Ukwa is the igbo name for breadruit or Truculia africana (Botanical name). Many people have different ways of preparing Ukwa. Here, we are looking at the easiest way of preparing it, hence the word ‘quickie’. Having a quick meal (ukwa in this case) begins from the type of ukwa you purchase. It is said that some sellers use tapioca water to preserve ukwa seeds so as not to disintegrate. The disadvantage is that such seeds don’t cook on time or never cooks except you add potash to them. Potash contains sulphur which negatively affects the health of some people. My immediate younger brother of blessed memory, had this allergy that each time he takes food or drug that contains sulphur, it gives him black patches on the skin. Whatever happens underneath his skin, nobody knows.
I personally have a customer whom I purchase ukwa from. On my way from work two days back, I drove to the market with my daughter and bought just five cups of ukwa and prepapred this within 30 minutes. I attribute this majorly to the type of ukwa I bought. Now the recipe:
1. Five cups of Ukwa
2. Two medium-sized onions
3. Five balls of otanjere pepper (Nsukka red pepper)
4. Few half-washed onugbu leaves (Bitter leaves)
5. A pinch of ogili
6. Few pieces of dry fish
6. One cooking spoon of crayfish
7. Half cooking spoon of oil
8. Salt to taste
1. Place a pot of 1 litre of water on the burner and allow to boil
2. Put a teaspoon of salt in the boiling water and add the Ukwa
3. Cook for about 20 minutes or till soft, depending on the type of ukwa you bought.
4. Add grounded pepper and crayfish
5. After 5 minutes, add stock cubes and ogili and allow to cook for 4 minutes.
6. Add palm oil and salt to taste. The colour of the Ukwa has to be light yellow. Too much palm oil takes away the taste of ingredients in the Ukwa
7. Add the dry fish
7. Add the onugbu leaves and cook for 8 minutes
8. Use wooden spoon to stir until every ingredient binds together in the ukwa
9. Your food is ready