Ugali (Corn Fufu) — Easy to prep, soft, very delightful and filling side dish. A perfect cornmeal side dish for greens, stews, and proteins.
Step-by-step instructions on how to make Ugali or Corn fufu paired with Sukuma Wiki.
In most parts of Africa, cornmeal, is a side dish you would find in restaurant menus and in home kitchens around the continent – under different aliases. The most notable are fufu corn (West Africa) couscous de maize (French-speaking African Countries) Ugali (Kenya) Nshima – Zambia, Nsima – Malawi, and South Africa – Meilie pap.
It is very bland and to put it lightly boring side dish BUT when paired with greens, stews and/or protein – it sure is delightful and quite filling.
Perfectly ground cornmeal is readily available in these most African Countries but when you are abroad or in the Western World it is another ball game. Check your local supermarkets for cornmeal. I have tried different varieties and what works best or come close is fine ground cornmeal. However, don’t be shy trying out cornmeal that is not labeled “fine ” some of them work just fine.
Asides from the visual aspect, there is really no difference between white and yellow cornmeal. It all depends on what color of corn was used in the process.
On a rare occasion, I ate corn fufu at a friend’s place made with Jiffy cornbread. Yes, you heard right. Jiffy cornbread mix and I sort of enjoyed it -am not going to lie. I sometimes use jiffy mix , when am cooking for one. Do not want to offend anyone. I can just see FuFu purist shouting out HERESY! But who cares? Whatever rocks your boat?
Unlike other fufu ,corn meal needs to be cooked for about 15 minutes or more to get rid of the raw taste. Be prepared to do some stirring to get a smooth paste. Be mindful that cornmeal hardens as it cools down, so if you want like really soft ugali add more water.
Pair it with this African collard greens aka sukuma wiki. or this African Okro Soup
Watch How To Make It
Ugali (Corn Fufu)
- 4 cup water, or more
- 2 cup fine corn meal
- ½ -1 teaspoon salt
- Add about 4 cups of water to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, remove about a cup of water and set aside.
- Gradually whisk in the cornmeal until you have added the whole thing to the pot, a little bit at a time, and keep stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. You may have to take the saucepan off the heat while getting rid of lumps and preventing burns.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens.
- Then add the remaining boiled water, reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 10 or more. You may add some more water if desired. Turn off the heat.
- Scoop out balls with a small bowl – shake and form a ball by rolling around a bowl. Or place it on a saran wrap. Note: I have been told not to do this several times because of health reasons, so be mindful of it.
Tips & Notes:
- It requires some elbow grease and constant stirring to get a smooth paste.
- Be mindful that cornmeal hardens as it cools down. So, if you want like really soft Ugali, add more water.
- Unlike other fufu, cornmeal needs to be cooked for 15 minutes or more to get rid of the raw taste.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.
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