Malanga fufu

If you are into the rich and culturally unique African or Caribbean cuisine, you will love this dish. It is simple, quick, easy to make, and offers a healthy option for a side dish. Malanga fufu might seem like a unique name, but it is a convenient and amazing side dish.

You might have seen malanga at grocery stores. This root vegetable might not be as common as the others, but its nutritional profile makes it stand out. Malanga fufu is a dough that is shaped into spheres. It is made using only three ingredients, i.e., malanga, vegan butter, and salt. It is quick and a perfect side dish to go with your vegan stews and soups.

See also, Ugali, Turn Cornmeal, Cassava Dumplings. 

What is malanga fufu?

Malanga fufu is small balls made from a sticky dough of a root vegetable called malanga. Fufu is a side dish popularly served in African and Caribbean countries. Fufu is also known as foufou or foofoo. As you move across the region, you can find several fufu recipes. Where some use malanga to make fufu, others use yam, cassava, or plantains. Noe that fufu is always made from a starchy vegetable.

Malanga is a root vegetable native to African and Caribbean lands. It is also known as cocoyam or yautia. This root vegetable is shaped like tubes, and its flavor resembles potato also. It is a starchy vegetable and is widely confused with taro, yams, or potatoes. However, it’s the shape that makes it different from the first look. This vegetable has hairy skin, and the color is dark brown. It is like a potato that has grown longer and developed a few hairs.

There are so many ways you can cook malanga. You can make chips, serve them as a mash or make fufu.

malanga fufu on wooden cutting board

Benefits of malanga

Malanga might not be a very common root vegetable, but it sure offers a lot of nutritional benefits. Here are some of the benefits of consuming malanga:

  • First of all, malanga is gluten-free. As it is also available in milled flour, you can use malanga if you have gluten allergies.
  • Malanga is loaded with vitamin b. It contains vitamin b-2, which is known to improve immunity, provide instant energy to the body and also improve the health of skin, hair, and nails.
  • It is rich in potassium which regulates blood pressure in the body. Thus it protects the heart against diseases.
  • It is not just nutrient-dense but is also rich in complex carbohydrates.
  • It is high in fiber thus aids in proper digestive functioning. Moreover, it also has a low glycemic index, thus ideal for people who have diabetes.
  • Read More Malanga Coco.

malanga coco on wooden cutting board

Ingredients breakdown

Malanga fufu is probably the easiest side dish you can make. It is simple, quick, and very convenient. That’s because you will require only three ingredients to make this fufu at home. Here is what you will need to make malanga fufu:

  • Malanga: the main ingredient used for this dish is the malanga. This root vegetable is a staple in African countries. However, you can find it at grocery stores as well. This root vegetable is quite similar to potatoes in terms of texture and flavor. This vegetable is the form of tubes and has earthy brown-colored skin. When buying malanga, make sure you choose the ones that are firm to touch. They should not have soft spots. Moreover, they should also be free from blemishes. The firmer and fresher the vegetable is, the more shelf-life it will have.
  • Vegan butter: the next main ingredient you will need to make malanga fufu is vegan butter. You can choose any vegan butter for this recipe. Nut butter will work as well. The main aim is to ensure the fufu has a buttery texture and flavor.
  • Salt: season the fufu with salt to get a savory flavor in it. You can also improve its flavor by adding more seasonings and spices.

Cooked malanga coco recipe

How to make malanga fufu?

Making fufu malanga is very easy. The dish resembles mashed potatoes, so the preparation is almost like it. The only difference is in the presentation. Malanga fufu is served in the form of balls. Her eyes a step-by-step guide on making malanga fufu:

Step 1: first of all, prepare the vegetable by washing it to get rid of dirt and debris. It is important since malanga is a root vegetable. You will find a lot of dirt on it. Once it is thoroughly washed, now it’s time to peel off the skin. Cut the malanga into chunks. Make sure they are equal in size. It is essential for even cooking.

