It has been more than 16 years since the last time i ate Miyan kuka and that was when I use to live in Nigeria. My friend and I were talking about it so we decided to cook it together at his place.
Miyan kuka is a type of Nigerian cuisine from the northern part of Nigeria, common among the Housa people. The soup (stew) is made from powdered Baobab leaves and dried Okra. The broth draws out when eaten with a spoon. It is usually served with tuwo shinkafa, a thick sticky mashed over-cooked rice, or pounded yam (Doya), a class of roots and tubers that is staple of the Nigerian and West African diet, prepared similar to mashed potatoes but all mashed and completely smooth with no chunks left. Miyan kuka is cooked alongside with tomato beef stew. When dipping into it a small piece of semi-solid food like pounded yam to eat. The taste of the tomato beef stew combined with the Miyan kuka draw soup is extremely tasty and mouth-watering.
Preparing Tomato beef stew
1.5 kg of beef fillet cut into large cubes
3 cups of water
1 litter of vegetable oil
6 tins of chopped tomatoes
100 g of canned tomato paste
3 large chopped onions
3 Maggi cubes
4 to 5 whole tarugu (scotch bonnet chilli) optional
Salt to taste
In a reasonably sized pot, boil the beef until tender. Remove from the broth and set aside. Keeping the broth to use as beef stock.
In another large pot on medium high heat. Heat the oil and stir in the onions till soften for 5 min.
Add the tomato paste and combine well with the onions and cook for another 3 to 4 min. Add the chopped tomatoes into the mixture with salt and Maggie cubes. Cook covered on medium heat for 30 mins.
Add in the beef stock, cover let it cook until the liquid about to dry out, and the consistency thickens stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom burning. When you start to notice the oil is rising to the top. Lower the heat to low and add in the cooked beef and scotch bonnet chillies. Combine and let it simmer for 30 mins until all of the oil has risen and the stew is dry and well thicken.
Preparing Miyan kuka soup
2 cups of beef stock
4 tablespoon of kuka powder
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
1 large onion finely chopped
6 tablespoon of vegetable oil
½ Tin of black eye beans 125g
1 fresh tomato chopped
1 chopped tarugu (scotch bonnet chilli) optional
1 Maggi cube
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Fry the chopped onion until they are soften about 5 mins.
Add the chopped tomato, combine well and cook for 3 mins.
Add the beef stock, ginger, Maggi cube and bring to a boil.
Lightly grind the black eye beans and add to the mixtures. Simmer for 10 mins.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the kuka powder one spoon at a time. Whisk until the powder blends well. Do not rush this step or you end up with lumps
Return to the heat and simmer for another 5 min. serve immediately with the tomato beef stew.
Note: reheating you miyan kuka will make the stew taste bitter. Only cook what can be consumed on the day.
Preparing the pounded yam
The best yam tuber to go for are the one harvested like three month before using. Dried from the inside. Newly harvested yams tuber are soggy. They do not hold the right shape or texture when cooked and pounded.
Cut the yam tuber into 1 inch slices
Peel and cut the sliced into half-moons or leave it circular if you want
Wash the slices, place in a pot and pour water to cover the contents
Boil till the yam is soft enough to pound. Turn off the heat and drain some of the water out but not all. Taking into consideration that you may need more water for the pounding process.
Normally in Nigeria they use large mortar to pound the yam. I have used and electric stand mixer with the dough blead. Transfer the yam while hot into the mixer bowl without the remaining water and mix well until combined like a dough, if it is to dry add a spoon of the water at a time until the yam hold together . Use the water reasonably as you mix so it does not end up soggy and does not hold its form.
To eat place a piece of pounded yam in a deep bowl. Add the tomato beef stew to one corner of the bowl and scope couple of spoons of the Miyan kuka soup on top of the tomato stew and enjoy.