Soured porridge is one of Africa’s most ancient dishes, existing way before the European explorers hit the West African coast. This food was present when the Arabs interacted with the Sahel and West African regions of the continent before the 1500s. In Northern Nigeria (and across the country) it is not uncommon to combine millet and soured milk to get a refreshing drink called fura da nono. Not very far from this is kunu (kununzaki – drink) and Hausa koko (Ghana – porridge).
Ogi is a corn version (Nigeria). If that wasn't enough, you get uji in Uganda and other parts of East Africa. I tasted a bowl of fermented porridge in Kenya last year and was amazed at how widespread this food really is across the continent. Real African food. And in Egypt, a bowl of porridge accidentally left to ferment was the foundation of leavened bread over 5000 years ago.
In essence, this bowl and the name we give to the dish… is our daily bread in every way. It makes for a truly happy breakfast.
Music: Johnny Mokhali – Mpule
Freda is the creator of My Burnt Orange, a brand dedicated to celebrating African culture through food. Every day she shares the appealing, multifaceted nature of African cuisine. An avid traveler, food writer, and recipe developer, Freda writes passionately about African cuisine, incorporating thoughtful creativity to her work, which has featured on BBC and CNN. She writes for online and television publications and co-authored her first book, “the science of Spice” in 2018. She was born and raised in Botswana to Ghanaian parents and now resides in Lagos, Nigeria with her Zimbabwean husband and 4 kids.
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