Futali: Sweet potatoes with a Malawian twist
Commonly prepared in my grandmother’s kitchen, the Futali meal is an integral part of Malawian food culture
Visit Malawi in Africa and you will be surprised by a diverse array of local foods that will leave you asking for more. One of these tasty local dishes is the Futali, which is made from sweet potato and Nsinjiro (Pounded Ground Nuts). What is unique about this Futali dish is that it is been my grandmother’s recipe.
- You are going to need two peeled sweet potatoes and a handful of Nsinjiro, sold in most local stores in Malawi.
- Boil 300ml of water in a pot and add sliced sweet potatoes to the boiling pot. Cover tightly to prevent steam from escaping the pot and allow the potatoes to stew. Then add the Nsinjiro to the steamed potatoes.
- You should observe a little water in the pot at this point, if done correctly.
- After adding the Nsinjiro, cover the pot again and lower the heat nob to minimal.
- Remove some charcoal or smoldering wood from the charcoal burner or fireplace if you are
not using a stove.
- This is to allow the Nsinjrio to get cooked and softened with the residual steam within the
- Five minutes after you have added the Nsinjiro, stir the content in the pot and you are ready to
Now, allow me to tell you a little bit about my grandmother, who I am compelled to believe
invented this recipe, my grandmother was known as Nya’ Mkandawire. I met her when I was six
and she was an absolute culinary enthusiast. Her favorite place in the house was the kitchen. One time she came to visit our family. We enjoyed the effort she took for us by cooking her unique recipes for indigenous meals, one of which was the Futali. I’m glad to have been able to share a piece of my culture through this recipe, and I do hope that you will try it out!