Cornmeal or maize flour dough

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How is this called in English? I literally spent a whole day googling the right English word, And So far I got nothing !!! The closest I got is corn dough,cornmeal mush, Cornmeal dough, cornmeal dumpling, fufu corn but it doesn’t sound right. So if you know the right word please let me know.In french it is “Pâte à maïs” . Let;s just call it “akume”.


1 cup  (117g) of corn  flour
Energy 422 kcal
Protein 8.11 g
Total lipid (fat) 4.52 g
Carbohydrate 89.91 g
Fiber 8.5 g
Sugars 0.75 g

Ewokume – Togo

Ugali – Kenya

Sadza – Zimbabwe

Nshima – Zambia

Nsima – Malawi

ubugali – Rwanda and Burundi

bugali – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Corn Funge – Angola

Akple – Ghana

Pap – Namibia, South Africa

If you cook this dish in your country please give the name, thank in advance

Some countries have other varieties of this dish, instead of maize flour (cornmeal), you can use millet flour, Sorghum flour, cassava flour, Yam flour or a blend of two flours. I think Togo have more variety than any other African country (Emakume, Kom, Djinkoume, Telibo, Djongoli, Agbelimakume)


  • 4 cups +1 cup water + some water to clean up the side of your pot while cooking
  • 2½ cups white cornmeal – (finely ground – I use Maseca because I like my Akume smooth, some people prefer Indian head)
  • a pinch Salt – optional

Material needed for this recipe

  • Stainless Steel Sauce Pan with handle – I never cook sauces in that pan, I use that pan for tea, porridge, boil egg
  • wooden spatula
  • two bowls and a serving bowl (that will define the shape).


1st version

  1. Setup before you start Add some water to 1 of the bowl
  2. Poor water in 4 cups the pan, Bring water and salt to a boil
  3. While that is going, Add the 1 cup water to the second bowl mix in 1/2 cup of flour
  4. When the water start to boil add the mixer, let it cook for 2 min – It should have a porridge consistency
  5. Poor about 1 cut back into the bowl that had the mixer
  6. Add the rest of the cornmeal to the pan and stir vigorously in a circle motion until it’s well incorporated.
  7. Turn heat to medium-low; then change the motion to: Start in the opposite side of the the pan and bring to your side while pressing the “akume” against the pot, smashing any lumps.
  8. quickly soak your hand in the water and clean the side of your pan.
  9. Add the reserved porridge to the pan and cover for 5 min on a low heat, to allow it to cook through.
  10. Mix one more time – depending on the quantity of your “akume”, you might have to repeat a few time
  11. Put you finger in the water and put it in the “akume” about 1 cm deep, to check the consistency – if it is to hard add some clean water, cover and let the water boil before you mix it
  12. When you get the right consistency – Put you finger in the water and put it in the “akume” about 1 cm deep – if it stick to your finger it need more time to cook.- if it is to soft it is going to stick either way, you migth want to taste it.
  13. Once it is ready wet the serving bowl with water, place into a serving bowl -some people like to form it into a ball – I flatten it in the bowl and let it take the shape of the serving bowl.
  14. clean the side of your pan and fill with water for easy cleaning – let seat for a few hour until the “akume” completely unglued from the bottom of the pan – trough the mixer out and clean the pan.
  15. Serve with a sauce

Ps: you can add 1/2 cup of ground cassava before you add the porridge that you set aside

2nd version

  1. Boil water
  2. Slowly add the corn flour
  3. Mix well until you get a consistent paste
  4. Add as much flour as necessary to obtain the consistency.
  5. Serve with a sauce



1 cup (206g ) of raw cassaa
Water 122.94 g
Energy 330 kcal
Protein 2.80 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.58 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 78.40 g
Fiber, total dietary 3.7 g
Sugars, total 3.5 g

