A thick and creamy porridge that highlights the natural sugars of the cassava root, cassava porridge is both simple and delicious. Grown in tropical and subtropical regions, cassava is a leading source of starch for people around the world. Similar to a sweet potato, the starchy tuber can be used in both savory and sweet preparations.
Cassava Porridge Basics
Cassava porridge is a thick and creamy treat served hot as a breakfast cereal.
Cassava is most commonly known in the United States in its dried, powdered form tapioca. Cassava porridge carries the same glistening sheen and similar consistency as a tapioca-thickened liquid. Cassava porridge is prepared lightly sweetened with honey or condensed milk to enhance the natural sugars of the cassava. The gelatinous, opaque porridge can be further enhanced using a combination of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, peanuts or milk.
Making Cassava Porridge
Use a cup of cubed cassava per quart of water to make a creamy cassava porridge. Simmer the cassava in water until tender, falling apart and thickened. For an even creamier cassava porridge, puree half of the cubed cassava with some of the water in a blender and add this mixture to the simmering cassava cubes, cooking until creamy and thick. Sweeten the cooked porridge using up to a can of condensed milk, or honey or sugar to taste. Add milk to enhance the porridge's creaminess if you are not using condensed milk.
Sourcing and Storing Cassava
Cassava can be found in the vegetable section of grocery stores catering to Latin American and Caribbean clientele, as well as at specialty grocery stores. It is a long and narrow tuber that has a rough, dark brown skin. Frozen cassava is also available, making it quick and easy to prepare. Store cassava in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to four weeks. For longer storage, freeze cassava. Peel and store cassava in freezer-safe storage bags for up to one year.
The starchy tuber, also known by the names yuca and manioc, is famous for its production of the toxic cyanide poison. Sweet cassava is most commonly sold in the United States and is the type of cassava used to make cassava porridge. This type of cassava has cyanide stored near its surface, and when peeled and cooked, is completely safe to eat. Bitter cassava is not typically sold for home use, but is prepared differently to remove the toxic cyanide and create tapioca and other dried products.