Fermented Uji (Porridge) From Fresh Maize (Usuu wa kukia)

Usuu wa kukia is one of those dishes that evoke such nostalgic memories in me. My mother would take her time to prepare and make it for us. It was such a labour of love, trust me when I say this. Fermented uji from fresh maize is a meal that takes several days to prepare but the end product is well worth it.

Traditionally a huge pestle and mortar (made from a tree log) were used but this should not stop or be an excuse why we cannot enjoy this delectable usuu wa kukia from fresh maize. There are different hacks we can employ to sort this out for us. You can use the small pestle and mortar that you use for ginger and garlic in your kitchen, or like in my case, a measuring jug and chapati rolling pin. (please refer to video above)

You can also make this fermented porridge using millet or sorghum. The only difference would be that you would have to use two stones to grind the seeds. They can be quite tedious to pound in a pestle and mortar due to their small size.

There is no set quantity of maize or water to this recipe, it all depends on the moisture content of your maize.

So is usuu wa kukia pro biotic?

No, it is not. It does have all those “good” bacteria growing and multiplying in it before being boiled. However, once you boil it, that’s it. They die.

What’s the best maize to use for this fermented porridge?

Fresh maize is the best. Try and select the ones that are not so tender or squirting too much milk.


  • 2 fresh maize on cob
  • Enough water to “milk” it and cook porridge to your deisred consistency
  • Sugar to taste (Optional)


  1. Shell your maize and pound it in a pestle and mortar to remove the bran.
  2. Put the pounded maize kernels in 1 litre of water and squeeze out as much milk as you can from them.
  3. Sieve the mixture and return all the unbroken maize kernels back to the pestle and mortar and pound them again.
  4. Return them to the same water that you used before and squeeze out the milk from them.
  5. Repeat the process until you remain with bran (maize skin).
  6. Discard the skins.
  7. Put the mixture in a container, cover loosely and set aside for about 1 – 2 days for it to ferment.
  8. Shake / stir after the mixture has fermented to ensure that all the contents are completely mixed up.
  9. Boil about a cup of water in a sufuria and then pour entire fermented maize mixture into it and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
  10. Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a low simmer and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  11. Add sugar at this point if desired, stir to dissolve and then turn off the heat after 2 minutes.
  12. Cool and serve.


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