Funge – Angola

Konkonte – Ghana

Agbelimakume – Togo

Plakali – Ivory Coast


  • 250 g of Dry cassava flour
  • 750 ml water
  • pinch of Salt


  1. Dilute the cassava flour at about half the cold water
  2. Season the remaining water with salt to taste and bring to fire
  3. When the water boils, add the manioc flour previously diluted with a little water, stirring constantly, for no lumps
  4. Simmer until thickened, stirring constantly, cornmeal gets with a slightly darken
  5. The amount of water can be changed depending on the taste
  6. The funge should be consistent
  7. Serve with a sauce

Fermented Corn

Banku – Ghana

  • Water
  • 1 cup grated or blended Cassava/Yuca
  • 3 cups of Corn Flour or Ground Maize

*In place of the Corn Flour and Cassava you could opt for the Banku Mix found in most African Stores


  1. Combine the cornflour and grated cassava with just enough warm water to dampen and mix well.
  2. Cover the container with a clean cloth and allow to stand in a warm place for 2 to 3 days. (In cooler climates it may take up to 4 days to ferment.) When properly fermented the mix should have a slightly sour aroma (rather like that of rising bread).
  3. Knead the fermented dough with your hands until it is thoroughly mixed and slightly stiffened.
  4. Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a pot.
  5. Slowly add the fermented dough to this and cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes or more, stirring constantly and vigourously. The banku will become thick and stiff.
  6. When ready, form the banku into serving-sized balls (AbbaDish used cling film to wrap the balls so you can preserve some for later)

Super Fermented Corn

Kenkey – Ghana

Kom – Togo

Dokonu – Benin

  • The original Kom flour Recipe is a little different.
    • Add water to your corn (about double the height of the corn)
    • remove any corn that floats to the top because it might have gone bad
    • Cover the container with a clean cloth. Set it in a warm place, such as a warmed oven or on top of the refrigerator, for about 5 days –  until the corn start to germ.
    • remove the corn from the water and any sign of germination and grind it

*In place of the “kom Corn Flour” you could opt for the kenkey Mix found in most African Stores or massa

  • 6-8 cups of corn (maize) flour or cornmeal (grinded corn or grinded maize)
  • maize or corn husks, or aluminum foil to wrap dough in (the leaves or husks may be available at African, Asian, or Latino groceries)
  • Grated cassava (optional)


  1. Traditional method
  2. Mix well and Cover the container with a clean cloth. Set it in a warm place, such as a warmed oven or on top of the refrigerator, for two to three days. Fermentation may take longer than two days, especially in cool climates. (Note: a warmed oven is an oven that has been heated for a few minutes and turned off. The flour should ferment, not cooked ). When it is properly fermented, it should have a slightly sour, but not unpleasant, aroma, like rising bread dough. Overly fermented corn flour will not taste right.
  3. In a large container combine the corn flour (or corn flour and grated cassava) with just enough warm water to dampen all of it.
  4. Before using it for the preparation, the moldy surface on top should be removed and discarded.
  5. Knead the fermented dough with your hands until it is thoroughly mixed.
  6. In a large pot, bring one cup of water to a boil. Slowly add one part of the fermented dough. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly and vigorously. Remove from heat. This half of the dough is called the “aflata”.
  7. Combine the “aflata” with the remaining uncooked dough. Mix well. The proportion of raw dough to the “aflata” determines the softness of the kenkey after cooking.
  8. Divide the “aflata” and raw dough mixture into serving-sized pieces. Wrap the pieces tightly in banana leaves, maize or corn husks, or foil. Banana leaves are more flexible if they have been briefly warmed in a hot oven or a pot of boiling water. The wrapped dough should look like burritos or tamales. Cooking string can be used to tie the wrapping closed.
  9. Place the wrapped dough packets on a wire rack above water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and steam for one to three hours, depending on their size and thickness. Serve at room-temperature.
  10. serve hot with red pepper sauce made of grinded chili pepper, onions and tomatoes; and a black pepper sauce locally called shito, fried fish, poultry, or meat dish from Western Africa.
  • Alternate method

Prepare the corn flour as described above, and let it ferment for about six hours. Then mix one tablespoon of vinegar into the wet corn flour.

