One of the few variations of the popular West African street snack.

This is one of the few national treasures in West Africa 😂, puff-puff is well known for its versatility at any West African function. This snack has a variety of name across the countries (non West African included) which its taken its popularity, Bofrot in Ghana, Beignet in Cameroon, Bofloto in the Ivory Coast, Kala in Liberia, Mikate in Congo, Vetkoek in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Originally this traditional West African snack is made of basic ingredients such as; flour, yeast, sugar, and water. But as of today, there are a lot of variations of this snack and I am here for it! Growing up in Africa, I would watch how the women make up firewood places, cast their pans, heat up some oil, and start making puff-puffs early in the morning. The cutting (dropping of the batter in hot oil) of the batter would always mesmerize me, as it is a very delicate process. I would be standing there with my mouth ajar as these women would be extremely fast in dropping the batter into hot oil. I have made different variations of this snack and this is still one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 overripe banana (mashed)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp powdered milk (optional)
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp fast action yeast
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • Oil (for deep frying)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mash banana and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the middle of dry ingredients, add water and mix with hands or spatula until fully combined.
  • Add mashed banana, gently fold in with a spatula.
  • Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and store in a warm, dry place.
  • Leave to rise for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • In a deep saucepan, pour in oil (leaving 2 inches from brim), place on low heat.
  • Test drop for hotness by adding a little batter in oil (if it floares, you can proceed to the next step, if not, wait till oil is hot enough).
  • Grab batter with the tip of your hand, fold into your palm, making a fist and squeeze into hot oil from underneath the fist.
  • Repeat, till oil is occupied, but slightly packed (so that you would have room for turning).
  • Fry for a few minutes until bottom side is brown, then flip over with a skewer (you can use a fork, or wooden spatula, but a skewer makes flipping easy).
  • Fry other side till golden brown
  • Remove from oil. place into paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • Consume immediately while warm.
  • If desired, pair with melted chocolate, and banana slices.
Serving suggestion

Tips

  • If using active dry yeast, make sure to mix with all dry ingredients except for flour, add water and required cups of water, let proof.
  • Preheat heat oven and turn off, so as to have a warm place to store batter for rising.
  • The traditional hand method might be difficult, should you mess it up, scoop batter with a spoon and use another spoon to drop into hot oil.
  • If saucepan is large enough, puff-puffs would flip over automatically, as an indication of one side being done.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan, else puff-puff would be soggy.

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