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.

DSC_0163 Gurasa is a specialty of the Jakara people of Kano. Made from wheat flour, it is baked in local earthenware pots called Tanderu. 

It is eaten in a variety of ways – on its own, with meats – suya and the like, and with soups.

Here’s a recipe which I’ll try soon from food 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. 



#closeup #subralicious #foodie #pankasau Have a Lovely Weekend💚.

A photo posted by S•H•J (@subrasfood_corner) on

So, these are some yeasted breads and pancakes from the Arewa Kitchen. Do you know any more? Please share. Thank you.

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