Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava root. In the west, it is known to be chewy, small pearls used in puddings and bubble tea(jawwaricy). But in India, these roots are more than used in sweets. The whole root is consumed in various dishes. Each root is 1-2 pounds and is elongated and brown in color. The flesh of the tuber is white and high in carbohydrate.
So lets learn how to use this wonderful root. The cassava root looks similar to a sweet potato but brown in color.
To use this root in dishes,
How To Clean
* First wash the root to remove any soil sticking to it.
* The topmost layer is thin and brown. There is another white layer under it. Both have to be removed.
* Using a knife, slit through a section to find the 2 layers. Remove the skins with a knife following peeling action from top to bottom.
* You will get a pure white tube inside. This is the edible root.
How To Cut
After cleaning the root, hold it in your hand and from the top start slicing horizontally with a knife. Slit semicircular sections while gently lifting them to avoid cutting the center thin strand. Continue this method till you reach the bottom of root.
How To Cook
Once you have the cleaned and cut root, you can cook them by adding them to salted water in a pressure cooker and allowing 4 to 5 whistles. You can also cook them in a pot, which might take a little longer. Drain the water and use the tapioca in your dishes.
Tapioca can be consumed as a snack for tea by cooking them till they become soft and adding some fresh grated coconut and a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry leaves on top. It makes a delicious and healthy evening snack.
You can also have it with rice or chapati using this recipe – Tapioca Curry