Last week, we discussed the making of cassava fufu. Today, we’ll be reviewing nni oka which is one of the many swallows enjoyed by Nigerians. Nni oka which simply means corn fufu (or literally, food made from corn) is also known locally as alibo. However, this swallow is not true to its name for it is not purely made of cornflour. It is usually combined with cassava flour to make it lighter and stretchy.
In fact, the right consistency of nni oka is gotten when cassava flour is mixed with coarse cornflour on a ratio of 4:1. Flour sellers in local markets can mix this for you; if you want or you can buy corn flour and cassava flour separately and mix them when you want to make your Swallow.
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This dough is best enjoyed with draw soups like ogbono and okro. Many years ago, the nni oka and ogbono soup combo was a ceremonial food in my hometown town, Aguleri. While nni ji (pounded yam) and ofe nsala was the swallow meal that was reserved for the VIPs at events, nni oka and ogbono soup was served the general public. Today, it is no longer as popular as it once was because semo and Ofe Onugbu (bitterleaf soup) have taken its place.
Ingredients for Nni Oka
How to Prepare
If you’re using pre-mixed nni oka like me, get a clean, dry bowl and measure the quantity that you need into it. Otherwise, measure out the cornflour and the cassava flour into a bowl and mix both of them together till they are well combined.
Put some water in a clean pot to boil. If you don’t have a large appetite, two cups of water should be enough to make your fufu.
When the water boils, gradually pour the flour into the pot of water while stirring vigorously. When you feel the nni oka has thickened, stop adding the flour but keep mixing till you have a well-blended, smooth dough.
Add very little drops of water in the pot around the fufu. Then cover the pot and let it steam; this allows the fufu to cook well so it doesn’t cause runny stomach or stomach upset of any sort.
When the fufu has steamed well, use the wooden spoon to stir it till it’s well combined. Serve it with any Nigerian soup of choice.
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