Ẹ̀bà is a essential food mainly eaten in the West African sub-region, particularly in Nigeria and parts of Ghana. It is specifically called Eba by the Yoruba people of South West region of Nigeria and other speaking-Yoruba states of the same country. It is a cooked starchy vegetable food made from dried grated cassava (manioc) flour, it is commonly known as garri. The dish is often described as having a slightly sour, sharp taste.
To make ẹ̀bà, garri flour (which should be further blended if not already 'smooth') is mixed into hot water and stirred thoroughly and vigorously with a wooden spatula until it becomes a firm dough, that can be rolled into a ball. It can be made with different types of garri.
To eat, a small amount of ẹ̀bà is taken with the fingers and rolled into a small ball and dipped into the ọbẹ̀ (a thick soup) such as okra soup, bitter leaf (ewúro) soup or pepper soup (ọbẹ̀ ata or ẹ̀fọ́ depending on dialect) with either okro, ọgbọnọ (Igbo)/ apọn (Yorùbá), or ewédú, meat or fish, stewed vegetables or other sauces such as gbẹ̀gìrì, Amiedi (banga soup) or egusi soup (melon).
Eba has a gross energy content of 381.5 kcal which is higher than other cassava products like fufu and lafun with 180 kcal and 357.7 respectively.However, it has a crude protein content of 0.9g/100g, slightly lower than fufu and lafun with 1.0g/100g and 1.1g/100g respectively.
Eba is a food eaten by all ages. A child that started eating Eba from the age of one is said to be strong and agile.
Eba can serve as breakfast for some people and it can carry them all through the day. Some consumers of garri have stated that it makes them stronger and they hardly feel hungry.
For the African culture, it is one food served among other delicacies in events ; be it burial ceremony, child dedication, house warming, traditional and modern wedding etc.
Garri has some other types. The Ijebu garri which aids in digestion.
In preparing èbà, you need to have garri flour ready. Get an amount of water on a cooker, allow the water heat well enough. Some prefer to stir the garri on cooker while some prefer to prepare in a separate bowl. Once the water heats, get a bowl, and pour the water and then gradually pour the garri till it gets to your satisfaction in terms of thickness. Finally, you have your èbà to be served hot.
Depending on the type of garri flour used, Ẹ̀bà can vary in colour, from deep yellow to off white. A more vivid shade of yellow can be obtained by mixing palm oil with the garri during preparation. Garri is very rich in starch and carbohydrate. It is quite heavy as a meal and a staple food of West Africans especially Nigeria. It is often eaten with richly made soups and stews, with beef, stockfish or mutton depending on personal taste.
Eba Food (Gari) Health benefits
- Although very starchy, gari also low in calories and the high fiber content in cassava helps you stay full for a longer period and prevents binge eating. Making it great fore weight watching.
- Garri contains fibers that are not soluble in water. It helps in the absorption of toxins in your intestines and therefore, improves your digestive health.
- This food ingredient also helps in preventing diseases such as cancer. The B17 content in cassava leaves helps in stimulating the content of red blood cells, the loss of which often leads to cancer.
- Garri helps in conditions such as diarrhoea too. Just eat it or drink with water 2 times a day to feel the difference.
- The Vitamin A and in garri improves the health of your eyes and prevents future blindness or poor eyesight.
- A cup of garri contains 15 percent of your daily folate need and 47 percent of the daily calcium need; which is perfect for pregnant ladies. These vitamins also help the body’s immune system.
Gari (Eba Food) Calories
100g of Roasted gari has 94.3kcal of energy. Most of this energy is from carbohydrate (23.28g). Protein content is very low at 0.18g and the fat content is so low that you can neglect it. Micronutrient content is also very low in gari.
If you cook the gari into a stiff porridge called eba food, you will receive 98.74kcals from 100g (about 3.5 tablespoons for freshly prepared eba). However, remember that the average commonly consumed portion size of eba is about 395g.
For the Yellow Gari (Eba) that has palm oil added during the processing, a 100g will give you 117kcals. However, yellow Gari contains more fiber and sugar content compared to the white gari and the beta carotene (vitamin A) is higher too.
The only way that you can consume gari is not by preparing eba food; you can also drink it! If you are drinking Garri as a cold snack, the amount of calories in 100g is 94.3kcal. Drinking about 7.5 tablespoons of Gari will give you 84.58kcal.
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