What is a Fufu Machine and what is it used for?

A Fufu machine is a type of kitchen appliance that originated in Africa, specifically Ghana in West Africa. A Fufu machine is used particularly with the Fufu delicacy, which is famous in African culinary history. It is used for pounding cooked starchy vegetables such as plantains, yams, or cassava, which are all important ingredients for a Fufu.

When was the Fufu Machine developed?

The first Fufu machine was not invented for commercial use. It was meant only for local consumption in Ghana, made by a local named Fadegnom Charles. Charles owns a small electrical equipment workshop, and he himself loves Fufu. He realized that the process of making a Fufu, particularly the pounding part, takes a lot of effort and consumes a lot of time. As a result, Charles decided to create something that would replace the traditional 30 minutes of pounding on a Fufu. 

At first, it was a simple electric pounding machine that ground the starchy ingredient of a Fufu in just 60 seconds. In 2004, the local inventor manufactured a prototype of the Fufu machine with the use of oxidized aluminum and electric mortar, giving the equipment the strength of one horsepower (the unit used in measuring an engine’s power). In 2014, a commercial, mass-marketable design was produced and released by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Since then, the distribution of the Fufu machine has reached not only other parts of Africa but some American households as well. 

How did Fufu-making start?


Fufu making was influenced by Portuguese traders when they landed in Ghana, Africa. These traders mixed the fermented cassava with plantain and pounded it to get a sticky mixture. Since then, the Akans, Ghana’s largest ethnic group, have referred to this sticky mixture as “Fufuo,” which was shortened to “Fufu,” and it has been passed down from generation to generation. 

How is Fufu made?


Fufu is a dough-like food. The word Fufu means “mash” or “mix” in the Ghanaian language. It is a staple food for most Ghanaians but is also eaten in other African countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivorian, and many others. 

The traditional making of Fufu is made by separately mixing and pounding equal portions of boiled cassava with the use of a wooden mortar and pestle together with green bananas (sometimes referred to as plantain) or cocoyam (referring to either a root crop called Taro or Malanga). While pounding, the mixture is turned by hand, while gradually adding water until it becomes soft and sticky. The sticky mixture is then formed into a rounded slab and is then served. 

A Fufu’s flavor is usually bland. It is why it is usually served and dipped into different sauce-based dishes and stews. Fufu is usually eaten by hand, particularly with the right hand (eating with the left hand is considered disrespectful in many parts of Africa).

What is a Fufu Machine made of and how does it work?

A Fufu machine is made of stainless steel with a 5 horsepower engine to process the Fufu. With any type of Fufu machine, the already boiled cassava or yam is put into the machine and left to do the pounding work. With the use of a Fufu machine, the 30-minute traditional pounding of a Fufu is made in only in a few minutes. 

Types of Fufu Machines

Electric Fufu Pounding Machine

The electric Fufu pounding machine is the original pounding machine that is popularized in Ghana. It is made of stainless steel and is characterized by a cone-like appearance with the narrowest part on the bottom. It is connected to the main motor of the machine and covered with a metal plate. The unit should always be plugged into an outlet every time it is used. The electrical Fufu machine is designed to be able to sit on flat ground with no balancing. It usually pounds Fufu in less than 5 minutes while giving smooth and bump-free Fufu that can be served with any desired soup or sauce. This type of Fufu machine is the one most used for commercial purposes. 

Fufu Pounder

Fufu pounders are much smaller compared to an electric Fufu pounding machine and are suitable for kitchen use. It is a gentle portable machine that completes the Fufu in a matter of minutes. Just like an electrical Fufu pounding machine, the Fufu pounder needs electricity to function. A Fufu pounder can also grind corn, palm nut, and other soft root crops. 

Fufu Blender

A Fufu Blender works like a traditional blender. It can pound both yam and cassava and usually has a water-proof body. It is an efficient, long-lasting, and durable machine that can even be brought outdoors. The main difference between a Fufu blender and Fufu pounder is the structure. Just like a Fufu Pounder, a Fufu blender is not only used for Fufu but can also be used to minced meat and vegetables. 

Final Thoughts

The Fufu machine was invented with a simple goal: to make traditional Fufu-making easier and less time-consuming. With this simple goal, the Fufu machine became popular not only in Ghana where it was made but to the whole African nation as well. The Fufu machine was a good initiative in making sure that the delicacy would continue to flourish in African countries.