12 May 2010

African-inspired Mystery Box

When I drew out tonight's Mystery Box ingredient, initially I was stumped....

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Potato flour - sounds easy right? Perhaps not.

From what I read, potato flour is often overlooked as a suitable flour on the basis that it has a heavy texture and a strong taste.

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Not exactly a rave review?!

Undeterred, I researched a little more and came across a recipe for fufu, that sounded just perfect.
Fufu, is a staple food of West and Central Africa, and is an accompaniment to stews or soups. It is usually made by boiling starchy foods (such as cassava, yam or plantain), then pounded into a glutinous mass (akin to a dumpling) using a a mortar and pestle.

What I discovered, however, is that an 'instant' version could be made using potato flour and flakes, thus eliminating the need to beat it in the mortar and pestle. Sounded like the perfect use for the flour to me!
So with my Mystery Box ingredient catered for, the next question was what to serve it with.

In keeping with the African theme, I discovered that Africa was also known for its Nkate Nkwan, or ground peanut soup. This hearty peanut / tomato soup is full of protein, and thought to have originated in Western Africa. I love peanuts and I love tomato, so I was pretty much sold on the idea of this stew.

So, let me introduce you to….African-inspired peanut and chickpea stew, served with fufu.

I started by cooking an onion and a couple chillies, then added cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger and mixed spice.

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 Once aromatic, I added carrots, zucchinis, green beans, chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes.

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Followed by peanut butter and vegetable stock, and simmered for an hour or so or until the stew had thickened.

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Just before serving, I had the assistance of Mr BBB to make the stars of the show….the fufu. I was a little nervous when I read the instructions, but it all came together easily.

First, potato flour and warm water were mixed together in a jug.

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In the meantime, the potato flakes and boiling water were placed into a saucepan.

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Then it was simply a case of adding the two mixtures together, and stir, stir, stir until the magic happened (ie. mixture formed a sticky dough…)

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Once the dough had firmed, I was able to roll it into balls.

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Served alongside the stew – which might I say, was super spicy!

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I read that fufu is usually eaten by tearing off bite size pieces to scoop the stew.  So scoop we did ;)

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No forks = less dishes ;)

Oh my goodness…..the fufu were brilliant!!!! The potato flour worked well as a binding agent, and the potato flakes turned the mixture into a beautiful creamy dough balls.  Or as Mr BBB called them…“gelatinous balls of goodness”.

If you make anything I have featured on this blog, you have to make these.

Fufu (makes 4 large balls)

Ingredients
  • 800ml boiling water
  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 90g potato flour
  • 180g potato flakes
Method
  1. Place 200ml of the boiling water into a saucepan to warm it.
  2. Meanwhile, in a jug, mix the potato flour with 200ml of lukewarm water.
  3. Remove the water from the saucepan, and add the potato flakes and the remaining 600ml of the boiling water.
  4. Immediately add the potato flour mixture to the saucepan, and stir vigorously until the ingredients combine and the mixture turns into a dough.
  5. Once the dough is firm and smooth, roll into balls using moistened hands and place into a bowl.
African-inspired peanut and chickpea stew (serves 3 to 4)

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2cm ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground chilli
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 200g green beans, chopped in half
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
Method
  1. Cook onion and chilli in a little water over a high heat.
  2. Add spices and stir until aromatic.
  3. Add the vegetables, and stir through the spice mix.
  4. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, peanut butter and broth, and simmer (uncovered) for an hour or so or until the stew has thickened.
What about you? Have you ever cooked with potato flour? Apparently it is also used in some bread mixes but I’m not so sure….

Happy baking :)

11 comments :

  1. wow,this is great to know -I've never used potato flour before!

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  2. This is so cool! I have been reading up about African dishes lately. This is super fascinating! I love it. I'm bookmarking this.

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  3. Alright, the next time I get motivated to make something more elaborate this is at the top of my list :). Plus... saying fufu will be so much fun!

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  4. I'd never heard of potato flour before! It looks delicious.

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  5. ooh, i've never used potato flour, but this looks awesome :)

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  6. ive never heard of potato flour but this looks great! love your mystery box thing :O)

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  7. Mashed potato makes really good potato bread so I think potato flour would work really well! :D I know who I'd serve this to too!

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  8. To be quite honest, these sound divine. YES PLEASE!

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  9. I made this tonight - absolutely wonderful flavours in the stew, it's a keeper! :)

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  10. In African meals with the potato flour you use more potato flour and put a little less potato flakes. This makes the fufu more sticky which is a little more traditional for African meals.

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