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Author Notes: Mingau is many things:
First (and there's a question mark - which came first - the place or the porridge?), it is a place on the northeastern coast of Brazil, in Bahia; then it is a porridge, made from different grains and cereals - there's mingau of corn, of cassava, of rice.
Secondly, in literature about Brazil cuisine, it is describes as everything from 'thin gruel to infant food and drink'. As a drink, think of it as the warm equivalent of Bubble tea.
Finally, on Lagos Island in Nigeria, mingau de tapioca is a porridge made from cassava granules - similar in size to small (2 -4mm) tapioca pearls, cooked in coconut milk and finished with a grating of fresh nutmeg, at it’s simplest. Its heritage is clear – brought by returnees at the end of slave trade, returnees who settled in Isale Eko, the ‘lowlands’ of Lagos Island, commonly made at Easter.
Though in Nigeria it is made with tapioca granules, tapioca pearls are a good substitute. —Kitchen Butterfly
Serves 6 - 8
cup tapioca granules
cups coconut milk
teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste
pinch of dried, ground bay leaf (optional)
pinch of salt
Sweetener, to taste - sugar, honey, agave nectar, etc
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
To serve: Coconut cream, condensed milk, fruit jams, sauces, toasted nuts and cereal
- Soak tapioca in the coconut milk and 2 cups of water for an hour or two at room temperature so the granules absorb the liquid and soften
- In a pot or pan, combine soaked tapioca, ground cloves, cinnamon powder, bay leaf if using and a pinch of salt
- Cook on medium to low heat about 15 - 20 minutes, stirring with a (large) whisk so the tapioca doesn't clump up, cooks evenly and the bottom doesn't burn. Add a cup of water and cook till the tapioca swells, some granules become translucent and soften. Add the second cup of water so the resulting consistency is liquid, of single cream consistency. Add more water if needed to keep the consistency liquid.
- Once cooked through, sweeten to taste.
- Serve warm with milk, cream and a sprinkling of freshly, finely grated nutmeg
- Leftover tapioca pudding keeps well in the fridge (In fact, I prefer mine reheated :) - the granules firm up and gel/jelly more). To reheat, add milk to taste and reheat gently