By Sodiq Lawal
Garri is a popular West African food made from cassava. It is a granular flour-like substance that is used as a staple food in many countries in West Africa, particularly Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo. Garri is typically processed by peeling and grating cassava roots, then fermenting and drying the grated cassava to create a coarse and grainy texture. The dried cassava is then sifted and toasted to produce garri. Garri can be eaten as a snack, or used as a main ingredient in many West African dishes such as eba, fufu, and garri cakes.
Garri is a good source of carbohydrates, and it is also rich in dietary fiber, protein, and several vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. It is a popular and affordable food in many West African countries, and it is often eaten with soups or stews made from vegetables, meat, or fish. Here are the steps to process cassava into garri:
1. Harvest and peel the cassava: Choose mature cassava roots and remove the outer skin using a sharp knife or a cassava peeler.
2. Wash and grate the cassava: Rinse the cassava in clean water to remove any dirt or debris. Grate the cassava into small pieces using a grater or a food processor.
3. Ferment the cassava: Transfer the grated cassava to a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with water. Allow it to ferment for 2-3 days, depending on the weather. The cassava will become slightly sour during fermentation.
4. Dewater the cassava: Drain the fermented cassava using a sieve or a muslin cloth to remove excess water. The water can be used for other purposes, such as watering plants.
5. Fry the cassava: Heat a large frying pan or a wok, over medium heat. Add the fermented cassava and fry it for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until it becomes dry and crispy.
6. Sift the garri: Allow the fried cassava to cool down, then sift it using a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps or particles.
7. Toast the garri: Transfer the sifted garri back to the frying pan or wok and toast it for an additional 5-10 minutes until it turns golden brown.
8. Store the garri: Allow the garri to cool down completely, then store it in an airtight container. Garri can also be stored for several months without spoiling.