for disposal I just shake my head in disbelief at what a lack of knowledge is making this generation lose.

Yeah, I get into the kitchen once in a while to savor the joy of Otula Ite but I think the greatest joy of this delicacy will be in my memory – of the time we hustled, fought & savored it as kids on the floor of Mama’s kitchen; of the time when the declaration ‘m eri nu ite’ (I will eat from the pot) was not an expression of interest in the food, but a declaration of war!

Related Article: lessons-from-otula-ite-you-are-more-valuable-than-you-look

24 Comments on “‘Otula Ite’ – The Scramble For Joy”

  1. Lol. Me and siblings fought for same growing up. 😀. We called ours “Iken Ite”(Bottom Pot)

    You write well, bro. Always enjoy reading your articles.

    1. Otula ite….”we die here”.
      That’s the joy of meal…

      Bro,you are good and outstanding writer.

  2. The bottom pot is sweater than anything. All the condiments settled with recklessness there. What a memory you have awaken tonight. These our kids won’t understand.

  3. You have truly written our minds. Never really want to look at the bottom pot again. Surprisingly, our kids doesn’t too. To them, it’s poison. The fun is really enjoyed in memories.
    Well done Weli.

    1. As in… If they’re interested in the main dish at all… They will say: “when are we getting pizza”? Or “can you promise me cookies if I finish my food”? And then negotiate to have a very small portion of the dish so as to retain enough hunger for ice cream.

      Thank Krus. You Dani the good old days

  4. Well said, I vividly remember the war over otula lte. As you will pretend not to be hungry yet.

    Good job krus.

  5. Ofe ucha as we fondly called it was a delicacy to die for. The king of them is beans soup cooked in an earthen pot in which the remnant of last night cassava food ( òjè abacha) had been warmed.
    The burnt remains at the bottom of the pot was the bomb.
    Thanks for the memory

  6. I will eat from the pot was really a declaration of war. Thanks for bringing back those memories

  7. Kanzo… Is what we called it… Lol… Since I am often in the kitchen… I just say, ‘don’t worry, I will eat the burnt part’… My kids have not yet unraveled this delicacy… Let’s just leave it under wraps… 😉😉😁😁

  8. Sweet memories Krus. It’s always a holy war no biting no kicking. Thanks for bringing back the good times. I gat you man. Never say die. Keep saying it.

  9. Pingback: Lessons from ‘Otula Ite’ – You are more valuable than you look! | WELIKRUS

  10. As always Wene, your writing style is sweet, your topics unique. You should write more often.

    Unfortunately, some of us never got to see the ité let alone the bottom. As l can remember, my house was crawling with scores of relatives that ensured we never got to enjoy some of these things.

  11. I have desired to write something like this on my webpage and this has given me a concept. Cheers.

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