In many countries a thin porridge is traditionally prepared from wet milled pastes or dry milled flour using either dehulled or non-dehulled grains. Millet, because of the smaller grain size is less frequently dehulled. Sometimes the grains are roasted, bleached in tamarind water, or germinated prior to dehulling and grinding into flour. Porridge may be fermented or non-fermented and is frequently served for breakfast or to new mothers and young children. Very similar products can be made with composite flours of sorghum / cassava, sorghum / millet, and sorghum / millet / cassava. The texture of thin porridge varies depending on flour particle size, and often a combination of finely and coarsely ground flour is used. Flour agglomerations may be added to alter the texture of the porridge. The flavor as well may vary depending on whether it is fermented or not, and whether the flour was made from roasted or germinated grain. Seasonings, sugar, sesame, lemon, or sour milk also affect the flavor. In general, a light color (white or red), smooth, free-flowing creamy consistency, and bland to sour flavor and aroma are preferred depending on the region and process used. Color preferences vary according to the color of flour. Dark, lumpy, grain, or watery products with a raw starch, bitter, rancid, or off-flavor (due to tannins in hull or undercut, or mould developed during storage) are not desired.

1 cup sorghum / pearl millet meal
3 - 4 cups water (adjusted to individual consistency preferences)
1 cup sour milk (water may be used instead)
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix flour with cup water. Place in a covered container and let stand 24 - 48 hours in a warm place (for unfermented porridge this step is omitted). Bring remaining water to boil and add the fermented flour. Boil for 10 - 15 min until smooth and thick Add sour milk, stir, and boil for 1-2 additional minutes (commonly an extra cup of water is added in step 3 and this step is omitted). Sprinkle with sugar and serve hot for breakfast or lunch.

-          Kenya: Uji wa mtama is often made with mixtures of 2 parts maize or cassava flour to 1 part sorghum or millet flour. The hulls present in sorghum or millet flour impart the desired product color. Millet is preferred.

-          Tanzania: Uji is often seasoned with sugar, salt, milk, or lemon juice. A very finely milled white flour is used.

-          Uganda: Obungi bwa kalo is made as above using about 4 cups of banana juice instead of the water and omitting the sour milk. Usually millet flour is used. Obushera is a thin porridge made from germinated grain. A malted coarsely ground sorghum flour (made by adding ash and water to the grain, germinating it overnight, washing off the ash, drying and grinding the grain) is often used. Porridge is frequently seasoned by adding a generous amount of sugar, orange or lemon juice, mashed banana, sesame paste, or milk. Edi is a non-fermented version of obushera.

-          West Africa: Ogi, Akamu, Kunu are made as above usually in fermented form

Serves 2 - 3


area : East Africa

course : breakfast


source : Patricia McDuffy [IRE_tag]