Mingau, a place on the north eastern coast of Brazil, in Bahia
Mingua, a porridge of tapioca popularly eaten over Easter on Lagos island, Nigeria
Mingau, in literature, of Brazil mentions repeatedly, ‘a sweetened hot drink of tapioca, water, and milk.‘
Mingau is a porridge made from milled cassava, cooked in coconut milk and finished with a grating of fresh nutmeg. At it’s simplest. Its heritage is clear – brought by returnees at the end of slave trade, returnees who settled in Isale Eko, the ‘lowlands’ of Lagos.
In the early days of ‘the return’, Mingau was prepared and eaten by both Muslims and Christians at Easter. I have a friend who testifies to this. I’m not sure how it became an Easter feature on Lagos Island but it is to this day.
Literature describes it as everything from thin gruel to infant food and ‘drink’.
In Lagos, Nigeria it is cooked with coconut milk, bay leaves, cloves and sweetened with sugar. It’s so easy!
Here is my Mingau recipe. And yes, I have a few variations – next post though.
- Tapioca, 1 part
- Coconut milk 3 - 4 parts, or to taste
- Spices - cloves, bay leaves, etc
- Pinch of salt
- Nutmeg, freshly grated - to taste
- Combine the tapioca and most of the milk in a pot or pan. Add spices to taste
- Cook on medium to low heat, stirring so the bottom doesn't burn
- Continue to cook till the tapioca swells, breaks down and softens
- Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly
- Serve with more milk and finish off with a sprinkling of freshly, finely grated nutmeg
Do you have any Mingau memories? or recipes? Please share. Thank you.