Mandioca. Yuca. Cassava. All different names for the same plant that is a staple in the Mozambican diet. The leaves are used to make a stew called matapa and the roots are eaten dried, fried, and ground into an interesting kind of porridge called caracata that tastes kind of like what I imagine a mixture of sand and rubber cement would taste like.
Based on my previous lack luster experiences with mandioca I never felt all that inclined to do too much cooking with in on my own, until my friend and fellow volunteer Nico came up with the idea of mandioca veggie burgers. Given the prevalence and affordability of mancioca, and the number of times I have eaten beans this week (9), I was excited to try something a little different. I was also excited about this recipe is because it could be made with ingredients I can reliably find at site or in my district capital (~30 minute car ride away,) because I feel like I’ve been relying a lot on ingredients from Nampula City which is close to two hours away.
- 1 smallish stick of mandioca
- ½ carrot
- ½ small onion
- 1 blub garlic
- Little bit of flour
- Cumin, curry powder
- Start by peeling and cutting the mandioca into small cubes, throw it into a boiling pot of water until soft, about 30 minutes or so
- Dice the onion, carrot, and garlic into very small pieces, and sauté until lightly browned.
- When the mandoica is soft, mash it, and add in the other veggies and spices to taste.
- Form into patties, coat in flour (to form better crust) and pan fry.
- Toast your bun and add whatever toppings you so desire!
The final product was a little bit crumbly, but made a delicious sandwich nonetheless. I added a fried egg (yay protein!), some piri piri sauce, and caramelized onions. I think if I were to make it again, I would also add some avocado because the mandioca itself was a little dry.