Hausa Koko (Spicy Millet Porridge)

Hausa Koko with Evaporated Milk and Koose

The Spruce / F. Muyambo

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 bowls = 2 to 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
24 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3 bowls = 2 to 3 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 24
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 26mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

 The Hausa people, although they are found in a diverse number of countries extending from Sudan to Nigeria, have had a great influence on the food culture of West African street foods. One such food is a popular street food often eaten for breakfast. It is known as Hausa Koko, a soured and spicy smooth porridge. The sourness, resulting from fermenting the millet, may be an acquired taste. However, after trying a few regional African cuisines, you will find that fermented products are used quite regularly.

All you need to do is gather either cornmeal or millet flour (not as smooth as wheat or cake flour), add water to make a paste, then leave it covered and allow it to ferment for up to 3 days. This can be done either with the ready-made corn or millet meal.  If you cannot find milled millet but have access to whole millet, you can still achieve fermentation. Simply ferment for up to 3 days as with the cornmeal, then rinse the grains and place them in a blender. Use a sieve to remove the chaff. While the process is laborious, it guarantees a millet or corn dough without unknown additives. Once you have your dough, follow this recipe.​


  • 1/2 cup corn dough
  • 3 cups water (divided use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • Optional: sugar to taste
  • 1 pinch salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Scoop about 1/2 a cup of corn dough and place into a pan.

  2. Add 1 cup of cold water and crumble up the corn dough to make a smooth paste with the water. Turn on the heat to high and stir continuously.

  3. Add 2 cups of boiling water to the pot and bring to the boil whilst stirring continuously. At this point, the corn dough begins to thicken and form gelatinous looking lumps. Keep a whisk handy to aid in the smoothing out of the porridge.

  4. Add a pinch of salt, the ground cloves, ginger, and pepper. Stir and allow to simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat.

  5. When ready to serve, pour into a bowl, add the desired amount of sugar and stir. For an added touch of luxury, pour in some evaporated milk.

Recipe Tip

Traditionally, Hausa Koko is served with fried bean cake (koose or akara) or doughnut known as bofrot or puff puff.