Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Types of Nigerian "swallow" for soup

Swallow is a term coined for Nigerian solid meals that are taken with soups and ingested by "Swallowing". They are naturally thick, elastic and easily malleable with a dough-like consistency once prepared. They are mostly starchy solids and make up most of the Nigerian main course meals when accompanied with soups. To eat, just roll a small quantity with your hand, dip into any soup and swallow....As easy as ABC.

Garri || Eba
This is often referred to as the king of swallows. Garri is made from cassava tubers which have been peeled, washed and ground. This is then left to ferment for a few days to soften the roots, and help to reduce potentially toxic carcinogenic compounds contained within.
Once the fermentation time is up, it's fried to remove the moisture. There are two types of garri; The yellow garri which is fried with palm oil & the white garri which is fried without palm oil. To prepare garri for soup, all you need to do is to add hot water and mix to form a stiff dough. This can now be served with any Nigerian Soup

Pounded yam is prepared from white yam. The brown skin of the raw yam is sliced off with a knife and the white inner part is boiled till soft. This is then pounded till it's smooth, firm but elastic with a dough-like consistency. Once the desired result has been achieved, it can now be served with any Nigerian soup. 

Fufu (western nigeria)|| Akpu(eastern nigeria)
Fufu or Akpu is made from fermented wet paste of cassava. Just like garri above, this is done by soaking the cassava for a few days. This helps to soften the roots as well as reduce potentially toxic carcinogenic compounds contained within. Once its fermentation period is complete, it is then boiled till soft and pounded till it's smooth, firm and elastic with a dough-like consistency and can now be served with any Nigerian soup. The unique thing about fufu/akpu is the smell which can literally wake up a dead fly (although the smell from akpu is more effective).

Amala 
Amala is made from the brown skin of yam which has been washed, soaked till day break, dried and ground to a smooth powder. Sometimes, it's also made from the inner part of young yam which has been dried and ground to powdered form although this version known as elubo is lighter in color than the real amala made with just the skin which is darker. To prepare for consumption with soup, the amala flour is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps. It is mostly popular in the western parts of Nigeria and usually served with Nigerian soups such as Ewedu, gbegiri, and a host of other draw soups 

Tuwo shinkafa is made from local rice and sometimes rice flour (the fastest way). Usually, the rice is boiled till soft and then mashed till smooth in the pot. It is mostly popular in the northern parts of Nigeria and usually served with Northern Nigerian soups such as Miyan Kuka, Miyan Taushe etc.

Wheat meal - Tuwon Alkama (Northern Nigeria) (Click here to learn how to prepare wheat meal)
As the name implies, wheat meal is made from ground whole wheat flour. To prepare for consumption with soup, wheat meal flour is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps. This can now be served with any Nigerian soup. wheat meal is mostly popular with diabetics and those on a weight loss diet

Nni oka (Maize and cassava meal)
Nni oka is made from a mixture of maize and cassava flour. Although corn flour may be used alone without mixing it with cassava flour, the real nni oka is usually mixed with cassava. To prepare for consumption with soup, the maize and cassava flour is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps. It is mostly popular in the eastern parts of Nigeria and usually served with Nigerian soups such as Ogbono Soup, Okra soup e.t.c

Tuwo masara (Corn meal)
Tuwo masara is made from Corn meal. To prepare for consumption with soup, the corn meal is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps. It is mostly popular in the Northern parts of Nigeria. 

Starch (Usi) is made from wet cassava starch and it's usually sold caked up (just the way Pap is sold).

Semovita || Semolina
Semolina is made from milled durum wheat. To prepare for consumption with soup, the flour is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps.

Plantain Flour
Plantain flour swallow is made from dried unripe plantain. This is milled smoothly and used as swallow for soups. it's one of the most popular swallows taken by diabetics due to its high protein content. To prepare for consumption with soup, the flour is stirred into boiling water mixed vigorously to form a stiff elastic dough without lumps

Edible pounded cocoyam (Red cocoyam) with wheat meal
This is not the average common Nigerian swallow but a combination of Red cocoyam (pounded) with wheat meal. 

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18 comments:

  1. Nice one. You didnt mention plantain flour..yummy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing that out unveiling gold, would put it up asap.

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  2. Interesting!!!! In Ghana Fufu is usually a mixture of pounded boiled peeled plantain and cassava, cassava and yam or cassava and cocoyam.
    Other swallows are banku which is made from fermented corn dough and cassava dough, kenkey which is fermented corn dough, etc. Our swallows tend to be much heavier than starch

    ReplyDelete
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    1. During my last visit to Ghana, i actually tried Banku with groundnut soup & tilapia
      . Noticed it had the same consistency with the normal Nigerian swallow with a slightly sour taste. I also tried Kenkey with peppered sauce and prawns, it was really tasty but not really starchy as you rightly said.

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  3. Good list u have there

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  4. Anonymous9:58 am

    I dont accept that all Amala is made from the Skin of the yam.It is made from Fresh yam tubers .Fresh undamaged white yam tubers will be peeled and sliced to a thickness of 2 mm which is called the yam chips (Gbodo) then it is fermented and grounded to powdery form called the yam flour (Elubo).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks fr the Update Anon. Made further research after your comment and found out that majority of the Amala flour is made from the inner yam and not the skin. Would make the necessary corrections.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous11:39 pm

    Nne,i didnt see wheat here o...one can even ground wheat seeds n dry plantain together.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, The 6th "Swallow" on the list is wheat.

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  6. Dob, nice. Ders also potato flour o

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    1. Thanks for the addition quin :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous12:47 pm

    Lovely and informative but you didn't mention onunu ( pounded yam and plantain) popular in rivers culture

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    Replies
    1. Thank for the info Anon.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous9:23 pm

    Love your blog.I need to point out though that al elubo and all amala by inference is made from the inner yam and not the skin.Any one made from the skin is fake and will not be intentionally bought by the average person.It might only be bought by low class bukas or eateries out to make a fast buck or pull the wool over their customer's eyes.The real test of the quality is the lighter brown colour as opposed to a very dark colour

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the Insight Anon

      Delete
  9. Hi Dobbys, pls 'll like to know which is healthier,between garri, semovita and semilina, esp for someone that wants to shed weight. Thanks, expecting your response.

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    Replies
    1. According to research, a cup of garri contains approximately 360 calories, a cup of semolina contains 601 calories, a cup of semovita contains 600 calories. When looking to lose weight, you have to choose a meal with fewer calories.

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