It’s easy to commit to the same old pattern with garriーsoak in cold water with a few groundnut seeds or make into eba and fire-up with kpomo rich egusi soup perhaps? Break free of your garri groove. Here are 11 inspiring ways to make sure you’re exploring the grains to the fullest.
But before we dive straight into that, i feel it’s important to give a brief background on the garri food; explaining what it is and how it tastes like for the benefit of those who are foreign to the food or just want to build on their local knowledge.
Garri is a dry cream-white flour mainly consumed in West Africa. It is obtained by processing the starchy tuberous root of freshly harvested cassava in a sequence of demanding steps involving: peeling, washing, crushing, fermenting, drying and frying.
The by-product of this tedious process is a dry cream-white flour, but can also be pale yellow depending on whether yellow cassava root was employed during the process or palm oil was added in any of fermenting or frying stage.
In West Africa, there are three varieties of garri produced.
- Ijebu Garri: This type of garri is subjected to a longer fermentation (about 5-7 days), and has a highly acidic taste. It’s mainly produced and consumed by the Yoruba people of the Ijebu region in Nigeria.
- The White Garri: This type of garri is obtained by processing the starchy tuberous roots of white cassava and it has a gleaming white appearance. It can be made into different levels of fermentation depending on the region where it is produced.
- The Yellow Garri: This type of garri is obtained by processing the starchy tuberous roots of yellow cassava and it has a striking yellow coloration. It can also be made by the addition of palm oil in any of fermenting or frying stage of the production of white garri. Yellow garri is nutritionally superior to white garri (particularly in vitamin D), and can come in different levels of fermentation depending on the region where it is produced.
Learn more about garri and how to make one in our detailed guides here:
What does garri taste like?
The taste of garri can range from bland to acidic sour depending on the level of fermentation. The level of fermentation is basically how long a bag of cassava mash is left to sit on an elevated rack. The longer the days, the less toxic and more sour the resulting garri becomes.
Garri with a higher starch content is generally preferred when making “swallow dishes”, because it “pulls” more and better when it comes in contact with hot water. Others with lesser starch content are best suited for soakings or vegetable preparations.
Now that you know what garri is and how it tastes like, its time to begin our list of 11 creative ways you can “flex” it.
11 creative ways to eat garri
1) Garri Soakings
Soaked gari is an excellent option for lunch especially when you’re looking for something light and sustainable. It can serve as a great appetizer as well as dessert.
How to soak garri:
- Pour fine gari into a bowl and add water till submerged. (1 or 2 inches)
- Stir a bit, allow to settle and then sieve out the floating grains and dirt.
- Repeat step as many times as you wish to obtain clean garri.
- Add or remove water to match the type of consistency you like.
Note: You can use lukewarm water or ice cold water.
Garri with sweetener
Garri with milk
All the crunchy
Garri with nuts and fruits
Garri with bread and akara
Garri with bean porridge
Also, instead of bean porridge, you can opt for a simple sauce like chicken sauce, vegetable and beans sauce or any soup you’re pretty confident should blend well.
2 Gari and soup (Eba)
|Photo Credit: landmarkhotels.com.ng
This classic Nigerian swallow dish showcases how incredibly gari can transition from a light appetite-soothing meal to a heavy one.
How to make eba:
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
- Sprinkle in the gari and cook–stirring constantly until it becomes a paste similar to mashed potato consistency. You can sprinkle paprika or grounded pepper, mix with mashed boiled plantain or add anything you feel would make the lump less boring.
You can eat eba or eba-plantain with richly made soups like:
- Egusi soup
- Okro soup
- Ogbono soup
- Vegetable soup
- Biitterleaf soup
- Oha soup
3. Gari Salad or Sauce
How to make gari salad:
- Sprinkle gari with a bit of water to soften, then season lightly.
- Add the softened gari to your favourite salad mix.
- Combine and enjoy.
or, you can go the old school route (for those that understand)
- Sprinkle fine gari with a bit of water to soften.
- Add groundnut/kuli-kuli pepper, suya pepper or finely chopped raw pepper.
- Add diced onions, tomato and a bit of red oil.
- Add salt/maggi.
- Combine and enjoy.
You can try gari flour recipes like:
4 Gari Forto (Gari Jollof)
Mixing gari with tomato sauce and veggies is a quick way Ghanaians love to enjoy gari. This Jollof can be eaten as a main dish or an accompaniment for rice or beans (Try recipe here)
|Photo Credit: oyooquartey
5 Gari Cake Recipe
|Photo credit: 9jafoodie.com
6 Wainar Rogo
While you’re making eba, set aside a part to make this beautiful cookie to round out the meal.
The different shapes is another easy way for your kids to memories their geometric shapes!
|Photo credit: www.arewacafeteria.com.ng
How to make wainar rogo
With fine gari:
- Get a sustainable amount of fine gari and sprinkle it in a bowl containing hot water.
- Cover the bowl and pour out the excess hot water. (or simply add hot water to the fine gari till its about the same consistency as eba)
- Add finely chopped onions/pepper, season as you would like and mix for evenness.
- Cut in desired shapes, rest for 10 minutes and deep-fry in a hot vegetable or olive oil.
- Serve with grounded pepper or basic salad like (tomatoes + cucumber)
With raw Cassava:
- Get raw cassava, peel and boil till soft.
- Pound in a mortar or whatever you have- till pliable.
- Add finely chopped onions/pepper and season as you would like.
- Mix for evenness, cut in desired shapes and rest for about 10 minutes.
- Deep-fry in a hot vegetable or olive oil.
Maryam Al-Mansur — a contributor at arewacafeteria also has a great way to prepare this cookie so that it has more protein and nutrients͢ healthy for kids. (Try recipe here)
7. Gari Biscuit
|Photo Credit: whattocooktoday.com
8 Gari and Groundnut Cookie
A very good use for your left-over suya pepper is “gari-groundnut cookie”. This spicy crusty bake will surely keep your nail biting habit on the check. (Try recipe here)
|Photo Credit: www.1qfoodplatter.com
You love granola? there are endless combinations to try and “garrinola” is one of them. Chioma Ikejiofor’s twist to granola– bakes garri grains rather than oats with oil, flavours and seeds, and then combine with fruits and nuts to serve in yoghurt or cold milk. (Try recipe here)
|Photo Credit: www.mummysyum.com
10. Gari Chocolate Truffle
|Photo Credit: Myactivekitchen.com
11. The ‘Garri’ Attieke Recipe
Attieke is an Ivorian cuisine prepared from fermented cassava pulp that has been grated or granulated.
What happens when you seriously carve Attieke and can’t wait a week or more to steam your fermented cassava?
Ndudu by Fafa teaches you how to improvise with garri and closely mimic the taste of the legendary Attieke recipe with her own twist.
Watch Video here: