Fufu is made by boiling starchy foods. It is then pounded with a large wooden mortar and pestle into a pasty mass ready for cooking.

In spite of this exchange of ingredients, almost no European or American influence can be found in the preparation methods of West African cooking. For example, many West African dishes are roasted over a fire in a simple skillet and prepared with vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, and okra. Na- tive oils, such as palm oil or shea butter, are used to grease the pan and prevent burning. Expect peanuts and other root vegetables in the average West African meal, including these dishes: •  Jollof rice: This rice staple is cooked slowly in a large pot and liberally mixed with peanuts, tomatoes, chilies, and very little meat. •  Fufu: Staple foods in Africa don’t come any simpler than fufu . It consists of a starchy vegetable that has been cooked and turned into a pasty mass. Fufu is then dipped in a stew and swallowed whole. •  Groundnut stew: Stews in West Africa consist mostly of vegetables or nuts— just as this dish does. It includes peanuts, tomatoes, and onions, and it pairs well with fufu .



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