Making fufu the Congolese way

I have been missing Africa lately. I was overjoyed when a friend of mine bought me some cassava flour; I knew I wanted to use it to make fufu. Fufu is the starch staple of large parts of Africa, but it’s made with different starch in different places. My friends in the Congo liked their fufu made with half and half, cassava and corn. I grew quite a liking to it. In some places people make it with the whole vegetable, but I only saw it made with flour. In other places it can be made with yams, semolina or plantain.

Fufu has the consistency of a firm dough. Where I was, it was always served in individual balls. A diner would take the number of balls they wanted for their meal from a communal plate. To eat, you remove a small portion (less than a tablespoon) of fufu and roll it into a small ball, using your thumb to make an indentation. You scoop your stew or vegetables into the indentation, as though it were a sort of spoon, then eat the ‘spoon’ and stew together. It’s great.

This was my first attempt at making fufu. I was quite apprehensive. I was unsure of the Australian ingredients, and hadn’t actually seen the fufu made from beginning to end. I am VERY happy with the results I got. It tasted just like the fufu I had in the Congo, and served my purpose entirely.

Salome making fufu for dinner in Kinshasa, DRC

Salome making fufu for dinner in Kinshasa, DRC

Serves 4 (as an accompaniment to stews and vegetables)

¾ cup cassava flour
½ cup maize flour
¼ cup polenta
1 cup cold water
3 cups boiling water
½ teaspoon salt
oil, for greasing

Combine the cassava flour, maize flour and polenta with the cup of cold water.

Bring three cups of water to the boil with the salt.

Stirring constantly, pour the wet flours into the boiling water. Continue cooking on a medium heat, beating well, for 30 minutes or until you have a thick dough.

Grease a small bowl with the oil. Scoop a dollop of fufu into the bowl and shake it around to form into a smooth ball. Tip that ball onto a greased serving plate. Repeat this process to use all the fufu.

Serve the fufu warm or at room temperature.

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6 Responses to Making fufu the Congolese way

  1. Gary Lum says:

    I spent two month long stints in northern Zambia in the early 90s. I can’t remember what they called fufu. It was good with dried fish.

  2. lizzygoodthings says:

    One of my dearest friends is from Zimbabwe… he and his wife cooked us a feast one evening.. this was one of the deliciously good things they prepared. Nice one, Susan xo

  3. Evangeline says:

    Wow! What an interesting dish. Thanks for sharing~

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