With less than two weeks to our independence day, I believe it is a good idea to pay homage to the food that makes up this nation’s tapestry. Cassava is one of those foods. The possibilities are endless with cassava and this dessert right here is one of the many ways you can prepare it.
Sometimes I wish you can smell what is cooking from this end of the screen. Someone should make an app for that. Seriously! While in the process of making these puddings, The whole house was a fragrant mixture of chocolate and toasted coconut coupled with a hint of vanilla.
Picture this scenario: Tender boiled cassava, pounded with vanilla, sugar and coconut to create a creamy sticky fine texture. At this point the cassava is already good to go but then to add a richer, lighter and more silken texture, I am using Paramount Dairies Thick Sour Cream. The sour cream adds a big difference to the cassava. Then this sweet goodness is dished in a bowl, topped with rich melted chocolate and generous;y sprinkled with toasted coconut. Can you imagine the flavours that are at play here?
Be warned though. This dessert is a sweets-lover’s dream (OK. Not only the sweets-lovers because even I downed two bars in one seating).
Another way to serve this dessert is by using a sheet pan. Line the sheet pan with wax paper or cling film. I used banana leaves for a pop of color. Place the cassava in a sheet pan evenly. Spread the chocolate evenly and generously sprinkle the toasted coconut. Refrigerate and serve the next day.
What you will need:
6 C. Cassava, boiled
2 C. Sugar
1½ C. Thick Sour Cream
¼ C. Desiccated coconut
1 C. Desiccated coconut
1 C. Melted chocolate
2 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- I used a mortar and pestle. If you have a food mixer, it will work well.
- The first batch I made had a bitter after-taste because of the cassava. Before pounding your cassava, taste it to make sure it is not bitter.
- Since it is hard to measure raw cassava, boil a big batch and then measure it in cups before you pound it.
- When the cassava cools, it will harden a little. It is okay.
- Use a heatproof bowl or metallic bowl for melting the chocolate.
- To speed up the cooling process, place the ground cassava in the fridge.
- Peel and wash the cassava.
- Put the cassava in a pan with enough water. Place the pan on fire and let the cassava boil till tender and loose.
- Remove from fire and measure six cups.
- Place the measured cassava in the mortar/mixer and pound till a thick silky like consistency is achieved. Add the sugar, ¼ cup of coconut and vanilla and keep pounding till they are evenly mixed.
- Remove the ground cassava from the mortar/mixer and put in a bowl. Let the cassava cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate: Cut it into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat water in a pan and let it come to a boil. Place the bowl with chocolate in the water and let it slowly soften while mixing. Keep mixing until it has completely melted. Remove from fire.
- Place the 1 cup of coconut in a dry pan on medium heat and toast till slightly golden brown and a sweet aroma is released. Remove from fire.
- Once the cassava has completely cooled, add in the sour cream using the cut and fold method till it is fully incorporated.
To serve: Spoon the cassava in a bowl, pour chocolate on top and drizzle with toasted coconut.
This desert is best served the next day. This allows for the flavours to fully incorporate. I managed to keep everyone away from it but then the next day it disappeared. Now you know what to do with all that cassava.
Have a lovely week.
This post is made possible by Paramount Dairies. You can find Thick Sour Cream and more cream and cheese products in major supermarkets in Kampala. Thank you for supporting brands I believe in.
My first baking escapades here on the blog started out in an oven toaster. Well, because it works wonders! And that is an understatement. Then I moved onto charcoal stove baking because I was challenging myself to make larger things like this Coconut cinnamon cake, this massive Chocolate donut and this Savoury soya cheese bread. So over two weeks ago, I was reminded again of how magical an oven toaster is because we learnt to make banana muffins from someone more experienced than we are. It was an affair of less than 5 people. It was a great time. I realise events with a small number of people with a common interest turn out more meaningful and enriching for me. The restfulness of just working is magical. I also realise I keep saying this over and over again. The best part is we baked these muffins in an oven toaster! If you are looking to get into baking, I would recommend an oven toaster because it consumes less energy, and is so versatile (that is, your baking possibilities are endless. I have even made loaves!). So today I am sharing what we baked to show you how amazing an oven toaster can be.
