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from: Western Africa | cooking method: pan frying

Gari Foto

Popular in Ghana and neighboring countries in Western Africa, Gari (Garri, Gali) is made from the tubers of the cassava plant. It is a starchy carbohydrate, used in the same manner as Rice and Couscous (though gari requires no additional cooking when it is eaten, it only needs to be moistened).

Traditionally gari is made at home: cassava tubers are first cleaned, peeled, and soaked in water, they are then grated, and the resulting mass is packed into cotton sacks, topped with weights to squeeze out the water, and allowed to partially dry and ferment for a few days. The grated cassava is then spread out to dry in the sun, pressed through a sieve, and dry-fried in shallow pans until it is completely cooked and free of moisture, and viola! -- gari. The finished gari can be stored until needed. Today, many people in (and out of) Africa use packaged commercially-manufactured gari that is sold in shops and markets.

Preparing gari as described here makes Gari Foto (Gari Fortor): "Savory Gari and Eggs". Gari Foto is usually served for breakfast or lunch, often accompanied by red beans with tomato sauce.

market, ghana

What you need

What you do

For a more substantial dish, boiled shrimp, ground dried shrimp, canned corned beef, canned sardines, or leftover cooked meat or fish may be added with (or instead of) the eggs. Also, when made with fish or meat, the eggs may be hard-boiled and served along side the gari foto.

Gari Foto can also be prepared by mixing about a quarter of the chopped onions into the gari after the water is added.

Some cooks fry the eggs separately, and serve them over the gari.

At lunchtime, Gari Foto is often served with Red Beans that are cooked in a tomato sauce.

Gari can also be eaten as a breakfast cereal: moistened with water or milk and sweetened with sugar.

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