I am sure my mother will laugh her head off when she sees this, because this is so uncharacteristic of me, if you know me well you would laugh too. Me, Oladunni Obata willingly make Ogi (pap, akamu), How, why, when, because. In fact, it sounds nicer in Yoruba. Kiloshele, Kilode, bawo, Ehn hen, So to’to. You made Ogi. Hmmmmmn, people, I made Ogi. Accidentally though. This is what happened when I tried to make Abari (corn moin moin) and I ended up with Ogi. Fresh corn is not in season yet and I really don’t know why I thought using dried corn would work. Here I was, buying ingredients for Abari (recipe HERE), I spied dried corn at the Asian store and picked it up. I was in for a very rude shock.
This is not your standard way of making Ogi, but as I say with food, feel free to turn it over on its head. Just because your mother, grandmother and your entire generation have been using a particular method, doesn’t mean that it is the only method. I proved that with this Ogi, surprisingly so. You see, the standard method of making Ogi is to allow the dried corn soak in water for 2 – 3 days, kick starting the fermentation process, after which it is blended to a paste, allowed to sit for another few days, sieved and allowed to sit some more. The longer it is left to ferment, the more tart or tangy it tastes. On SYTCC on Facebook,there is a homemade Ogi revolution going on. This time for people who live outside Nigeria, where getting fresh Ogi can be difficult to source. I looked at their posts, their excitement was palpable, but I knew no way in hell would I attempt to make Ogi, even for the fun of it. It aint happening. Now, imagine my shock when I turned into an accidental Ogi maker.
If you have read their posts, or other posts online about making Ogi, you would see something like 10 days, 14 days, 19 days, repeat the sieving, drain the that, replace the this. If the rigour of the process turned you off, well allow me to introduce you to the stress free 5 day method. Now, I have this Ogi in my fridge that I haven’t touched, but you know what, ideas are flowing in on what to do with it. One has materialised and will be shared shortly. My mum quite enjoys Ogi, I can’t wait for her to visit this year. I will make this shortly before she arrives. You guys know I will update you with her feedback. This is as tangy and as tart as the traditional Ogi, the texture, the same. Who knew? Lol
You will need
1 pack of dried corn – i used hominy corn which I picked up from the Asian store
Fine cloth to sieve
Now, you can decide to go the traditional method and soak the dried corn for 2 – 3 days before blending, it is up to you. Especially if you don’t have a powerful blender. I am narrating my experience. I wanted to make Abari, so I only soaked it for less than 2 hours.
1. Soak the corn and blend. Here’s a picture of the dried corn I used
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: expect to see some chaff, after all your blender is not as powerful or as efficient as the commercial blenders in Lagos markets. If your blender can’t stand the pressure, I advise you let the corn soak for 2 days at least. Mine was up to the task
2. Sieve the blended corn in a plastic mesh sieve, and throw away the chaff.
Again, this isn’t how Ogi is made. We are told don’t sieve immediately. You know all those rote routine that is passed down from generation to generation without question, well, I guess it is safe to say this is one that totally disproves that theory.
3. Almost immediately after sieving the corn, the contents below start to behave like Ogi. This surprised me a lot. It was congealing, it was resisting my fingers, just like Ogi.
I believe this is the point I knew it wasn’t going to work for Abari and I ditched the idea. Thank goodness, I didn’t go ahead, otherwise, I would have ended up with Steamed Peppered Ogi instead of Abari. Ugh!!!!
The day you start, begins to count as your Day 1. I only sieved in a plastic mesh on that eventful Sunday and I just let it sit there with water floating on top.
4. By Day 3, I opened the bowl and I could see bubbles floating on top. It also had that fermentation smell. Quite interesting. Leave it again for another day, the bubbles will still be on.
5. I forgot to check on Day 4 but by Day 5, the bubbles had disappeared, the water on top has clear has a distinctive sweet and sour taste, plus alcohol smell from fermentation. The Yoruba’s call it ‘Omi dun’ meaning sweet water.
………..and that’s your Pap done in 5 days. Now, you can leave it to sit for much longer if you want it really tangy and tart. It is up to you, but by now, you have Ogi ready to use. As you can see, it is creamy and dense just like Ogi is supposed to be.
I could still feel a little grit, so I pulsed for a few minutes using my hand blender (you can put it back into your regular blender) and sieved with a very fine cheesecloth.
you will see crystallised dried out Ogi on the cheesecloth after the liquid has drained off.
Closer shot of the bowl. You can see the clear water on top
Dip a spoon into the bowl to scoop out some Pap, as you can see below, it reacts exactly as it should i.e. some resistance against the spoon.
Ta daaaaa………Pap in 5 days
See the congealing I mentioned above. Even after taking out a spoon, that area left behind a gap, or would I say peaks.
See the resistance. It did not slide off the spoon easily
It feels like Ogi to touch, it smells like Ogi. 5 days and that’s it. You can start this weekend, and by next weekend you have Ogi to feed your family for breakfast with Akara or Moin Moin.
That’s how to make Pap, the unconventional, Dooney’s Kitchen Accidental Method.