|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 62g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 9g||32%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 27mg||137%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Fufu, an essential food in most of West Africa, was brought to the Americas by enslaved populations who adapted it to Caribbean cuisines according to what was available. There are many versions of fufu, with each West African country featuring its own favorite recipe. In general, fufu refers to a dough made from boiled and pounded starchy ground provisions like plantains, cassava, or malanga—or a combination of two or more. Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico have their own versions, too, with sweet plantains and added animal fats like butter, bacon, or lard.
Our recipe for fufu uses true yams, first boiling them and then pounding in a wooden mortar and pestle until they're smooth and sticky like dough. The tart and sour flavor of pounded starches pairs really well with full-bodied and well-seasoned meat and vegetable dishes, and it's especially good served with a Caribbean soup or stew. For this recipe, you can set aside the traditional mortar and pestle and use a food processor instead, which cuts down on the amount of work and time needed.
2 pounds white yams
Salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon olive oil (butter or margarine)
Gather the ingredients.
Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with cold water.
Carefully peel the yams; their slippery quality can make them hard to peel.
Cut the peeled yams into chunks and place them in the cold water.
Bring the yams to a boil over high heat. Keep a rapid boil until the yams are soft, about 25 minutes.
Remove the yams, drain, but reserve about a cup of the cooking water. Allow the yams to cool off.
Place the cooled yams in a large bowl along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Mash and mix the ingredients using a potato masher. The mixture will be uneven and lumpy.
Place the fufu mixture in a food processor or blender. Pulse briefly at low speed to remove any lumps, but do not puree.
Place the yam mixture back in the bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until it becomes smooth. The mixture should become sticky and slightly elastic. It's perfectly fine to use your hands to get it to the desired texture. Add some of the reserved water, starting with 1/4 of a cup, and work the dough. You might need to add more water, but it depends on how moist the yams were to begin with. Keep working and adding water until you have a springy dough that comes away from the bowl, is pliable, and is easily shaped.
Shape the fufu into balls of equal size.
How to Pair and Eat Fufu?
In African tradition, fufu is served family style in a big round dough-like form. The dough is hand pulled by each guest who uses it to soak up the juices in stews or soupy preparations. Thus, it's customary to eat fufu with clean hands as this is finger food in the truest sense of the term: By pulling off a pinch of dough about the size of a quarter, rolling it into a ball in your hand, and then making an indentation in the ball with your thumb, you can then scoop up some stew or sauce and enjoy the whole bite.
Because fufu is used as a vehicle to bring bites of juicy foods into your mouth, any stew or soup preparation is a great dish to serve with fufu.