This and that: Pounding fufu....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pounding fufu....

yams with mortar and pestle
Fufu is to Western Africa cooking like potatoes are to Americans.  It is a staple food and eaten frequently in an African household.  My husband tells me that where he grew up in a village of Beme near Kpalime, fufu is eaten more then in Lome the capital city of Togo.  Fufu is made with yams or at times combined with plantains and is pounded until it is the consistency of bread dough.  The yams are white yams and not to be confused with sweet potatoes.
When my husband first came here to United States he thought his favorite food was a food of the past.  We thought that we would never be able to make it here in American... well we were wrong.   We were able to buy fufu flour from a store here in the upper peninsula of Michigan ~~ who would ever guess that the small town of Houghton, MI would have fufu flour but it does and probably because the university here has many people of  many countries going to it.  So, we were able to make it... not pounded but stirred on the stove.  On one of our trips to Indianapolis, I decided to google "African Market" to see if there were any near by and low-and behold there was and we found real yams... the kind that is found in Africa... Now we can make true fufu, but we needed a motar and pestle... Luckily they had that too... It was small but my husband said that it would work.  Our first meal of fufu from pounded yams was excellent.... and my husband felt like he was back home again.  Over the last few years, we have had fufu from pounded yams and also from flour and on a trip to Milwaukee we found cassava yams, which was a treat.   My husband also brought home a bigger motar and pestle from his last trip to Togo... So now we are all set.

fufu with fish/egg plant soup
1-2 pounds cut yams

Boil yams in water until soft.  Once soft place small amount in mortar and start to pound, adding more yams as you go.  If pounded yams start sticking on pestle, dip pestle in water and continue pounding.  Pound until yams are in dough state and soft ~ approximately 20 minutes.  Form into a round shape, place on wet plate and serve with soup, fish, chicken or goat.  To find my chicken soup go here and goat soup here.

That's it... easy right?, and you get your work out prior to eating.  What more could you ask for?  Lets see what you say after you see all the pictures...   Sorry, for so many pictures but I felt that this was the best way for you to see the progression of the fufu. 

boiling yams

place yams in mortar

start pounding


and pounding

and pounding

starting to get  dough like

continue to pound

and more

looking good

shaping the dough

finish product
Still think it is easy?

cassava yam
And just so that you don't think I let my husband do all the work.... I even do some of the pounding... not much as I get to tired and I have a hard time getting it to the right consistency.  But I do pound it every time we make fufu and one of these times I will be able to surprise my husband and have it ready for him when he comes home from work or school.

and one last picture..... Fufu served in Africa.  You will notice that there is a pot of water on the table.  The water is there for you to wash your hands ~ or I should say your hand as you only eat with your right hand, before eating.  To eat fufu you tear off a small piece with your fingers, roll into a ball and use it to scoop up the soup.  A spoon is also used to take a small amount of soup, this is used with your left hand.  At times if the fufu is a little hard you can spoon some of the soup on top of the fufu and eat it that way, it will soften the fufu up some.
                        til next time <3 <3 <3 Marlys


  1. I really enjoy reading about different cultures and really appreciate your stories.

  2. It was interesting to read about the fufu.

  3. This is so interesting! My daughter's father is from Tanzania and we have a huge African population where I live in MN so I love seeing different types of African food! Thanks for sharing!


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