How to Make Pounded Yam

Have you tried pounded fufu?

This must be the sweetest staple swallow food in Nigeria.

And when you try it, you will just fall in love with it.

It gets better when you accompany it with some soup be it egusi or meat soup.

I think I stumbled over pounded fufu through the novels of the like of Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi and Flora Nwapa. They had a way of painting how pounded fufu is important in Nigerian traditional cultures that I just had to find out more.

Yam is king in traditional West African cultures. Man, the even have a new yam festival where they celebrate the harvest of new yam. During such festivals, there is song and dance and of course lots of eating pounded yam.

They however do not eat the new yam but rather the old that were remaining in the old harvest.

Lots of recipes have been shared on how to make pounded fufu.

In this article I look at three ways how to make pounded yam.

  • Manual pounding of yam

This is the oldest method of making fufu. It involves first peeling the yams, washing and slicing them into small pieces. When this is done, they are then brought to a boil.

Once ready they are ready to be crushed in the mortar. You take the wooden pestle and kick off thrashing the yams.

It can take upto 15 minutes to have the yams well thrashed and non lumpy. You will be adding hot water to get the right consistency. You will  know that your yams are ready when the fufu starts sticking to the pestle as though in complete submission after the hard thrashing.

Pounding is rather a rhythmic process where you could pound singing or humming to some music.

It takes away the tire away from your hands.

  • Using a blender/food processor to make pounded yam

Another method of preparing fufu is by using a blender or food processor to pound the yams. Here, electricity is going to be used. The blender or food processor has sharp and strong blades that first cut up the boiled yams and then go ahead to crush them into softest.

It is rather efficient, fast and less tiring. It takes only 2 minutes to get your fufu.

One popular yam pounder machine is this one.

The kenwood yam pounder and food processor is also a major search by kitchen enthusiasts.

It is also very hygienic and most modern homes and food businesses will be going this path.

Other than pounding the yam, the food processor will normally be multipurpose and could also be used to mince meat, slice vegetables and even blend baby food.

Only consideration is how good the mortar is as well as how energy saving it is.

  • Using yam flour to make the dish

The third modern but rather unpopular method of preparing pounded yam is using yam flour. This is flour made with dried yams that were milled. You just need to add the flour to boiling water, stir to get the right consistency and there you have it.

The fufu does not however taste like real pounded yams.