Scientific Name – Treculia Africana
This is an African delicacy. It is in the beans family and particularly popular with the Igbo people of Nigeria.
I would describe Ukwa as a satisfying protein giving meal that can serve as a substitute if you particularly cannot digest beans without having after troubles with your tummy.
First time I had this was in Enugu state where my grandmother would cook it with fish. It is sometimes sticky but when cooked properly, can be enjoyed plain or as porridge.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1000g African Breadfruit
- 2 medium fresh mackerel or sea bass fish
- 2 small stock cubes
- Palm oil (optional)
- Spinach / Green leaves / Mint leaves
- Pepper & Salt (to taste)
Prep your ingredients and don’t forget to wash your Ukwa thoroughly in cold water.
- Cut your fish into four pieces and season with onions, ginger and stock cube.
- Pour some water into your pot or pressure cooker. Tip: the level water should cover your Ukwa by about 2 inches.
- Put your washed Ukwa into a pressure cooker and cook for 30min. It will take an extra 20min longer in a pot.
- Pre-boil your fish for about 10min then sieve out into an oven tray. Do not discard the sauce from the fish
- You will know your Ukwa is fully done when you can melt a seed with your hand comfortably.
- Remove Ukwa when ready from pressure cooker and put in a sizable pot
- Add your fish sauce (you may choose to add a dash of palm oil or blended red peppers at this point for colour)
- Add salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg to taste and allow to simmer for 4 min.
- Open your pot. Place your spinach/green/mint leaves in a drainer above the Ukwa for 1 min.
Serve and enjoy your Ukwa with grilled fish.
On the side recommendations:
- Boiled or Roasted Corn on the cob
- Yam or Sweet potato chips
- Dry Ukwa usually needs picking for stones and sand that may be gathered during packaging.
- A pressure cooker is faster to cook your Ukwa. If you haven’t got a pressure cooker, soak it overnight to soften it and cut cooking time the next day.
- If you are lucky enough to use fresh Ukwa, there is no need to soak it overnight.