I love how we have many ethnic meals in Ghana. From the Northern, Southern, Eastern & Western parts of the country, each region boasts of it’s traditional ethnic meal. Tuo Zaafi is one of those meals. A healthy delicious Ghanaian dish stemming from the Northern Region of Ghana. 

My first encounter with Tuo Zaafi was some years back in Okaishie a boisterous business part of the Mokola market. My Dad had a store there some time back and I would go sit there for some time during my high school vacation period. Lunchtime was often Tuo Zaafi (popularly called TZ) which I would buy from the Muslim women who sold the meal in wooden kiosks within the market area. The queues at the kiosks were just horrendous and yet it was a meal worth waiting for.  It was a cheaper meal compared to buying Fufu. I always looked forward to the green ayoyo and the spongy meat in the sauce ( that part of the cow stomach which is called Kotsa)

I recently invited my friend Emelda Amoah to whom I had become acquainted with during the WhatAWoman workshop sessions last year to share how toprepare Tuo Zaafi. Don’t be fooled by her name, she’s from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana. I made that mistake too thinking she was Akan. When she told me TZ is a common meal eaten in her home I just had to invite her to show how it’s done.

We went to the Osu market to grab Ayoyo leaves, mackerel and dried fish. She had earlier on given me some Millet flour for the Tuo Zaafi.

Tuo Zaafi really is made from Millet Flour which is soaked overnight for a tangy taste. Unfortunately I hadn’t soaked it so we had to grab some fermented corn dough to add to the flour. But if you are following this recipe, it’s best to soak the flour for use the next day.


Here is the video I made showing how she prepared Tuo Zaafi & Ayoyo. It’s no small feat. Unlike Banku which is just stirring of fermented corn in water till it hardens for driving, this had some more unique steps to it. Millet is gluten-free, did you know that? Tuo Zaafi isnt heavy like Banku which makes it much easier to swallow with the soup of course. It goes down very smoothly but be warned..you will be hungry in no time after even two balls of Tuo Zaafi. 

You can make the Ayoyo soup and eat it with Banku or Eba. As you can see the Tuo Zaafi preparation is not for small boys and girls. Edey form k3k3!

The Ayoyo leaves known scientifically as Corchorus is packed with abundant antioxidants, beta-carotene, Vitamin C etc. The leaves ensures that the intestines are running smoothly. Trust me on that one. No more constipation nansins. lol!

Watch. Learn. Share.

Have you had Tuo Zaafi before? On a scale of 1-10 where would you rank it in comparison with Fufu?




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