How to Make Cassava Dough: Fastest Way at Home
Watch my YouTube video on how to make cassava dough for banku and gari. The guides are simple and easy to learn.
You can start to process your own cassava dough for banku and gari after watching these videos. You will also learn how to make gari for yourself and your household.
1. Harvest or buy cassava
If you have a cassava farm, and your cassava is fully matured for harvest, you can harvest for dough.
Where to get cassava
Buy cassava from farmers on the farm. It is cheaper than buying from the market that is if you are buying in abundance.
When a family or friend is harvesting their cassava, you can help them and get some tubers at no cost.
You can also buy from the market or a cassava farmer without going to the farm. Tell the farmer you need some tubers for fufu or dough and they know the variety to sell.
Growing cassava is very easy. Anyone at all can start a cassava farm in his backyard provided the land is favorable.
- Cultivate a piece of land and fence it to protect the crop from goats and sheep if you’re planting at home.
- Get a cassava stem and cut it into pieces.
- Use a cutlass to dig a swallow hole then plant the stem.
- Wait for 6 – 9 months for the cassava to mature. Some cassava may take a year to harvest.
- Weed your farm with cutlass, hoe, or weedicides to control weeds.
How long does cassava take to grow
Cassava takes 6 months to 1 year to fully mature depending on the variety planted.
The six months cassava is only suitable for fufu within six months. Beyond six months, you can only use it for cassava dough.
But the 9 months – 1-year variety is suitable for both fufu and dough after 9 months and 1 year.
My parents prefer the 9 months and 1-year variety to the 6 months even though the 6 months is shorter because they like fufu all season round.
2. Peel the cassava
After harvesting, peel your cassava. Use a knife to remove the cassava peel. Exercise patience doing this not to wound yourself.
Cut bigger tubers into pieces before peeling them to make them easy to peel. You should split your cassava open to remove the central vascular tissue or fiber for easy grating. Watch this video to learn how to do this.
Benefits of cassava peel
- Cassava peel is used as feed for livestock by drying the peel under the sun.
- People also use the dried peels as medicine and aphrodisiac (there’s no science backing this)
3. Wash to remove dirt
The next stage is washing the peeled cassava to remove dirt. Soak peeled cassava in water for about 5 – 10 minutes before washing. This makes it easy to get rid of the dirt.
4. Grate the peeled cassava
Mostly, cassava is ground the same day it is peeled using a cassava grating machine. You can also grate your cassava at home with a kitchen grater if it’s not plenty.
We usually grind our cassava with the grating machine and pay the operator because we make a large amount of cassava dough and preserve it for 1-2 months.
Preserving peeled cassava
- Soak peeled cassava in fresh water for a day if you don’t have time to grate it the same day. It can be kept in water for a maximum of 3 days before grinding.
- Replace water with fresh water each day until you grate the cassava to keep it fresh (keeping it for long in water will cause it to rot and ferment, hence, giving your dough a bad scent).
Mill cassava until smooth and fine (you can mill multiple times till you are satisfied with the texture). When grinding cassava for gari, you should grind it a maximum of 2 times.
Always tell the grating machine operator what you will use your dough for so that they guide you (number of times to grate).
5. Draining cassava dough
- Pour cassava dough into a clean sack or cloth that can pass liquid. Twist the sack a number of times and tie it well.
- Place on a flat surface e.g., a flat stone, and cover it with another flat stone to drain the liquid.
- Keep the cassava dough under the stone for 1 to 2 days depending on the temperature.
- Untie the sack or cloth, check it to see if it is dried, and remove and place it into a clean container when it is dried.
- If your cassava dough is not dried, mix it with your hand, tie it again, and put more stones or heavy objects on it.
- It should be dried after the second day. If your dough is not well-grated, use a sieving tray to sieve it. You can also use a strainer to strain it whenever you are going to prepare banku.
Mill cassava the same day you peel it (recommended).
Now your cassava dough is ready for preparing banku. Mix it with corn dough and cook.