Miyan kuka, the king of soup in the North!

Last week, a female colleague who is from Bayelsa State but was born and bred in the north, Kano State precisely, wouldn’t stop talking about the most cherished delicacy in that part of the country; Miyan Kuka ( soup made from powdered baobab leaves and dried okra). Curious, Xquisite Food visited an exclusive Hausa restaurant in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to have a taste of this northern delicacy. At the restaurant, wealthy-looking Hausa men, mostly gold/precious stones sellers and bureau de change dealers, with their flowing kaftan sleeves rolled up to their elbows were seen relishing miyan kuka with tuwo, with sweats dripping from their foreheads down to their faces and chests. Upon a closer look, the soup appears like ogbono but with a darker green colour. Yours truly ordered a plate of miyan kuka and to be honest, it really tasted nice.

After some probing, Xquisite Food was able to get the recipe for cooking miyan kuka. If you are a food lover and love varieties, you owe it to yourself to try this soup out.



Boabab leaf powder (Kuka)

Bone-in beef (Nama da kashi)

Dried catfish (Busheshen kifi)

Onion (Albasa)

Beef stock cube

Locust beans (Dawadawa)

Fresh ginger (Cita)

Scotch bonnets (Atarugu)


Palm oil (Mai Ja)

Salt (Gishiri)



  • Rinse the beef and put in a pot; add chopped onions, salt and stock cube. Do not add water at the beginning of the boiling process. Wait for the beef to cook in its own juices before adding water to it.
  • While the beef is cooking, debone and shred the dried cat fish. Soak it in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain the water and rinse with cold water.
  • Pound together the peppers, ginger, dawadawa and crayfish until you get a paste.
  • After the beef has cooked for 30 minutes, add some more water to the pot. Add the dawadawa paste, dried fish and palm oil, add seasoning and allow cooking for another 30 minutes. This long cooking time is needed to tenderize the bone-in beef and to harmonize the flavors of all the ingredients.
  • Remove all the beef and large chunks of fish from the soup into a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, add the Kuka a pinch at a time with one hand while you stir the soup with your other hand. Do not rush this step. If you add a lot at a time, your soup would be lumpy. Keep adding and stirring the soup until you get the consistency that you love.
  • Return the beef and dried fish to the pot and cook for 10 more minutes and your soup is ready!

Miyan Kuka is best served with tuwo (rice pudding).