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Re-imagining Nigerian Cuisine: Cassava & Coconut Salad

by on February 6, 2015
 

My obsession with re-imagining Nigerian cuisine often begins with street food.

The end? Dishes with de- and re-constructed ingredients, new techniques applied to familiar flavours and more.

Last August, I discovered cooked cassava shreds/ chips, also called Bobozi, Mbrakasi in the east and south of Nigeria.

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This popular street snack is sold with chunks of fresh coconut. This version sold on the street consists of thin, long strips, created using a peculiar shredder/ grater.

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When my sister shared some of hers with me, I was fascinated by the taste – bland to be honest, and the texture – somewhat soft yet chewy with a hint of something gelatinous – all consequence of the way it was cut into chunky ‘chips’ by my sister’s mother-in-law, which I rather like.

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While I found the combo interesting, I was desperate to see it in a Thai-esque salad, freshened with lime juice, chilies and herbs. And that’s exactly what I did, adopting my ‘salad-making guidelines’.

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Because cassava is poisonous in its raw state, it is always soaked and par-cooked prior to any preparation.

I served it with smoked mackerel, flaked so the bones present no obstruction to eating.

And all it requires is essential a combination of flavours and textures, and a stunning salad is made :). The foundation is made up of cassava chips;

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The elements – creamy, from freshly grated coconut with the brown skin at the back peeled off

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The next step are to include the chopped things – herbs, chillies, spring onions

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I like the freshness and citrus oils from lime zest, grated in

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Followed by lime juice

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And then one last check for seasoning – enough salt, more lime juice…

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And then you finish up with sesame seeds and serve in a bowl, or a perfectly hacked coconut shell 🙂

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Cassava &Coconut Salad

Serves 4
A clean, fresh salad re-imagined from popular Nigerian street food. Freshened with herbs, chilies, seeds and nuts.

If you can't find cassava, you can substitute with unripe/ green papaya (pawpaw) or mango. They both work well.


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Prep Time
30 min

Prep Time
30 min

656 calories
108 g
0 g
23 g
8 g
16 g
317 g
245 g
26 g
0 g
7 g

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
317g

Servings
4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 656
Calories from Fat 196

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 23g
36%

Saturated Fat 16g
78%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 245mg
10%

Total Carbohydrates 108g
36%

Dietary Fiber 8g
34%

Sugars 26g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
17%
Vitamin C
220%
Calcium
13%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Ingredients
  1. 4 cups tapioca/ shredded cassava
  2. 2 cups coconut, fresh & grated
  3. 2 - 3 spring onions, chopped - green & white parts
  4. 1 - 2 red & green chilies, sliced/ chopped
  5. Handful herbs - scent leaves, cilantro, mint; chopped
  6. Zest & juice of 1 -2 limes
  7. 2 - 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  8. Salt, to taste
To serve
  1. Toasted, crushed peanuts
  2. Flaked, smoked mackerel
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients, save for the toppings of peanut and mackerel
  2. Toss well
  3. Check for seasoning - salt, lime and adjust to taste
  4. Serve, topped with peanuts and fish or other toppings
  5. Enjoy
Notes
  1. I love it at room temperature but it also works well cold
  2. I think the sesame seeds are essential for the nuttiness they bring to the salad
beta
calories
656

fat
23g

protein
8g

carbs
108g

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