African breadfruit (ukwa) is definitely one of the popular Igbo foods,
so it is well worth a good place on a list of foods eaten by the people of Igbo (a very popular Nigerian tribe).

People keep wondering ‘what is African breadfruit?’ and how to prepare it the exact way an Igbo person would like it.

The majority of the questions I get via my contact form are from ladies that are married to a Nigerian man, What to serve a Yoruba man for dinner? What to serve an igbo man for for breakfast and stuff like that.

That was the main reason I started an entirely new series on foods eaten by different Nigerian ethnic groups and here we are dealing with African breadfruit (ukwa) as one of the popular Igbo foods.

African Breadfruit (Ukwa)

I will try to explain in detail how this recipe was prepared in my own very kitchen and then I would talk briefly on another recipe of Ukwa that I know about.

The Two Ukwa Recipes

Ukwa is a very popular food in the eastern part of Nigeria, the people of Igbo are very familiar with the two recipes that I would be talking about below.
Ukwa could be cooked with potash and just eaten like that or it could also be separated from the water for just the seeds to be mashed with some ingredients and thereafter served with the extract (water).

I refer to the juice after cooking as the extract, I think you will learn more about this by watching the video for African breadfruit. (Below), the entire steps outlined here was demonstrated in detail.
Below are the ingredients for preparing Ukwa (African Breadfruit), what you have below would serve about three people, you can increase or decrease depending on the number of persons you are looking to serve and of course stomach sizes .

The ingredients

4 cups of ukwa
Potash (akanwu) a spoon full
Fresh pepper (about 5)
Ogiri (optional) (a local ingredient)
Maggi (half cube)
Salt to taste
Red oil (5 to 10 cl)
2 cups of maize (optional)

How To Prepare Ukwa
Cook the corn till it is very soft for consumption
Wash the ukwa, It is necessary to wash severally in a bowl with lots of clean water, I also use a plastic sieve just to be sure that all hidden tiny stones are sorted out,

Put in a cooking pot and cook to boiling point before adding the potash, normally I dissolve the potash in water to filter out the residue, and then add the filtrate. You will also learn more about this from the video below.

It is needful to note that Ukwa does not ever get soft (done) without the use of the catalyst (potash), I tried this in secondary school and we cooked for more than four hours before we realized that something was missing. There is another ingredient that serves the same purpose as potash, it is in the form of ash gotten from the burning of palm fronds, it is locally called ngu and the people of Igbo prefer it above Akanwu (potash)

If you want to make Ukwa with ngu apply the same method as though you are using potash, dissolve in a cup of water allow for a minute or two then use the filtrate.

Cook till the ukwa is soft for consumption and you can serve. This is one of the two ways to eat African breadfruit in Nigerian, some people like to add a pinch of salt while some part of Igbos don’t use salt for this particular recipe.


The second recipe continues where the one above stopped.

Once the Ukwa Seeds are soft for consumption Separate the seeds from the water as you would find in the video below, (that is to sieve out the soft seeds from the water) most people prefer to eat just like that or make it the way it appears above.

Pound the pepper with mortar and pestle (remember this is real local but delicious meal), add about 5cl of red oil, a half cube of maggi, one ball of ogiri and stir (use a garri turner, a spoon-like wood), add the soft corn, stir then add the soft ukwa seed then turn very well with the garri turner and you will get the exact resemblance of the image above.

And yes! we have the

Video For Preparing African Breadfruit (Ukwa)

Compare African breadfruit & Other Nigerian Foods

Do you know how to make African Salad?


  1. jenice  June 26, 2013

    I like ukwa, african breadfruit but I can’t buy them here in the UK, anybody know where I can buy ukwa in the uk? I am starving pls help a sis.

    • Sabastine  November 13, 2016

      we can process for you and it can be sent to you, visit our online shop for food stuff

  2. kenneth  June 26, 2013

    This looks so delicious, I feel hungry already, my mum also makes this corn recipe, it is best served as dinner. Unfortunately, I only get to eat this in the village, I live in abuja at the moment and doesn’t even know where to buy ukwa in this part of Nigeria.
    Please keep up the gud work

    • Eby  June 5, 2014

      Keneth, you can get ukwa from any market in abuja, depending on where you reside. However, it is seasonal and sometimes not readily available and mostly expensive

  3. tony  June 26, 2013

    This seems delicious, can I have some? I am missing most of the Nigerian recipes here in ghana. Someone should help me o!

  4. Jamini  July 23, 2013

    Thanks for teaching me how to make ukwa, my mother in law cam with some dried ukwa when she visited last time and I am looking to prepare it this week, I am going to also purchase corn and do it exactly like the video above. That is exactly how we make it in Igboland. Thanks, your videos are great.

  5. Ikechukwu  September 13, 2013

    This is the Topic of my project,thank u for educating me the more God bless u.keep on the good work.

  6. ogbonnaya  October 24, 2013

    i like ukwa Africa breadfruit cooked with oka (corn) abacha (cassava)

  7. Akudo  February 4, 2014

    If you want to buy ukwa or breadfruit even in large quantity, u can call my visit our online shop. we deliver to 15 countries already.

    • Cynthia  August 18, 2016

      Will save ur no and definitely contact u once in nigeria

      • Francisca  May 20, 2017

        You can also contact me on 08035051468

  8. Amara  May 20, 2014

    Waw nice ur guys ar great i love it

  9. Ijeoma  May 27, 2014

    Kenneth you can get ukwa in Abuja. Just ask around the part of the market where they sell food stuff and ingredients and they will direct you. Zuba market for instance sell it.

  10. Ijeoma Azubuike  June 10, 2014

    You made a mistake ma in ur write up. I think u mean half cube of maggi instead of half cup of maggi. Good job ma.keep it up

    • Chy Anegbu  June 18, 2014

      Thanks Ij, noted and corrected.

    • ADAOBI  May 10, 2017

      She never said half cup of Maggi. She said half cube of Maggi. Go back and read the recipe and the preparation. Thank you!
      Ukwa is my favorite food and cook it very well too! Thank you ma, good write up!


Add a Comment