How to Make Starch Swallow – Delta Starch (Usi)

Nigerian Starch Food (Usi) – Have you ever wondered what the bright yellow swallow the people from Niger Delta Region of Nigeria eat as their special delicacy? It is called starch, Yes! edible starch. The starch extracted from processing cassava tubers.

Moreover, starch is a staple dish in Bini, Urhobo, Isoko, and Itsekiri people of South-South region. It is light to eat, though might be a little bit difficult to make compared to other forms of Nigerian swallows.  

How to Extract Starch from Cassava Tubers – From Scratch


  • Cassava tubers
  • Enough water


  1. First of all, peel all the cassava tubers
  2. Secondly, rinse properly, and cut into smaller chunks or use grater and grate.
  3. Thirdly, blend with water or take it to the people that grind using a grinding machine if the quantity is large.
  4. Next is to separate the starch from the chaff by using a chiffon cloth. The process of making cornstarch (pap, akamu, ogi) that is how you will wash out the starch. In a big deep bowl, pour some quantities of grounded cassava into the chiffon cloth, place into the bowl add water, and sift until all grounded cassava is exhausted.
  5. Allow the starch to settle and separate from the water, at this point the starch settles at the bottom of the bowl while the water remains at the top for about 2-3 hours.
  6. Finally, pour away the water as the starch remains thick, get a clean container or nylon to preserve it in the freezer.

How to Make Starch Swallow (Usi) – Delta Starch food


  • 2 cups of starch (Edible)
  • 2 tablespoon palm oil
  • 1 cup of water


  1. First is to make a smooth paste by dissolving the starch with water (just the way you dissolve ogi, pap) in a clean fry pan or pot.
  2. Place on fire under a low heat
  3. Add palm oil into the usi, you can increase the quantity of palm oil depending on how you want the color; some make starch without palm oil.
  4. Stir continuously with a turning stick (spatula) as it forms mass and solidifies. The consistent stirring is to avoid small balls/lumps that are white inside your swallow. (Popularly called Koko)
  5. Do this until the entire liquid disappears leaving a bright yellow mass/swallow that has solidified.
  6. Leave to heat for extra minutes to cook properly
  7. Lastly, add a little water in the serving plate and transfer the ready to eat swallows Usi into the plate and cover.

The food is ready to eat serve and enjoy with Banga Soup, Owo soup, or Black soup.

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