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Have You Tried The Legendary Kuka And Tuwo Soup?

If you have not heard the legendary food – tuwo – then this is for you. Do you know how indigenous people of Southern Nigeria love amala and ewedu? That is exactly how people from northern Nigeria love their tuwo; and the most popular soup that accompanies it–miyan kuka soup.
The quantity of miyan kuka soup that the following quantities of ingredients will give you depends on the consistency you like for your soups. As you cook the soup, add water to bring it to the consistency you like.


  • 3 tbsps kuka powder (dry baobab leaves powder)
  • 1kg cow ribs (cut into pieces)
  • 2 dry catfish
  • 2 cooking spoons of palm oil
  • 2 handfuls crayfish (2 tbsps ground crayfish)
  • 1 flat round dawa dawa (ogiri okpei, iru, locust beans)
  • Habanero pepper (atarugu, ose oyibo, atarodo)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 big seasoning cubes
  • Salt (to your taste)

You might need more details on the ingredients. See below:

Kuka powder is dry baobab leaves that have been ground into powder.
Miyan kuka is usually very seasoned, so add your favourite seasoning (beef flavour) and use the juiciest parts of beef. You can also use tozo (beef with marbling). The quantities and varieties of meat and fish to add to your Nigerian soup is entirely up to you. However, don’t use chicken. Goat meat, beef, and so on, go well with Nigerian soups.


Palm oil is essential to this soup. Once you add palm oil, you will notice a delicious change in the aroma of this soup. Kuka powder is dark so you will only notice a slight change in the soup’s colour when you add palm oil.
You can use cayenne pepper (fresh or dry) instead of habanero peppers.


Before you cook:

  1. Boil water and set aside, you may need it.
  2. Soak the dry catfish in cool or lukewarm water. When soft, clean thoroughly and debone.
  3. Grind the crayfish and ogiri okpei with a spice/coffee grinder.
  4. Grind or pound the pepper.
  5. You can cut the onion into big chunks. This also depends on you.

Cooking directions for miyan kuka

  1. Cook the meat/fish with the seasoning cube and onions.
  2. When the meat is ready, add the kuka powder, spreading over the meat stock as you add. Then stir well to make sure that you get a smooth mix without lumps.
  3. Add the pepper, crayfish and dawa dawa blend and palm oil. Stir well.
  4. Cover and cook for about five minutes on medium heat, stirring it from time to time. Kuka is very much like ogbono hence, it sticks to the bottom of the pot if not stirred often.
  5. After five minutes, add the cooked beef and some salt if necessary. Stir well.
  6. Cover and once it boils again, it is ready.

Miyan Kuka is best served with tuwo shinkafa. There is also tuwo masara. But we will focus on shinkafa.

Tuwo Shinkafa (mashed rice)

  • 2 cups of white rice (preferably Basmati rice)
  • Water


  1. Wash the rice with cold water and then boil until really soft and mushy. You will need to keep adding water as it is boiling.
  2. When it’s really mushy, use a thick wooden spatula to pound and mix the rice until it all sticks together.
In this article:
KukaKuka And Tuwo SoupTuwo
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