In Western and Central Africa, Fufu is a kitchen staple; akin to mashed potatoes for Europeans or pita bread for Arabs. Thanks to TikTok, everyone is now obsessed with this dish that can be paired next to all kinds of soups, stews, sauces, and meats in both sweet and sour varieties. The simple, fluffy, puree-like paste is a great neutral taste to supplement all types of meats and vegetables, while also providing a healthy and nutritious starchy side dish for organic, indigenous energy sustenance.
The popular dish was first conceived in 16th century Ghana, where Portuguese traders from Brazil popularized the indigenous plantain-based side-dish through trade. Africans picked up on the tasty, convenient food, however, and invented multiple ways to cook it with a lot of different vegetables to make the fulfilling dish.
In its authentic version, Fufu is best prepared with cassava fruits or plantains, two rather rare vegetables around this area. Luckily, the many ways generations of Africans have innovated this into a quintessential dish of the cuisine gave us many accessible ways to experience the delight and fulfillment of a classic bowl of molokhiya or lentils with a side of fufu.
There’s a basic recipe and balance of water and base to get the right texture of fufu, all depending on the vegetables available to you. Below we’ve given you four different recipes, each using a different base that’s easily bought from your local grocer or fruit seller, all reaching the same fufu savory deliciousness.
Fufu is made in different ways depending on whether you use a starchy root vegetable or flour. When utilizing root vegetables, such as yams, cassava, or plantains, peel them first and then boil them until they are tender. Then pound it with a hefty pestle and a large mortar (often one made of wood) until a flexible, pliable dough develops.
After cooking the starchy root, use a food processor’s dough blade to “knead” the cooked food until it resembles smooth dough; do not add any water during this procedure.
When using fufu flour, add a few cups of hot water to a pot and stir until the mixture resembles dough. This can be achieved using a large wooden spoon and high heat. To avoid the fufu being lumpy, you must whisk the mixture quickly.
- In this different recipe for fufu, ground oats are boiled in water and then made into a paste that sets firm. For the greatest results, serve this sort of fufu with a side of juicy, leafy green stew since it tends to be a little dry.
- This Ghanaian fufu, often known as banku, is made of corn and cassava dough that has been salted-cooked and shaped into a white paste. Enjoy banku with okra soup or shito and fried fish.
- In Northern Nigeria, this rice-based fufu is called Tuwo Shinkafa. It is a sticky, mashed rice meal that is formed into balls and eaten with stew. Any stew would serve, as this fufu tastes similar to plain rice, but hot, red chicken stew is always a great option.
- Place the drained sweet potatoes and yams in a wooden bowl to make fufu the traditional way. With a mallet, mash the sweet potatoes and yams in small batches until they are silky smooth. Mixing should continue until doughlike. Leave out the water. Create the desired shapes and sizes by piling the fufu.