2 January 2013

Nigeria: Plateau Produces 'Hungry Rice' Cookies, Cake

Hungry rice otherwise known as Accha which is mainly consumed by people with diabetes due to its non-sugar content is usually prepared as porridge with stew, porridge with milk or cooked as tuwo, in form of Semovita, but officials of the Plateau State Ministry of Agriculture said they have found other ways of preparing Accha for better consumption.

Mrs Elizabeth Domle of the Home Economics Department of Plateau State Ministry of Agriculture said Accha can now be prepared as cookies or cake and be eaten during breakfast in lieu of bread, or taken at any time of the day or night as snacks.

Explaining the process of making cookies and cake with Accha, Mrs Elizabeth said, "you will take the quantity of Accha you want and wash it properly to remove sand and any dirt that may be in it, and then dry it. Make sure it is properly dried. You will then use mortar to pound it to get the flour. As you are pounding it, you will be sieving it to make it fine like flour.

"It is advisable to use 85 percent of Accha and 15 percent of flour. You mix them together and add butter, baking powder and little sugar, to taste, especially when you are making it for those with diabetes. You can also add spices but butter is necessary. You will bake it in an oven just like cake. The containers you use will give it shape. So, you select the containers based on the shape you want.

"Make sure you control the oven so that it will not be too hot. The cake and the cookies are done through the same process but in different containers. It can be preserved, for example in Abuja that has hot weather in a fridge for about two weeks. But in Plateau where the weather is always cool, it can last for one month," she said.

Hungry rice also known as white fonio is the smallest specie of millets harvested in some parts of the West African sub-region including the Lake Chad coast and Central Nigeria with Plateau, Kaduna, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Kogi and Niger states leading in its production. It is widely believed to be the best food for managing diabetes.

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