Puff Puff is a snack or side dish if you prefer, that has made its way to every table in African cuisine. I grew up watching my aunt make this sweet snack for commercial purposes, every evening I will take a walk to her stand on the street corner just to have a taste of these balls. It is widely enjoyed across West and Central Africa; Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Congo etc. Some call it beignet, kpof, kpof, it is undoubtedly a fun food any day, anytime.
I was pleasantly surprised when I visited a restaurant in the Brussels region and they had beignet Africain on their menu! Ah! No second thoughts, this lady went straight for these sweet balls and to say the least, they were delicious. By the way, Puff puff is quite similar to the Dutch/Belgian oliebol which is traditionally eaten on New year’s Eve and other fun fairs. These balls are perfect for cold weather and the ginger in it takes it to another level altogether!
Last Saturday I was invited to a fundraising event (eet voor Namibia). A fun way of raising money through eating with friends and family and contributing any amount you have towards the set cause
As a well brought up lady, it is customary (well according to my mom) to make food and take along to such an event. My mom will always say, you do not go empty-handed to such occasions. What quick, sweet and easy food could I make? You sure got the answer right, Puff Puff, this time around with a ginger twist. First, this is what you need to make this:
- 1 Kg all-purpose flour
- 2 sachet (14g) of dry yeast
- 400 grams white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1.5 litter warm water
- 1 litter vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Dissolve yeast, salt, sugar in warm water and keep aside for 5 mins
- Pour in flour and give it a thorough mix
- Drop in the ginger paste, mix it in diligently, I beat the dough vigorously to get a smooth very soft batter.
- Cover the dough with a cloth and keep in a warm environment to rise between 1-2 hours. It is absolutely important to let it rise to get the best results. An indication that your dough has risen is the obvious presence of air bubbles
- Pour oil in a large saucepan and heat
- I will advise you to test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of the batter into the oil. If it sinks, then you have to wait a little longer before frying. On the other hand, the oil shouldn’t be too hot else your puff puff gets burnt.
- Scoop spoon full of the batter and drop into the oil, I prefer using my hands to achieve this. I drop the batter using the outlet between the thumb and the index/pointer finger.
- Allow to fry on one side until it turns golden brown, with a large spoon, flip the sides and let it fry as well. Sometimes the balls will spin by themselves, so you don’t need to flip sides in that case.
- Remove they golden brown balls and allow to cool on paper towels
- Congratulations on making the best ginger-flavored puff puff in the world!
- Enjoy it, and enjoy some more and just some more!