Cassava

Text read by Mary Peters

shared by Alexandre from Luanda, Angola.

Cassava is a starchy root vegetable is also known as yuca and can be used as a side dish for grilled meats or sauce preparations. It can take the place of potatoes in almost any dish you can think of. Simply peeling, boiling, and mashing cassava results in a delicious dish.

Cassava has a hard, firm texture and a shiny brown skin, similar to a very long sweet potato. Farinha and garri are staple products made from this root in West African cuisines and are naturally gluten-free.

Creamed Cassava with roast garlic

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 kg cassava
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half, warmed (half-and-half is milk and cream)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 230° C. Peel off the garlic, cut off about 1 cm from the top, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic on a square of aluminium foil and drizzle it with olive oil.

Wrap the garlic tightly with the foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow it to cool before handling. Squeeze the garlic out of the papery husks into a bowl. Keep for later. While the garlic is roasting, peel the cassava, using a sharp knife or potato peeler. Cut the cassava into cubes. Place the cassava in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt, bring to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Cover and simmer until the cassava is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. The cassava should be fork tender and slightly translucent. Remove the cassava from the heat and drain off the water. Place cooked cassava in a bowl along with the half-and-half, butter, and roasted garlic. Mix together and season with nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.