Golden (Yellow) Ogi

I present to you GoldOgi... No, its not custard, and no colouring has been added. Its all natural ogi made from yellow maize!

Ogi is becoming one of my top choices when it comes to a breakfast meal. Combined with some good protein rich accompaniment such as moin moin, it can serve as a really easy to make and nutritionally balanced meal.

For those who are not familiar with it, Ogi (also called akamu, koko or pap) is a traditional Nigerian breakfast porridge made from fermented grains such as maize and millet (read more about my other Ogi posts here Fortified Ogi & Ancient Breakfast Porridge).

All varieties of maize can actually be used to make produce ogi and the type used of course determines the appearance of the end product. White maize produces the white ogi which is the most common type that you would find. Also ogi made from millet has a characteristic reddish brown colour. More rarely, you will find ogi made from yellow maize. Finding this sort of "exoticity" is where my eagerness often becomes unleashed....

Many years ago when I discovered that ogi can be made from yellow maize and that the resultant product is delightfully golden yellow, I hunted the stuff down, I found a local producer from whom I got my regular supply.

Relocating to the UK meant that I was unable to lay my hands on the stuff as often as I wanted but I was always on the look out when shopping in Afro Caribbean food shops. During one of my shopping visits, I found it....! It was an Olu Olu brand powdered yellow ogi. I was excited and purchased some. Though I was used to and preferred the yellow ogi paste, the powdered form was good and it served its purpose. There is a trick to making it perfectly though.....see method below.

Fast forward to now. You can imagine my delight once again when I was able to find and buy yellow ogi paste in my recent travel to Lagos. Screaming under my breath, I told the seller to pack a bunch of the pre-wrapped paste. I asked her why the yellow ogi was not so easy to find like its white counterpart and the answer was short...yellow maize is not as available as white maize.

GoldOgi with a sprinkling of chopped awin

So why eat Golden Ogi
First of all, I love to eat in colours. Its just so much more exciting and appetizing for me. Colourful food offer more visual satisfaction. Looking at it makes me just want to dive in. It also creates an element of awe and wonder if you are the type who love to tantalise your guests. Presenting it the first time is bound to make them "aroused".

In addition, there is a slight nutrition advantage to eating golden ogi in comparison to its white equivalent. Both bear very similar nutritional profile but the yellow variety offers a little more micro nutrients in particular vitamin A.

I am all up for varying my diet and eating a wide variety of foods, just so that I am not missing out on anything I reckon there is nothing wrong in eating golden ogi today then eating white tomorrow....then more golden ogi the next time etc...

In regards to taste, there is very little difference, or none at all. When blindfolded you cannot tell their taste apart.

So give some a try. Add a few chopped dried fruits of your choice, in this post I added chopped awin (icheku) velvet tamarind. The contrasting sweetness and tanginess is just bliss.

What you need
  • Golden ogi paste or powder (if you are using ogi powder, I suggest you dissolve in a small quantity of water to make a paste and leave for a few hours before use.) 
  • A handful of shelled and de-seeded black velvet tamarind (awin, icheku)
  • Some brown/demerara sugar or honey to sweeten

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. Sprinkle over the chopped awin and serve hot.

Golden Yellow Ogi served with chopped Awin




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