Cassava is a shrubby, tropical, perennial plant. Both the tuberous root and the leaves are edible but it is the root that is most commonly eaten as a vegetable. Tapioca is also produced from the starchy root. The leaves contain cyanide and must be soaked in boiling water and pounded before use. Cassava leaves are not readily available in Australia. Spinach would be a good substitute in this recipe.
- 1 bunch cassava leaves
- boiling water
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- ½ eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1 cm squares
- celery leaves, chopped
- ½ cup crushed peanuts
- ½ smoked fish
- 3 tbsp palm oil
- salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Prepare leaves by removing stems. Place leaves in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over them (this removes the toxins in the leaves). Squeeze remaining water from the leaves and pound them in a mortar and pestle.
Place the blended leaves in a saucepan with approximately 150 ml of water. Add chopped, eggplant, spring onion, celery leaves, and peanuts (which have been crushed to form a powder) and stir.
Soak the fish in water for 5–10 minutes, break into pieces and add to the saucepan with the leaves. Salt to taste and finally add the palm oil. Mix through and leave over a low heat for 30 minutes.