One of the most prominent dish in Nigeria is corn pudding, otherwise known as Ukpo Oka in the Igbo parts of the Nigerian federation. Without any doubt, it is a food that is peculiar to the Eastern Region of Nigeria.
From findings, corn pudding is said to be associated with several names which include: Ukpo Oka, Ekoki, Ekusun, Sapala, Oka Moi-Moi or Igbankwu Oka. In other parts of Nigeria, Corn pudding is also a posh way of calling it “Corn moi-moi” as some locals love to call it.
Anyone who often eat the food would love to ask if there are any health benefits of Ukpo Oka (Corn Pudding). Perhaps you are battling your brain to answer the question to yourself. Well, yes, there are many health benefits associated with the consumption of Ukpo Oka.
Health Benefits of Ukpo Oka (Corn Pudding)
1. Rich in fibre
Ukpo Oka is a very nutritious meal and is known to contain a high amount of fibre. The fibre content makes it a satisfying food item for people who don’t eat up to three times a day.
2. Good for weight loss
It also helps to reduce body weight. All you have to do it replace the usual palm oil with tomato stew. Then, enjoy your corn pudding meal. Ukpo oka is one the best Nigerian snacks for weight loss.
3. Good source of protein
Ukpo Oka is moderately rich in protein. It is also very cheap and affordable to prepare because the main ingredient is corn, which can be readily bought from local traders.
4. Great source of carbohydrates
Ukpo Oka is a good source of carbohydrates which helps to supply energy to the body. Carbohydrates is further broken down into glucose and glycogen eventually. Glycogen is the main nutrient the body need to carry out day-to-day functions.
5. Contains vitamins and minerals
Ukpo Oka contains decent amount of minerals and vitamins which help the body to improve it’s immunity against illness. Some of the minerals in corn pudding are phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and copper. The minerals present in corn also helps to improve many bodily functions.
How To Prepare Ukpo Oka (Corn Pudding)
If you want to prepare your own corn pudding at home with fresh corn, you will have to get this list of ingredients ready:
- Three (3) medium-sized pieces of onions.
- Smoked Titus Fish or any other fish of your choice, but must be smoked.
- Two (2) Cooking spoons of palm oil
- Two (2) cups of corn seeds. To get this quantity, buy five (5) pieces of fresh corn cobs.
- Fresh pepper.
- Banana or Plantain leaves or foil for wrapping the pudding.
- Two (2) tablespoonfuls of cray fish.
- Little sliced scent leaves (not compulsory).
- Separate the corn seeds from the maize strand. Then, wash thoroughly and blend with water untill you get a rough paste. Not very smooth one.
- Pour the rough paste into a clean, big bowl. Blend onions, fresh pepper and the crayfish together till you have a very smooth mixture. Then, add the mixture to the rough corn paste.
- If you get a thick mixture, you should add more water to it. Then, add palm oil, seasoning and salt and stir. Add fish, after that.
- Stir the whole mixture properly and then add the scent leaves and continue stirring the pudding mixture.
- After the process, use the plaintain or banana leaves or foil to wrap the mixture the same way you wrap moi-moi and place it in a pot.
- Finally, add cups of water to the lot and leave it to to cook. Your delicious Ukpo Oka (Corn Pudding) will be done after a continuous cooking of about 45 minutes. Make sure to check the water level and add extra if the water gets dry during the process.
That’s all you have to do to enjoy your indigenous corn pudding. Now, that you know some of the health benefits of Ukpo Oka, and can now prepare it, you should enjoy this delicacy often.