Seeing balls of akamu (in Igbo) or oyi (in Yoruba) displayed for sale in market trays is an evidence that this meal is not yet on the list of Nigerian foods on the verge of extinction. For those who enjoy it, preparing akamu from grains to ready-to-eat is worth a try. Here’s how to go about it.
A transparent chiffon sieve
A cotton bag (akamu bags are available at local markets)
Ginger (for flavour)
1. Soak the grains for one to two nights to ferment.
2. Wash out grains thoroughly to eliminate sand and stone particles and possible odour coming from fermentation.
3. Blend the grains and ginger in a wet-mill.
4. After that, tie the sieve cloth round a bowl (big enough to take in contents).
5. Sieve the blended cereals to remove husks by pouring water over and stirring. After stirring, the brown husks remain on the sieve.
6. Allow the filtered cereal to settle (for up to one day), drain off the water and mix the sediment evenly.
7. Pour into the cotton bag and place a weight on it for quick draining.
8. Once drained, scoop out into containers and keep for use. Freeze to preserve for longer periods or cover with water in bowls. Note: when covered in water, always change the water by draining off every morning.
9. To preserve in powder form, dry the sediment and then grind to powder. Drying is best done during the harmattan season.
To Prepare the Pap:
1. Bring water to boiling point.
2. Cream the akamu with drinking water (at normal or warm temperature) till it gets to a running (but not watery) consistency.
3. Add enough boiling water to the creamed akamu.
4. Leave it for about a minute to thicken/cook then stir.
5. Add sugar and milk to taste.
Best served hot with akara, moi moi, okpa or plantain