By Chef Maria Pia Peter

The recipe bellow is for the traditional coconut tapioca and one of the stars of Brazilian Northeast cuisine. During the last years Brazilians have innovate this traditional recipe and a sweet version become also popular with the incorporation of chocolate or dulce de leche or the full replace of coconut for sweet ingredients. The recipe bellow is healthy, low in fat and is gluten-free.

 

Tapioca Ingredients:

* 1 cup manioc starch

* Salt

* Butter

Filling Ingredients:

* 1 cup grated coconut

Suggested Toppings:

-Mexican cheese (queso fresco) to replace the original “queijo coalho” from Brazil northeast or buffalo mozzarella.

Directions:

Pour the manioc starch with the salt through a sieve. Warm up the combination in a pan, without mixing it, till it is firm. Add the grated coconut (or add any favorite topping if would like to innovate it), and fold the “tapioca” in the middle (it should have a half-moon shape). Put a little bit of butter on both sides of the “tapioca” and warm it up one more time before you serve it.

P.S 1) In Brazil you can find the ready to use “fresh” manioc starch, and particularly, in farmers market of Northeast region. With the popularity of tapioca in all regions of Brazil, in recent years become popular in the market the dry manioc starch. It can be easily found in the U.S at Brazilian markets and even in some Asian and Latino markets. Just ask for “Massa para Tapioca” or “Povilho Pronto para Tapioca”

P.S 2) In the U.S you can find the “fresh” manioc starch in many Brazilian and Latino markets across the U.S. In Southern California per example, you can easily find it at Hi Brazil Market in Redondo Beach, Continental Gourmet Market in Hawthorne and Lomita, Carniceria Argentina in North Hollywood, El Mambi Market in Glendale and Latimex Market in Chino.

 

* Brazilian chef Maria Pia Peter graduated in 1987 as an Economic major at UFPE (Pernambuco State University) and lived in Sao Paulo for 10 years, where she had the opportunity to study Fine Arts at the Panamericana Art & Design School, then was engaged in a course for International Chefs at the SENAC University Center.  She lives in Recife, Pernambuco state. Her daughter, Amanda Peter, is an actress that lives in Los Angeles and help us with translations.

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