What you will need:
1 ½ C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking soda
1 Tsp. Baking powder
½ Tsp. Salt
3 Bananas, mashed
½ C. Sugar
¾ Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Large egg
1/3 C. Cooking oil
½ Tsp. Vanilla
¼ C. Brown sugar (Optional)
- You can omit the brown sugar if you do not like overly sweet muffins.
- Make sure to scoop just one spoon into the paper muffin cups to avoid overflowing when they bake
- Place the muffins close to each other to keep the shape while baking in the toaster.
- Peel the bananas and set aside.
- In a blender, combine the bananas, sugar, egg, oil and vanilla and blend till pureed.
- In a separate large bowl, Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon) and set aside.
- Pour the banana mixture in the dry ingredients while mixing till a fine batter forms.
- Using a spoon, scoop the batter into paper muffin cups.
- Place in toaster and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the muffins turn golden brown.
Tell me below, do you own an oven toaster? What do you usually make with it? Also you can easily double (or triple) this recipe to make muffins you can keep for a week (If they haven’t consumed already!).
A lot of memories are associated with sombe for me. As a child it was a big chore to pound those green leaves. I always wondered why they were never eaten as they are because l
aziness I prefer uncut veggies sometimes. It still is a chore in a way but I understand more the process food has to go through to reach the table.
One thing I love about slow food is the whole process of conceiving the idea and then labouring to bring this idea to fruition. When you are immersed in the process of creating everything else will not matter. I like times when I get absorbed completely in making food and experiencing every little step . I like that sombe can give you that experience. From harvesting the cassava leaves, picking out the tender ones, pounding them, putting them on fire and watching as it cooks till it releases a great aroma.
If you have not tried sombe, you should because not only is it a great sauce to accompany foods like kalo, matooke, sweet potatoes (and anything else really!) but it is also great eaten on its own especially now that the rainy days are upon us.
This is not a detailed recipe but rather my experience making sombe and I will give you a rough estimate based off of the knowledge that’s been passed down to me of what’s needed to recreate this amazing flavourful soup.
How to make sombe
- First off you need to locate a cassava garden or farm and then ask the owners to pluck some leaves off their plants. The key here is to get the top tender leaves with stalks that snap when you break them. Depending on the size and lushness of the plant get just enough but do not destroy the whole plant. That is pluck twice or thrice from one plant then move onto another.
- Once you have plucked a bunch you think is enough to make soup, remove the leaves one by one from their stalks and put in a mortar.
- Pound the cassava leaves. If you do not have a mortar, you can use a blender. It works well too.
- Place the pounded cassava leaves in a large pan (because you will be adding a lot more ingredients so you need enough space for them.) with enough water and salt. Put on fire.
- A good friend once told me that the secret to great sombe is garlic, onions and lots of green pepper. You will need a lot of green pepper, garlic (about 4 cloves or depending on the amount of sombe you are making.) , tomatoes onions.
- You can choose to grate the green pepper or finely dice it. I like to do the latter. Crush the garlic and then finely chop it. Chop the onions and tomatoes.
- While the sombe is boiling, add the vegetables one by one. There is no specific order as along as all the vegetables are added in.
- Now because sombe is not sombe with out palm oil, you will need a generous amount of it. For this sombe, we put close to 1 ½ cups of palm oil. If you do not want it to be oily, you can reduce on the palm oil. All the while the sombe should be boiling. It should take 2 ½ hours or more to cook.
- Keep stirring to incorporate the flavours. Once all the vegetables are tender, let the sombe simmer for 30+ minutes or until the water has reduced and the palm oil has turned a dark-ish color.
- Remove from fire and allow to cool. Serve with your favourite accompaniment.
Now whenever we make sombe we make a big batch and then save the rest for the next day because it all cannot be eaten in one seating but also because the flavours intensify the longer it stays. Most people would prefer to cook it and then eat it the next day solely for that reason.
Sombe is mostly made with dried fish in. I did not however put it in this recipe. But if you do want to make one with fish, just add the fish. Make sure it does not have bones because they can get lost in the greens and then choke you.
Now that you know how to make sombe, let me know whether you will give it a try. Also what you would eat it with. We eat it with kalo (which we call bundu in our dialect) or sometimes on its own as warm soup.
Share this post with someone you know loves sombe or would like to give it a try.
This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Chrystal at The Smallwood Personage.