Northern Nigerian masa is worth trying

This recipe is a Northern Nigerian delight; chewy and delicately spongy rice cakes with a subtle but delicious depth of flavour.

In this recipe, a tweak was made to the original by adding dambu nama. This is totally optional. You can make these northern Nigerian delights without stuffing it.

Masa is made by soaking a special type of rice called tuwo rice ( uncooked one) in water for at least six hours or overnight.

This rice is then rinsed out and blended into a smooth paste before it’s now cooked inside a special pan, which we refer to as the masa pan.

Masa is best served with a spicy sauce or honey.


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Recipe notes:

Masa (Waina) is traditionally made with tuwo rice, but in the absence of that, jasmine rice can be used.

Masa pan was used for this recipe, but you can use a small pan if you don’t have the masa pan..



3 Cups Rice (uncooked)

3 tablespoons cooked rice heaped

11/2 tablespoons ginger

2 tablespoons yogurt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 onion medium-sized

2 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 to 4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup water plus 2 to 4 more tablespoons

1/4 cup water to proof the yeast

Dambu Nama for stuffing



Soak the rice in water for at least six hours or leave overnight. Then rinse out the rice a couple of times till the water comes out clear.

In a small bowl, add the yeast, 2 teaspoon sugar, and water. Mix well and leave to proof—about five minutes.

Blend the soaked rice, pre-cooked rice, onion, and ginger together until it becomes smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into a large bowl, stir in the yeast mixture and leave to proof for six to eight hours. You can as well leave overnight. The longer you leave it, the more fermented it becomes.

Stir in the baking powder, salt, sugar, and yoghurt.

Drizzle some cooking oil in your masa pan. Once the oil is hot enough, pour some batter into the pan about halfway full, add some Dambu Nama (if using) and immediately cover this up with another layer of batter—this should be done very fast because masa cooks really fast.

When the edges begin to solidify, flip the masa over (you can use two skewers to flip easily), and once both sides are well cooked (golden brown), remove from heat and enjoy while still hot and fresh with your favorite stew or sauce. Enjoy!


COURTESY: CEO, Cheflola’s Kitchen , Lola Osinkolu. She is a food blogger and is diverse in food preparation. She has cooked across the shores and her interest is in a healthy eating life style. She is our star chef today.


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