The strength and stamina required to make fufu from scratch could put it in to an Olympic sporting category! My uncle told me that a university in Accra tried to build a fufu-making machine but to operate it to replicate the pounding action was more hard work than just doing the action manually.
It takes a lot of practice to be perfect at it, despite the ease of the recipe itself. It is very much about technique and elbow grease. However, the flavor will be phenomenal no matter the texture you end up with. Don't be defeated on your first attempt; by the third or fourth time, you'll have a perfect ball of fufu magic.
If you ever get the chance to make it from scratch, I do recommend having a go, but all-hail packet fufu for a simpler life!
- 4 ounces plantain fufu flour
- 9 fluid ounces (1⅛ cups) fluid ounces water, very warm or just boiled and slightly cooled
- 1/2 pound (about 2) green plantains
- 1/2 pound cassava
- 3/4 cup water, divided
To make packet fufu:
Put the flour in a small saucepan, mix in half of the measured water and stir into a thick paste.
Place the pan over a low heat and slowly add the rest of the water, stirring continuously and smoothing out any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon (the low heat will absorb the last of the moisture).
To make homemade fufu:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Peel and dice plantain and cassava. (Be careful peeling the cassava: If you need help, watch a tutorial online on how to cut cassava.) Dice evenly into 1-inch squares for even cooking and combining.
3. Parboil these ingredients until just fork-tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, over medium-low heat.
4. Drain the water from the pot and place the hot cassava and plantain into a blender and gently begin blending the two together, very gradually adding a few tablespoons of water at a time. The starch will release and the dough will become sticky. Be super careful here so as not to over-work the mixture or add too much water (once it's in, you can't take it out!).
5. Once blended into a coarse, grainy mixture, using a tamper blender (one that includes a plastic blender-safe stick) slowly blend and pound the mixture until it's as smooth as your blender will make it. You should still be adding a little bit of water, if needed.
6. Once blended until smooth, add the uncooked fufu batter into a small saucepan. Place on medium-low heat. Roll up your sleeves for the next part.
7. As soon as you light the flame, you must start vigorously and continuously stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to bind together, about 5 to 7 minutes. If you see any lumps, firmly press and pound through the dough with the back of wooden spoon against the side of the pot to break down any lumps.
8. Once it's well-combined and reaches a smooth consistency, remove from heat and place into a bowl.
9. Divide into two portions, place into serving bowls and serve with your favorite soups or stews over the top or to eat on the side.
Reprinted from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh, published by Mitchell Beazley. Copyright © 2017.