Cooking, Side Dishes


Gari (from Cameroon)
By: Zhu Jun

Gari-Gari is manioc/cassava flour and is a basic starch for Chadian/Cameroonian dishes. It is eaten with a sauce or other accompaniments. It can be found in African food stores.

Bring water to a boil, then pour the gari into the water, a little bit at a time at first, constantly stirring until there is a good portion in, then pour in more gari until it begins to thicken and soak up most of the water. When gari starts to thicken and most of the water is gone, stop adding gari and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until all the water is gone and only the gari is cooked and very thick. Cover with a lid until serving time.

Another base starch that is the staple of Chadian food is “Boule”. Boule is a large ball of boiled dough made of flour that is eaten with an accompanying sauce. Boule can be made of corn, wheat, millet, or rice flour, and sometimes a mix of flours is used.

To make Boule:

Bring water to a boil, then add a small amount of flour and immediately begin to stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to add more and more flour turning constantly and quickly. The flour water mixture will begin to cook and coagulate. Add enough flour that the mixture forms a thick, sticky paste. Continue to turn and stir and add a little more flour until the mixture thickens and can be scraped and formed into a ball. Add small amounts of cooking oil to keep the dough from sticking to the side of the pot and to help in shaping the boule.

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