Hausa Masa (Rice Cake)

Nigerian Hausa Masa_9jafoodieNigerian Masa

Masa is a northern staple similar to a pan fried rice cake, the recipes vary a little across households but the basic premise never changes. Traditionally Masa is made into an oval shape.  You can experiment with some onions and ginger in your masa


  • 1.5 cups raw rice
  •  1.5 tablespoons cooked rice
  • 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups water at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground akaun (cooking potash) (Optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt


1. Soak the raw rice in 5 cups of water overnight
2.  Dissolve the sugar and akaun in the  1.5 cups of water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area* for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
3. Drain the rice completely.  Blend rice with the yeast and akaun mixture to make a smooth batter. Add the cooked rice, and blend to combine well. The batter should be very thick
4.  Pour batter into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You want the mixture to rise, collapse and ferment.
5. Add  salt and a little bit more sugar if needed. Add a bit of water if necessary so that you have a batter that is just as thick as pap
6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it , Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan.
7. Flip after 2.5mins and cook the other side for another 2 mins. keep making until you use up all the batter
Serve Masa as a snack or as a breakfast cake
Hausa Masa
* To warm up my mixture, I turned the oven on for 3 minutes, allowed it to cool off a bit and left the mix in.

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By |December 28th, 2012|98 Comments


  1. nene December 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Hi, nice one there but am a little bit confused, u said I should soak the rice overnight as in from night till morning and then blend with other mixture and still keep it for another 8 to 12 hours? please explain better thanks

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Yes. Soak and soak again to ferment.

  2. Aisha September 9, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Hi, i need help! My masa batter is too watery wat do i do?

  3. Xta March 9, 2017 at 3:34 am - Reply

    Great job dear! Pls can I use my toaster to prepare my masa?

  4. Obj February 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hi can i use already ground rice ? What about rice flour ?

  5. yemisi adama January 4, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Hello foodie..pls can I use ordinary rice for my masa n how can I preserve masa

  6. Ramatu Tanko December 12, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    I usually use nono instead of yeast can use both Nono and yeast?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Nono is fermented so it’s performing the same function. Either is fine, you dont need both.

  7. Azurasky September 12, 2016 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Hi 9jaFoodie, Thank you so much for this. Unfortunately I went wrong in making the batter. After blending the soaked rice with sugar mixture and cooked rice, my batter was still too watery, so I added more cooked rice till it reaches a nice not too thick consistency.When I tried to flip it during frying, it was difficult as it was extremely sticky. I’d appreciate your ideas on how to fix the batter. Thank you.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie September 12, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      My suggestion would be to blend with less water, try using 1 cup and see if that makes a difference. the batter consistency you are looking for is thick and smooth, a little like pancake batter.

  8. Mrs AAY May 9, 2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Your blog is a savior ???

  9. Sekinot Bello March 18, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    is the cooked rice 1.5 cups of teaspoons?

  10. Hilda March 5, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

    This is great info, but can you also use maize instead of rice. Thanx alot

  11. Oge October 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Just to be sure, did you say to soak 15 cups of raw rice in 5 cups of water or was there an error there?

  12. Rahmat September 24, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Hi please what can I do to my waina mixture the yeast I put is too much and then it’s not frying

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie September 27, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      What do you mean it’s not frying? is it breaking apart or not browning? if it’s the first scenario, you can add more pureed rice into the batter, reduce oil used for frying (too much oil doesn’t work for waina) and also use very low heat. If it’s not browning , make sure the pan is very hot when you add the batter in.

  13. Jenny May 18, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Made some masa on Friday with some wonderful friends. They all loved it.Thankyou so much 9jafoodie for the recipe shared.You’re one in a million.

  14. H April 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    please can u help me ingredients and procedures for making the soup used to eat the masa?

    • Jenny May 18, 2015 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Hello H.You can make pumpkin soup with it.It’s very delicious and tasty soup.You need green vegetables like Alefo, spring onions, meat (beef) ….some spices like ginger etc.If you know how to make vegetable soup, , it’s just the same procedure….the only difference here is, you need to either boil or rost yr pumpkin in the oven untill very soft…covered with foil paper to avoid being burnt, after which you blend with yr tomatoes, peppers and normal onions.The efo should be the very last thing you add to yr soup….allow to simmer for some minutes…..and it’s ready to eaten.Happy cooking H.

  15. Bada kikelomo April 1, 2015 at 2:26 am - Reply

    oh my oh my!!! i tested mosa for the first time after trying it out …….its delicious.
    you have been helpful!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 1, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

      That’s great Bada, thanks for the feedback.

  16. hassana February 22, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

    I always use yeast for my masa, but today I don’t, I was wondering if I could use baking powder?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      I don’t think baking powder will work thesame way.

    • Jenny May 18, 2015 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Hi hassana, to tell you the truth, I have used baking powder was a disaster. Yeast is the best.Happy masa making Hassana

      • 9jafoodie
        9jafoodie May 19, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

        I definitely agree, yeast and baking powder are different functioning agents.

  17. blessing February 12, 2015 at 4:44 am - Reply

    Great ,I will try it out.

  18. Francesca Dora Ewenkhare December 20, 2014 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Can I use the uk easy cook rice ?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      I don’t see why not

      • khadija January 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

        How about the soup

  19. ummy lamba November 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Can I pls know d history of d masa?

  20. nafisah November 28, 2014 at 7:18 am - Reply

    my batter is not smooth enough what should do pls?

  21. nafisah October 18, 2014 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Pls can I use the normal rice they sell in the market here in nigeria

  22. Isaac October 4, 2014 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Please mine keeps breaking apart am using cupcake pan shld i add more soda?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 5, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply

      did your batter ferment? what level of heat are you using? how much oil did you put in the pan?

