All across the African continent, people enjoy a creamy, soft treat called fufu. Although you can make fufu out of virtually any kind of dough, many people opt for pulverized yams, cassava, oatmeal, or semolina, depending on what country they come from. Each different style of dough lends a unique flavor and spin to the dish.
Fufu is relatively easy to make, and it can completely transform savory dishes, stew, and spicy soups by balancing out the flavor beautifully. So instead of using traditional crackers, biscuits, or pasta in your next dish, consider trying one of these easy fufu recipes. You won’t be disappointed, and you just might discover a brand new favorite.
1. Cassava Fufu by Immaculate Bites
Cassava is one of the most traditional ingredients that African people use to make fufu, so if you’re looking for an authentic recipe, Immaculate Bites has you covered. Cassava root tends to be very tough and stringy, so you need to mash it into a paste before making the dough. Although you can boil and strain many other types of starches like plantains, raw or undercooked cassava has toxins. That’s why this particular recipe calls for fermentation.
Fermentation gets rid of the toxins and gives the cassava a pleasant, earthy, nuanced flavoring. It almost tastes like sourdough bread. Although this recipe’s hands-on time is relatively limited, you do need several days to ferment your cassava properly. First, put the cassava in fresh, filtered water for up to five days, changing the water regularly. After that, you’re ready to make your fufu.
2. African Fufu Recipe by Recipe Fairy
If you don’t have five days to ferment your cassava, Recipe Fairy has a great recipe that uses another popular starch from the continent: yams. Unlike cassava, raw yams don’t have any toxins, so you can boil and process them without having to worry about adverse health effects.
First, cut your yams into small cubes. The smaller the cubes, the quicker your yams will soften. Next, boil them in fresh water, and let them cool down completely before continuing your recipe. Once your yams are soft but cool, you can add a little bit of salt and pepper and even spice if you’d like. Next, add some fat, like oil or butter, then mash them up. Fufu is best when it has a very fine consistency, so you might want to use a blender to achieve maximum smoothness.
3. Banana Fufu by Chef’s Pencil
A slightly non-traditional but still delicious way to make fufu is by using green plantains and some fresh citrus juice. Unlike bananas, plantains are starchy and neutral-flavored. They are definitely not sweet. As such, they make the perfect base for fufu. This recipe is a bit more Caribbean than African, although many think it was brought to the islands by enslaved people.
Add in some sofrito seasoning for a genuine Caribbean flair, and then fry your fufu in lard, butter, or oil. Banana fufu is slightly more savory than traditional fufu, and you can even eat it all on its own with a spicy tomato sauce.
4. Spicy and Nutritious Ghanian Fufu Recipe by Foodiewish
Foodiewish’s Spicy and Nutritious Ghanian Fufu Recipe calls from two incredible starches; cassava and plantain. Essentially, you blend the two items together until smooth, then steam the fufu dumplings.
This recipe yields fufu that’s slightly doughier and a little starchier than other varieties. It will appeal to you if you like traditional pork buns or dumplings. This fufu has a particularly neutral but still pleasant flavor that goes perfectly with spicier soups and stews. The mild flavor counterbalances heavy spice. If you’re making a complete African meal, you might want to serve it with nkrakra, groundnut soup, or ogbono soup.
5. African Fufu Recipe by Izzy Cooking
Izzy Cooking’s African Fufu Recipe is another excellent fufu that uses plantains and cassava. As with our other recipes, you need to get the consistency right before cutting the fufu into small balls and serving it with the soup or stew of your choice.
One thing that Izzy Cooking touches on is the importance of selecting good cassava and plantains. Cassava, or yuca, is relatively common in specialty supermarkets. Make sure that your cassava is very firm and uniform in color. Your plantains should be unripe and firm too. If you’re new to working with fufu ingredients, this recipe is right for you because it can help set the stage for a successful end-product.
6. Water Fufu From Scratch by Precious Core
Precious Core has plenty of recipes from the continent, and her take on water fufu is exceptional. Precious Core derives her formula from Cameroon, and she suggests that you whip up a batch of eru along with your fufu for the full experience.
Her recipe calls for fermentation but with a slight twist. Precious Core adds some baking soda to the mix, and it doesn’t specify that you have to change the water. Instead, leave the cut-up cassava, baking soda, and water to ferment for between three and five days. Next, you can check for doneness by seeing if the cassava is soft to the touch. Then, you’re ready to make your fufu dough.
7. Zoe Adjonyoh’s Fufu Recipe by The Bureau of Taste
If you want to skip several steps and don’t have a few days to ferment your cassava, Zoe Adjonyoh has the perfect recipe for you. Instead of whole cassava or plantains, this recipe calls for fufu flour and water. As a result, you can make a batch of tasty fufu with only two ingredients within minutes.
All you need to do is mix the flour with hot water in a saucepan over low heat. The water and fufu will form a thick dough, and once all of the water is absorbed, the mixture is ready to form and eat. It’s so quick and straightforward that you can make it on a weeknight.
