African Bread (Ukwa)

African Bread (Ukwa) Recipe

 African breadfruit belongs to a food group of its own. I didn't know where to put it, but in the end I settled on the bean section, since breadfruit is the most similar to beans. It is known as Ukwa in Igbo language and its scientific name is Treculia africana.

Ukwa are a variety of foods with delicious natural flavors. It can be cooked plain without anything, not even salt, and it will be very tasty, especially if it is made with fresh Ukwa. It can be eaten with coconut or palm kernel. It can be prepared in the form of porridge, which is the subject of this page.

  •  700 g of African breadfruit
  • 2 medium dried fish
  •  2 small stock cubes
  •  7 g of potash
  •  Palm oil (enough to color)
  • 5-6 fresh bitter leaves
  •  Pepper and salt (to taste)

 You may also read:WHAT IS A BREADFRUIT

Additional ingredient commonly used in bread porridge:

  •  White Puna Yam
  • Cereal/corn, you can also use sweet corn

Notes on the ingredient 

  • Freshly peeled ukwa or dried ukwa can be used for this recipe. 

  • You can use stock fish instead of dry fish, or both.

  • Buy fresh bitter leaves I mean bitter leaves that have not been washed or pressed. 
  • Always add palm oil to make your Nigerian food taste better.
  • Dietary potash acts as food tenderizer. Only small amounts should be used. If you're lucky enough to buy freshly picked ukwa seeds from the same tree, you won't need to use food tenderizer.

Before cooking Ukwa

  • If you are using dried ukwa, soak it overnight in plenty of cold water. If you're using fresh ukwa, skip this step.
  • The next day,debone and wash the fish or dry fish and break it into pieces. 
  • Wash the ukwa thoroughly with cold water. Stone and sand often settle at the bottom, so be careful of those.
  •  Grind the pepper.
  •  Wash the bitter leaves and set it aside. 

Cooking Directions:

  • Place the washed ukwa in a sizeable pot.
  • Pour in enough water to cover the beans. The water level should be about 1 inch above the level of the ukwa.
  •  Add edible potash. Add dried fish or stock fish, cover the pan and cook until done. Ukwa is done when the seed is melted when pressed. You may add water while cooking, so watch it carefully. If you are using a pressure cooker, top up will not be necessary.
  • Add enough palm oil to thewell done ukwa and add pepper, stock cubes and salt to taste.
  • Stir, cover and cook over medium heat until the palm turns from red to purple. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Stir and add the bitter leaves. 
  • Cover and leaves to simmer or till the leaves wilt but still green and the ukwa is ready to be served.

 Watch video here:

Cooking Ukwa with pressure pot

 If you have a pressure  pot, ukwa is one of the Nigerian recipes that you should use because it cuts down the cooking time a lot.

 For the pressure pot, follow the instructions above from step 2.

Then, for step 3, add edible potash, dried fish or fish products, pepper, salt to taste, stock cubes and palm oil. 

Cover, pressurize and cook for 30 minutes. 

 After 30 minutes with the above settings, the ukwa will be done. Depressurize the pan under running water and add the bitter leaf.

 Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and still green. There is no need to stir the pot during this step.

 Stir and its done

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