  23. Wytecamel August 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Hi, please can you advice like what calories is a batter? Thanks. I am going the healthy way with your meals like you assisted with the naija good time table. Txs

  24. Mariam July 9, 2014 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Can I add flour and pepper? Tnx so much nd keep up d gud work. God bless you

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 11, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

      you can definitely add pepper. why do you want to add flour?

  25. bibian June 27, 2014 at 4:08 am - Reply

    pls wht can i use in place of yeast

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 29, 2014 at 8:27 am - Reply

      unfortunately I am not aware of any substitute for yeast. If you must, go without; but make sure you ferment the rice for a while longer.

  26. genny June 16, 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Can d leftover batter b kept in d freezer?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      I have never tried that but I don’t see why not.

  27. Dee April 6, 2014 at 6:53 am - Reply

    Definitely do not use American Long grain rice. Basmati or Jasmine or if u r in Nigeria simply ask the market people for tuwo rice. This is actually called sinasir and not masa. Masa is made in a special pan with lots if holes, isn’t flat like pancakes and also not as sweet.

  28. mi March 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Why can’t my food look this nice :(. is there anything i can use in place of potash?

  29. Patience February 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Hello there! Please I want to know if I can use rice flour? Cuz my blender is too weak to blend rice. Thanks

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 28, 2014 at 7:20 am - Reply

      I have never tried it but I don’t see why not. Just make sure the batter is thick enough.

  30. Anon January 20, 2014 at 5:55 am - Reply

    This recipe was a COMPLETE SUCCESS!!!!! I did a bit of modification (added 1/2 cup of cooked rice instead, reduced the quantity of water to 1 1/3cups, and mixed the yeast after blending the mixture. I came out perfect! Very fluffy 🙂

  31. frieda November 7, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

    finally got it and it was fantastic

  32. LauraIhuoma October 14, 2013 at 5:15 am - Reply

    U can use jasmine rice if u are in the uk it serves as a great substitute for the regular two rice the northerners use.

  33. Fatima October 1, 2013 at 3:36 am - Reply

    I just tried ur masa recipe and it turned out quiet well. D only thing was I didn’t get d appropriate water measurement and my batter was watery so I added corn flour and now am really enjoying it. I also used non stick frying pan as a substitute for the frying. Thanx a lot I feel so much at home

  34. Joy September 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    how many masas does this recipe make? Also any idea about the number of calories in one average size masa.

  35. frieda August 30, 2013 at 2:42 am - Reply

    did everything but it wld just break apart the appropriate pans are not available

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 29, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

      You are most likely trying to flip the masa before the base is cooked through. Medium Heat and a little patience will most likely give better result.

  36. frieda August 30, 2013 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Just made my home made masa and allowed it to ferment for 12 hrs and its was absolutely a success, i am from the north and i have always loved masa thnks for the recipe it was a good reminder.

  37. igho August 10, 2013 at 3:17 am - Reply

    Hi, so i tried the masa recipe but with a little personal twist. I soaked d rice overnight with a tsp of yeast. In the morning i blended the rice along with a yeast mix of warm water and yeast. I totally skipped the potash (akaun).kept the mixture in the oven for 2 hours only and pan fried it. It came out perfect!!!
    So i guess the potash can be done away with for those who dont have access to it

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 18, 2013 at 10:18 am - Reply

      That is great to hear! we kept with tradition on the potash and we are glad you found it negligible.

  38. laranig June 1, 2013 at 3:49 am - Reply

    *the standard

  39. laranig June 1, 2013 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Thank you for this, will definitely try it out, but what is done standard for a cup of rice,I mean the cup size

  40. Toria May 18, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Thanks a million for the masa recipe. God bless you. Which rice is basmati rice? Is a brand name or a special rice for masa?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 21, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

      You are welcome. Basmati is juts a type of rice, you can use regular parboiled rice.

  41. foodieinthedesert March 15, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Hi what is potash? as in what is it made of and what can be substituted for it? we have rice pancakes in kenya too, we call them vibibi try them

  42. Thelma February 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    What kind of rice am I to use? basmati, long grain, does one work better than the other? and I live in the UK i couldnt find potash 🙁

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      I used basmati rice in the recipe, it shouldn’t make a difference. You can substitute baking soda for potash.

  43. inori February 9, 2013 at 5:06 am - Reply

    i looove masa and am completely obsessed with getting a good recipe. I cant wait to try it!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Try it and let us know how it turns out!

  44. lavido February 2, 2013 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Hi 9jafoodie, my akaun sugar and yeast mix did not all. Is the yeast no longer active? And can I go ahead and blend with the batter for the fermentation process?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 2, 2013 at 6:23 am - Reply

      There is definitely a problem with the yeast. Did you leave the mixture in a warm place to froth? my suggestion will be to try a different brand of yeast (quick rise Preferably) and try the mixture again. Let me know how it turns out.

      • Kalat March 29, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

        Also be sure the water isn’t hot, if it’s hot it will kill the yeast

  45. lavido February 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    @Ann it is delicious! 9jafoodie, can you have a recipe for the sauce that is usually eaten together with masa?

  46. Ann January 28, 2013 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Is it delicious?

  47. oluyinka 79 January 21, 2013 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Good to be on naija foodie, a very good place to learn how to make my family happy!

  48. Rhapsody January 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    blessings …
    hope all is well with you and live is treating you kind.

    never had those, looks good though.
    thanks for sharing

  49. laide December 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    wish I could have the ones in the picture..dont knw where to gt potash there a substitute?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 1, 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

      You can usually substitute baking soda for akaun but I have never tried that with this recipe

  50. Femiluv December 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Awesome. I grew up eating masa in the north. Wonder where I’ll buy potash from

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 1, 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

      Your local Nigerian food store should have it

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