Funje

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(Photo Attributed to Author: Rui Gabriel Correia)

(Photo Attributed to Author: Rui Gabriel Correia)

Funje (Angolan Cassava Flour Porridge) Recipe-

Ingredients:
Directions—Traditional:
  1. To prepare Funje the traditional Angolan way, you will need a very deep saucepan or large cooking pot, and a  long-handled and stout wooden spoon – preferably with an elongated, flattened blade that resembles an oar. (Improvise if you have to) These cooking sticks are called different names in different African countries, but almost every Western African household has one or more of these
  2. The perfect proportions for making good funje is a ratio of 2 to 1, water to cassava flour.
  3. Bring the water to a rolling boil and, as soon as it’s boiling, remove from the burner and place it on the floor.
  4. Wrap the pot in a towel to protect yourself and, sitting on the floor, hold the pot steady with your legs or feet.
  5. Add in all the cassava flour at once, and beat the mix vigorously and continuously with your Funje Stick. It is important you do not let up even a little while stirring and beating, or you will not wind up with the smooth porridge texture that Funje needs to be—you will have “kernel”-like lumps, and that is considered not very good Funje.
Directions—Modern:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Again using the same 2 to 1 ratio, bring the water to a rolling boil in a casserole dish that has a lid.
  3. While the water is heating up, put the cassava flour into a mixing bowl with just enough cold water to saturate the flour well and, using an electric hand mixer, beat the flour until the texture is smooth, thick and creamy.
  4. Now add the creamed cassava flour into the boiling water, whisking to combine.
  5. Continue whisking until the mixture is well blended and smooth, then cover the dish with its lid and place in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened enough to have a nice, doughy texture.

The modern way will not, of course, give you the traditional Angolan cooking experience, but you will still wind up with perfectly smooth and oh-so-tasty funje, which can be used as an authentic and traditional side dish with Angolan stews, greens, fish and meat dishes.


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