Masa/Waina (Nigerian Rice Cake)

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Note to self: Masa, or Waina is a rice cake that’s from the northern part of Nigeria and is traditionally eaten by the Hausa tribe. It’s made from rice that’s soaked overnight and then blended and proofed with yeast and sugar and salt.  It’s my first time making it and trying it and while it took a long time it was super delicious and yummy! A definite must try. Don’t let the long hours prevent you from trying it out. It’s mostly just letting it sit and do it’s thang while you do other stuff.

I decided to make this because the recipe uses precooked rice (tuwo) and I had just made it the day before so it was easier to try this out without having to make tuwo again another day. I went through a trial and error period while cooking it, and I think it’s because of two things…one because I wasn’t waiting long enough before flipping it. You really want it to crisp up on the bottom and firm up before attempting to flip or else it’ll fall apart. (I also found that using a small sauce pan makes it easier for the rice cake to retain it’s shape without having the batter spread all over the place.) And second, I think the batter was too watery, I’m going to reduce the amount of water in the recipe and try this again one day. I did read online that if the batter is too watery you can add more precooked rice to thicken it back up.

I adapted this recipe from and adjusted it a little bit so it’s a smaller serving. I paired it with miyan taushe (Nigerian pumpkin soup) but it can be eaten as a breakfast item with honey, maple syrup, or a dusting of sugar.

This was super yummy and delicious and while Moudi loves eating his stew with tuwo, I prefer eating it with masa/waina instead. I feel like this has more flavor and complements the miyan taushe really well.

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  • 1 Cups of Rice (use Tuwo Rice, Basmati or Jasmine Rice)
  • 7 cups of water divided
  • 1 tbsp of Pre-cooked Rice (tuwo)
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp of Active dry Yeast
  • 1/3 cup of warm water (for the yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda of Potash
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup of Water (a little more or less) + 1/4 Cup for proofing the Yeast
  • Vegetable Oil


  1. Soak 1 cup of rice with 5 cups of water for at least 8 hours or soak overnight. (I added 1/2 tsp of baking soda or potash to help tenderize the rice and make it softer)
  2. Drain the rice and rinse it 3 times then place into a blender with 1 tbsp cooked rice (I used the tuwo I made the day before), add 1 cup of water.
  3. Blend it together with the pre-cooked Rice and water until creamy (If still not creamy slowly ad another cup of water until it’s the right consistency (I used 2 cups of water total but I would recommend to use less as mine became too watery)
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. You want the bowl to be very large because as the batter proofs it’ll rise and overflow if it’s too small.
  5. In a small bowl add 1/3 cup of warm water, 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp of yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and mix. Set aside and let it proof. (~10-15 minutes)
  6. In the large bowl with the rice batter, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, proofed yeast and mix together.
  7. Cover up the mixture for about 6 – 8 hours (you can leave it overnight as well)
  8. I added 1 tsp of baking powder to help it poof up after the batter was done proofing and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  9. When ready, add a tbsp of oil in your sauce pan or skillet and fry on medium high heat until you see bubbles and it firms up. The edges should turn a golden brown color. It could take anywhere from 6-8 minutes. I find it easier to make it in a small sauce pan.
  10. When the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the other side is gold brown.
  11. Serve with honey, maple syrup, hot sauce, Suya, Miyan Taushe, etc

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Original recipe adapted from:

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on mamabatesmotel.

    1. foodjabi says:

      Thank you so much!

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