It is commonly called ogi or akamu in many parts of the country. Some other people even refer to it as local/traditional custard while some people say the English version for this ‘easy ride food’ or ‘drink’ is pap.
Pap is a cereal pudding, made from different dried grains such as: maize (white or yellow colour), millet, sorghum or guinea corn, wheat etc. It all depends on individual’s taste, choice and other factors which may be economic, health, beliefs etc. In some villages, fresh corn are also used to produce ogi. Fresh corn from the farm are milled and used for different meals indigenous to the people and sometimes, the milled corn can as well be used for preparing akamu.
Ogi, is a bland soft or semi-liquid food such that it is suitable for babies, the aged and every person who enjoys taking it as a meal. Although, pap is somehow tasteless without some sugar, honey or any other sweetener, and it basically contains high volume of water which is good for the hydration of the body, is commonly served as breakfast and at other times as dinner. This is still as the individual wishes.
The food is easily digested and it has many health benefits which varies according to the type of grains used for the ogi. But generally, pap is an excellent source of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate as food scientists and nutritionists say, is one of the nutrients the body heavily relies on for adequate energy that helps promotes mental alertness and body acceleration. The water contents of pap also helps in body hydration which helps keep the body organs working well.
Aside carbohydrate, akamu is also a good source of: B vitamins (pantothenic acid – B5, niacin – B3, riboflavin and thiamine – B1), folic acid, vitamins A and C, potassium, chromium, selenium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium and many others. This again depends on the type of grains used.
However, without drifting from the topic, it is very necessary for homes to know how to produce their pap/ogi/akamu from start to finish without ‘wasting’ money buying from local vendors and also for hygiene reasons.
Have you noticed that hardly a day will pass without getting a daily supply of pap from your local sellers? Despite the fact that processing ogi looks difficult or time wasting. SarahReports.com team then got curious to know how ogi sellers have daily supplies within the communities they operate without complaining about how difficult it is to process the grains to becoming pap.
As we all know, the narrative before now is, you just have to soak your grains in water for at least 2-3 days before it can be milled. But how exactly do sellers have their daily ‘uninterrupted’ supplies of akamu? Is there a magic to it? Or what exactly is the secret?
During the ogi ‘adventure’, we discovered that you don’t necessarily have to soak your grains for 2- 3 days before they can be milled; especially if you’re using sorghum/guinea corn or millet.
It was uncovered that all you need to do after buying your millet or ‘oka baba’ guinea corn in local language, is just to wash it well and pour warm water (but not lukewarm water) into the grains then cover for few hours (between 2 – 3 hours max). You will observed that the tiny grains have become soft and ready enough for the mills.
However, don’t forget to thoroughly wash the tiny grains again to remove particles, such as stones, husks, chaffs etc from the grains, before taking it to the miller. You wouldn’t want to take dirts into your mouth, will you?
If corn is your choice, you may have to soak the maize for more than a day still using warm water. This is because, corn is bigger in size and stronger than sorghum or millet. But the good news is that, you don’t have to go through the rigor of daily changing of water during the soaked period of the maize.
After you’ve poured warm water into the corn, cover and leave it there for the space of 2-3 days depending on the quantity soaked and the type of maize. After the expiration day for the soaked corn, wash thoroughly and off you go to the miller.
For ogi vendors, you are sure the next batch of pap will be ready even before the processed one in the market is finished; hence, the reason for the steady supply of the ‘food’.
Interestingly, you can play with the different grains by adding 2 or 3 of them together for a richer taste and healthier benefits. For example, you can soak millet and guinea corn (oka baba together). If you so wish, you can as well mix corn with the millet and oka baba; but you have to soak corn 2-3 days earlier and your millet and/or oka baba the very day you want to mill the mixture.
SarahReports.com assures you that your ogi will not have any foul smell or taste if you follow the instructions as directed.
Remember, to maintain the taste like any other food, leave it to cool after milling for few minutes, and then store in a freezer. And if you don’t have a freezer, you have the simple daily task routine of changing the water on the ogi to avoid it from getting sour except you prefer it sour.
Akamu is excellent with moimoi, akara, obe ata with fish/meat/snails, or any other thing you wish to take it with. It can as well be taken with milk of any brand; it is just as you want it.
Note: To get the best from your ogi/akamu/pap, please do not sieve to remove the chaff after milling. Yes, do not! Just tell your miller to ground the grains to a very smooth paste like grounding your beans for moimoi or akara. You need not sieve afterwards and, you are sure of getting a 100% benefit from your ogi. However, this is not cast on a stone. It is a matter of choice.
Also, you can spice your grains (maize/millet/sorghum) with ginger and cloves before grounding for better tastes and health benefits.
So if you find this helpful, interesting and you try it at home, please share your experience with us by leaving comments on our Facebook page, SarahReports.com or just by liking, sharing and encouraging others to do so.