Tuesday, 17 January 2012



Cassava sticklets with hot and sweet beetroot sauce


     1)    Fresh cassava roots – 2 kg.

     2)     A day (or two) old bread slices – 6 Nos.
     3)    Onion – 150 gm.
     4)    Hot green chilies – 8 Nos.
     5)    Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
     6)    Ghee (clarified butter) or any other cooking oil – 100 ml.
     7)    Powdered salt – 2 teaspoons

To Make:

          Peel the cassava root and cut off the bony portion. Chop roughly to large chunks and remove the fibrous string from the center. Wash, drain and transfer the chunks to a pressure cooker. Pour in enough water to immerse them. Close the lid and set on high heat.

          As soon as you hear the first whistle, switch off the heat and let cool naturally. In the meantime, peel the onions and chop to superfine pieces. Pluck off the stems of the green chilies and chop the chilies to fine pieces. Tip the green chili pieces into a mortar. Add half a teaspoon of salt and crush nicely with the pestle.

          When all the steam in the cooker has subsided, open the lid and take out the cassava pieces. Drain off the water (stock) and mash the pieces thoroughly.

          Set a thick wok on high heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of ghee (or cooking oil). Tip in the chopped onion, the crushed green chili and the rest of the salt (1 ½ teaspoons). Stir till the onion turns golden brown. Now tip in the mashed cassava together with the garam masala powder and stir well. Crumble the bread slices with your fingers and add them to the cassava mixture. Stir nicely and switch off the heat.

          When the cassava mixture has cooled down enough to touch, scoop up a handful of mix and roll it into a ball. Squeeze and roll the ball between your palms to turn it into a cylinder as shown in the picture.

          You can also make patties, squares, hearts, triangles or any other shape using cutting molds if you so wish.

          Set a pan on high heat and drop in a dollop of ghee (or a tablespoon of cooking oil). Arrange some sticklets in the pan taking care to leave some space to roll them in order to fry all the sides. Lower the heat and fry slowly, gently turning or rolling the sticklets using a blunt knife or a pair of tongs. Lift out when the sides are fried nicely.

Serve hot with homemade hot and sweet beetroot sauce (see my recipe)


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