Cassava (also know as Manioc, or Yuca) is a staple of African, South American, and Caribbean cookery. Flour from this starchy root is rich in carbohydrates, calcium, and vitamin C, and can be used to make gluten-free baked goods that are delightful both in terms of their texture and their digestibility.
Cassava flour also makes a quick and chewy Bammy, a Jamaican cassava flour fry-bread that traces its roots back to the fry-bread enjoyed by the Arawaks, the island’s original inhabitants.
Here’s a fancy Bammy recipe that would knock the socks off any Arawak, who is wearing socks, which is of course a paradox.
In a large bowl, mix together
- 3 cups of cassava flour,
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder,
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt,
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil,
- 1 tablespoon of Ghee,
- 1 tablespoon of yogurt
- Sufficient warm water to form a nice responsive dough.
Now, using a bit more coconut oil or ghee, coat the bottom of a cast-iron pan or griddle and fry quarter inch thick flat cakes for about two minutes on each side twice. This will create a nicely browned, chewy Bammy that goes great with spicy soups, curries, etc.
Check out Otto’s Naturals, a Non-GMO Project certified cassava flour free of any binders, (such as Xanthan gum), that are sometimes used to bolster the texture of gluten-free flours. The company employs its own proprietary pre-baking method in order to safely prepare the cassava flour for consumption.Unlike the traditional sun-drying and fermentation method, Otto’s pre-bakes the flour to render the natural toxins harmless.This method also removes the slightly musty odor in the flour leaving only a finely-milled and flavor-neutral flour that is sure to delight those chefs who are attempting to make gluten-free replicas of classic wheat-based breads and baked goods.