Mmm so creamy good!
I love Cassava! It was a great part of my childhood days where my Mum would steam it and keep it hot for me especially after school hours. Once home I would devour it like nothing with a good dollop of butter on top.That was indeed so Yum! Cassava has been part of the Mauritian traditional food and culture since long.Almost back to the pre- independence era. It was the staple of our Mauritian community back then.The only starch rich food to be widely consumed everyday.My Grand Ma used to say that Cassava was on the table everyday as breakfast. Because it used to keep them full until lunch time as back then everybody was working in the sugar cane fields. And this was one labourious work which needed a lot of physical strength. So Cassava was the ideal starch food to keep them full until lunch time.
Some of the common names you can call Cassava include manioc, or mandioca in Brazil, manihot, tapioca or yuca.Together with other tropical roots and starch-rich foods like Yam, Taro, Plantains, Potato, etc, it too is an indispensable part of carbohydrate diet for millions of inhabitants especially indigenous people of many parts of Africa, Asia and South American continents.And just like in Mauritius, these continents as well used to have it as staple food source since centuries.
You can have it many ways :
- Steamed and eaten along with a chutney or with a spoonful of butter at tea time.
- As mashed just like mashed potatoes.
- Or as fries – Cassava fries which is equally yummy compared to the traditional french fries we eat.
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 1 hour
- 2-3 medium sized Cassava (As shown in picture above) or 1/2 a kilo
- 1 cup of grated Coconut
- 1 cup of Sago/Sagoo
- 1/2 a can of Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 cup of Vermicelli
- 1/2 a tsp of Cinnamon powder
- Sultanas / Raisins
- 2-3 Cardamoms
- 1 small tsp of Vanilla extract
- 1 cup of liquid Milk
- Sugar according to your taste
- Firstly peel off your Cassava (As shown below).They are very easy to peel.You just have to slice your knife at one section and then peel the skin off.
- Then rinse off your Cassava under tap water and leave it aside for a while.
- Put your sago to soak so that they become translucent and give your pudding that thick consistency.They will double in size and this is how you will know they are ready to cook.(As shown in picture below)
- Afterwards put 1 ltr of water to boil in a saucepan.
- When the water is at its boiling point, add your chopped cassava chunks to it.
- Cover and let it boil for approx. 45 mins or so until soft and mushy type.
- Drain your cassavas and leave to rest until cooled down a little bit.
- Do not forget to remove the middle part of the cassavas which is normally a fibre like string. It is best to remove it so that later on it gets easy to incorporate into the milk mixture and thus leaving you with a velvety creamy pudding consistency.
- Then put about 1/2 a litre of water to boil in a pan.
- Add the cardamom pods and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder to the boiling water.
- Within sometime you will definitely smell the amazing aromas coming from the cinnamon. Add 2 big tsps of brown sugar to your boiling mixture.You can add less or no sugar at all depending on your taste.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 5 mins or so.
- Next add your soaked Sago,which by now must have doubled in size,to the mixture.
- Leave it to simmer for some 5 mins or so and then add your grated coconut.
- Followed by your condensed milk and 1 cup of liquid milk as well.
- After leaving all of this to simmer which is approx. about 10 mins more, add your vermicelli.
- Add your chopped cassava chunks to the pudding just after you added your vermicelli. Note you can mash your Cassava before adding it to the milk mixture if you want.I love them as chunks in my pudding.
- Cover and leave everything to simmer for some 20 mins more until all start to bubble out.
- Leave to rest until cooled down or serve hot.Anyway you like them really.I love mine cooled down because this is when all is condensed and thereby gets its creamy-velvety texture like.
Voila not so complicated,isn’t it? Cassava is very low in fats and protein than in cereals and pulses but then it is also a high calorie food compared to potatoes. Nonetheless, it has more protein than that of other tropical food sources like yam,potatoes,plantains etc.As in other roots and tubers, cassava too is free from gluten. Gluten-free starch is used in special food preparations for celiac disease patients.Avoid old stocks as they are out of flavor and less appetizing. Do not buy if the tubers feature cuts, breaks in the skin. Also, avoid those with mold, soft spots, and blemishes.Fresh roots can be kept at room temperature for about 5-7 days. However, peeled and cut sections should be placed in cold water and stored inside the refrigerator for up to three days.
Hopefully you liked our Mauritian way of making use of Cassava. It is better when cooled down and chilled.Because the taste tends to develop more and also it gets very creamy and velvety as well. Do you eat Cassava at yours? Are they common food staple too in your country? I would love to hear what do you usually make of them at yours?Why not leave me comment below to let me know.I would be more than glad to be part of your rich food culture.
Until my next post,take care.