10 Reasons Why You Can’t Make Semolina Fufu

Semolina Fufu also known as simply Semo or Semovita is the one meal that can bring one so much shame in the kitchen. It’s not even a full meal, just one half of a swallow and soup meal. Yes, you can’t eat this meal alone, you will need a Nigerian Soup to complete the squad yet, it can bring you so much shame and bring all your cooking prowess to naught.

And why is it that Semo and Akamu (Ogi) chooses an occasion when all the members of your family and extended family are around to shame you? Which one do you think is more challenging to prepare? Semo or Akamu? Let me know in the comments below.

make best semolina fufu

Make the Best Semolina Fufu

The following are the reasons why you can prepare every other meal including the very complicated meals but you still can’t make semolina fufu to save your life.

1. You don’t use the right pot.

Even before you light up your stove there may be something you are doing wrong: the pot. First, you need a pot with a long handle so you can hold firmly to it while crushing the lumps (watch the video below). Second, you should use a size of pot that is commensurate to the quantity of semolina fufu you are making. Do not use a pot big enough to prepare Party Jollof Rice to prepare semolina fufu that is meant for one person.

From my experience, the material the pot is made of is not really important; stainless steel, enamel and non-stick pots are all great for making semolina fufu. I recommend though that for best results, go with a pot that has a curved base like the one I used in the video.

2. You measure the semolina flour instead of the water.

Everything you know about food preparation should be left at the kitchen door when making semolina fufu. Usually, when we want to cook rice, we measure the rice. When we want to cook beans, we measure the beans. Even when we want to make Eba, we measure the Garri. But when you want to make semolina fufu, you should measure the water. This makes making semolina fufu counter intuitive. Measure two cups of water, four cups of water etc depending on the quantity you can finish.

3. You don’t use the right wooden spoon (eku).

Wooden spoon is the other important utensil you need to get right when making semolina fufu. There are many different shapes and sizes. The perfect wooden spoon should be curved at the spoon end instead of with sharp edges. Watch the video below for the wooden spoons you should avoid when making semolina fufu.

4. You do not allow the water to boil.

You need to bring the water to a rolling boil that is gbudu gbudu in onomatopoeic speak. If the water does not boil very well, the semolina fufu will not be well cooked, in fact, this is what makes people run to the small room immediately after eating semolina fufu due to upset stomach. You don’t want your guests to say you poisoned them, do you?

5. Even if you let the water boil, you don’t turn down the heat before adding the semolina flour.

Before adding the semolina flour, you need to turn down the heat to medium. If you add the semolina flour to the boiling water, it will shock the semolina flour into forming stubborn lumps that you won’t be able to crush. The semolina fufu will also not cook evenly.

6. You don’t sprinkle in the semo.

Ever heard of salt bae? You need to be the salt bae when adding the semo. Sprinkle in that semolina flour with one hand while you mix with a wooden spoon with the other hand.

7. You don’t know when to stop adding.

Once you start, you can’t stop! While sprinkling in the semolina flour and stirring at the same time, keep an eye on the mix and once you feel the slightest resistance on the wooden spoon, it’s time to stop adding. Remember that you are not holding the pot so you will feel this resistance because the pot itself will start moving around (see video below). Once you feel that, stop adding. Keep the bowl of semolina flour then hold the pot with the now free hand and start mixing and crushing the lumps.

8. You don’t crush the lumps very well.

While mixing, crush the lumps with all your power. This is where you will see that the shape of the eku and using a pot with a long handle are very important. Crush and turn the dough, crush crush crush, turn the dough and keep doing that till you get a smooth ball of dough.

9. You don’t cook it till done.

Some people, after crushing the dough, dish out the semolina fufu. Why? It’s not yet done at this time. This may not sit well in some people’s stomach, you know? So when you are happy with the smooth dough, sprinkle some water into the pot. Cover and cook it some more.

10. You over cook it.

After crushing the lumps, you only need to cook it till the contents of the pot steams up again. Anything more than that, it’s overcooked and will become too soft and slimy. So just cook it till the semolina fufu gets a good overall steam then mix again and it’s done.