How Àmàlà got its name can’t be ascertained but it was believed to be the way some royal cheffs in Aafin Oyo used ìgbáko to mold it and cut it half before spreading ewedu and stew on it that the name got stucked to the food. A-mó-a-la i.e, we mold and cut.
However, findings made us traced d discovery of Àmala to d first reign of Alaafin Ajaka at old Oyo popularly known today as Oyo Katunga, and we were told, it was Alaafin Ajaka’s favorite, especially when served to him with EWEDU.
After his second time on the throne, only the nobles of Oyo were the ones eating Amala as a royal delicacy with King whenever the king hosted them to commemorate an important event in the palace.
For centuries and till date, Amala status was purely a princely food amongst foods, it was when the empire began to grew and many wealthy individuals made Oyo their abode, that Amala was being served in their compound as food only meant for festive seasons.
It was during the reign of Alaafin Abiodun as the first Alaafin to reigned at Ago d’Oyo that the king physician by the name Aremu, a.k.a Awogbaarun whose compound was located at Jabata, discovered the medicinal value of Amala hence the saying….
Oka (another name for Amala) l’oogun.
Airi rara laa j’eko
Kenu modile ni ti guguru.
HOW ÀMÀLÀ BECAME POPULAR OUTSIDE ODE-OYO.
It was Bashorun Ogunmola, o wo kembe re bi ija, who popularized Àmàlà at his ojude in Ibadan with new discovery of a soup called, GBEGIRI.
While people will be rushing to have their plate of Amala at ojude Ogunmola, the servers will asked people on queue if they like gbegiri to be added with ewedu & stew, people in their haste will chorused by saying ABULA, which literally means, mix it. It was here d term abula, was patented & derived to mean d mixture of gbegiri ati ewedu.
It was Ibadan people who first people began to eat Amala commercially & from there its fame beginning to expand to wherever Ibadan people went until Amala became “Ari gbetomi”.
It’s worthy of note too that, the first Amala joint was established in Ibadan around Oja’ba axis around 1900 and today, Amala joints in Yorubaland is a multimillion business ventures and has a sizeable workforce that out numbered that of Mr. Biggs, KFC and Chicken republic put together.
So, anytime you are enjoying ur Amala ati abula pelu ponmo ati nkannu, in any Amala joint in Yorubaland, don’t forget those unnamed heros & heroines who discovered this delicacy that made us proud.
E ma wewo o & think Yoruba first…….