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Malian Mashed Yams:
Foutou Igname

What's the big idea?

Foutou - or Fufu - is a popular staple throughout West Africa. Actually, the dish tends to be called Fufu in those regions where it is made from pounded Cassava root, and Foutou in the areas where it is made with yams. I'm not sure if this a purely a linguistic anomaly or if the two similar words are used discretely for the different ingredients. Either way, this recipe is made with yams, and is typical of the way it is eaten in Mali, for example.

It's very simple to make. You can use "red" sweet potatoes, but white yams are the more authentic ingredient. Serve with any stew or casserole from the West African region.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2lb white yams
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Plenty of salt and black pepper

What To Do

  • Place the unpeeled yams in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil
  • Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until the yams are cooked through and tender
  • Drain thoroughly and leave cool for 10-15 minutes
  • Peel the yams, chop them into large pieces and place them into a large bowl with the butter, salt and pepper
  • Mash with a potato masher until very smooth
  • You could simply serve like that, but it is traditional to form the Foutou into a large ball from which guests help themselves

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