Tapioca pearls is derived from the starch of tubers of cassava. In Lagos , Nigeria, you’d usually find them in sold in very dried dehydrated clusters. It’s usually an off white colour.
It consists of almost pure carbs and contains very little proteins, fibre or nutrients.
Tapioca is gluten free.
When it is cooked it becomes translucent gelatinous. It makes for a great breakfast meal.
Recently I learnt that Tapioca is a staple for people of the Brazilian quarters of Lagos (Read about the origins of Lagos here), the indigenous people. While preparing for the Wake keep of a dear friend’s mum, she mentioned that since her mum was from Lagos and Lagos Island to be precise, her funeral rites wouldn’t be complete without serving Tapioca to guests at some point. So they made coolers of Tapioca and guests lined up to get some at the Wake Service.
Recipe(Serves 3 or 4)
- 1 full cup of dried tapioca
- 1 small coconut (You can use 2 or 3 tbsp dessicated coconut and 1/2 cup canned coconut milk instead)
- Sugar (or Honey, Date syrup , sweetener )
- Rinse and soak Tapioca in 5parts water to 2 part tapioca overnight. You’ll be surprised at how much it would soak up all the water and double.
- The next day strain your tapioca being careful not to get the sands in it too.
- Break the coconut and for added coconut flavour save the water.
- Grate the coconut with the large holes in your grater.
- Divide into 2 parts. Extract the milk from one part using some warm water and sieve.
- Put the extracted milk in a pot and warm on medium heat.
- Add the other half of the grated coconut, add sugar and bring almost to boil, then add tapioca.
- Keep stirring till it thickens like ogi or custard, you’ll notice, the tapioca become more translucent.
- Then turn off the heat,
You can top it with evaportaed milk or coconut milk or cream, and serve with whatever you like e.g Akara, Pound Cake, fruits or serve as a parfait.