Fufu is best known as a Central or West African side dish usually made from yams, cassava or other tubers. The starchy vegetables are boiled and then pounded into a dough like consistency. Fufu can be a filling side dish that goes well with saucy dishes or stews.
Cuban Fufu uses the popular island fruit of Plantain bananas as the starch of choice to create this dish. Plantains are better known as the main ingredient in fried bananas. The meat of the plantain fruit can be quite tough even at their sweetest and overripe state when the outer skin is black and the meat is at its softest. That is the ideal time to fry plantains into a tasty appetizer or dessert. Cubans and many Central and South American countries also make good use of plantains even when they are green or just turning yellow. At this state of the fruit's ripening, the plantains need to be softened or cooked either by steaming or boiling the meat.
Cuban Plantain Fufu is one recipe that takes advantage of plantains in its early ripe stage. The fruit is first boiled then mashed and pounded with raisins and honey or agave to create a starchy and slightly sweet dough like consistency that can be served with saucy Cuban, Caribbean, Central/South American, and African dishes alike.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
2 Large Plantains (with skin already yellow in color)
2 Tablespoons Agave
2 Tablespoons Raisins
Step 1: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. With a sharp knife cut the ends of each plantain and discard (about half an inch from each end). Then cut each banana into three large pieces with the skin on. Add the plantain pieces to the boiling water and cook at a brisk boil for 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 2: Remove the plantains from the water and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Peel the skin off the bananas and discard. Place the peeled plantains in a large bowl and use a masher or your clean hands to mash the fruit. Add the agave and the raisins to the bowl and continue to mash the ingredients together. Sprinkle some cold water on the ingredients as you mash to create a dough like consistency. Then break up the dough and roll into two inch balls to serve.
Try this dish as a side with African Peanut Chicken Stew, Caribbean Ox Tail Pepperpot, Tanzanian Fish Curry or try it with other saucy spicy stews.