International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Pounding fufu

(West African mashed yams)

Average: 4.2 (39 votes)

Fufu is a mash of yams or other starches served as an accompaniment to meat or vegetable stews. To eat fufu, pull a small ball of mush off with your fingers, form an indentation with your thumb and use it to scoop up stews and other dishes. Or place large balls in individual serving bowls and spoon stew around them.

4 to 6 servings


  • White yams -- 2 pounds
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Place the unpeeled yams in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the yams are cooked through and tender. Drain and let cool somewhat.
  2. Peel the yams, chop them into large pieces and place them into a large bowl with the butter, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until very smooth. Alternatively, put the yams through a potato ricer and then mix with the butter, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the fufu into a large serving bowl. Wet your hands with water, form into a large ball and serve.


  • Cuban Fufu: use all plantains and mix in some pieces of roast pork or pork cracklings. Add a quick squeeze of lime juice if you like.
  • Substitute cassava root (yuca) for the yams.
  • Use half yams and half plantains if you like. Simply boil the plantains unpeeled along with the yams. Then peel and mash along with the yams.


  • Fufu is made with a wide variety of starches. White yams are most popular in West Africa, sometimes mixed with plantains. Central Africans tend to favor cassava root (yuca). Africans far away from home will sometimes use potato flakes or Bisquick™. Other options are sweet potatoes or semolina and ground rice. A variety of flours (rice, plantain) can also be boiled with water to form a starchy mass.
  • This starchy side dish goes by many names: fufu, fofo, foufou, foutou. In French-speaking countries it is sometimes called cous-cous. The East and Southern African counterpart is ugali.
  • Fufu has also found its way into Caribbean creole cuisine and was certainly brought there by imported slaves. It is most often made with plantains or cornmeal and is known as foo-foo, or foofoo. On Barbados it is known as coocoo.
  • If you have ever seen pictures of African women pounding a large mortar and pestle in a steady rhythm, they are probably making fufu.


This is a dish of green or partially riped boiled plantains mashed with a fork to form a thick puree. Oil and salt is most often added to it, but also can be added garlic or crushed chicarrones (fried salty pork meat pieces) for flavoring . This puree can also be used to make balls that are added to stews, soups and quimbombo (gumbo). Only the boiled GREEN or partially ripe PLANTAIN puree is called FUFU in Cuba..

i am trinidadian, living in canada, we make coocoo with cornmeal okra, coconut milk and butter, tomtom is green plantain with one or two turning, that is boiled and mashed with fried onion and garlic, salt pepper and butter. both dishes are placed into roundish bowls and turned out, sliced and serve with various stews, fish especially is very delicious.
i was a visitor to senegal in december, and the food there is one of the best, reminds me of my homeland foods-love it. different countries, uses spices and whatever is on hand to make their traditional dishes as best as possible, as u will never find the exact items in every country, even the taste of the original products does not taste the same, but close