You may know about Ukwa from the roasted version. It is a nutty snack commonly eaten in the Eastern part of Nigeria. I find that the roasted version is something of an acquired taste. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I have known about Ukwa ever since my late teenage years and I never knew it could be eaten savoury. I just thought like groundnut, it is roasted from raw and eaten. of course now I know you cna cook with raw groundnuts, one of my favourite soups, groundnut soup is made by groudning raw groundnuts with uziza seeds. If you haven’t tried it yet, I implore you to do, you will be pleasantly surprised. Recipe can be found HERE. In place of raw groundnuts, you cna make this with unsweetened organic peanut butter.
Now, back to Ukwa. I was at a friend’s house where I was served the roasted version and her mum told me, it could also be made into a pottage using the raw nuts, just the way you cook beans. She gave me a quick recipe and I was really intrigued. My mum was coming and I made sure she brought some for raw Ukwa for me. I made this with quite a bit of trepidation, but I must say, I enjoyed the end results. Savoury Ukwa will definitely be making a comeback in my kitchen. Think of beans, and just replace with the raw Ukwa. I will be uploading a picture of the raw Ukwa this evening. Getting bored of beans, introduce variety into your diet by making Ukwa. Italso has many nutritional benefits
You will need
2 – 3 cups of Ukwa – depending on how many people you are feeding
1 cup fo shredded smoked fish
2 – 3 pieces of ata rodo – scotch bonnet/habenro epper
I will like to start by saying, I wasn’t warned that ukwa takes forever to cook. I will be boiling it in a pressure pot from hencefort.
1. Rinse the Ukwa, add water to the pot to cook it.
then you add shredded smoked fish. Dooney’s Kitchen tip: the idea to boil with shredded smoked fish came from the fact that i assumed ukwa would taste bland when boiled on its own, and I wanted to amp up the flavour by using smoked fish
2. Place the pot on high heat and cook the ukwa softens, jsut like you would with beans. I can’t remember how long this took, I only remember that for the amount I was making, it did not cook as fast as I thought.
3. Once it has softened sufficiently, check the water level. If it has absorbed all the water, add a little more, just enough to top it, then add fresh pepper, palm oil, salt and 1 seasoning cube. Stir and just let it cook, till the palm oil and pepper mesh with the flavour of the Ukwa and the pale cream colour has changed to a brown shade of yellow. You may wish to mash it slightly with a wooden spoon to make it more creamy like beans pottage.
………………….and that’s your Ukwa. The aroma and the taste, especially with the smoked fish is just amazing. If you don’t have smoked fish, you can use crayfish.
You can go fancy by serving it in a cored out red or green bell pepper.