An Ancient Nigerian Breakfast Porridge

Funke Koleosho's Ogi with Mixed Dried Fruits
Quite possibly the only example of a Nigerian porridge that I know is the one made from either maize or millet and locally referred to as ogikoko or akamu!!!

Ogi is made by soaking dried grains for a few days before milling. The milled grains is then strained in water to remove husks and other debris. The resultant cloudy water is allowed to rest (for a few more days) to allow fermentation and settling to occur. The very fine white, yellow or brown, (depending on the grain used) paste that comes out of this process is what is cooked and eaten as a breakfast meal or cooked into other dishes.

Now ogi on its own has a rather bland taste and if it has been left to ferment for longer, it develops  a pretty sharp/tangy taste which some people actually prefer. To improve the taste, milk and sugar are added; pretty much like eating custard.

Ogi is basically an energy food as it has very high levels of carbohydrates which the body can quickly digest and turn into energy. No wonder ogi is usually recommended for people recovering from an illness! Ogi also contains traces of some B vitamins, as a result of the microbial fermentation process.

I do enjoy to eat ogi especially with brown bean fritters (akara - get recipe here)  or moin-moin (the traditional accompaniments), but I also have enjoyed eating it with some added dried fruits and nuts to increase fibre content. The tastes and textures contributed by the added nuts/fruits contribute to the enjoyment of this meal and also increase the nutritional value. Making ogi is as easy as making custard! Really simple. Try it.

  • 200g of ogi paste or powder (this can be purchased in Afro-Caribbean food stores)
  • Water 
  • Mixed dried fruits of choice (this adds to sweetness and sharpness) 
  • Mixed dried nuts of choice (preferably flaked) 
  • Some brown/demerara sugar 
  • Some milk (ideally sweetened tinned milk) 

What to do:
  1. In a medium sized pot, dissolve the ogi paste in 1 cup of water. Allow the paste to dissolve completely to avoid lumps forming during the cooking process. 
  2. Add another 1-2 cups of freshly boiled water to the dissolved paste and stir well with a wooden spoon. By this time, the ogi begins to cook and thicken gradually. Regulate the thickness by adding more or less water.
  3. Place the pot onto the stove and gently heat for between 3-5 minutes stirring continuously until you achieve a smooth and thick, yet runny texture/consistency similar to custard. 
  4. Serve into a bowl, add some milk and/or sugar as preferred. Stir in. Finally add your dried fruits and nuts. 
  5. Serve with akara or moin-moin.  Done.

Ogi with Mixed Dried Fruits

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