Note: Ready-to-use fermented cornmeal dough made especially for banku and kenkey may be available at African grocery stores and should be prepared according to package instructions.



Nsima – Malawi (butter)

Amala – Nigeria

Telibo – Togo


  • 1 cup of yam flour
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Yam flour is yam that has been peeled, sliced, cleaned, dried and then blended into a flour
  2. Put water on the stove, bring to a boil,reduce the heat.
  3. Add the flour and stir until all the water is absorbed. Add more water if needed, then the dough is left to simmer for approximately five minutes.
  4. Then the dough is pulled along with the water until desired texture – The pulling of the dough into a smooth paste is the most difficult part of making àmàlà

All purpose flour

Aseeda (Asida) –  Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Yemen.


  • 300 g (10 oz) plain flour
  • 100 g (3½ oz) butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Honey or date syrup


  1. Pour 500 ml (16 fl oz) of water into a large pan. Add the salt and 25 g (1 oz) of the butter. Bring gently to the boil. Once it comes to the boil remove from the heat.
  2. Sieve the flour and add it to the pan. With a wooden spoon, work the dough until it becomes smooth and free of lumps. It should reach a stage where it is no longer sticky and has the consistency of plasticene.
  3. Add 250 ml ( 8 fl oz) of water to the pan and bring it gently to the boil. Break the dough up a little and cook gently for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. If all the water has not been absorbed after 20 minutes simply pour off any excess and cook for a few more minutes until there is no sign of any water.
  5. Work the dough once more with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. This time it will stay sticky!
  6. Melt the remaing butter and put a tbsp or two on a plate. Spread it around them place the sticky dough on top.
  7. Fold the edge of the dough from the bottom to the top, turning the plate as you do so. The dough will lose all its stickiness. Once the dough is roughly circular, turn it over and smooth it with your hands.
  8. Create a depression in the middle of the dough. Drizzle butter into the depression and over the aseeda. Finally drizzle some honey or date syrup around the outside.

Barley flour

Bazeen – Libya


  • 1 kg barley flour
  • 1/4 kg plain wheat flour
  • 1 tbspoon salt
  • about 11/2 l boiling water ( more as needed )


  1. Add potatoes halves, cook on low heat, meanwhile prepare the dough
  2. Mix the barley with the plain flour in a deep bowl.
  3. In a deep pot, pour 1 litre of boiling water and add 1 tbsp salt.
  4. Pour in the barley mix, all at once.
  5. With a wooden spoon, push in the edges, creating an island of flour in the middle of the pot, allowing the water to bubble around it. Do not disturb the flour in the middle. Do not cover the pot.
  6. Stick a wooden spoon in the middle of the island, and move the spoon a little so the water can bubble up inside, then do not disturb. Leave the dough to cook for 45 minutes on medium heat.
  7. After 45 minutes the dough should be ready. Using the wooden spatula mix well with the water in the pot, you might need to add more hot water to make a medium hard dough. Using the spatula press the dough against the edges of the pot to remove any lumps. The best way to do this is to place the pot in the sink, holding it against a corner with one hand to get a good purchase.
  8. If you have a machine that will knead bread dough then it will handle bazeen fine, and you will get a smooth ball of dough in minutes.
  9. Test the dough by pressing it in your fist and checking if it holds together well. Remove the dough from the pot. Place in a large flat serving bowl and knead it to get rid of the lumps, then form into a ball. If there are deep cracks you need to knead it again.
  10. Form the bazeen by placing your palm on the ball and rolling in circular motions around the dish until you have a smooth dome with a flat base.
  11. Press the edges down to make the dough stick to the dish.

How to eat it?

  • The traditional method of eating it, is to roll a lump into a ball with the right hand, and then dip it into a sauce or stew of vegetables and/or meat
  • Making a depression with the thumb allows the ugali to be used to scoop, and to wrap around pieces of meat to pick them up in the same way that flat bread is used in other cultures.


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