Fufu has recently seen a huge boom in popularity in the Western world but it’s been a staple in West African countries for countless centuries, and many Africans are excited to see it boom in popularity thanks to TikTok.
So, what actually is fufu? How is it made, what makes it great, and what do you need to know? Well, I've collected everything you’ll need to know in this article.
What Is Fufu?
If you’ve been looking around online then there’s every chance you might have seen pictures or videos of people doing the fufu challenge. In the videos, you see succulent dough balls on top of rich, hearty stews.
Technically speaking, though, fufu is just the dough portion of the dish. The spongy dough is made with yam, cassava, and other flours together in hot water to create a wonderfully thick and textured dough. It’s worth pointing out that true Nigerian fufu is only made from fermented cassava, while dough made from yams would be called pounded yam. A mix of cassava and unripe plantains is another hybrid version also makes for a favorite fufu in other places like Ghana.
The fufu is literally just unseasoned dough - it has a very plain taste because you scoop up some soup with it, and then eat the combined mouthful - therein lies the taste sensation.
In many parts of Nigeria where I'm from, the dough itself required a lot of fancy and complex preparation, and the soups that it was served with were typically packed with expensive meats - this made it a staple only for the wealthy.
Nowadays, it can be seen enjoyed by a lot more people - mixes and powders are commercially available which make the cooking process simpler. You can easily mix the poweders with water to create a thick, fantastic dough ideal for making great fufu.
The truly impressive thing about fufu is that it has stood the test of time. The flavors within the spectacular dish are made again and again in homes and restaurants across the world, with the dough remaining the star of it all. So many cultures have spectacular dumpling-style meals, and fufu is another example of that. It makes stunning comfort food, and we can’t get enough of it.
What is the fufu challenge?
To put it simply, the fufu challenge is just going and eating some fufu. The idea is that people who participate in the fufu challenge will drive to a Nigerian eatery, get some fufu, and then film themselves eating it - their reaction, positive or negative, is the content that people watch for. check out Jessicas reaction here.
The fufu challenge has seen a huge number of Nigerian businesses doing better. People want to get a taste of awesome food, and they’re going to great Nigerian restaurants to do just that! For our special offering at Hanak Foods, we present a Nigerian sample platter that includes fufu with 2 soups (both vegetable and egusi soups), jollof rice with plantains and chicken, with suya and salad on the side. It is definitely the best introduction to our pallet. To order yours click here.
Another benefit of Fufu having a viral moment is that it shines the light on other Nigerian specialties, such as jollof rice. People are seeking out Nigerian restaurants near them, as well as tracking down recipes online. You can find some and can even join in to experience at our supper club events.
African culture is incredibly rich and long-lived, it’s a wonderful thing to see any parts of it having a moment of adoration!
We cater and our specials menu as seen here, can be ordered by individuals or office groups.