I love duff. When I was a little girl my dad made the most amazing duff. We didn’t just eat duff with soup or metemgee but also with stew. When he made regular sized duff (pictured) he called those “duff”, but when he made them the size of mini baguettes he called those “tiger”! For many Guyanese Duff is a staple in metemgee and soups. It is pretty simple to make and the best way I can describe them is that they are the steamed version of Guyanese bakes. We basically use the same ingredients, just prepared differently. I am making these along with metemgee, so the instructions assume that you’ve already made your metemgee and are adding the duff but you can make them on their own without soup or metemgee.
You will need 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 cup sugar added to a bowl and mixed together.
Then add 1 tbsp butter and rub into the flour mixture with your finger tips. Next, form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add 3/4 cup of water. Knead into a soft dough. Let sit for 30 mins. If you are making metemgee. I recommend that you make the dough for the dough when you start making your metemgee, so that when you get to the stage where you will need to add the duff to the pot, it will be ready.
Cut the dough into 5 equal pieces, then shape into little American football shaped pieces (elongated balls). When the metemgee is almost finished cooking place the dough balls on top of the provision (root vegetables). Try not to let it sit in the broth or it will get soggy. Cover the pot, then reduce your heat to medium heat and let them steam for about 15 minutes. When the time is up gently open the lid of the pot. You will notice that the duff has doubled in size and some may have even cracked. Remove all of the duff from the metemgee and set aside in a bowl or plate.
When you are ready to serve your metemgee, don’t forget to add a duff to each serving. If you are not making metemgee and just want to make some duff to eat with stew or saltfish. You can add 6 cups of water to a large stock pot and bring to a roaring boil on high heat. Then add the dough balls, then cover. Steam on medium heat for 15 minutes, then remove from the boiling water and set aside in a serving dish. These days when my dad makes duff that is not served with soup or metemgee, he adds a bit of garlic powder, onion power and black pepper to flavor the duff. How do you like your duff? If you’ve never had duff before, try it this weekend with some metemgee (click here for the recipe), you won’t regret it.
Duff (Guyanese Steam Dumplings)
- 2 cups all purpose flour or Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp room temperature butter
- 3/4 to 1 cup warm water plus 6 cups of water for cooking.
- Add flour, sugar and baking powder to a mixing bowl.
- Add butter and rub into dry ingredients using your hands.
- Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add water starting with 3/4 cup and then a bit more if needed.
- Knead into a soft dough.
- Cover and let rest for 30 mins.
- When ready to cook separate into 6 even pieces, roll pieces into elongated balls.
- Add 6 cups of water to a large stock pot or dutch oven and bring to a roaring boil on high heat.
- Add dough balls and cover pot tight.
- Reduce heat to medium and steam dough balls for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove duff from pot and place in a serving dish. Serve with metemgee, soup or your favorite stews.