Ukwa Breadfruit

African breadfruit (ukwa) is definitely one of the popular foods in Nigeria, it is a well-known delicacy in Igboland.

I have a comprehensive recipe about Igbo foods and recipes, You could read all about it.

Ukwa (African Breadfruit)

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, I get questions like – what to serve a Yoruba man for dinner? What to serve an Igbo man 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.

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 plain cooked ukwa.

By the way, you can purchase ukwa from our online store In case you live outside Nigeria and can’t find it around you.

Below are the ingredients for preparing Ukwa (African Breadfruit), what you have below would serve 3 people. You can increase or decrease depending on the number of persons you are looking to serve.

Ingredients For Ukwa

6 cups of ukwa
Potash (akanwu) teaspoon
Fresh pepper (about 5)
Ogiri (optional) (a local ingredient)
Maggi (half cube)
Salt to taste
Red oil (100ml)
2 cups of maize.

Breadfruit seed

How To Prepare Ukwa

Wash the ukwa seeds, 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.

Set a cooking pot on heat, add 5 cups of water and start cooking the ukwa (breadfruit). Once it boils, add the potash. Dissolve the potash in one cup of water, filter in the clear water and throw away the residue.

cooking ukwa

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 three 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 a popular choice among the Igbos.

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 doesn’t use salt for this particular recipe.


Breadfruit (Ukwa) Recipe 2

The second recipe (mashed Ukwa & Corn) continues where the one above stopped and you will need this ingredients below.making ukwa

Cook the corn till it is very soft as you can see above

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). See the image below.
Separate Ukwa

Pound the pepper with mortar and pestle, add about 100ml of red oil, a half stock cube, A pinch of salt, ogiri and stir (use a garri turner, a spoon-like wood).

Ikwe odo

Add the soft corn, stir.


Then add the soft ukwa seed then turn very well with the wooden turner and you will get the exact resemblance of the image above. Taste for salt and you are done making this African delicacy.

Serve the two together as you can find below.

Ukwa (African Breadfruit)

Those are the two recipes I know for Ukwa, African Breadfruit.

Breadfruit Recipes

Breadfruit Recipes | How to Cook Ukwa

Chef Chidi
Breadfruit species are rampant in the world and grows in different parts of the world bearing different names, having different shapes and different sizes. This recipe is for African breadfruit, a popular species in Nigeria that serves as foods to Igbo People.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 4 People
Calories 383 kcal


  • Pots


  • 6 cups of ukwa
  • 1 teaspoon Potash akanwu
  • 4 Fresh pepper
  • Ogiri optional (a local ingredient)
  • 1/2 seasoning cube
  • Salt to taste
  • 100 ml palm oil
  • 2 cups of soft corn


  • Start cooking the ukwa seeds - wash, transfer into a cooking pot and start cooking with 5 cups of water.
  • Add the potash once it boils.
  • Turn off the heat once the Ukwa (breadfruit) is soft, you don't want the water dried. Roughly 30 minutes.
  • You can add water inbetween.
  • Separate the seeds from the water.
  • Pound the pepper with mortar and pestle, add palm oil, a half seasoning cube, A pinch of salt, ogiri and stir use a wooden spoon.
  • The corns (maize) should follow.
  • Serve Ukwa (African breadfruit) the way you see above.


Keyword African Breadfruit, Breadfruit, Igbo Foods, Ukwa

Video For Preparing African Breadfruit (Ukwa)

Compare African breadfruit & Other Nigerian Foods

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Onuoha Ifeoma

Preparing mine now, I add a little utazi, fresh fish and crayfish

May 9, 2023
Chef Chidi

Awww! That would be super delicious.

May 10, 2023
Agbo Rachael

must someone sieve the ukwa from water before turning it? or just the way we prepare beans

April 1, 2023
Chef Chidi

Its not like beans, you sift the water. You will be serving the water too.

April 4, 2023

5 stars
I love ukwa so much thank u for teaching me how to prepare the one of ingredients I will try it

September 6, 2022

5 stars
Yeah am 💯 support with you

November 4, 2023
Chioma Nduchekwe

I love ukwa so much but any time I try cooking it , it won’t be soft as I want it is it that I didn’t put enough potash or ngu that makes it not to done after 4hours it is still strong

April 4, 2022
Chidi Anegbu

Maybe you are not using enough ngu, or maybe you are buying from the wrong person. Some people process ukwa with some chemicals that make it hard to cook.

April 4, 2022

I love your article.very educating..How do you store raw Ukwa?

April 9, 2021

Davina Raymond
Please share the recipe of ukwa and rice I have been searching for it.

Dear Author, nice meal looks delicious. About The Ogiri is it Ogiri Okpei or Ogiri Igbo

October 22, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

Ogiri Igbo dear, thanks for asking.

October 22, 2020

5 stars
My best meal!

September 7, 2020

5 stars
I use sweet corn instead. There’s also another method that is cooked like jollof… with dried fish and assorted meat…. very delicious

August 26, 2020
Davina Raymond

I just explained the method of ukwa and rice can be prepared same way without rice.

