Nigerian Breadfruit (Ukwa)


African breadfruit belongs to a distinct food category. Since breadfruit seeds are most similar to beans, I decided to put it in the beans area even though I wasn’t sure where to put it initially. Treculia africana is its scientific name, and it is known as Ukwa in Igbo.

Ukwa is a very adaptable dish with a lovely natural flavor. It tastes fantastic when prepared with fresh Ukwa but can be prepared plainly without any ingredients, not even salt. It can be roasted and eaten with palm kernels or coconut. It can also be made into a porridge, which is the topic of this page.


  • African Breadfruit, 700g
  • 2 medium-size dried fish
  • two little stock cubes
  • 7g of edible potash
  • palm oil (enough to color)
  • Five to six fresh bitter leaves 
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Typical additions to breadfruit porridge include:

  • White Puna yam
  • corn (you may also use sweet corn), and maize

Notes about the Ingredients

  1. For this dish, you can use dried or freshly peeled ukwa.
  2. Stock fish, dry fish, or both are options.
  3. When I refer to “fresh bitter leaves,” I mean those that have not yet been washed and pressed.
  4. Consistently add enough palm oil to your Nigerian dishes to make them appear appealing.
  5. Edible potash helps food become more delicate. It is best to use a very small amount. You won’t need to use the food tenderizer if you are fortunate enough to purchase recently dehusked ukwa seeds from the same tree. I am not aware of any alternative to edible potash.

Before you cook the ukwa

  1. Soak dry ukwa all night in lots of cold water if using it. Skip this step if you’re using fresh ukwa.
  2. Break up the dry fish or stock fish the following day after soaking, deboning, and washing it.
  3. Thoroughly wash the ukwa in cold water. Watch careful for the sand and stones that typically settle at the bottom.
  4. Pulverize the pepper.
  5. After washing the bitter leaves, set them aside.

Directions for Cooking

Fill a big saucepan with the thoroughly washed ukwa. Because a pressure pot cooks ukwa more quickly.

Cover the ukwa with adequate water. The water level should be roughly 1 inch higher than the level of the ukwa


Include the palatable potash. Put the dried fish or stock fish in the pot, cover it, and cook it through. When the seeds melt when crushed, the ukwa is finished. Watch the water carefully during cooking as you might need to top it off. A pressure pot eliminates the need for top-ups.


Add enough palm oil, pepper, stock cubes, and salt to taste to the cooked ukwa.


Stir. Cook the palm oil covered over medium heat until the color changes from red to yellow. It ought should take five minutes or so.


Add the bitter leaves and stir.


When the leaves are wilted but still green and the ukwa is ready to be served, cover and simmer.

Using a pressure cooker to prepare ukwa


Ukwa is one of the Nigerian dishes you should use your pressure cooker for since it drastically reduces cooking time.


For pressure pots, proceed with the previous instructions through Step 2.
Add edible potash, dry fish or stock fish, pepper, salt to taste, stock cubes, and palm oil for step 3 after that.


Cook for 30 minutes under pressure with a cover on. My cooker is set to heat 7, and my pot’s pressure is set to 1 (my burner’s heat settings range from 1 to 9).


The ukwa should be perfectly finished after 30 minutes with the aforementioned settings. Add the bitter leaves after depressurizing the pot under running water.


Cook the vegetables until they wilt but are still green. The pot doesn’t need to be pressurized during this process.


Stir, then it’s finished!


In conclusion, make sure you have enough porridge in the meal when finished since breadfruit porridge thickens as it cools.

Palmy wine should be served chilled. Awww! Or any other cold beverage.

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