I came up with this dish for Cham Cham Supper Club as an alternative for those non – pork lovers not in favour of breaded trotters served with Mama Saga’s Gravy – oh how they missed out on a treat!!!! Though those guests were still lucky enough to sample Mama’s Gravy as I served it with both the breaded trotters and cassava balls, alongside the baked okra I shared in my blog post last Sunday.
Now I feel as though I should explain that when I say or write gravy or soup on supper club menus they may not be exactly what you are expecting to see. Don’t worry, doesn’t mean I say gravy and you get a pig’s ear or cow’s tongue plonked in front of you. In Krio, when we say gravy, we don’t mean the type of gravy we serve with a roast dinner, it’s a sauce such as the sauce from a stew. Pepper soup is not a thick soup as you would imagine but is actually more of a broth. And then there is groundnut soup that is not a soup but is actually a peanut sauce usually served with chicken, beef, or fish. Confusing? A little off subject? Ok, we’ll leave that for another blog post. But now you know what gravy is I can say, di greyvi tes swete oh! (Krio for the gravy tastes lovely!) Ha ha!
I cooked the cassava balls for my family to try, at the same time as I made the okra, and realised that the lime & scotch bonnet aioli and mango & scotch bonnet worked with these too (and I wasn’t in the mood to make some gravy to go with it).
Cassava is another one of those things that reminds me of my Grandma; being cooked to death exactly like your Grandma boiling veg. until there is not an ounce of crunch left in it. I actually much prefer it to yam, as even though from the outside it doesn’t look like a potato, once cooked it pretty much is exactly the same consistency as one and doesn’t really taste of much until seasoned. You might even mistake it for a potato when mashed if you didn’t know!
So, I decided to boil them, mash them and create some beautifully crisp onion and thyme cassava balls. They are marvellous with the aioli and salsa and all 3 will definitely feature on a supper club menu soon. This is not to say that they won’t be served with Mama Saga’s Gravy. No, no, that will still feature on the menu with the cassava balls but….I can’t share the idea with you just yet.
The prep. part – makes 14 balls
- 800g cassava, peeled and chopped
- 5 sprigs of thyme, removed from the stalk
- 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 tbsps of groundnut oil
The recipe for the salsa and aioli are listed under my recipe for baked okra.
The cooking/assembling part
- Firstly put the cassava onto boil in cold water and allow to cook for 25 minutes.
- While the cassava is cooking make the salsa and aioli and set aside in the fridge.
- Once the cassava is cooked, drain the water and mash.
- Turn the mashed cassava into a bowl and mix in the onions, thyme, garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- Now mould into 14 balls.
- Put a large non –stick frying pan onto a medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot pour in the groundnut oil.
- Place the balls into the frying pan, cooking for 2 minutes until golden brown and then turning. Continue doing this until all surfaces are crispy and browned. It should take about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Place on kitchen towel and pat for any excess oil.
- Plate up and serve with the aioli and salsa, and okra too if you want!