'Gari' is a popular West African food which is made out of cassava. It's used the same way, one would couscous and its a staple in most homes.
The process of Gari making includes peeling of the cassava(as shown below) and grating it into a mushy consistency .
The grated cassava is then placed in a Jute/ Mesh sack, weighted down and left for 3-7 days to ferment(where extraction of its juices and cynide characteristics takes place).
By the 3rd day, most of the juices are extracted, leaving a somewhat dry coarse texture.
The Gari is then sieved to get rid of any odd bits and fried till dry (in a huge clay or metal pot). It's usually fried with Palm oil, for a yellowish colour or without for a pale cream colour.
Uses of Gari/ Cassava (Yuca)
If you attended boarding school (especially in Ghana) one had 'Gari', the survival ingredient in their 'Chop box'.
The best boarding school recipes included a sweet variation of mixing the Gari with milk, water, sugar and peanuts, (popularly known as 'Soakings' in Ghana).
Another popular recipe is where the Gari is sprinkled with water and served with Shito (the Ghanaian Black Chilli sauce).
'Shito' is a black pepper sauce made from chillies, dried shrimp or crayfish powder and dried herring powder, which is synanimous with Ghanaians.
'Agbeli Kaklo' is a savoury snack made from grated Cassava and onions, which is then deep fried. Its best eaten with slivers of Coconut.
I love adding the 'Ndudu twist' to traditional African dishes, hence I created a softer and crunchy version of Yuca balls with an Apple sauce and chilli flakes.
Gari is also served with beans stew (popularly known as Red Red). Recipe for the Red Red is available on my blog.
Another popular recipe for Gari is 'Gari Fortor', where the Gari is mixed with a spicy tomato based sauce and served alongside the ever popular 'Waakye' (the Ghanaian rice and beans).
Gari is also used to make the ever popular Attieke, where the Gari is mixed with Olive oil and water. Be inspired to add different ingredients (eg Feta cheese, Wagashi (the West African cheese) Apricots, nuts etc to your Gari for that 'Ndudu' twist.
I used Gari for my West African interpretation of scotch egg by wrapping it around a soft boiled duck egg.
The most popular use of Gari is for 'Eba' (mixed with hot water and salt and cooked into a dumpling) which best accompanies sauces and soups like Spinach sauce, Okra soup, Melon seed sauce etc.
I've only just mentioned a few ways that Gari is eaten. Leave comments below on how you enjoy your Gari.
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.