The Hausa people have a penchant for fast food that sometimes isn’t junk nor unhealthy. While they are known for their sweet tooth, characterized by the prevalence of locally made candies in many shops in their states—such as Gullisuwa made of fried milk and sugar dumplings; Illoka, also made of milk and dry sugar; Tuwon madara, the un-fried version of Gullisuwa; and Ridi, sesame seeds—they are also invested in actual food that is overall easy and fast to prepare.
These foods are often a combination of cooked meals and handy ingredients like oil, maggi, ground pepper or Yaji, onions, cabbage or lettuce. All these ingredients are used to constitute a taste that could serve as a substitute for soup or stew. And so all that needs to be cooked is the accompanying food, such as white rice and beans, white pasta, or even garri.
One of these semi-instant foods is commonly known as Garau-garau. All that is needed for its cooking is rice and beans. In lieu of stew or vegetable soup or any typically accompanying soup, the Hausa, when preparing this meal, opt for pouring groundnut oil into a frying pan and putting it on fire, then slicing chunks of onions in desired shapes into the sizzling oil, until it’s duly fried. This is done to fry out the raw smell of onions or of the oil itself and give it a flavour and taste that is sweet to the tongue. Slightly burning it is also perfect for a different, spicy taste.
The fried oil and onions are then spread on the rice, and a maggi cube sprinkled on it, alongside a good helping of Yaji (dry pepper ground and mixed with garlic, maggi, and salt).
It is very popular amongst students, because of how easy it is to prepare and it not being in need of many ingredients. However, Garau-garau is more a personal favourite these days than an attempt at minimization. It isn’t strange to see a Hausa person buying just white rice without stew at an eatery, because they intend to take it home to prepare Garau-garau.
Some people, to make it more nutritional or modern, add lettuce or cabbage to it, sometimes slices of tomatoes, cucumber, and boiled eggs. Some, even chicken.