So how about that weather today? It would have been a nice day for, say, June but I don’t think I’m ready for 23 degree weather in March quite yet. It feels like the tropics.
. . . and speaking of the tropics (cheesy segue). . .
It’s time for another Eating the Alphabet recipe link-up where each month we make a recipe featuring a fruit, vegetable, legume, or whole grain from a different set of letters of the alphabet.
February was Artichokes and Buttercup Squash with Buttercup Squash Pasta
March is C and D, and I chose a tuber that I’ve never worked with before:
Cassava is also known as yucca, but you may know it better as tapioca. It’s were tapioca starch comes from, so if you’ve had tapioca pudding then you’ve had cassava.
It tastes a bit like potato and the two can often be used interchangeably.
Cassava is, of course, a good source of starch. It is also high in fibre, and rich in calcium and vitamin C, but deficient in most other vitamins and minerals.
Cassava grows in tropical climates and it is one reliable food source! It grows particularly well in poor soils, even without fertilization, and it is drought resistant.
Cassava is a staple food in Africa but is also served widely in Asia and the West Indies. It can prepared in a variety of ways from savoury to sweet. For this recipe we’re going savoury and we’re going to the Caribbean: Grenada.
Oil Down is the national dish of Grenada and is usually made at a big party on the beach, or so I’ve read. I made this in my kitchen, so it’s not quite as fun, but it still tastes awesome.
Oil Down is a coconut stew that’s usually made with meat, but this version is also vegan, so, bonus points!
I’ve made this recipe before using parsnips as a substitute for what turned out to be a rotten cassava. It tastes much better with cassava than parsnips, in my opinion, since cassava has a much more subdued flavour.
Matt was a huge fan of this recipe and kept saying how much he liked it. I love when that happens (especially if the dish is a vegan one, hehe). He especially loved the dumplings.
If you like coconut and if you like dumplings (okay, who doesn’t like dumplings?) then you’ll probably like this recipe. Give it a try.
Grenadian Oil Down
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T vegetable oil
1 large cassava
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups water
2 cups chopped rapini (or spinach)
salt & pepper
1 c all purpose flour
1/4 c masa harina
1/2 t salt
warm water, as needed
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until softened.
Meanwhile, peel the cassava and cut it in half lengthwise. It has a tough, fibrous core (like a pineapple) that you don’t want so cut each half in half again, lengthwise, so you can cut out the centre. Then chop the cassava into 1″ pieces.
Add the curry powder and diced hot pepper to the pot. Stir and let cook for about a minute.
Add in the coconut milk, yucca, and water.
Bring the stew to a boil then reduce the heat to allow it to simmer, uncovered, for thirty minutes.
Meanwhile make the dumplings:
Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add a little warm water at a time, kneading lightly until a soft dough forms comes together into a ball.
Roll bits of dough between your palms, to make about 20 dumplings that are tapered and about 2″ in diameter.
Now, back to the oil-down. After the 30 minutes are up, stir in the rapini.
Then stir the dumplings in and cook for 15 to 30 minutes more until the stew gets thick and the dumplings are cooked.
Serve with rice.