Tuwo Shinkafa is a popular northern “swallow” made from soft mashed rice.It’s usually made with a locally grown short grain rice popularly known as tuwo rice. This is the preferred choice because tuwo rice tends to get soft quickly which makes it easier to mash up. It can be served with soups such as; Miyan taushe, Miyan kuka, Miyan wake e.t.c.
uwo shinkafa is a rice dish originating from the Hausas, which is popular in Northern Nigeria and Ghana. Ghanaians call it omo tuo . This rice, cooked until very soft, followed by mashing and rolling into balls is eaten with stew as a “swallow”. It is one of the easier swallows to prepare as there is little effort required to make cooked rice into sticky dough and there is no chance for lumps to develop like they would when making swallow with powder like amala, etc.
Tuwo is a Hausa word which means stiff porridge or swallow. There are different types of tuwo, depending on the ingredient used. Some examples are tuwo masara (from corn), tuwo dawa (from guinea corn) and tuwo alkama (from wheat).
In Nigeria, tuwo shinkafa is eaten with different soups, with gbegiri/ miyan wake (bean soup), a favourite. Miyan taushe (pumpkin soup), miyan kuka (baobab leaves soup), egusi and okra soup all go well with these rice balls. In Ghana, omo tuo is preferred with groundnut soup or palm nut soup.
Tuwo Shinkafa Recipe
Here are the ingredients you need
- Arborio rice
A few notes about the ingredients
Rice: The rice traditionally used for tuwo shinkafa is a local short-grain rice which becomes sticky after cooking. For people who do not have access to tuwo rice, you can substitute it with any short-grain or medium-grain rice with similar characteristics. For example, I used arborio rice, which is traditionally used for risotto. Sushi rice and Asian sticky rice (glutinous rice) are all good for Tuwo shinkafa. You can find these in the rice section of supermarkets or on Amazon.
How to make it Tuwo Shinkafa
- Wash the rice.
- Add the rice into a big pan with enough water to cover the rice grains, then place on medium heat. Ensure ample space in the pot, so the rice does not boil over and make a mess.
- As the liquid is absorbed, reduce the heat to low and test by pressing between your fingers; you want the rice to be very soft. If it is not that soft yet, add more water in small quantities. Repeat this until the rice is soft and soggy.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest possible and use a wooden ladle to mash and fold the rice against the sides of the pot repeatedly until grains come together to form a stiff dough. Remove from heat.
- Serve by scooping with a spoon or taking bits of the dough with a wet hand and rolling between your palms to form balls. Serve with your favourite soup.
- Tuwo becomes hard when it is cold. Some people like to eat it this way. If you are not one of those people, pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and you’re good to go.