Monday, 16 June 2014

Àbàrí: Steamed Savoury Corn Cake


As a young girl; I had the privilege to learn some indigenous cooking tips from my great grandmother and my mother. These two women are the people who moulded my passion for cooking. 

One of the recipes I learnt was how to make ABARI (as the Ekitis call it). Abara is simply a Savoury Steamed Corn Pudding. I’m not so familiar with the name in other cultures; however, I know the Igbos call it Ukpu Oka. It is made using the same method as that of making Moin-Moin. The only difference is the main ingredient which is Corn. I know each individual add certain things in Abari; to derive a certain taste or preference. My great grandmother was from Akoko in Ondo State; and she used to add sliced Okro in Abari; whilst my mother cooks hers with Orishirishi (different meat and fish items) just like Moin-Moin.

I woke up this morning seriously craving this; as I haven’t had it in over 10 years. So if you are just like me; who lives in the Diaspora and craves this uber-delicious delicacy; here is a recipe to follow.
I purchased fresh corn on the cob from my local food supermarket (you can use either fresh or frozen sweet corn).
Fresh Corn on the cob (x2)
Corn Flour (100g)
Medium-sized onion (x1)
Scotch bonnet pepper (x1)
Medium-sized red ball pepper (x1)
Mackerel in sunflower oil (x1 can)
Knorr chicken cube (x2)
Salt to taste
  1. Using a knife, remove the corn off the cob and pour in a blender. 
  2. Add the peppers and onions and blend to a smooth paste.
  3. Pour the paste in a mixing bowl and add the corn flour, knorr cubes and salt to taste
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix the paste and the seasoning to a rich consistency.
  5. Add the tinned mackerel with the oil to the paste and mix.
  6. Pour hot water into an oven pan (up to an inch deep).
  7. Pour the paste into silicon cupcake cases and place them in the pan.
  8. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and place in the preheated oven at 200 degrees.
  9. Remove the foil after 8 minutes and let the mixture bake for another 10-13 minutes.
  10. Remove the oven pan from the oven and place the cases on a dry plate to cool.
  11. Let cool for 5 minutes
  12. Voila!!! Food is ready!!!!

N.B: Abari can be served with Garri, Rice, Bread, or any other dish apart from Swallows.

Your girl, 



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