Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chemical engineer Dr. Yaw Adusei, talks about fufu and fufu flour

Dr. Yaw Adusei, an Ashanti, a chemical engineer trained in Ghana, Holland, Israel, and the United States, and the founder of Mama's Choice Fufu Flour, talks about his background, fufu, and the Ghana-style fufu flour produced by his New Jersey, USA-based company Adusei Corporation. He discusses issues of quality, nutritional analysis, consumer preference, and convenience.

Interview with leading West African culinary professional Barbara Baeta, in which she discusses various forms of cassava dishes, including gari and akple

Listen to an interview with legendary Barbara Baeta of Ghana, whose Flair Catering company has cooked for every head of state since Ghana's independence from England in 1957, beginning with Ghana's first Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah through J. J. Rawlings who left office in 2000. In this brief interview, she discusses various forms of cassava (manioc) dishes, including gari, the "couscous of West Africa," and, akple, a cooked cassava dough.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Microwave Fufu Recipe

Just before I left for Seattle at the end of March to attend the International Association of Culinary Professionals' annual meeting, a visitor from Australia, Jonas Addai-Mensah, kindly agreed to come to my kitchen and help me perfect my microwave fufu-making technique. We used Mama's Choice Plantain Fufu Powder, and it actually made about a third more fufu than the identical amount of the same brand of flour used on the stove top. I'll include some photos as soon as I get them back (my digital camera just broke).

I haven't had time to fine-tune the recipe, but I shadowed him, and copied down his every step. I'll try it out tonight with some groundnut soup.

1. In a large nonmetal bowl, mix 1 cup fufu flour with 2 cups water, stirring with your hand or a spoon to dissolve all the lumps.
2. Cover the bowl with a plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
3. Remove the bowl using potholders. Use a potholder to lift the cover away from your face and stir the fufu vigorously with a strong wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, gradually turning the bowl and mixing the fufu on the outside towards the center. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the reserved water over it as you stir.
4. Recover the fufu and return it to the microwave oven for 3 minutes
5. Remove the bowl and repeat step 3 (stirring and sprinkling).
6. Recover the fufu and return to the microwave oven for another 3 minutes.
7. Remove the bowl of fufu, sprinkle only half the 1/3 cup of water remaining, and sir once again.
8. Recover and return the bowl, but only microwave it for 1 minute.
9. Allow the fufu to sit briefly, then use the remaining water to wet a bowl, spoon, or your hands, and form fufu balls the desired size onto a dampened plate or platter. Enjoy with your favorite soup or stew!

I'd love to hear what your favorite fufu powder is, and whether you prefer making it on the stovetop or microwave, and prefer adding water first and then cooking it or boiling water first and then stirring in the flour. We also did a taste test on a couple of different kinds of plantain fufu powders. I'm partial to plantain over cocoyam. What do you like?