If you’ve never tried an African Puff Puff before then you are in for an absolute treat! They are gorgeously crispy on the outside, fluffy and delicate on the inside, and taste amazing. They are just the most perfect little fried balls of deliciousness.
Puff Puffs are one of the most popular West African snacks and you can find them just about anywhere in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana (though here they are called Bofort). You can pick up a puff puff readily from street vendors, and they are also household favourites too. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t serve up some Puff Puff when you visit.
They’re most often either eaten as a snack or as a starter, but work equally well on the side of most meals. I always have to have some of my African Puff Puffs whenever I make my Jamaican Rice and Peas or my Hearty Beef and Bean Casserole.
How To Make Puff Puff
If you are wondering how to make puff pastry dough then here we will explain step by step the quickest and easierst way. They are not unlike a donut (or a French beignet) with the most basic of ingredients; flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon. Though they are usually enjoyed as a savory treat rather than coated in sugar as you would expect with a beignet.
That’s not to say you couldn’t enjoy them as a sweet treat too! They are so versatile. I’ve been known to enjoy them with a splash of syrup and a healthy portion of berries. Or, if I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I’ll have them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Traditionally, though, they are a wonderful savory snack or side, and I love making them. It’s so satisfying to drop them gently into the oil, hear that sizzle, and watch them turn a perfect crispy brown before removing and serving.
African Puff Puff is one of my favourite quick recipe.
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Nutmeg
½ Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Yeast
¾ Cup Sugar
Take a large bowl and add the flour, nutmeg, yeast, sugar, and salt, and mix it well together.
Add warm water in small quantities and mix everything together until it has a nice texture. It should be thicker than pancake batter.
Cover the bowl and leave it to rest for around 60 minutes. I personally like to put it in the fridge for another hour which makes the Puff Puff fluffier and easier to drop into the oil afterward.
Check if the dough has risen sufficiently, you should see small air bubbles. It should be at least three times the size it was before.
Heat up the oil, make sure to use a pan which is deep enough. The oil must be hot but not too hot, around 170°C. Test if the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will sink and stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top.
Use your hands to start shaping the balls. Grab a little bit of mixture at time and drop it into the oil (please see on the video below) You can also use a spoon.
Let them fry for a few minutes until the color turns becomes golden brown. Often, they will turn around themselves, otherwise, make sure that they turn brown on both sides.
Put some household paper on a plate before taking them out, to reduce the oil.