Different Food Products from cassava and how to process them

Cassava is a popular root vegetable people use for food in Nigeria, its origin is traced to Portugal since 1558. Cassava Products constitutes a larger portion of food source to average and lower class in Nigeria and Africa at large. Both the root and leaves are eaten as food and different food products from cassava are available.

Apart from using cassava for food, people also use the roots to make medicines in cases of tiredness, dehydration in people with diarrhea, sepsis, and to induce labor, although there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Studies shows that cassava has similar nutritonal Content as potatoes, but contains cyanogenic glycosides a chemical that releases cyanide that can affect the eyes if not properly processed.

Food Products from Cassava

The different foods gotten from cassava is as a result of the method used for the processing. The following are food products from cassava;


This is the most common product of cassava, consumed by mostly everyone in Africa except for certain health conditions where people are advised to avoid garri.

How to process Garri

  • Peel the back of the cassava
  • Wash the cassava to avoid dirts and contamination
  • Grind the cassava properly to form a pulp
  • Squeeze the water off the pulp and allow to dry overnight
  • Sieve the chaff from it
  • Fry under high temperature to make the garri.

So many people believe that the processing of cassava to garri can not remove cyanogenic glycosides present, as such they advised garri must be taken with caution. Garri can be used to make ebba, soaked before drinking with other ingredients like sugar,salt, groundnut, milk, chocolate etc.

Fufu/ Akpu

Another popular food product from cassava is fufu or Akpu as called by the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Fufu is widely eaten and loved by many because of its ability to sustain the eater for a longer time, more than other cassava products. Fufu has the following benefits;

  • It’s low in cholesterol
  • Low in fat
  • High in resistant starch
  • A powerful source of energy
  • High in potassium
  • High in fibre

How to process Fufu

To process fufu from cassava can be done in different ways but I will tell you an easy to understand method.

  • First, soak the unpeeled cassava in water (well-water preferably) for 3-4 days to get softened
  • Gently remove the back
  • Mix with water and sieve with the finest size of sieve
  • Roll it into big balls and boil (first boiling)
  • Pound with pestle and mortar (first pounding)
  • Roll again and boil the second time
  • Pound again for the second time and your fufu/Akpu is ready for eating.
  • Akpu is recommended for patients with health conditions associated with low potassium in the body.

Abacha/ African salad

Abacha is the easiest to process amongst all the food products from cassava. It can be prepared with some many nutritious ingredients such as fish, onions, kpomo, salt, vegetables, potash etc.

How to process Abacha

  • Carefully peel the cassava back
  • Boil the cassava to soft
  • shred or cut the Abacha into strands
  • Spread under the sun to get dried totally and become strong.
  • Store and prepare when needed.

Abacha Mmiri

This is another delicious food product gotten from cassava, it is used as snack and can be enjoyed with coconut, palm Cannel, groundnut etc. It has almost similar processing method like normal Abacha, just that the cutting is much larger.

How to process Abacha Mmiri

Carefully peel the cassava back
Boil the cassava to soft
Cut into smaller pieces with knife
Soak in water for some hours to reduce the starch
Change the water and enjoy with your preferred combination, may be coconut, groundnuts etc.

Cassava Flour

Flour can be made from cassava which is used for baking like other flours. To make cassava flour, methods may differ from home to home but the most important factor to note is that cassava contains cyanide, and it has to be properly processed so it will no longer be in your processed cassava flour.

How to process cassava to flour

  • Peel the cassava roots
  • Wash the peeled cassava roots thoroughly
  • Grate the cassava roots
  • Pack the grated cassava mush into a bag,cloths or towel to allow excess water to drain
  • Allow for some hours to enable little fermentation
  • Spread and dry the fermented cassava pulp
  • Grind the pulp into smaller/fine size
  • Sieve the grinded pulp to separate the starch from the flour.


This is our last food product from cassava which people often mistake to be cassava flour. The main difference is that flour incorporates the whole root, while tapioca flour is made from only the starchy part of the plant. Although the
cassava flour can be swapped evenly for tapioca, the fiber content gives it slightly more thickening power.

How to process Tapioca

  • Peel the cassava back off
  • Wash thoroughly to remove dirties
  • Blend or grate the cassava chunks until you get a smooth consistency
  • Place a fine cloth over a bowl and pour large amount of water over it
  • Leave the bowl with the white liquid to sit for an hour for the white starch to separate and settle at the base of the bowl from the translucent liquid on top
  • Gradually pour the water to remain the residue which is tapioca
  • Spread to dry, leaving the tapioca in a dry block form
  • Grind to get smooth power

Uses of Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch has a lot of benefits, which includes;

  • Used in starching or thickening cloths
  • Can be used to make noodles
  • Used in baking
  • It can be used to cost fish or chicken before frying
  • Used as thickening agents for soup and stews
  • It can be used to make breads, cookies and pancakes
  • Also used to make Boba

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