Making Fufu from Potatoes ("Pounded Potatoes")

Funke Koleosho's Potato Fufu 
Surely by now, you may know that the word fufu (or foofoo) refers to any West African side dish made from a carbohydrate rich vegetable, and served with a rich stew/soup made from a variety of leafy vegetables, meat and/or fish.

Fufu is traditionally made from a single or combination of root vegetables such as yam, plantain, cocoyam etc. Some fufu variants can also be made from milled cereal such as maize, millet or sorghum. Nowadays, fufu is also made from oats and wheat.

Many years back, before the advent of poundo flour, most Nigerians in diaspora used instant mashed potato flakes or flour to make fufu simply by adding to boiling water and adding some potato starch to firm it up. At the time, it served its purpose and it was another option for a side dish.

I am very mindful of processed foods and for the case of instant mashed potatoes, I knew that the glycemic index was quite high and the fibre content was virtually zero. Significant amount of vitamins and minerals have been eroded during processing. I then sought how I might be able to get maximum nutritional benefits from potatoes, So instead of using instant mashed potatoes, I decided to boil whole potatoes, mash them up and add some potato starch to firm up. This way I was sure that I am getting maximum nutritional benefits of the potatoes in terms of vitamin and mineral and fibre content.

Potatoes are incredibly healthy but the way they are often deep fried or baked and drenched in fat make them somewhat unhealthy. Eaten right, without too much fat, potatoes have a really healthy nutritional profile.

Potato Fufu served with Stewed Spring Greens

Nutritional Data for Potatoes (based on 100g of boiled potatoes)
Calories: 94kcal
Carbohydrate: 22g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 0g
Fibre: 2.1g
Vitamins: B6, B3, C, Pantothenic Acid
Minerals: Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Iron

Knowing what I know about potatoes, I have since included them in my regular diet. I bake them, boil and chip them, depending on my mood. I have also used them successfully in making a variation of my beloved Nigerian staple; Potato Fufu.

Its easy to make and it tastes different, but great. It looks great too with an appealing buttery yellow colour. Above all, it adds the much needed variety to my meals. In addition, its lighter and easier to digest.

Give it a try and serve with one of your favourite vegetable soups/stews. How to make fufu from potatoes:

What you need
  • Fresh potatoes (the varieties best for baking of boiling)
  • Potato starch. You may use corn starch as an alternative

What to do
  1. Peel the potatoes cut into large chunks and wash. Place washed potatoes into a pot add water and boil until soft. Do not add salt.
  2. When soft, drain off all the remnant water and mash the cooked potatoes in the same pot. Then with a wooden spoon continue to turn and stir the mashed potatoes until you achieve a smooth paste. 
  3. Now add a good sprinkling of potato starch and stir into the mashed potatoes. This will help firm up the  mash. Stir on until the mash stiffen and firms up. The more you add the firmer the mash. Now add some of the streamed off water (or you can add some boiled water). about 1 cup.
  4. Turn heat up and allow the mash to cook for about 5 minutes. Just like you make poundo or amala. While still cooking, stir the mash with the wooden spoon until the mash comes together. 
  5. Serve with any vegetable soup of your choice.

Potato Fufu served with Melon seed Stew

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