Cassava Dumplings (Agbeli Kaklo)
Made from grated cassava, this is one of Ghana’s favorite savory snacks (and has a banging texture and crunch).
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
2–3 medium cassava
500ml–1 liter (18fl oz–1¾ pints) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated (depending on the texture you would like)
sea salt, to season
2–3 red rocket (Anaheim) chillies, finely chopped, plus extra for serving (optional)
1 medium egg, beaten
fresh coconut, sliced or grated into thin shavings, to serve
1. Wash and peel the cassava, cut each down the middle lengthways so that you can remove the stalky thread running through it, then grate on the smallest holes of a grater. Place the grated cassava in a sieve and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch. Leave to drain. If necessary, place in a muslin, gather up around the cassava and squeeze any excess moisture out. Leave to air-dry a little while you heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer (the safest option) or heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 180–190°C (350–375°F) or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
2. Add the onion and sea salt along with the chillies, if using, to the grated cassava and mix well before combining with the beaten egg. Form the mixture into plum-sized balls, pressing firmly together to bind. Fry the balls, in batches, turning intermittently to cook them evenly. Once the balls bob to the top and are a nice golden color all over they are ready – this should take a few minutes per batch. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm with the fresh coconut and chili slices, if using.
This recipe is reprinted with permission from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh, published by Mitchell Beazley.