The Arewa Kitchen: Yeasted Breads & Pancakes
My fascination for the Northern Nigerian Kitchen – The Arewa Kitchen is growing more and more and more. This week, I’d love to share snippets of what I’ve learnt about the cuisine. I will share drinks, meats and more but first up, breads! I love the ‘breads’ and pancakes. My first introduction was Masa, then Sinasir and recently, Gurasa. I haven’t tried Pankasau but I’m sure Al-kubus is the flat bread I’m familiar with for Sharwama.
A yeasted rice pancake that is similar to the Indian idli. Made from short grain rice, cooked rice and yeast, it is left to ferment then is fried off in a specialty pan similar to the Dutch poffertjes pan. Masa is gluten-free/ vegan/ vegetarian. It can be paired with a variety of things – soups, paps, etc; topped with nuts and nut cake, like kulikuli – crushed, defatted peanut crunch; spiced with a warm mix or yaji. I like the creamy flavour and chewy texture.
Sinasir reminds me very much of the Indian Appam – made from the same/similar batter as Masa but fried flat, not in a special divoted pan. Generally, it is cooked on one side only with a lid placed over the top once the top is dry. It’s then left to cook till the base is golden. You can eat it as a side for soups and stews, or a wrap!
Oh, I’m in LOVE. I tried Gurasa, a flat bread that’s the specialty of Kano a few days ago in Abuja. I loved it so much I brought some back home. It is supposed to be similar to Middle Eastern Pita/ Arabic Khibuz but it is unlike any pita I’ve ever had. I think it is closer in name and concept to Sudanese Gurasa/ Gorraasa.
It is soft and spongy, its top slightly dimpled – from when it’s being baked? Perhaps? Our version was finished with a topping of kulikuli and delightfully crunchy edges. Amazingly delicious and smoky. Loveeeeee.
@kuluwaz treated me to lunch @hazani_meats. I had: Left: Balangu, slow-spit roasted ram – a speciality of #Sokoto state, smoky and sprinkled with the lightest hand of yaji Right: Gurasa, which @supersanusi first introduced me to. A flatbread – soft, spongy with a topping of kulikuli and delightfully crunchy edges. Amazingly delicious Top: Chunky sweet potato chips . . #Kitchenbutterfly #PostcardsfromAbuja #Nigeriancuisine #Abujaeats #Arewa #arewakitchen #yum #ram #flatbread #lunch
It is eaten in a variety of ways – on its own, with meats – suya and the like, and with soups.
See the bubbles in that piece? Can you imagine how soft and pillowy this Gurasa was? Perfectly matched with the smoky, nutty topping of #kulikuli. Sigh . . Gurasa, which @supersanusi first introduced me to. A flatbread – soft, spongy with a topping of kulikuli and delightfully crunchy edges. Amazingly delicious. . . #Kitchenbutterfly #PostcardsfromAbuja #Nigeriancuisine #Abujaeats #Arewa #arewakitchen #yum #ram #flatbread #lunch #Gurasa #kulikuli
Here’s a recipe which I’ll try soon from food guide.com.ng because a photo of their finished dish looks like what I fell so deeply, madly for.
There’s long been a connection between the Arabs and the north of Nigeria and the influence is visible in the breads and teas of the region. Al-Kubus is a pita-like flat bread great for wraps – or if you’re Nigerian, Sharwarma bread!
A deep-fried wheat flour flat bread, yeasted too and commonly made alongside Masa. It kind of reminds me puffpuff but flat.
So, these are some yeasted breads and pancakes from the Arewa Kitchen. Do you know any more? Please share. Thank you.