One of my favourite nigerian dishes is Ukwa(Treculia Africana)which is the seed of the African Breadfruit. It’s unique in it’s own way and the taste is “fantabulous”. In yoruba land, it’s called afon; ize in Benin, Jekri and Sobo; izea in Ijaw; and ediang in Efik. Little wonder why it’s highly priced in the market due to its nutritious and tasty values. There are different methods in which this dish is prepared i.e The Jollof Version and the plain version but I’m going to show you how I prepare the plain version.
Ukwa (African Breadfruit)
•3 cups Ukwa
•Akaun(dissolved in water)/ Sodium Bicarbonate
•2 Dry fish
•2 Seasoning cubes
•2 Scotch bonnet pepper(Blended)
•Salt to taste
Step 2: Wash the ukwa thoroughly, place in a pot and add some water
a little way above the ukwa
Step 3: Turn on the burner to maximum heat and leave the ukwa to soften for about 30mins.
Step 4: Wash and spice your dry fish then cook till tender in a separate pot .
Step 5: Ukwa takes a very long time to boil just like Beans so at this stage, we’d add the dissolved Akaun to aid in the softening. Leave for another 20mins.
Step 6: At this point, you can add your seasoning,pepper and salt to taste. If the salt is added early in the cooking, it tends to harden the ukwa more so it’s usually reserved for last. In mine, I prefer adding just salt.
Step 7: Check to see if the Ukwa has softened well enough(even with the water).If it has, sieve the liquid into a different bowl leaving the ukwa in the pot to ensure the remaining liquid dries up for another 2mins.
Step 8: Garnish with the dried fish and serve with the Ukwa liquid(The liquid is usually taken just like pepper soup)
In a 100g serving or 3.5oz, ukwa is composed of about 10% fat primarily unsaturated fat (the good fat), 12-15% protein, 25% carbohydrates with 2% fiber. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene, vitamin c, and folic acid (folate). With only about 240 kcal in this serving amount, it is a good option for individuals with diabetes.
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