I’ve never been able to post a recipe for homemade bobolo because each time I make it, we cannot keep our fingers off it. Homemade bobolo is ultra delicious like that. You won’t understand how fermented cassava wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled is so insanely delicious until you make yours. So early last month, I was lucky to find some fresh cassava at our local African shop and I immediately promised myself to make and take pictures of bobolo for the blog this time. Guys, I almost didn’t make because guess what? Only half the quantity of bobolo made featured in the pictures taken. Wandas oo.
What is bobolo
For those of you who are not familiar with the word bobolo, let me explain; bobolo also know as ‘baton de manioc’ in French is peculiar to the people of the center region of Cameroon but it is widely sold and eaten in all parts of the country. It is the ultimate take-home gift from a long journey for family and friends. Why we love our bobolo so much is due to the fact that it is versatile. You can enjoy it with any sauce or soup. Some people enjoy their bobolo with roasted fish, others prefer it with ndolé or egusi pudding. I love my bobolo with fried African hot sauce aka. pepper and some stewed kidney beans. Oh yum!
All you can do with cassava
And there is a lot you can do with fermented cassava apart from making homemade bobolo. As you may have guessed, garri is one of them. Here is a post on how to make garri in the comfort of you own home. One other staple side which can be made from cassava is waterfufu. It’s the perfect match for Eru or Afang soup. Read how I make waterfufu at home.
How bobolo is made
The process of making bobolo can be time-consuming. This is the reason why most people prefer already cooked bobolo sold on the streets. Generally, bobolo is made from cassava tubers which are peeled, ground and soaked in water for a few days until they are soft. Then, the softened cassava is transformed into a pulp and pounded to perfect smoothness and the excess water is drained. Once this is done, the paste is placed on banana or plantain leaves and cooked. The end result is deliciously elastic with a slightly sour taste due to the fermentation process.
Why homemade bobolo is great for you
And before we get cooking, one last thing. Did you know that as you age, the amount of digestive juices and enzymes required for proper digestion your stomach produces begin to decrease? Low production of digestive juices and enzymes may be the cause digestive discomfort or constipation. Eating fermented foods like this homemade bobolo, waterfufu and garri can help make up for this loss, ease digestive discomfort related to having either too much or too little stomach acid. Plus the carbohydrates in fermented foods are broken down or are“pre-digested.” As a result, they do not place an extra burden on the pancreas, unlike ordinary carbohydrates and are therefore great for diabetic patients.
Making bobolo at home is not as difficult as many imagine. All it takes is time for the fermentation process. Note that this process will vary between 3 to 14 days based on the temperature. One thing I have learned is, never try to ferment cassava in the winter months except you have lots of time to wait. As cold drastically slows down the process. With that said, I encourage you to try out this recipe, leave your feedback in the comments area below. Then tag me on Facebook with your pictures, join THE SUPA FAMILY and follow my Instagram page so that I can celebrate you. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch all my cooking videos. Alright, let’s cook!
- 2 large cassava roots
- Water for fermentation
- Banana or plantain leaves for wrapping
- Ropes for tying
- Peel and soak cassava in a large bowl with enough water to cover the cassava.
- Allow cassava to ferment. This will last 3 - 7 days if you are living in a hot region or it could last up to 2 weeks if you are fermenting in winter or you live in a cold region.
- Cassava has completely fermented when it is soft to the touch that you can mash it with your fingers. You should also notice that water has changed from clear to milky white with a pungeant fermented smell.
- Mash cassava into a pulp and remove the threads in the middle. To achieve a very smooth paste, use a mortar and a pestle to pound your cassava or use a powerful blender that does not need water. Blend well.
- Warm your plantain leaves over a fire or soften by pouring boiling water over the leaves. This will avoid tearing.
- Now scope 2 tablespoons of cassava on the leaves, spread it to form a long thick line and wrap it.
- Use the rope to tie the bundle starting from one end to the other (see the video).
- Add some water to a pot, place a plate at the bottom so that your bobolo doesnot touch the bottom of the pot. We want to steam the bobolo just like we do for koki or moimoi. If you own a steamer like the one in my video, that's your best option.
- Cook for about 40 minutes and cool before you remove the leaves. Hot bobolo will stick on the leaves and make it difficult to seperate.
- Enjoy with roasted fish, groundnut soup, egusi pudding or even fried eggs.