Today’s foray to Indonesian Kitchen reminded me of the great taste of cassava. Cassava is a starchy vegetable that is used as food in a lot of Asian and African countries. It’s used a lot in subsistence farming. There is one ironic thing about this tuber. It is toxic to humans because it contains cyanide. There are two varieties, sweet and bitter. I assume they only sell the sweet variety in the grocery store. It requires proper processing techniques to be safe to eat. With sweet cassava, peel off all the skin (just the white flesh showing), cut off any dark streaks, grate and cook. Most of the poison is in the skin. The bitter variety, apparently has to be soaked for days in water or fermented underground. Then cooked really well. Processed, it is commonly known as tapioca. I usually dislike processed foods, but I appreciate it needs to be processed to be made safe for human consumption.
I’ve modified the recipe below, by substituting the evaporated milk with water, adding some unsweetened shredded coconut, a dash of vanilla extract, and a couple tablespoons of sugar. I’m pretty sure I used around four cups of cassava – I didn’t measure, it was two large tubers. It’s surprisingly tasty, with the rich taste of coconut and a nice caramelized flavour.