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Gari

 

Popular in Ghana and neighboring countries in Western Africa, Gari (Garri, Gali) is made from the tubers of the cassava plant. It is a starchy carbohydrate, used in the same manner as Rice and Couscous (though gari requires no additional cooking when it is eaten, it only needs to be moistened).

Traditionally gari is made at home: cassava tubers are first cleaned, peeled, and soaked in water, they are then grated, and the resulting mass is packed into cotton sacks, topped with weights to squeeze out the water, and allowed to partially dry and ferment for a few days. The grated cassava is then spread out to dry in the sun, pressed through a sieve, and dry-fried in shallow pans until it is completely cooked and free of moisture, and viola! -- gari. The finished gari can be stored until needed. Today, many people in (and out of) Africa use packaged commercially-manufactured gari that is sold in shops and markets.

Preparing gari as described here makes Gari Foto (Gari Fortor): "Savory Gari and Eggs". Gari Foto is usually served for breakfast or lunch, often accompanied by red beans with tomato sauce.

 

What you need

  • two cups gari
  • one-half cup warm water (with a little salt added, if desired)
  • one-half cup cooking oil (preferably palm oil or peanut oil)
  • one or two onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • two or three ripe tomatos, peeled and chopped (and two tablespoons tomato paste, optional)
  • one clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • six eggs, beaten
  • salt and black pepper to taste

 

What you do

  • Place the gari in a clean bowl. Sprinkle the gari with water, spoonful by spoonful while stirring, to evenly moisten it. (It may not be necessary to use the all the water.) Stir with a fork or spoon. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Fry onions and tomatoes (and tomato paste) until the onions are tender, but not browned -- five minutes or less.
  • Slowly pour the eggs into the skillet, while stirring, and cook them, stirring constantly (as in making scrambled eggs.)
  • Fold the moistened gari into the eggs-onions-tomatoes mixture. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

 

For a more substantial dish, boiled shrimp, ground dried shrimp, canned corned beef, canned sardines, or leftover cooked meat or fish may be added with (or instead of) the eggs. Also, when made with fish or meat, the eggs may be hard-boiled and served along side the gari foto.

Gari Foto can also be prepared by mixing about a quarter of the chopped onions into the gari after the water is added.

Some cooks fry the eggs separately, and serve them over the gari.

At lunchtime, Gari Foto is often served with Red Beans that are cooked in a tomato sauce.

Gari can also be eaten as a breakfast cereal: moistened with water or milk and sweetened with sugar.


Information taken from CongoCookbook.com