Thursday, 13 February 2014

Jollof Ukwa (Breadfruit porridge)

Breadfruit porridge (Ukwa) is a popular Nigerian dish which originates from the eastern part of Nigeria. It is prepared with the seeds of the Breadfruit “Treculia africana”. Though priced expensive in the local market, it’s a meal which is highly sort after due to its rich taste and flavor. it’s a versatile dish which can be prepared in different ways i.e the plain version (Click to view) and the jollof porridge version. 

Prep time:  15mins
Cook time: 1hr 15mins
Serves:       4

• ¾ tsp. potash “akaun” / Sodium Bicarbonate
• 1 Red Onion, diced - optional
• 1½ cooking spoon Palmoil
• 3 tbsp. Crayfish, Ground
• 2 Stock Seasoning cubes
• ½ tsp. Salt to taste
• 2 cups maize (Boiled) or sweet corn - optional


Step 1: Pick the breadfruit seeds (Ukwa) to remove the chaff

Step 2: Prepare the akaun by pounding to a fine powder. Pour the akaun powder into ½ cup of water and stir thoroughly to dissolve – set aside. Potash is used in the preparation of this meal to cut the cooking time short. This is because, breadfruit (Ukwa) takes a very long time to soften and the addition of potash which acts as a tenderizer to soften the ukwa faster. If you’ve got enough time and Gas, you could skip the addition of potash.

Step 3: Wash severally to remove dirt and sand and place in a medium sized pot. Add 3 cups of water (Just enough to cover the content of the pot) and leave to boil for 30mins.

Step 4: Stir the potash and water mixture once more and pour into the boiling pot of Ukwa making sure you don’t pour in the residue which should be discarded.

Step 5: Add some more water just enough to cover the ukwa in the pot if needed and leave to Boil and soften for another 10 mins. At this stage, Add the Chopped Onion, Scotch bonnet, Dried prawns "Okporo" (With the head removed), salt to taste and seasoning cubes - Leave to boil for 10mins.

Step 6: Add the crayfish  and palmoil – Stir and leave to boil together till the liquid in the pot evaporates.

Stir in your sweet corn and serve.

Kitchen notes
• The Breadfruit porridge gets thicker as it cools down which makes it tastier in my own point of view.
• A better alternative to Potash "Akaun" preferred by the igbos is known as "Ngu" pronounced "Ngooo". It's a form of ash gotten from burning palm fronds and it acts as a food tenderizer when preparing Ukwa. But since it's mostly found in the villages and quite rare to find in the cities, potash "Akaun" is mostly used.
• You can use either dried fish or dried prawns in the preparation of this dish.
• The addition of Akaun helps in softening the ukwa faster. I’ve cooked this meal once before without the addition of the tenderizer for almost 5 hours and it still didn’t soften till the addition of akaun. You should use very little though.

• 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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  1. chisombili12:32 pm

    Really wud want to try this but I don't see ukwa in Lagos market
    By okporo, u mean okporoko?

    1. Hi chisombili,
      You could get Ukwa from the 'Trade fair complex' Close to the main gate. There are lots of ukwa vendors there. Okporo is the igbo name for 'Dry prawns', the larger version of 'crayfish' sold in the local market.

  2. Anonymous2:02 pm

    Dobby...u no get am well dis time......ngoo is beta dan Akanu. Chyqueen

    1. I agree with you chyqueen. The only issue is, ngoo is rare to find in the market while akaun is everywhere.

  3. Anonymous4:26 pm

    My fave dish always,try adding onugbu(bitterleaf),u'll love it.

    1. That's true anon, I do love ukwa with bitterleaf though very little :)

  4. nenye3:11 am

    That's very true. You'll love d taste when u add bitterleaf. Little though

    1. Hi nenye,
      Personally I do agree with you and anon that bitterleaf makes it taste really nice. Though preferences differ when it comes to the addition as some people like theirs plain which makes washed bitterleaf an optional choice.

  5. Anonymous3:51 pm

    you don't add onions in the preparation of original ukwa. it is just like adding onions in bitter leaf soup you will spoil the taste.

    1. Hi Anon,
      Ukwa is more like Beans and not bitter leaf soup. Just like in beans onions helps in the softening which makes it cook quicker. This is aside from the nutritional benefits you stand to gain by adding Onions.

    2. Anonymous3:42 am

      I tot so too, onions spoils the taste. Nice post though, i lurrv ukwa

    3. Thanks anon :)

    4. Anonymous8:01 am

      I'm wit the "no-onion" group, would have tried this recipe but the onion threw me off!

  6. I am going to try this definetly. Thanks dobby.

    1. Do let us know how it goes k. Thanks Tochi :)

  7. This is looking tasty.. I love ukwa!! Btw Dobby, could you please do a post on the other type of breadfruit? I mean the non-African one. Thanks

    1. Okay, would do a post on it soon.

  8. Anonymous6:33 pm

    To reduce cooking time, I guess Pressure pot should help. I haven't tried it though.

  9. Anonymous11:11 am

    Hi Dobby I am from Anambra State using onions to prepare ukwa is a No No please.

  10. This fantastic and nice to prepare with reasonable ingredient.

    1. glad you like it kamoru

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Anonymous2:00 am

    Hi Dobby really nice job you are doing.
    Pls can a little yam be added to ukwa rather than the corn? Someone told me it tases good too when yam is added.

    1. Traditionally, yam isn't added to ukwa but if that's your personal preference you could go ahead to add yam.


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