How To Make Eba – Garri
In today’s blog I will be writing about the two(2) ways to make eba.
Despite the fact that Nigeria is home to over 250 tribes and cultures, Eba remains a common food enjoyed by Nigerians regardless of tribal affiliations.
The amazing thing is that it combines well with almost all nigerian soups thereby solidifying its place in the hearts of many as a popular “go to” swallow. Infact it is a common food in many restaurants, eateries and burkas all around Nigeria.
Also the popularity of eba in Nigeria stems from the fact that it is very affordable. As at the time of this article, 2.2kg garri is sold for ₦500.
Another reason is that Eba give consumers worth for their money as it is very easy to prepare and also very filling when eaten with soup of your choice such as;
- EGUSI SOUP
- And many more
Garri is made from cassava and as we go further, one important fact about Nigeria is that cassava is used to produce many Nigeria foods such as ;
- Pupuru – popular Ikale food
All these foods have different processing techniques, processing times and unique tastes and flavours.
Let me tell you more about Garri since it is my main focus for this recipe. In Nigeria there are two main types of Garri;
- Yellow garri : this garri has a yellowish colour because it is processed with palm oil. When used to make eba, It is stretchy when compared to white one and commonly eaten in the Eastern and South-South part of Nigeria.
- White Garri : as the name implies this garri is white in colour because it was processed without palm oil thereby retaining the white colour of the cassava. This type of garri is very common in Western Nigeria.
Both types of garri are suitable for making eba and also for drinking. That reminds me, another common way to eat garri is by drinking.
To drink garri, all you need to do is pour the garri in a bowl, add some water – cold or room temperature- and garri accompaniments of your choice. Many people use one or more of these;
- Fried fish
- Roasted groundnut/Peanuts
- Peppered fish
- Sweet Coconut flakes/chips
- And many more
For drinking Garri one particular Garri stands out, it is called Ijebu garri. Over the years, Garri Ijebu has successfully retained the position of the favorite type of garri for drinking.
As the name implies, it is garri produced by the Ijebus in Ogun State situated in the western part of Nigeria.
Garri Ijebu is commonly preferred for drinking because the processing techniques used gives it a nice sour and crunchy taste that pairs well with any type of accompaniments when a poured in water for drinking.
So, the major ingredient used for making eba is Garri and this is the reason why many people simply refer to it as garri.
But I will like to clearly state that Nigerian fufu and Eba are not the same. Even though there are both made from cassava, the different processing methods and techniques give both foods distinctively unique smell and taste.
Some of the major differences that separates fufu from eba are;
- fufu has a smooth texture when cooked while eba/garri has a rough texture when compared to fufu.
- Preparing eba is relatively easier than fufu.
- Fufu has a unique pungent smell even after it is cooked that smell remains while eba does not smell like fufu.
- You can drink garri used for making eba but you can not drink the processed cassava used for making fufu infact you must cook it on fire.
Let’s go back to Eba.
For this recipe, I used white garri for both methods. Let’s quickly dive into how to make Eba.
INGREDIENTS FOR EBA.
HOW TO COOK EBA.
- Pour clean water in a kettle
- Put the kettle on fire till the water boils
- Get a clean bowl
- Pour the boiled water into the clean bowl
Make sure you leave some space in the bowl for mixing i.e do not fill the bowl with water to the brim.
- Pour garri into the bowl of water
- While adding the garri, make sure to evenly spread the garri so that the garri will not be more concerntrated in some parts than the others.
- After adding the garri make sure you still have some water floating on the garri.
- Cover the bowl to let the garri soak for 1-2minutes.
- Mix well with your wooden spatula
Wooden spatula is commonly called omorogun or turning stick in many Nigerian markets and that is the best way to call it when you want to buy it at the market.
- After Garri is well combined serve in plates with your favourite soup.
- Put a clean pot on fire
- Add some water and some garri
- Mix well with omorogun – turning stick or wooden spatula.
- Cover and let it cook for 5 – 7 minutes – depending on the quantity you are making.
- When the garri mixture begins to boil, while still on the fire add more garri and mix immediately
- Do this until you achieve the thickness you desire.
- Then take it off the fire and serve with your favourite soup.
People who use the second method will argue that the eba comes out better because it has a better texture and it is a bit stretchy just like when you use yellow garri.
One thing I can confidently state here is that both methods work well and the results are equally great.
Sometimes foods prepared are not eaten immediately. If that is the case you may want to wrap the eba well so that it doesn’t get cold before you are ready to eat.
To do this you can use ;
- Leaves (moi moi leaves or banana leaves)
- Nylons (cling film or locally made transparent nylon)
After making the eba, it is important to prepare the pot or bowl used for cleaning and the easiest way to do this is by immediately filling the bowl or pot with water.
This is necessary because eba is sticky and gets dried easily. When you fill the pot or bowl with a lot of water; the water prevents the eba from drying in the pot, it also softens the eba to make washing very easy.
This way you exert minimal effort for cleaning as you will not need to do any scrapping to get the pot properly cleaned. Just wash with your sponge and soap.
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