Most of you didn't know what this strange looking brown powder was and I can't blame you for that, because it wasn't at all easy to guess what it was/is (unless you are a person hailing from South America)!
Unfortunately, Rosa, Katie, Auntie Jo, Nathalie and Burekaboy didn't get it right, but gave some very interesting answers (Rice Bubbles, oatmeal, peanut sauce). The only one who got very close to finding out was Aurely. She wondered if it was not "Manioc Flour"...
Yes, indeed, this mysterious speciality is made with "Manioc Flour" which has been processed!!!
The powder in question is "Farofa Amarela" ("Yellow Farofa"), a typical and very popular Brazilian dish (also found in other South American countries) dating back to the colonial period and which is made with toasted "Cassava Flour" (or "Manioc Flour", "Yuca Flour", "Tapioca Flour") better known under the name of "Farinha De Mandioca" in Portuguese. This special flour is a product made from the "Cassava Root" (see link) which cannot be consumed raw as it contains cyanogenic glucosides, a toxic substance...
"Farofa" looks like coarsely grated Parmesan cheese or coarse flour; dry and gritty. It is used to accentuate the flavor of grilled meat or stews and is often eaten with "Feijoada", a bean dish. It can be sprinkled over the meal or eaten as accompaniment, just like rice (on the side). Although "Farofa" is generally made with "Manioc Flour", it can to make this condiment with corn flour.
Many variations of this dish exist and are possible, depending on the region where it is prepared and the people's taste. For example, you can add onions, dried shrimps, garlic, beaten eggs, olives, sausages, bacon, prunes, apples, bananas, nuts (especially cashew nuts), etc... At South American markets, it is not rare to find industrial ready-made "Farofa", but generally, most people prefer to prepare it at home according to family recipes.
Taste-wise, "Farofa" is very interesting. It has a nutty as well as round, buttery flavor. Although, it is delicious, it is an acquired taste as the dendê oil adds a strong perfume to the mix. "Farofa" is delicious when it is soaked in the juices in your plate or sprinkled over rice. It really brings up the flavors in a very unique and pleasant way! An enriching experience and discovery of one of Brazil's most loved seasoning.
This recipe was taken from Michael Bateman's "Café Brazil" and slightly adapted. It is a small cookbook that contains many great recipes and superb pictures. A gourmet's favorite!
Brigitte of "Café Créole", I wish to dedicate this post entirely to you in order to warmly thank you for the immense generosity you showed when you offered me this magnificent book!
You beautiful gift has opened up new culinary horizons and rejoiced my palate. Now, I can't stop dreaming about this distant country and it's 1000 flavors exotic cuisine! You could not have made me more happy...
Merci, danke, taak, grazie, thank you, xie xi, arrigato, gracias, obrigado, etc...!!!
225g Tapioca/cassava flour
2/3 Tsp Sea salt
3/4 Tsp Garlic powder (optional)
1/3 Tsp Onion powder (optional)
3 Tbs Dendê/palm oil (see info)
1. Place a frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add the tapioca/cassava flour with the salt.
3. Add the dendê oil and let the flour fry for a few minutes, stirring continuously.
4. As soon as the flour becomes golden brown, add the garlic and onion powder. Continue frying for about 1 minute over low heat while stirring.
5. Transfer the mixture to a cold plate and let cool.
Instead of using "Dênde Oil", you can take unsalted butter, but the final taste will be different as palm oil has it's own character...
Serve with the Brazilian stew (see recipe 1 & recipe 2) or rice dish of your choice.
You want to learn more? Then, here's a short video for you (see link)! It shows you how to make "Yellow Farofa". Have fun watching it!
(Cassava -Pic by www.ewerman.se)
(Campos Gerais -Pic by Jose Augusto Hauer www.trekearth.com)
(Manioc -Pic by http://irdal.ird.fr)