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Celebrating Afro-Brazilian culture with caruru

As we close out Black History Month, we're paying homage with a delicious dish that marries the flavors of Africa and Brazil from Sandra Rocha Evanoff. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — Poulsbo business owner Sandra Rocha Evanoff of "Brasil Comes to You" shares her recipe for caruru, an okra stew made with dry shrimp, toasted cashews and peanuts, coconut milk, palm oil, ginger, lime or lemon juice, and spices.

Rocha Evanoff describes caruru as an Afro-Brazilian soul food, delicious with fish, shrimp, and chicken.

Caruru is often served with a street food called acarajé (a black-eyed pea fritter).

"For many Black women in Brazil, the caruru is part of their lives," Rocha Evanoff said. "The acarajé is one of the dishes that the enslaved used to sell to buy their freedom."


  • 1 lb. okra
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 scallions (green onion) chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1/3 cup salted dried shrimp
  • ¼ cup toasted cashews
  • ¼ cup of toasted peanuts
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger shredded
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • ½ cup of water


  1. In a blender, add the cashews, peanuts, and dried shrimp with ½ cup of water. Blend for about 1 minute until the ingredients are mixed into a cream. Reserve.
  2. Remove the top stems of the okra, and discard. Cut the okra into rounds about ½ inch thick.
  3. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the okra and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and shredded ginger. Stir very gently for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper, a dash of turmeric, and a dash of paprika. Pour in the coconut milk. Add the nuts and shrimp from the blender. Incorporate all ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the cilantro. Add the palm oil and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with the green onion.
  4. Serve with white rice and grilled shrimp.

Segment Producer Rebecca Perry. Watch New Day Northwest 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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