Traditional Meals: Fingerlickin' Fufu And Egusi Soup (Recipe)
Fufu is an African staple made from different ingredients. There's fufu made from cassava, fufu made from cornmeal, and fufu made from yam. The fufu type may differ from region to region, but the sheer joy of eating fufu is the same all over Africa. Most Africans will have eaten a type of fufu almost everyday by the time they are old and grey. Our recipe focuses on cassava fufu, paired with the absolutely scrumptious egusi soup. That delicious stew made from ground melon seeds. Fufu and egusi soup is a rich, nutritious delight, and we will show you how to make it.
Cassava fufu Cassava Fufu is one of the most traditional Nigerian fufu staples. In recent times, the cassava is floured and sold in stores to ease the process of making it, but the traditional way remains the best way.
- Cassava Fufu
You will need to line the pot using a plastic bag before adding the balls of cassava fufu. This is so that the balls do not stick to the pot as they boil.
- Mortar and Pestle or
- Food processor
Note: The cooking time depends on the quantity of fufu you are cooking.
- Set some water to boil. The water should be enough to cover the balls of cassava.
- Put the raw cassava fufu in a bowl and knead with your hands to mix the particles well. Add some water as you do so, a little at a time. This is to make it bind together when you make the balls. Make sure it is not too soft.
- After blending, make medium balls of cassava and set aside. If the cassava is too weak to make balls, add some cassava flour and mix well. This is usually the case if you try to cook Cassava Fufu which you extracted from cassava tubers the same day.
- When the water boils, add the lining to cover the inside of the pot. Then add the cassava fufu balls.
- Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. When you see cracks on the balls, it means it is ready to be taken off for the first round of pounding.
- Turn off the heat. Transfer the balls of cassava fufu to a mortar and pound very well to crush all the lumps. If you're using a food processor, put it in the bowl and run it to mix the "dough". The fufu will look white and smooth with no lumps.
- Mould into balls again and set aside. This time the moulds should be a bit flatter.
- Top up the original water and bring to a boil.
- Add the moulds of fufu and cook for another 5 minutes. We cook fufu twice because at the half-done stage, the lumps are easier to crush. If you try to cook it straight till done, it will be impossible to crush the lumps and the fufu will be too soft.
- Pound again and it's done. A well made cassava fufu has an off-white colour. If it is almost grey, it means it's overcooked.
Ground Egusi – or whole Egusi
1/4 – 1/2 red onion
Your choice of chopped leafy vegetable
- Grind egusi into a fine powder, mix with water to form a thick paste.
- Heat up palm oil in a pot till it starts to sizzle. Pour in the egusi paste and stir, till all the palm oil has been absorbed.
- Allow to fry on high heat. At the beginning, the water content of the onions will leach out, and the egusi will start to curdle, stir and just keep stirring. Stirring is key to getting that grainy, pebbly look and feel.
- Allow it to fry, see more curdles showing, like scrambled eggs, don’t leave it to long in that texture, otherwise your grainy texture will not form as the curdled bits retain moisture which you definitely do NOT want.
- Fry the pepper with palm oil, till it too has lost its moisture.
- Combine the egusi and pepper, stir for more frying.
- Once you have taken out the part to store for later, add beef stock, crayfish, assorted meat, shredded stock fish and stir. Taste for salt and seasoning cubes. Re-season if necessary, but be careful.
- Let it cook some more, until big bubbles begin to show up in the egusi, and it gets thicker. Stir, and lower the heat to allow the vegetables and smoked fish absorb the flavours in the pot and not overcook. Take off the heat, once the vegetables have softened.
Relish this dish and let us know about your thoughts in the comments section.
Also read: A simple ikokore recipe