The Salient Differences between UTAZI, UKAZI and UZIZA Leaves
Okazi(ukazi), utazi and uziza are medicinal herbs that are used prepare many staples foods in Nigeria especially in the South eastern and South southern part of Nigeria. I have already discussed their health benefits in 3 separate articles and I will put their links at the end of this page.
Persons that know this these herbs are aware that identifying Utazi, ukazi, and uziza leaves are quite confusing and you need a “third eye” to actually be able to single each out or recognise them from the bunch since they look much alike. This has made some food enthusiasts reflect on the obvious and salient differences between UTAZI, UKAZI and UZIZA leaves.
What are the differences between these leaves?
I found the answer to this question on ONGA (a popular seasoning in Nigeria) page on Facebook where persons with experience and deep seated knowledge on these herbs spoke on the differences between utazi, ukazi (okazi) and uziza.
Read their comments on the characteristics and differences between utazi, ukazi and uziza below:
Uchechi Madonna Orji-Njemanze
Differentiating them on sight- okazi/ukazi can only be confused with utazi namewise but they look nothing alike. Ukazi is slim and stronger, it is used for afang soup, and can also be put alone or alongside other vegetables in other soups. To differentiate between utazi and uziza, look at the stalk, utazi stalk cuts more easily than uziza and has a deeper shade of green too.
The leaf of uziza breaks easily with fingers. Uziza has a hot and unique flavour, it is used for soups. Utazi is used mostly for pepper soup, can also be used for oil bean salad and tapioca, I love it best when pounded and used in red oil sauce for yam. It has a bitter-sweet taste. When freshly harvested, the stalk gives out white liquid. However all are climbers. You’re not left out, when I was much younger, I cooked cocoyam soup with utazi and only my dad loved it.
Nkiruka Gloria Emeh
Utazi leaf is bitter and used for cooking peppersoup,african salad and nkwobi; uziza leaf has pleasant aroma/scent and used in making most cocoyam soup,like i use it for my egusi soup together with ugu; while okazi is strong and has just neutral taste,used for afang soup, and others.
utazi is bitter and can be use in cooking porridge, for some like me i use it cooking stew or meat for stew to get its flavour. It is also use in preparing africa salad, uziza is used in cooking soup like egusi while ukazi is also use in cooking soup like afang soup which is one of the important element in cooking afang soup.
Ethel Chinyere Cosmos
Utazi is bitter and is use in cooking porriage, pepper soup. Uziza has a nice flavour, is use in cooking uhah soup, fresh fish pepper soup nd many more
Utazi has a mild bitter taste. It can be used to cook pepper soup. You can add it to your nsala (white soup). Some prefers pounding it with pepper then use it to eat boiled yam, fried yam, boiled plantain or cocoyam. Ukazi leaves is for preparing vegetable soup. Though some people add it to their egusi soup and Owerri soup. Nchanwu is also known as sent leave. Used to give taste and good aroma to your pepper soup, all your porridge, ofe akwu.
Nenyenwaikuku Smilnface C
UTAZI is bitter for pepper soup, UZIZA is pepperish and has a sweet scent used for local soups then UKAZI is neutral for veggie soup, afang soup and other local soups too depending on your tribe.
Utazi is d bitter one use to garnish abacha, isi ewu and nkwobi. Uziza is the one you use to make your oha soup while Ukazi is use to make Afang soup or ofe owerri.
Ethel Chinyere Cosmos
Utazi is bitter and is use in cooking porriage, pepper soup. Uziza has a nice flavour, is use in cooking uhah soup, fresh fish pepper soup and many more.