Ablo are steamed West African rice cake, almost like the famous Filipino puto without the milk! Ablo are made with rice flour, cornmeal, or both. They are traditionally served with grilled or fried chicken with tomato and onion sauce, but I find them really good with some salted cashew as well!

As many other African dishes, making ablo takes time and can be, well, sometimes discouraging to start with. So, this is a super simplified way of making them. You will still have the same great taste as if you were spending hours making them!

Serve them hot or warm as a side dish and you will make your family or guests really happy! My little boy devours them every time I make them !

Let’s start! This recipe makes approximately 20 ablo. Depending on the size of your steamer is, you might need to work in batches.

Total Cooking Time: 1h – 1h20 min
Serving: 20 ablo


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (optional, this gives the ablo its fermented taste without the need of soaking the rice/corn overnight)


  1. In a ½ cup of water mix yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar and set it aside for 10 min to rise.
  2. In a big mixing bowl, mix rice flour, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder.
  3. Add the risen yeast to the dry mixture.
  4. Add the vinegar to the rest of the warm water (1½ cup) and mix it together.
  5. Put the batter in a warm oven to rise for 45 min to 1h.
  6. In a standard-sized (2″H) baking cups, place some plastic wrapping paper or banana leaf at the bottom. No need when using silicon molds.
  7. Lay out molds in a steamer, and fill them up to 3/4 of their volume with batter.
  8. Steam for 20 min.
  9. Let the ablo cool a minute and unmold them on a serving plate.

Tips: I recommend putting the batter in the fridge to relax for an hour or two before steaming the ablo. It really helps with the texture. The easiest way is doing it the night before the day you need them.

Bon appetit!

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