8. A Quick Guide to Fufu by Okay Africa
If you want to learn more about different fufu variations, this guide from Okay Africa is a great place to start. Not only does it talk about the origins of the beloved food, but it also gives you some foundational information about making your version of fufu from scratch.
This guidance is excellent because if you love fufu – and you will – you’ll want to experiment with different types of starches. Okay Africa covers traditional yam and cassava fufu, as well as other variations like semolina and durum wheat fufu. You can also find good suggestions on what soups and stews work best with which types of fufu and how to serve and store it.
9. How to Make Fufu by Kadi African Recipes
This aptly-named recipe is excellent for fufu novices, as it gives you foolproof step-by-step instructions. Like some of the quicker fufu recipes on our list, it calls for fufu powder instead of ground cassava or plantains. Fufu powder is a great thing to have on hand if you want to concoct a quick and nutritious side dish on the fly, and once you make this recipe, you’ll have it memorized. It’s so simple.
Basically, making great fufu comes down to a simple ratio; one cup of powder to two cups of water. If you’re having trouble finding fufu powder, check online or visit an African specialty store in your area.
10. Fufu Recipe by Guyana Dining
This more traditional fufu recipe courtesy of Guyana Dining calls for plantains and cassava. It’s got its roots in Ghana but has a Caribbean flair, thanks to the plantains. One thing that Guyana Dining stresses in this recipe is removing all of the stringy and tough bits from your plantains and cassava. Doing this will give it a far more uniform and smooth consistency in the end.
It also calls for creating uniform fufu balls with a melon baller or spoon to keep them looking neat and presentable. You can also use an ice cream scoop for larger fufu balls.
11. African Fufu Recipe by The Spruce Eats
Although fufu is a generally neutral food, The Spruce Eats’ recipe gives it a little jolt of spice with black pepper. You can add as much as you’d like or even substitute chili or red pepper for an extra burst of flavor. It also calls for some salt. Use traditional, sea salt, or even garlic salt, depending on what you’re serving the fufu with.
The Spruce Eats’ recipe is traditional, starting with cubed, boiled, and pulverized yams. You’ll also want to include some olive oil to get the consistency right. Although you can undoubtedly mash your fufu by hand, you can use a food processor too to shave off a little time and give yourself a break.
12. What If Fufu by Low Carb Africa
This recipe from Low Carb Africa talks about the roots of fufu and what different types of ingredients people use across the continent. It also talks about the difference between African and Caribbean fufu, as well as how to get a perfect consistency.
You pound traditional fufu into a paste, but you can also crush up the lumps by kneading it vigorously or even stirring it. As with many great recipes on our list, Low Carb Africa offers some pairing suggestions, such as okra soup. It’s a good recipe for those who want to learn how to make proper fufu, discover different variations on it, and be able to create their own base fufu recipe to experiment with.
13. Authentic Fufu by Taste Atlas
Taste Atlas’ Authentic Fufu uses two common and loved fufu ingredients, cassava and plantain, to create a spongy, gorgeous fufu that pairs perfectly with different types of soups and stews. They also talk about selecting and preparing these ingredients, as well as the nutritional content of each one.
Plantains make an excellent base for fufu because they’re incredibly starchy, and you can find them just about anywhere. They also cook quickly. Cassava is another wonderful, starchy vegetable that gives fufu some of its classic elasticity. Taste Atlas suggests that you forgo traditional techniques and use your food processor or blender to create silky smooth, incredible fufu.
14. Caribbean Fufu Recipe by The Spruce Eats
This fufu recipe calls for yam tubers, which are slightly different than regular yams. They have black, rough skin and are a little bit heartier than classic yams. They also have a distinct tart flavor that works well with any number of traditional African dishes.
Cube and boil your tubers, then put them in a food processor until they’re smooth. The interior of most yam tubers is either red, purple, or off-white, so your fufu might not be traditionally colored. But, rest assured, it will still taste delicious. Although you can find yam tubers in plenty of different equatorial places around the world, they originally come from tropical Africa, making this dish as classic as they come.
15. West African Fufu by All Chef Lola’s Kitchen
Chef Lola’s Kitchen celebrates West African fufu in this classic dish that uses cassava as its base. She also offers plenty of different advice for fufu novices, comparing cassava to different types of potatoes for context. If you’ve never worked with cassava, this comparison might be comforting to you and allow you to be more confident in your fufu creation.
Chef Lola advises that you peel and trim your cassava fully, process it, and then cook it over a medium flame. You’ll know that your fufu is done when it looks elastically and has a thick, dough-like consistency.
Easy Fufu Recipes, Final Thoughts
Fufu is one of the staple starches in all corners of Africa. It pairs perfectly with some of the continents’ more spicy and robust dishes, and many people consider it to be that classic comfort food. Although traditional fufu is a bit labor-intensive, there are plenty of easy recipes out there that allow you to savor this dish in no time.