What is the main process making garri?
Garri is traditionally made at home in Africa. It is increasingly becoming common to produce garri at commercial level using mechanised means.
Made from cassava, the tubers are harvested, peeled, removing the covering, and the white pulp is grated in a garri grinding machine. Before the advent of machines, the cassava is hand grated.
The grated produce is then put into a jute sack and the sack tied. Traditionally, this is left to ferment for three to seven days depending on the type of garri been made. This step is very important, as the fermentation process helps to reduce and detoxify the high cyanide content of cassava.
Main process to make garri
While still inside the sack, sacks are stacked up on each other, and a wooden board placed below and above the sacks. The wooden boards are tied together with the sacks full of the grated cassava in between. Tension is created by tightening the rope and thus allowing water to run out of the grated cassava being processed.
Usually, by day three, the grated cassava would have lost quite some water and become reasonably dried.
This step is also been by-passed with the use of machines that compress and squeeze water out of the grated cassava.
The water running out is very rich in starch. Collected into a basin and let to sediment, pure raw starch is obtained.
This fermented, and dried grated cassava is now sieved to remove large particles and fibres and the smaller grain-like bits are collected for further processing. This is now fried in a dry large pot. All you do here is put a thick big pot on fire, let the pot get dried, then put in some of the grated cassava and stir it until it becomes crisp. It gives off a pleasant cooked aroma. You must stir this continuously to avoid it getting burnt. The finished cooked or baked product is what is called garri.
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