Economic Hardship: FCT Residents Substitute ‘Awara’ For Meat

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Economic Hardship: FCT Residents Substitute ‘Awara’ For Meat

Mrs Hannatu Musa, an ‘awara’ seller in Bwari Area Council, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, says more consumers have turned to ‘awara’ as a substitute for protein.

On Wednesday in Bwari, it was said since meat was no longer affordable, some consumers had resorted to the use of `awara’ as a substitute.

‘Awara’ is the Hausa version of Tofu; a meal made of Soybean curds; Soybeans are a richly healthy food; they contain several vitamins and are low in carbohydrates.

It is a common delicacy in the northern region produced in block form and eaten as a snack.

Musa said that the snack was popular in the north due to its health benefits and delectable taste.

She said she had gained more consumers recently because people had realised it could serve as meat in foods, especially for those who avoid beef intake.

“I learned it is packed with protein and serves as an excellent alternative to meat for individuals looking to reduce their meat intake.

“I think that is why patronage for it has increased; lately, I have seen more people of different tribes come here to buy the snack.

“One of my customers told me he buys it for his entire family to add to their meals.

“Since I cannot afford meat or fish regularly anymore and my children love it, I substitute it for meat.

“I think it is because it has a meat-like texture and flavour after it is fried; you can actually add it as an ingredient in soups and stews,’’ she said.

Musa said the delicacy was traditionally served with ground pepper or sliced fresh pepper, cabbage, and cucumber and could also be eaten with pap or ‘kunu.’

She said that in spite of its nutritional value, the preparation of ‘awara’ was time-consuming and challenging which was the reason people opted for ready-made.

Madam Christine Douglas, one of the snack’s consumers, said she had never eaten it until she came to live in Abuja five years ago.

She said that her neighbour, who was a northerner, introduced her to eating it and she had since then taken a queue to buy it.

“I have introduced other women to it too: it is very delicious if well prepared.

“I like the way it is usually garnished: it goes well with rice and now that meat is expensive, I use it to balance my diet,’’ she said.

Dr Kemi Adegoke-Abraham, a nutritionist, said the food, made from soybeans, has high vitamin content and low carbohydrates.

According to her, ‘awara’ is a good choice for those monitoring carbohydrate intakes.

“In addition, its low glycemic index in soybeans ensures stable blood sugar levels, rendering it a suitable option for individuals with diabetes.

“You know, soybeans also proffers a substantial dietary fibre content and according to some research, soybeans reduces the risk of breast cancer,” she said.

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