Pan-Roasted Cassava
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Recipe courtesy of Brittney "Chef Stikxz" Williams and Tonya Hopkins

Pan-Roasted Cassava with Ginger-Peanut Stew

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 3 servings
Cassava, aka manioc or yuca, is a New World crop that was introduced and readily adopted in West Africa centuries ago, where it became a primary starch in the diet. It’s used in myriad ways in culinary cultures throughout the African Diaspora (e.g., pounded to make fufu, dried and powdered and used as flour or a starch thickener, sliced or cubed, roasted, baked or fried; additionally, its liquid or juice can be fermented). It’s the perfect base and medium in this dish for the spicy, gingery sauce and is a culturally relevant addition to any Kwanzaa celebration.



  1. In a food processor, blend the tomato purée, tomato paste, peanut butter, ginger, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, fenugreek, granulated garlic, granulated onion, allspice, garlic, yellow onion, habanero or Scotch bonnet, if using, and 1/4 cup water until it turns to a smooth paste.
  2. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil. Add the paste and cook down, continuously stirring, until the paste is dry and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, stirring, until incorporated. Turn down the heat and let simmer until reduced by about a third and beginning to thicken, 5 to 7 minutes Add the sweet potato and green, red and yellow bell peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining grapeseed oil and heat until hot. Fry the cassava rounds, in batches if needed, on all sides until nice and golden, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Remove and salt. Place in the oven at 250 degrees F to keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Plate the stew at the bottom of each serving plate with the cassava on top. Garnish with the scallion greens.

Cook’s Note

If the sauce seems too thick, you can add water or more vegetable stock.