Omo tuo, known as tuwo shinkafa in the Northern region of Ghana, has its origins in the Hausa culture but has gained popularity throughout the country. The term “tuwo” likely corresponds to various types of fufu or dumplings made from grain flour. For instance, tuwo zaafi refers to a dumpling made from millet or corn and cassava flour, while tuwo masara is a cornmeal dumpling. In Northern Nigeria, tuwo shinkafa is typically prepared using ground rice instead of whole rice that is softened and pounded.
If you’re interested in making omo tuo, here’s a simple recipe to follow:
- Long or short-grain rice (not par-boiled)
- Oil (optional)
- Boil the rice: In a pot, add the rice and salted water. The amount of water required depends on the specific type of rice being used. It is not necessary to soak the rice in water, but adding a little extra water ensures a very soft and sticky result.
- Cook until soft: Bring the water to a boil and cook the rice until it becomes soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. The rice should be fully cooked and tender.
- Mash the rice: Once the rice is cooked, use a wooden spoon to mash it up. Stir it in a manner similar to how you would prepare banku or fufu. Mash the rice vigorously until the grains break down and the mixture becomes smooth.
- Shape into balls: Take a round, moistened bowl and swirl the rice mixture inside it. The moisture helps prevent sticking. Continue swirling until the rice forms into compact balls.
- Optional: Add a drop of oil: To further prevent sticking, you can add a drop of oil to the surface of the bowl. This will make it easier to remove the shaped rice balls without them sticking to the bowl.
By following these steps, you can enjoy a delicious serving of omo tuo with any soup of your choice. This versatile dish, deeply rooted in the Hausa tradition, has found its way into the hearts and palates of Ghanaians across the country.