August 22, 2020
Davina Raymond

5 stars
Yeah ukwa can be prepared in different ways like with rice & even yam but I never tried dat of yam but with rice so yummy I prepare mine with enough crayfish, onion,smoked fish,pepper,salt,seasoning cube, it’s another beautiful method give it a try you will love it and thank me later 👍👍👌

August 22, 2020

5 stars
Potash have this distinct taste and aroma in ukwa.. it makes it taste that special way especially the water.. I’m cooking 5 cups right now… can’t wait for it to be done.

May 15, 2020
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, thanks for your comment dearie.

May 17, 2020

Thanks a lot for the teaching. I love ukwa & prepare mine the Anambra way with a special recipe which I got from my mum.

February 22, 2018

Anyone know where to purchase breadfruit tree/plant in Nigeria. i am based in Ogun state and can travel to nearby states if needed. Thank you all 🙂

January 10, 2018

Can i add crayfish and onion to the ukwa porridge?

December 16, 2017
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, I hear some people do it.

December 20, 2017
Stephanie Olua

Well, I think the potash or ngu makes it the real ukwa dish.. … Without it, you won’t get a tasty Mmiri ukwa. It’s just part of the ingredients

November 16, 2017
Success njide

Nice teaching

February 20, 2017
Luis Prazeres

In my country SaoTome an Principe,two islands ,a Portuguese speaking country that is located in Golf of Guinea one hour flying from Lagos ,we have breadfruit that can be eaten roasted in the wood or coal fire or pounded(after being boiled) accompanied by any stew; we also have ukwa(in SaoTome we call izaquente) they we cook is very similar what you have presented. My doubt is that you call ukwa breadfruit when I think they are two different things. I Gabon,Congo ad Northern part of Angola ukwa and breadfruits has different names like in my country.

May 25, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Treculia africana is the other name for African breadfruit and across the web (from wikipedia and sundries) it is same as ukwa. I am not oblivious of the discrepancies we have in naming African foods. So there is a possibility that we might both be right. |winks|

May 27, 2016
Anne Patricks

Thanks a bunch for teaching me how to make ukwa.. Am not Igbo but I love it and I’ve been looking for how to prepare it myself

May 7, 2016
Ijeoma Obele

Instead of using any kind of catalyst, whether salt or potash, you can simply boil the Ukwa for 30-35mins with a pressure cooker (pot). it softens as needed. then you add all the ingredients and cook till water dries up to any consistence you desire.
Anambarians love siping the water while eating the porridge.
@Chika, bitterleaf is used to make ukwa porridge too.

Weldone, your site is my goto gallery anytime i want to try a different way of making even regular dishes i already familiar with. it always turns out better. Keep up the good work.

April 12, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

Thanks sweetheart, you rock @ Ijeoma

April 12, 2016

I love Ukwa alot,thanks for enlightening me more about it,i will try it with corn see how it goes.Thanks agian Chidi

August 24, 2015

@Chi, keep up the good work. Ukwa is a highly nutritious food. My love for it propelled me into starting up an ukwa based biz. That of packaging the dried one. I supply to people outside Nigeria. You can reach me on +2348035051468. Unfortunately, I can’t upload the picture of the packaged ukwa.

June 12, 2015

Wow. I will like to buy some. How do I get it and how much?

May 20, 2017
Suzanne Gerrard

hi I would love if u could give me a price for 5 lots of ukwa seeds to the UK many thanks

February 16, 2019

@ Juliet, I will try your suggestion. Thanks for the tip.

June 12, 2015

Good job. Instead of using potash as catalyst, i’ll advice u try salt. Here’s hw: after washing d ukwa, drain d water n add a little salt,then leave for 15-30 mins. Add water and start cooking. Don’t rinse off d salt. U’ll be amazed. Thank me

May 28, 2015

if u need ukwa call this number 08035051468

November 27, 2014

I find it very hard to eat ukwa though it is a nice dish

September 22, 2014

I love ukwa, n i cooked it well

August 25, 2014

I just love ukwa so much.Especially when is missed with oil and the rest….But my aunt is making me hate it by putting god knows what in it.Dunno if is bitterleaf water or wat

July 2, 2014
Ijeoma Azubuike

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

June 10, 2014
Chidi Anegbu

Thanks Ij, noted and corrected.

June 18, 2014

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!

May 10, 2017

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.

May 27, 2014

Waw nice ur guys ar great i love it

May 20, 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.

February 4, 2014

Will save ur no and definitely contact u once in nigeria

August 18, 2016

Do you deliver to France?

October 10, 2018
Chidi Anegbu

Yeah, France and several other countries.

October 12, 2018

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

October 24, 2013

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

September 13, 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.

July 23, 2013

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

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

June 26, 2013

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

June 5, 2014

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.

June 26, 2013

We can process for you and it can be sent to you.

November 13, 2016

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