African RecipesLunchRecipesSide Dishes

West African Fufu – Chef Lolas Kitchen

Fufu is possibly one the most famous ”swallow recipes” in most west African countries. It is a filling side dish, simple, satisfying, and easy to prep. The perfect accompaniment to soups/stews and protein.

FUFU RECIPE – (FOOFOO)

Fufu is easy to make, yet so delicious. It is not eaten alone, and it is served with a form of rich and flavorful soup or stew such as egusi soup, okra soup, ewedu soup (Jute leaves), or light soup.

WHAT EXACTLY IS FUFU?

Fufu is a starchy, smooth, dense, and stretchy, and it is one among a variety of starchy foods, fondly called “swallows”.  

Foo foo is made from cassava, which is also known as yuca. This is similar to sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, and yams. However, it becomes very smooth and elastic when made into fufu.

Traditionally foo foo is made from cassava. However, the definition of fufu has expanded over the years to include a variety of swallow foods such as eba, green plantains, amala, cocoyam, corn, pounded yam, semolina, and much more.

Well plated fufu - Foo foo served with egusi soup in a plate

HOW TO MAKE FUFU – RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel the skin of the cassava with a potato peeler or a knife.
  • Cut the peeled tuber into small cubes that can easily be processed in a blender. 
  • Blend till a nice and smooth batter is formed.
  • Transfer it to a pot and stir vigorously until the fufu is thick and smooth, like a semi-solid paste. 

…So what next?

Once the foofoo is ready, shape it into small balls, and wrap the balls individually in plastic wraps. This allows the fufu to retain it’s moisture and prevent it from forming a crust. 

HOW TO EAT FOUFOU

Cut off a little bit of the foufou and mold it into a small oval ball wot your palm. Then make a small indentation in it and use this indentation to scoop up some of the soup or stew, then swallow. Yes, I said without chewing. 

I understand the ”chewing instinct” might want to set in, but with practice, the art of swallowing fufu can be mastered!

Washing of hands before eating any swallow food is like a rite. As long as this rite is observed, then cutleries are not needed. Also eating with the right hand is what we do because we find it disrespectful to eat with the left. the left had is reserved for something else – Please don’t ask me 🙂

A morsel of fufu with egusi soup

WHAT EXACTLY ARE “SWALLOW FOODS”

Swallow foods are pliable yet firm in texture. Examples include pounded yam, eba, amala, starch, fufu, and many more. This pliable texture makes it easy to eat, swallow foods with your hand (right hand) and swallow without chewing. 

HOW TO SERVE FOUFOU

Fufu is usually served in relatively small balls and wrapped in plastic wraps to retain its moisture. It is often paired with various delicious soups and stews like Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable, peanut soup, and Okro soup, with each person having their preference. 

FUFU WITH PLANTAINS? Do you have to add plantains?

The simple answer is no! For this recipe, I used a mixture of cassava and plantains. This is the way I love to make my fufu. The plantains help cut down the stretchiness of the fufu and will also add a hint of plantain flavor. However, fufu will also turn out nice if it is made without plantains. Same ingredients, same instructions, just leave out the plantains.

WHY DOES FUFU SMELL?

Foofoo will only have a deep fermented smell if the cassava is left to ferment before making it into fufu. If otherwise, you will experience a very mild smell like mashed potatoes without the butter :).

CAN FUFU BE REHEATED?

Yes, fufu can be reheated in a microwave. Simply unwrap any leftover put it in a microwave-safe bowl, add a splash of water, and microwave till heated through—about 5 minutes. Use a wooden stirrer to stir until it becomes nice and smooth.

IS FUFU HEALTHY?

Foufou provides a significant amount of carbs, some fats, and a bit of protein. It also provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals like:

  • Choline: Nerve and brain function
  • Potassium: Heart, kidney, and muscle function
  • Beta carotene: Anti oxidant

WHAT DOES FUFU TASTE LIKE?

It’s hard to describe but it has a very mild taste. I will say it’s a cross between potatoes and sweet potatoes.

LET’S TALK ABOUT FERMENTED FUFU

Some people love fermented foufou. Though I’m not so much of a fan of that, it’s easy to make. Simply soak the peeled and diced cassava in water for about 3 to 5 days before preparing the fufu. Every other step remains the same.

Note that fufu hardens up as it cools down, so it’s advisable to cook it on the softer side especially if you are not eating it immediately.

Fufu moulded into balls and served in a plate
  • 1 unripe plantain
  • 3 to 4 tbsp water
  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BATTER

  • Peel the cassava, slide the tuber in half lengthwise and remove the inner wooden core and dice the potatoes into small cubes.

  • Peel the plantain and cut it into small cubes

  • Add everything inside the blender and blend till a smooth batter is formed.

  • Stovetop method

  • Pour the batter into a pot and begin stirring until a thick, paste-like doughy fufu is formed.

  • Add a splash of water, cover, and leave to cook for 5 minutes. If you feel the fufu is not yet cooked, feel free to cook a little longer. Stir well.

  • Divide the fufu into individual sizes and wrap each with plastic wrap.

  • Serve with your desired soup or stew.

  • Microwave method

  • Pour the batter inside a safe microwave bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid. Place in the microwave for 5 minutes.

  • stir well until smooth

  • Add a splash of water and return inside the microwave to cook till fully done—about 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Stir again, divide into individual sizes and wrap each with plastic wrap.

  • Serve with your desired soup or stew.

Note that fufu hardens up as it cools down, so it’s advisable to cook it on the softer side especially if you are not eating it immediately.

Let’s connect on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I love keeping in touch with you, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing pictures of your creations. Tag me @cheflolaskitchen on Instagram and Facebook.




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