Monday, February 27, 2012

Oatmeal fufu from Nigeria

Hello friends and colleagues.
I arrived back in the U.S. last week and have been slowly catching up on my sleep and my correspondence. Last night I attempted a dish I first tasted in Abuja a couple of weeks ago: "oatmeal." 

Not your every day breakfast cereal, though. It was interesting to see William Penn's face greeting me on boxes of Quaker Oats in the grocery shops in Abuja, but even more interesting to know that Nigerians have appropriated the oats to make a contemporary version of a starchy accompaniment to soup, similar to fufu.

I was first treated to this dish in the home of Godwin and Felicia Chukwu. When I asked for the name, I was told, simply "oatmeal." "No other Nigerian name?" I asked and was assured there is not.

Unfortunately, I had no time for Felicia to demonstrate its preparation to me, but she did show me the heavy duty grinder she uses to grind the oats to flour, and she explained the basic process: bring water to a boil, gradually stir in the oats and mix well for a couple of minutes, then spoon into a serving bowl. She assured me I could just as easily use an electric blender to make the flour, as you see I did.

I believe she also said no added salt, and I remember Godwin mentioned to keep a little boiling water on the side to add if the oatmeal gets too dry.
It's eaten with "any soup," and we had it with a delicious Nigerian soup in Abuja.

Last night I made a Ghanaian "light soup" with beef and okra and shrimp, and whipped up some "oatmeal" to go with it. I remember Felicia used "instant" oatmeal, but I had old fashioned rolled oats here in Pennsylvania. At any rate, my first effort was semi-successful: I remember the version in Abuja as being lighter and somehow fluffier, while also dense. I think I may not have ground the flour fine enough, and I may have added too much water as well. I used 2 cups of oatmeal and probably 1 cup of boiling water. Anyone out there who can fine-tune this recipe, please let us know.


Anthony Ike said...

Nice concept! It is impressive how much variety we can get by just being creative. The meal is really inviting

Sophie said...

A friend introduced us to the oatmeal fufu concept. I was a bit put off initially at just the thought of eating oatmeal with soup but I found a packet of finely ground oatmeal fufu at a local middle-eastern/african store and bought it. The first time I made it, let's just say it was a huge 'punishment' to eat it so I vowed never to eat it again. Then I got this great idea to mix it with the boxed fufu powder we are all used to and it turned out pretty nice! I thought that since oatmeal was probably a lot healthier (fiber-wise), I should get into the habit of liking it. So since I ran out of original fufu powder about 2 months ago, I've just been doing oatmeal powder. Trick is to make it a lot softer than you would original fufu because it gets hard after it has sat for some time. I just add more water but I'll have to pay attention to proportions the next time I make it. And I also add a sprinkle of salt because the oatmeal tastes really bland but all in all, I look at it from the healthy side and I'm beginning to like it more compared to an all starchy plantain or cassava fufu.

But of course, nothing beats original home-made pounded fufu.

Truman health foods ltd said...

Hi everyone, oat flour is now in Nigeria. It's called HOMADE OAT FLOUR. Oat has so much benefit. It's reduces cholesterol, provides very high level of fiber, helps in reducing weight loss, very good for diabetic patients, people with heart problems and disease, very low in fat, no sugar, etc. I can go on and on. It's very light and you don't feel heavy after each meal. A good supplement for healthy living. You have to try it to be convinced. If you haven't yet, you have been missing out. HOMADE OAT FLOUR can be found anywhere in Nigeria or you can contact us on the above email or tel no.. 08024726588. Don't waste anymore time. START LIVING HEALTHY