Puff puff is a snack made of batter containing flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. This delicacy has a slightly crunchy crust with a soft and airy interior, perfect as a snack, for breakfast or any other time of the day. People add other ingredients like nutmeg and milk depending on the puff puff recipe, preference, and region.
The batter is deep-fried and then rolled in sugar, dipped in hot sauce or just enjoyed on its own. In West Africa though, puff puff is typically accompanied with some Beans curry and west African pepper sauce. Either way, this recipe is worth trying. This puff puff recipe will blow your mind.
The Origin of Puff Puff
It is an African delicacy that is mostly sold on the streets and local restaurants in Africa. In West Africa, it is also known as poff poff or even Bofrot while in East Africa, it is known as Kaimati or Mandazi ya maji.
It is a staple that doesn’t lack on the streets of Africa, and I haven’t been to any party that lacked them either. This is probably because it is so easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd.
I learned how to make this delicacy more than 13 years ago from my sister-in-law and quickly discovered my love for this sumptuous deep-fried batter. I love it so much that I literally won’t rest till I have devoured the last one. Like I said, puff puff is so addictive.
How to Make the best Puff Puff
To start the process, I always use a large mixing bowl for my batter. It is because the batter needs to proof and I never want it spilling over during the process. I place all my ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix well using a large egg-whisk for about 5 minutes until my batter is smooth. Equally, make the mixture in a stand mixer.
After that, I cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap and allow my batter to proof for nothing less than 1 1/2 hours. The proofing process is crucial for the overall flavor and texture of your puff puff. Therefore, don’t rush it. When I have time, I allow my batter to proof twice for a more structured interior.
To shape them, I start by scooping enough batter to fit in my palm. I then squeeze a little batter at a time through my thumb and the index finger into the hot oil.
You can also use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to shape them. Just dip the spoon or ice cream scoop in cold cooking oil before scooping the batter. It ensures easy release of the batter from the spoon.
Making round puff puff might seem challenging if you are a beginner, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. After all, practice makes perfect, right?
Fry till golden brown or brown to your liking and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Enjoy.
How to Store Puff Puff
Honestly, they are best served hot or warm and probably you wont have any left overs.
In case of left overs, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for upto 3 days.
Equally, freeze them in an air-tight container for upto 2 months.
Defrost before warming for 10 to 20 seconds in the microwave and enjoy.
Puff Puff (Mandazi Ya Maji)
- 500 g all-purpose flour (sifted to remove any lumps)
- 500 ml of warm water
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 lt vegetable oil (or enough for deep-frying)
- In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Give a quick mix.
- Meanwhile, add the flour to the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly with a whisk or a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until you achieve a smooth lump-free batter.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 ½ hours.
- In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Taste if the oil is hot enough by dipping in a tip of a wooden skewer. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.
- Scoop enough batter to fit in your palm and squeeze a little batter at a time through your thumb and your index finger into the hot oil. Repeat the procedure for the remaining mixture. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan. Turn continuously to make sure that they cook evenly on both sides and develop an even brown color. It will take a few minutes. Fry in batches.
- Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to scoop the batter. Just dip the spoon in cold oil before scooping. It ensures a smooth release of the mixture.
- Use a large spoon to remove the puff puff from the frying pan. Place them on a kitchen napkin to soak up the excess oil.
- If the oil is not hot enough, the puff puff will stick to the bottom of the frying pan and not puff well.
- Use a large mixing bowl because the batter is going to double in size during proofing.
What do you think about this recipe? Have you tried it out? Meet me in the comment section below and share your thoughts because I would love to hear from you.
If you like this recipe, you might also be interested in my Mandazi recipe.