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The Northern part of Nigeria has a history for producing sumptuous and distinctive foods. One of these varieties is the ‘Masa’ or ‘Waina’. It is a popular food in the Northern part of Nigeria, especially with the Hausas.

It is a fermented puff batter of rice, millet, maize, or sorghum cooked in a pan which usually makes it have the oval or round shape. It’s made using short grain rice. This short grain species of rice is mostly produced and consumed in the Northern part of Nigeria and is referred to as Tuwo rice.

Frying the Masa.

Masa Bauchi was the popular identity for every masa in the North, irrespective of the state or town it was made. The reason is simple: the origin of masa is the state. Traditionally, in Hausaland, masa is used occasionally in the ceremonial and festive periods, and more commonly during breakfast. It is also served commonly as breakfast, snacks or appetizers before the main meal.

As an indigenous food, it is one of the principal class of a variety of cereal-based foods and this came to be as the Hausas have the most meals made from cereals in Nigeria.

Waina Masa

The variety of rice used in making this dish is soaked for a few days and left to ferment to give the masa its original taste. It is also fried in a unique pan which makes it palatable.

It can be prepared in two ways. One with sugar and the other without Sugar. The one with sugar can be eaten without sauce; you can also take it with a drink. The one without sugar is usually taken with a sauce like the miyan taushe or groundnut soup.

Masa is prepared by blending raw rice, pearl millet, cowpea, groundnut, and other ingredients such as vegetable oil, sugar, salt, skim milk powder, starch, tamarind fruit and active dried baker’s yeast.

Undoubtedly, the food is a balanced delicacy and nourishing to the body.

Sources: Afrolems

Nkama,  I. (1993). Studies on improving the nutritional quality of masa-a traditional Nigerian fermented cereal-based food. A report to the United Nations University. Mysore, India: Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), pp. 1-28.

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This article was first published on 23rd October 2018


An Environment Resource Management graduate of Abia State University with her Masters in-view, Chinwe is also a Columnist, an OAP, a sought-after motivational speaker and writer with special interest in food and the balance of diet.

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