Step 2: now you have to cook the malanga. The easiest way to do so is by boiling water in a pot over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, add malanga chunks and let them boil for about 25 minutes or until the malanga is cooked through. You can test it by inserting the tip of the knife of a fork in it. When it penetrates the chunk easily, the malanga is cooked.

Step 3: drain the malanga and run cold water over it twice or thrice. This will allow it to cool down a bit.

Step 4: now, place the malanga chunks in a large bowl. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash it until it is creamy. Add vegan butter and season it with salt. Mix well and continue to mash until you get a sticky dough.

Step 5: shape the dough into balls using your hands. If you find the dough too sticky to handle, add a splash of water or plant-based milk. Once you have shaped all the dough into balls, the malanga fufu is ready. Serve it alongside your favorite stew. Enjoy!

processed malanga fufu

Variation ideas

Malanga fufu is super easy to make and doesn’t require any other main ingredient other than malanga. However, if you want to add more flavors to this dish, you just have to get creative on spices. Here are a few ideas to spice up simple and humble malanga fufu:

  • Garlic powder/onion powder: the easiest way to add a savory flavor to any dish is by using onion and garlic powder. You can use either one or both of them. These seasonings improve the flavors f any dish by many folds, and the same is the case with this dish.
  • Red chilies: a little bit of heat makes everything flavorful. You can use dried red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or even paprika powder to add heat to the malanga fufu.
  • Cumin: cumin has an aroma and warmth. A pinch of whole cumin or its powder will give a nice touch of warmth and flavor to malanga fufu.
  • Jerk seasoning: jerk seasoning is a widely used Caribbean spice mix. It is made from several spices and has a kick to it. A little bit of jerk seasoning will make malanga fufu very interesting and tasteful.
  • Bouillon: vegan bouillon is made from vegetable stock and has a complex yet savory flavor. It is perfect for adding more taste to malanga fufu.
  • Sesame seeds: add sesame seeds for a rich, nutty, earthy flavor and texture.

How to store malanga fufu?

Malanga fufu doesn’t have a long shelf-life because the bacteria can start developing over it. However, you can store it in an air-tight container and refrigerate it. But I recommend you don’t keep it refrigerated for more than a day. You can, however, freeze malanga fufu by placing it in a freezer-safe container, and it will last for up to a month.

What to serve with malanga fufu?

Malanga fufu is traditionally served with stews and soups. It is added to the stew and enjoyed as a component of any stew. You can serve it with any vegan stew, curry, or soup. Its fluffy texture soaks up the flavor of the stew and literally bursts in your mouth. You get the sticky and chewy fufu with the delicious flavor of the stew.

Other Vegan African Recipes To Prepare

  1. Jollof Rice
  2. Mukimo
  3. Ghanaian Red Red
  4. Agatogo
  5. Githeri
  6. Sukuma Wiki
  7. Kachumbari
  8. African Style Braised Kale And Tomatoes

Malanga fufu in black bowl on wooden background

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Malanga fufu

Malanga fufu

If you are into the rich and culturally unique African or Caribbean cuisine, you will love this dish. It is simple, quick, easy to make, and offers a healthy option for a side dish. Malanga fufu might seem like a unique name, but it is a convenient and amazing side dish.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Malanga fufu
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 20kcal



  • Wash the malanga to get rid of dirt. Peel the vegetable to remove its skin.
  • Cut the malanga into equal-sized chunks.
  • In a large pot, pour water and place it over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Once the water starts to boil, add malanga chunks and boil them for about 25 minutes or until they are tender.
  • Once cooked, drain the malanga and run cold water over them.
  • Transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Add vegan butter and salt. Using a potato masher, mash the malanga so that the vegan butter is fully combined, and you get a sticky dough.
  • Using your palms, shape the dough into small equal sized balls and serve these with your favorite stew. Enjoy!


Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.01g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 1mg | Vitamin A: 134IU

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  1. I’ve never heard of malanga or this dish before. Sounds very interesting! It is nice to try some unique recipes.

  2. I’ve never actually heard of this dish before. Sounds like a really interesting dish. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

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