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Nigerian Food

HOW TO MAKE UKWA

Today’s post is about a rare dish, but I will like to talk about it because it is very delicious. We will be talking about how to make Ukwa. I hope at the end of this article, you will have reasons to make this dish in the comfort of your home.

Ukwa is an African cuisine that is most common in Nigeria especially in the South-eastern part of the country(The Igbo’s).  The English name for this dish is Breadfruit which is the main ingredient for making this dish. The Botanical name is Treculia Africana.

This dish is prepared in a porridge form just like our yam porridge and beans porridge

Even though this dish is common among the Igbos, different Igbo tribes have different ways of making use of breadfruit for cooking. In Anambra, the breadfruit water is set aside with the main dish for drinking.

Also, Ukwa is eaten differently by different ethnic groups in Nigeria. They also have different names given to Ukwa. It is called Sobo/Jekri in Ijaw, Ediang in Efik, Afon in Yoruba and Bafafuta in Hausa.

Description Of Breadfruit

Breadfruit is a member of genera. It is a fruit that is large as watermelon, but it weighs about ten pounds more. The fruits are round, huge and hard. You can get close to 100 seeds inside just one fruit. The fruit of the tree is allowed to fall from the tree and rot, then it is cracked open to bring out the seeds. The seeds can be fried, boiled or roasted before consumption. It can also be grounded to flour or even used as a flavoring in alcoholic drinks.

Breadfruit is used to make Ukwa porridge. It is a food used as ceremonial food in Igboland but not all parts. There are different ways of making this porridge, It can be prepared plain without adding seasoning because fresh breadfruit has a delicious natural taste even without adding salt.

Another way of making this dish is by making Ukwa with fresh pepper, palm oil, crayfish, dry fish, seasoning cube and salt. Some people make Ukwa with sweet corn while others like adding bitter leaf to it.

No matter the method you choose in making this dish, keep in mind that this is a tough one to make; people either use a pressure pot in cooking the porridge or you can use edible potash(akanwu) to make the cooking faster and also tenderize the porridge.

Ukwu is a very delicious and nutritious dish, it is very low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.


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Health Benefits 

  • It is good for digestive health: It has high fiber content which helps to ease the bowel. It also prevents bloating and constipation.
  • Promotes healthy bone
  • Good for cardiovascular health: Breadfruit is a great source of potassium which is a heart-friendly nutrient that reduces the blood pressure of the body. It also manages the heart rate by reducing the effect of sodium.
  • Ukwa can be recommended to diabetic patients because it can be eaten to control the blood sugar level.
  • Regular consumption of this dish helps in maintaining healthy skin from both inside and outside. It also prevents hair damage or disorder.
  • It contains little amount of flavonoid antioxidants in the form of lutein and xanthin.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g of African breadfruit
  • 1 cup of palm oil
  • 2g of edible potash(akwanu)
  •  3 tsp. of grounded crayfish
  • 1 medium-sized dry fish
  • 3 -4 pieces of stockfish
  • 1 tsp. of grounded black pepper
  • 2 seasoning cube
  • Salt to taste
  • Sweet corn(Optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • If breadfruit seed you are using is dry, you have to soak it overnight with a lot of cold water. You can just skip this step if you are using fresh Ukwa.
  • To start the cooking, wash the Ukwa completely in cold water, you might find sand and stone at the bottom of the water, so watch out for it.
  • Pour the washed breadfruit into a pot( it is better and faster if you use a pressure pot), but in absence of none, you can use your regular pot.
  • Pour a lot of water enough to cover the Ukwa in the pot. Add in your edible potash, stockfish, dry fish and cook till the seeds become soft ( it might take up to an hour, depending on how fast your burner is).
  • You will know that Ukwa is cooked well when it melts when pressed. You have to keep on topping the water if you are using a regular pot.
  • Add in your palm oil to the well-cooked Ukwa, add crayfish, pepper, seasoning cubes and salt to taste. Cover your pot and cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or till you notice that the palm oil as changed its color to yellow.
  • Put off the heat of your burner, and allow your Ukwa to simmer. Your delicious Ukwa is ready.

Enjoy!

VIDEO: HOW TO MAKE UKWA

I hope this article on how to make ukwa has been helpful and educative. Don’t forget to like, comment and share this article.

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