The warm Saturday afternoon sunshine, family gossip and fryums – life just does not get better. Oh wait, it did get better…the one thing I have loved even as a little girl – a handwoven string of fresh fragrant flowers to adorn the hair. That was my kiddie cousin’s spontaneous gift for me from their kitchen garden 😉
And the next part of our Allergy Friendly cooking journey continued with ‘Tapioca Pearls Fryums’. What are Tapioca Pearls? They are white starchy balls (usually 2-3 mm in diameter) made from processed cassava (Manihot esculenta). Cassava is a shrub that is cultivated in large parts of South America and Asia for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. The starchy part is often referred to as Tapioca. In recent times – it has been made very famous thanks to the tasty and pretty looking bubble tea. Do not confuse Tapioca pearls with Sago pearls – they look very similar and are cooked in similar ways. However, Sago is extracted from the starchy center of various palm trees.
Tapioca Pearls Fryums:
- Tapioca Pearls: 1 cup (Use small white pearls of 2-3 mm diameter)
- Green Chilies: 5 (Optional)
- Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp. (Optional)
- Asafoetida: ½ tsp. (Optional)
- Lemon/ Lime: 1
- Oil to deep fry
- Soak sago pearls overnight with enough water above the sago.
- Grind chilies into a smooth paste in the food processor.
- In a large vessel add 4 cups of water and the sago and cook until the sago pearls become translucent.
- Add cumin seeds, green chilies paste, asafoetida and salt. Switch off the heat.
- Squeeze juice of 1 lime/ lemon. If the sago mixture is too thick, add little warm water. The consistency should be a little thinner than pancake batter.
- Spread a plastic sheet in the sun and spread a spoonful making small circles on the sheet while the batter is still warm.
- Let it dry completely – if you get a full day of intense sunlight the fryums will be ready to deep fry in just a day. If you are caught in the middle of winter like I am at the moment – it will take up to a week and we will just have to dry it indoors in a sunny spot. But. rain or shine – they will dry ultimately 🙂
- Once it is fully dried, it will come off the plastic sheet. Store it in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed wok for deep frying. Deep fry the dried fryum in oil. It will double in size when fried. Love the little pearl bubble on the surface.
- At step 4, puree 1 carrot and add to the boiling Tapioca pearls batter.
- At step 4, add 1 pureed tomato. I added a couple of chilis at this point – what can I say…I love fire in my mouth 😉
- Let your imagination run wild – add pureed sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil or any other herb/ vegetable of your choice.
Part 3 brings more adventures as I learn my granny’s magic in the kitchen through my aunt…
P.S: All food allergy sufferers should be extremely careful when trying anything new because one can potentially be allergic to anything. I write about alternative food choices from around the world. These are foods which do not figure in the top food allergens and those that my child has not reacted to. However, always consult your allergist, call FARE and even after that introduce the new food in small amounts.