Rainy season is here again. The weather is cool and some of us are already enjoying the food benefits of the season. Ukwa, which is also known as African breadfruit, is one of the food blessings that come with the rainy season. It’s a versatile food and it’s quite nutritious too. Ukwa is one of my favourite dishes. It’s somewhat expensive when it’s in season but it’s more so when it’s off season. Since this is the season for it, here are a few things you should Know about this delicacy:
It’s a culinary jewel in Anambra State
Ukwa hails from this state and the people love it to bits. Ironically, this food which features prominently in almost all social events in the state is also scarce in those events. While most guests are entitled to rice or soup and swallow, VVIPS are assured of ukwa. That’s why you would hardly find anyone carrying a trayful of ukwa to the general canopy like they do jollof rice. If a guest requests for it and the host or someone close to him does not give the caterers express permission to serve that guest, he’d either be told it’s finished or he’d be ignored. This explains why someone called it the food of discrimination.
Ukwa can be bought and enjoyed fresh or dried
During rainy season, you’d easily find mobile vendors in Anambra and other southeastern states carrying this food everywhere you go. This makes it easy for ukwa lovers to buy and eat it to their heart’s content. For their part, those who want to continue eating this food when it’s off season as well as those who intend to use it for their events usually buy it in large quantity when it’s in season and dry it. It’s cheaper then too.
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You can preserve fresh ukwa by air-drying it
Fresh ukwa spoils quick especially if it’s left in a hot or humid place. This means that it is not the kind of food you forget in your shopping bag overnight. If you do, you’ll most likely see that it now has a hint of green colouration. That green colouration is a warning sign. If you ignore it, mould will invade the ukwa and it will become slimy and inedible. Thus, if you are not going to cook fresh ukwa immediately after purchase, spread it out on a tray. If it’s a sunny day, sundry it. If it’s not, find an airy place for it and stir the seeds from time to time; this will ensure that it dries to a reasonable extent.
Ukwa shrinks in size when cooked
With some foods, you adopt the less for more system when measuring out the quantity to be cooked. That’s because those foods increase in size when cooked. With ukwa, it’s the opposite; the ten cups you measured out will most likely look like five cups when you are done cooking. So, to be on the safe side, adopt the more for less strategy in measuring it out. If you do, you’ll find that when it’s ready, the quantity will be just what you aimed for or slightly less.
It requires a tenderizer
If you cook ukwa without a tenderizer, it will take forever to become soft enough to eat. That is why it’s preferably cooked in a pressure pot. However, those who do not have this valuable kitchen device use substances like edible potash and ngo to shorten the cooking time.
I hope you found these information useful. Compliments of the Ukwa Season.
The Pretend Chef
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