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 ethnic group).

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 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.

Ukwa (African Breadfruit)

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 Nigerian and can’t find it around you.

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.

The ingredients

4 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.

How To Prepare Ukwa

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.

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 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 (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), add the soft corn, stir
Ikwe odo


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. Taste for salt and you are done making this African delicacy.

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

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Video For Preparing African Breadfruit (Ukwa)

Compare African breadfruit & Other Nigerian Foods

Do you know how to make African Salad?


  1. Luis Prazeres  May 25, 2016

    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.

    • Chy Anegbu  May 27, 2016

      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|

  2. Success njide  February 20, 2017

    Nice teaching

  3. Stephanie Olua  November 16, 2017

    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

  4. ann  December 16, 2017

    Can i add crayfish and onion to the ukwa porridge?

    • Chy Anegbu  December 20, 2017

      Yeah, I hear some people do it.

  5. Ola  January 10, 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 🙂

  6. uchenna  February 22, 2018

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


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