One really good food that I loved as a kid and is now a favourite of mine is Kwahka (Pronounced “Kworka”). A delicious corn pudding made from very ripe plantains, palm fruit extract and cornmeal. Originally cooked by wrapping the corn batter in plantain leaf pockets and steamed in a pot.
As a kid growing up in southern Nigeria, I believed one of the perks of being a Niger Deltan was the good food. Not only good food, but most of all the fresh fruits and vegetables from naturally fertile plantations where rich cooking oils are extracted from, such as palm oil; the fishes and all kinds of sea foods from the Niger River and livestock’s that vary.
Kwahka has been a age-long street food of the Niger Delta (Southern Nigeria) and I’m delighted to share this age-long recipe with you.
Here’s the recipe (Serves 8):
- 3 Cups Cornmeal
- 4 Cups Palm-Fruit Extract
- 3 Very Ripe Plantains
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Tbsp. Salt
- 1 Tbsp Cameroon Pepper Powder
- 1/4 Cup Palm oil
- A Kettle of hot water
Note: I made my Palm-fruit extract but you can buy the cans from the your local grocery or from most African/Asian retailers. When using the canned Palm-fruit extract, dissolve it with twice the amount of water, this is because the extracts in the cans are industrially processed into a purée, so it’s more concentrated.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, grease 8 small ramekins and set aside on a deep baking dish.
- In a blender/food processor blend the plantains with the water until smooth.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electronic mixer, create a well in the middle and pour in all the liquid ingredients (Palm oil, Palm-fruit extract and plantain mixture).
- Starting on low-speed, use the whisk attachment to whisk all the ingredients together until incorporated and then continued whisking on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Portion the batter into the ramekins, it should just about fill each one.
- Pour the hot water from the kettle into the baking dish until it comes one-third to halfway up the sides of the ramekins (be careful not to splash water into the pudding).
- Place the baking dish with the ramekins in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven off, carefully transfer the ramekins unto a wire rack to set and cool.
- To serve, run a small knife around the edge of each ramekins to loosen the pudding. Quickly invert each pudding on a plate. If it doesn’t release right away, gently shake the ramekins from side to side a few times to help it out.