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Cooking with cassava, Brazil's versatile root vegetable

Sandra Rocha Evanoff of "Brasil Comes to You" shares her recipe for farofa, one of the most popular side dishes in Brazil. #newdaynw

When you think of Brazilian food, grilled meats usually come to mind.

Brazilian people also love a nutty-flavored starchy root vegetable called cassava.

Native to South America, cassava is a high source of carbohydrates, vitamin c, potassium, magnesium, vitamin b, and is naturally gluten-free. It's grown in tropical regions around the world because of its ability to withstand difficult growing conditions. In fact, it's one of the most drought-tolerant crops.

You must cook cassava root before eating it, as it can be poisonous if consumed raw.

Cassava is an essential ingredient in many Brazilian recipes including farofa, a very popular side dish in Brazil.

Sandra Rocha Evanoff loves to teach others about the traditions of her home country of Brazil while cooking up tasty meals.

Evanoff joined the show to share a recipe for farofa alongside grilled picanha (top sirloin) and a tasty black eyed peas salad.



  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • ½ tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 cups coarsely ground cassava flour
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh green onion chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin


  1. Fry the bacon over medium heat for about five minutes or until the bacon is golden brown and crunchy. Coarsely chop the bacon and save.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onion. Sautee over medium heat until the onion is transparent. Add the chopped bacon and shredded carrot. Stir for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, cumin, cilantro, and green onion. Stir again for about 1 minute. Add the cassava flour and cook, stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes until the flour is toasted a little bit. Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onion.
  3. Farofa is a delicious side dish that compliments "picanha" (top sirloin steak) with delicious black eyed pea salad.



  • 1 cup dry uncooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped (¾ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • ¼ of red onion chopped (feel free to add more if you want)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander


  1. Soak the black-eyed peas for two hours, drain and cook with water and salt until tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large salad bowl, mix the black-eyed peas with chopped tomato, green onions, cilantro, red onion, and parsley. Stir together and add the olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and coriander. Add salt to taste and serve with your "picanha" (top sirloin cap) and farofa.



  • Whole picanha with the fat on (around 1 to 2 pounds) room temperature
  • 2 tbsp of sea salt (or rock salt)
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced in round


  1. Slice the beef on the horizontal 1 to 2 inches thick. Sprinkle the salt both sides. Let stand for ten 10 minutes
  2. Pour the olive oil in a grilling pan. Heat on the stovetop over high heat.
  3. Add the meat and grill high for 3 minutes on each side
  4. Add the sliced garlic and onion to the pan and grill together with the meat for 1 minute.
  5. Sprinkle the black pepper and salt to taste.
  6. Place the picanha on the plate. Serve with the black-eyed pea salad and about 3 tbps of farofa. Enjoy with your caipirinha.

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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