Lafun is a type of cassava flour that is commonly used in Nigerian cuisine, particularly among the Yoruba ethnic group. It is a traditional food product made from fermented cassava roots. Here are some key points about lafun:
- Production Process: Lafun is made by fermenting cassava roots, which are peeled, grated, and soaked in water. The soaked cassava is then wrapped in a cloth or jute bag and left to ferment for a period of time, typically between 2 to 4 days. After fermentation, the cassava is sun-dried and milled into a fine flour, resulting in lafun.
- Culinary Uses: Lafun is primarily used as a flour for making a dough-like consistency known as “amala” or “elubo.” The lafun flour is mixed with hot water and stirred until it forms a smooth, thick paste. This paste is then further kneaded and shaped into a ball or flattened discs. Amala or elubo is often served as an accompaniment to soups, stews, or other Nigerian dishes.
- Flavor and Texture: Lafun has a slightly sour taste due to the fermentation process. The texture of amala made from lafun is smooth, firm, and elastic. It can be chewy and has a unique mouthfeel compared to other types of dough.
- Nutritional Value: Lafun, being derived from cassava, is a good source of carbohydrates and provides energy. It also contains some dietary fiber and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Availability: Lafun can be found in Nigerian markets, particularly in regions where it is commonly consumed. It may also be available in specialty African grocery stores or online retailers that carry Nigerian food products.
Lafun is a popular and culturally significant food in Nigeria, especially in the southwestern part of the country. It is valued for its taste, versatility, and role in traditional Nigerian cuisine.