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How to Make Authentic Fufu Traditional African Food

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What is Fufu? 

Fufu is a popular traditional African dish, a firm and thick dough made from pounding starches. Unlike bread, Fufu is made from pound starch. Starch comes from pounded roots such as cassava, plantains, or yams. It is a staple food in many African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The word Fufu comes from Western Africa, meaning mix or mash.  

Fufu is easy to make and served in the form of balls. It tastes like mashed potatoes but resembles something between dumplings and dough balls. Usually, Fufu is eaten with soup. Add a spoonful of Jollof paste to your soup to make it more spicy. Shirley’s Jollof paste gives a unique twist to your soup.  

Also, you can transform the Jollof paste into a thick and hearty stew. Brown meat or vegetables in a pot, then add the Jollof paste and cook it together. Or enjoy your Fufu with a rich and flavorful Jollof sauce. Use the Jollof paste as a base, and cook it with tomatoes, onions, and spices. Add cooked meat or vegetables and spread this sauce over Fufu. These are the few ways you can enjoy Jollof paste with your Fufu. 

 How to make Fufu? 

To make Fufu, you required the following things. 


  • 2 pounds of cassava, yams, or plantains 
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • A pinch of ground black pepper 
  • Water 


  1. Choose your starchy ingredient: Cassava, yams, or plantains are commonly used for Fufu. 
  1. Peel and cut the starchy ingredient: For cassava or yams, peel the outer skin and cut them into smaller pieces. For plantains, peel and chop them into chunks. 
  1. Boil the starchy ingredient: Place the cut pieces of the starchy ingredient in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil the water for 20-25 minutes. Or cook until the starchy ingredient becomes soft and tender. The cooking time may depend on the ingredient you use. Cassava and yams usually take longer to cook than plantains. 
  1. Drain and cool: Once the starchy ingredient is cooked, drain the water and let it cool down for a few minutes. The pieces should be soft and easily mashable. 
  1. Pound the starchy ingredient: Traditionally, Fufu is made by pounding the cooked ingredients in a large mortar and pestle. Pound the pieces until they become smooth and dough-like. This process requires some effort and can take some time. But you can use a blender or food processor to save time and effort. 
  1. Shape the Fufu: Once the starchy ingredient has been pounded into a smooth dough. Wet your hands with water and shape the Fufu into round or oval balls. Make any size of balls your like. 
  1. Serve: Fufu is served with various soups or stews such as egusi soup, groundnut, or palm nut soup. It is often enjoyed by dipping a small portion of the Fufu into the soup and then consuming it. 

 Note: Making authentic Fufu is hard if you manually pound the starchy ingredient. However, instant Fufu mixes are available in some quick and easy stores. These mixes usually require adding water and stirring until the desired consistency is achieved. While they may offer a different taste and texture than traditional Fufu. 

 Tips for making the best Fufu. 

  • Keep stirring your Fufu mix until it releases starch and becomes smooth. 
  • Fufu dough is said to be good if it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.  
  • Fufu is mild in flavor; adding a little seasoning can make it tasty.