Gari is a staple food in many West African countries, especially in Ghana. It is made from cassava, a root vegetable that is peeled, grated, and fermented before being dried and roasted to make a coarse flour.
This flour is then used to make a variety of dishes, including the popular Gari Foto, which is a mixture of Gari and stew or soup.
We will guide you through the process of making Gari from scratch in Ghana.
What is Cassava?
Cassava is a root vegetable that is commonly found in the tropical regions of South America, Africa, and Asia.
It is an important staple food for many people living in these regions, as it is easy to grow, drought-resistant, and provides a lot of energy and nutrients.
Ingredients and Equipment Needed for Making Gari
To make Gari, you will need:
- Fresh cassava
- A grater or food processor
- A large bowl
- A piece of cloth or cheesecloth
- A pot
- A sieve or colander
- A saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- A spatula
Step by Step Guide to Making Gari
Here are the steps in making Gari:
- Peeling the Cassava: Start by washing the cassava and peeling the skin off with a sharp knife. Cut the cassava into smaller pieces for easier grating.
- Grating the Cassava: Grate the cassava using a grater or food processor, making sure to grate as fine as possible. Transfer the grated cassava to a large bowl.
- Fermenting the Cassava: Add water to the grated cassava and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a piece of cloth or cheesecloth and leave it to ferment for 24-48 hours. The longer you ferment the cassava, the more sour the Gari will be.
- Squeezing Out the Liquid: After the fermentation process is complete, use a sieve or colander to squeeze out the liquid from the grated cassava. Discard the liquid and transfer the fermented cassava back to the bowl.
- Drying the Cassava: Spread the fermented cassava out on a clean surface and let it dry completely. This could take several hours to a few days, depending on the humidity and temperature.
- Roasting the Cassava: Once the cassava is dry, transfer it to a pot and roast over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the cassava turns golden brown.
- Grinding the Cassava: Let the roasted cassava cool completely and then grind it in a food processor until it forms a coarse flour.
- Making Gari Foto: In a saucepan, mix the Gari flour with water to form a dough. Cook the dough over medium heat, stirring continuously, until it forms a thick paste. Serve the Gari Foto with stew or soup.
Tips and Tricks in making Gari
- Make sure to use fresh cassava for the best results.
- Fermenting the cassava for a longer period will result in a sour Gari.
- Roasting the cassava until it turns golden brown is important to ensure that the Gari is well-cooked and has a good flavor.
- Add spices and seasonings to the Gari Foto for extra flavor
Cassava can be prepared in a variety of ways, including boiling, roasting, and fermenting, to make dishes like Gari, Fufu, and Cassava cake.