Chic African Culture Blog

What is the difference between ugali and fufu

How to make the popular African recipes Ugali and Fufu and what is the difference. 

Ugali is a starch dish in Kenya and Tanzania made of fine cornmeal cooked in boiling water into a soft dough. Fufu is a thick, dough-like West African food made by boiling then pounding a starchy vegetable such as yam, plantain, or cassava or a mixture of starchy vegetables. The main difference between fufu and ugali is fufu is boiled first then pounded while ugali is simply boiled.

Making Ugali

Ugali recipe.

Easy Ugali Recipe

Prep time 5 minutes Cook time 30 minutes Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups finely ground cornmeal

8 cups water

Directions

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Slowly pour cornmeal into boiling water stirring continuously. Add more cornmeal if necessary until it is thick as soft bread dough. Serve immediately with vegetables, stew, or any dish you would use a spoon with to soak up the sauce, ugali is purposely bland tasting on its own.


What is the difference between ugali and fufu. 

The main difference between fufu and ugali is fufu is pounded first then boiled while ugali is simply boiled. Fufu is a staple food common in many countries in Africa. The traditional method is to boil starchy food crops like cassava, yams or plantains and cocoyams and then pound them into a dough-like consistency. 

How do you eat Fufu? Simply tear off a small piece of Fufu hold it with your fingers making a slight indentation to scoop up a small portion of food.

Ugali is known in South Africa as Pap or Mielie, Sadza in Zimbabwe, and Nsima in Malawi; the name changes with region and language in Africa.

Fufu is a staple food in many countries in West Africa such as Cote D'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Togo, and Nigeria. 

Ugali, on the other hand, is not made from starchy crops but from ground corn. It is sometimes made from other flours, such as millet or sorghum flour, and is sometimes mixed with cassava flour. It is cooked in boiling water or milk until it reaches a stiff or firm dough-like consistency. 

The main difference between fufu and ugali is fufu is boiled first then pounded while ugali is simply boiled. Here are a few other names of ugali in other African countries, same dish different name. Ogi, Akamu in Nigeria, Ngima, Buru, Sembe, Chenge, Arega in Kenya, Bando, Kaunga in Uganda, Moteke, Bidia, Bugali in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Isitshwala, Bogobe in Botswana, Xima and Chima in Mozambique, Mealie and Pap in Lesotho, and South Africa and Soor in Somalia and Zambia.

 

Pounding fufu in Ghana.
Making Plantain Fufu 


Plantain Fufu Recipe


How to make plantain fufu. Plantains are used for cooking at any stage of ripeness; green, partially yellow ripe, yellow ripe and brown yellow overripe. You can use green or ripe plantains to make plantain fufu.

Easy Plantain Fufu Recipe

Ingredients
3 green or yellow plantains
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Water for boiling

Directions
In a large pot place the peeled and evenly cut plantains and cassava and cover with water. Boil until soft about 20 minutes. Place the salt, flour, plantains and cassava in a mixer and knead until the consistency of soft dough is achieved. Fufu should be much stiffer than mashed potatoes in texture. 
 
Did you know?
Foufou goes by many names, Fufu, Foofoo, and Fufuo; whatever the name fufu is a thick, dough-like West African food made by pounding then boiling a starchy vegetable such as yam, plantain, or cassava. In some markets in Africa you can now buy powdered fufu and boil without pounding the starch first.

Ugali Recipe

The main difference between fufu and ugali is fufu is boiled first then pounded while ugali is simply boiled.


More economical easy lunch and dinner recipes to make right now so you never have to eat or prepare a boring meal again.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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