Most West African countries are familiar with the popular street food Puff- Puff which is known by different names depending on the country. Ghanaians call it Bofrot (togbei) , Cameroonians and Nigerians call it Puff-Puff (Puff) or Beignet in French. The basic ingredient consists of: flour, sugar, yeast, water, salt and oil for deep frying.
It is an easy and quick recipe to make with different variations.This recipe is the one I have been making for years and the one that takes me back to my hometown. It brings back memories of late night snacking on the street. As a child, I would often watch in amazement how the women selling the puffs would grab the mixture with the tip of their fingers place it in the palm of their hands and drop the mixture in oil. I was fascinated by this process, and would go home and practice this act with any mixture I had on hand, but it never came out in proportion or visually appealing like the women did . After years of practice, as an adult, I think I can proudly say I got the hang of it.
Puff-puff is usually eaten for breakfast, as a snack or as a side dish. Regardless of when you eat them they are delicious with or without a main dish. A must have for me – pepper sauce. Use a spoon instead to scoop the dough into the oil if you do not want to use your hands . It still tastes delicious!
Most foods are deep fried at temperatures in the 350-375 F range .You do not want it to the point where it burns your food. It should be hot enough to become firm and caramelize the exterior so that the interior cooks quickly without absorbing the oil, consequently, turning the puffs soggy and oily. Do a test first if it sinks right to bottom of the oil and does not rise, then the oil is definitely not hot enough for frying
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 1/4 ounces active dry yeast (1 packet)
• 3 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2- 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 Tbs salt
• Oil for deep frying
1. Mix salt, sugar, water, and yeast . Set aside for 5 minutes
2. Add flour and mix.
3. Let the mixture rise for approximately 1- 2 hours
4. In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil into a pot, until it is at least 3 inches (or about 5 centimeters) high (too little will result in flatter balls), and place on low heat.
5.Test to make sure the oil is hot enough by putting a ‘drop’ of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top.
6. Using your hands grab a little bit of mixture at time and drop in the oil.
6. When the oil is hot enough, use a spoon to dish up the batter, and another spoon or spatula to drop it in the oil, sort of in the shape of a ball.
7. Fry for a few minutes until the bottom side is golden brown.
8. Turn the ball over and fry for a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown.
9. Use a large spoon or something like that to take it out of the oil. I usually place them on napkins right away to soak up some of the excess oil.
10. If desired, you can roll the finished product in table sugar or powdered sugar to make it sweeter