I don’t know how long I’ve had this but I got it when I was testing recipes for Viva Vegan so it’s quite some time. I remember Terry and I having quite long discussions about whether the cassava flour in my local Indian shop was the same thing and we decided it wasn’t. In the end someone (was that you? Let me know!) offered to send some along with a few other Viva Vegan essentials in return for golden syrup. The deal was done. It turned out not many people could get it so I think that might be why the recipe for farofa didn’t make it into the book. I didn’t even end up testing it!
However, for this MoFo project I contacted Terry and she not only sent me the missing recipe but said I could share it with you, just in case you can get the right flour where you are.
I made it to serve alongside some other Viva Vegan dishes which I’ve made before – Portabello feijoada, yellow garlic rice, chard with raisins and capers, plus obligatory pickled red onions. The farofa is sprinkled on the top and gives a hearty tasty extra boost to the meal. As soon as I started to make it I realised it was the same stuff I have seen served in Portugal alongside hearty stews, which we enjoyed, but didn’t know what it was!
Farofa with Toasted Cashews (Savory Seasoned Toasted Yuca Flour)
makes about 2 1/2 cups
Farofa is a clever, unusual Brazilian side that’s often served like a condiment with all kinds of meals and can be subtly addictive. Course manioc (cassava) flour is toasted with a little fat, flavored with vegetables, fruits, nuts and served up warm. Farofa might taste a little dry and sandy if eaten straight, but the real magic happens when it’s sprinkled onto hot, moist foods. It soaks up the juices, has a rich toasted aroma and creates a delightful contrast of textures that’s crumbly, crunchy, salty and sweet. Always heat up farofa before serving; even a gentle warming in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds is enough to help release the flavors.
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 lb yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups manioc flour
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup cashew pieces, lightly toasted
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup raisins
In a large cast iron skillet or non-stick pan melt margarine over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and with a large wooden spoon or silicon spatula saute until tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Slowly stir in manioc flour, pressing flour into melted margarine to completely coat the manioc grain. Stir constantly and toast until manioc flour turns golden, about 8-10 minutes, but take care not to over brown.
Promptly remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, cashew pieces, chopped parsley and raisins. Stir for another minute or until everything is evenly combine. Parsley will wilt slightly but that’s alright. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Serve farofa warm with hot food. Store leftovers in the fridge in a tightly covered container.
I only made half of the farofa recipe so I’ve still got lots of the manioc flour left. Have you ever used it? What did you make?