Clearly, Fufu is a food tradition that followed West African slaves to the Caribbean; it’s an essential food in most of West Africa. It can be made with any of the starchy ground provisions such as plantains, cassava, malanga, etc. But this recipe calls for true yams. The traditional method is to boil the yams, pound them in a wooden mortar until smooth and sticky like dough, and then serve with stew or soup.
It’s customary to eat fufu with clean hands. Pull off a pinch of the dough about the size of a quarter. Roll into a ball in your hand and then make an impression in the ball with your thumb to make an indentation. Scoop up the stew and enjoy. The closest thing I can think to compare fufu to is a dumpling.
I’ve modernized the following recipe with the use of a food processor, which cuts down on the amount of work in preparing yam fufu.
Fill a pot large enough to hold the yams half way with cold water. Peel the yams. Be careful. They can can be slippery.
Cut the peeled yams into chunks and place them in the pot with water.
Place the pot over high heat and bring the water and yams to a boil.
Continue to boil the yams until soft. This should take about 25 minutes.
Remove the yams and reserve about a cup of the water you cooked them in. Allow the yams to cool.
Place cooled yams in a large bowl along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Using a potato masher, mash the ingredients together to break up the yams. Don't worry about it looking like a dough, yet.
Place the fufu mixture into a food processor or blender. Pulse briefly to remove any lumps. Do not puree the mixture.
Place the yam mixture back into the bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. The mixture should be sticky and slightly elastic. It's alright to use your hands if needed.
With your hands shape the fufu into equal sized balls. Serve warm with your favorite Caribbean soup or stew.