In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

The Simplicity Of Cassava Dumplings.

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Our dad grew up on the family cocoa and coffee plantation with my great grandparents, so basically his meals consisted of what we refer to “blue” food. Ground provisions (yams, dasheen, eddoes, cassava etc), green bananas, dumplings and other very traditional dishes passed on from slavery days. So when we were growing up many of these dishes were a strong part of our diet as well, since mom would make stuff the old fella enjoyed. To this day my sisters have no love for many of these foods, but my brother and I crave them. Especially since we’re not at “home” where it’s in abundance… such is the life of immigrants I guess.

Today’s recipe takes me back to when my uncle and I would make our own little “cook” with ingredients we could easily salvage around the house or garden. Cassava dumplings and dasheen bush simmered in coconut milk and a rosy green scotch bonnet pepper… if we were lucky we’d also have a few ochroes to go into the bhaji mix.

You’ll Need…

1 cup grated cassava
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
6-10 tablespoon water
pinch baking powder

* if you can’t get fresh cassava to grate, you can also try using cassava flour. Many Latin markets will stock it (may be called yucca flour)

Peel the cassava with a potato peeler or sharp pairing knife to remove the bark-like outer skin, then using a box grater (be careful) as it’s very easy to catch your fingers as the cassava pieces gets smaller as you grate. I’m sure this could probably work in a food processor, but I’ve never tried it.

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In the same bowl with the grated cassava add the flour and baking powder. Knead into a firm but elastic dough… since the grated cassava will have a bit of moisture, work the flour into it before adding water. This will see it go like ‘peas”, but it will give you an idea of how much water you’ll need to add. Then start adding water one tablespoon at a time. Since I cannot comment on how moist your cassava will be, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time. It may take a bit of muscle to really work the dough, but try to get a nice smooth finish.

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Now cover the bowl with a bit of plastic wrap and allow it to rest for about 20-25 minutes.  The next step is to bring about 7 cups of water to boil in a fairly large pot and add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.

As the water comes to a boil…

Dust a flat surface with flour and lets get ready to make the dumplings. Cut the dough ball into 8 smaller ones, then give each a sort of cigar roll and then work with your fingers to form the shape of a tongue. BTW, these dumplings are sometimes called cow’s tongue (due to it’s shape). See the pics below for a pictorial explanation.

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The water should be boiling now so gently add each dumpling and give it a stir. This will cook on medium heat (make sure it’s boiling) for about 5 minutes or so. You’ll know when they’re done, when you see them float to the to[ of the pot.

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The final step is to drain and get ready to serve (best hot). Today I enjoyed mine with saltfish buljol, but if you’re looking for something even more basic.. simply stir in some butter and enjoy. This goes great with many curry meats, stewed meats and if you were to go to Tobago you must have it with curried crabs. I had three of them and was stuffed.. so this could easily serve 4 small eaters. You’ll notice that I added some red cabbage to my saltfish buljol.. had some in the fridge and figured I’d use it. Added a nice crunch to the overall dish.

Before you go I invite you to leave me your comments below.. even if it just to say hello. It’s always appreciated. And don’t forget to join us on facebook and do check out the cooking videos.

Happy Cooking


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  1. Robyn
    March 2, 2023 / 9:27 pm

    Cheers, Chris! You rock!

  2. Adilah Elahie
    May 3, 2022 / 2:40 pm

    Hi Chris, i make my cassava dumplings using grated cassava and cassava flour with no baking powder. I also add some seasonings – a little garlic, shadown beni, pimento and pepper into the dough. I love this over traditional dumplings as it is soo much lighter. Hubby loves it too. Use the same recipe for dumplings in soup as well.

    • Angela Hospedales
      June 4, 2023 / 1:55 pm

      I will be adding these things to my dumpling

  3. Phylicia
    December 12, 2018 / 12:13 am

    Hey Chris you mentioned using yoga flour do I still
    Need to add flour

  4. Marilyn Celestine
    October 20, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    I made it today. That went down A-1 station with a back and neck chicken stew. I didn’t use water, I’m a tough kneader. Thank you.

    August 3, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Great stuff Chris. The best Caribbean Food site on the internet.

  6. Patrick
    May 6, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Great things. They slide down with Mackerel Run Down. Now I need to sleep.

  7. November 2, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    Hi Chris, thanks man, will surely try this, great job.

  8. Lee
    September 26, 2015 / 4:02 am

    Hi Chris, As a fellow Trini I’m ashamed to say I have never tried cassava dumplings, I’m familiar with cornmeal dumplings.I love my dumplings so I can not wait to try them with some pigeon pea soup good eating. Thank you.

  9. Joyag
    April 8, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    I have shared your Website with friends as far afield as Melbourne, Australia.
    Spent a few months in the Spring/Summer in Stratford, Ontario and was hoping to meet you at one of theri Food Fairs ~ perhaps in another year? Many Congratulations on a first-class production.

    • admin
      April 8, 2015 / 6:52 pm

      Was in Stratford for the Taste of Stratford back in 2013.. Do let me know if you’ll be in the area this spring/summer and we can make plans to meet. Did you have time to visit St Jacobs by chance? Their farmer’s market is stunning.

  10. Patricia
    May 18, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    Hello Chris,

    Thank you for this. I liked the anecdotal background, for me it brought the recipe to life.

    It was the first time I used baking powder in making dumplings but I liked the result. Also, I added a pinch of sugar to the dough since I find a teeny bit of sugar in dumplings or bread improves the flavour.

    Thanks again,

  11. Messie
    February 28, 2014 / 9:24 am

    I just found this website and I am learning a lot! I just can not wait to cook some of your traditional food for my children.

    Thank you so much.

  12. Ronnie
    July 1, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    Hi Chris, Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe. I was just watching a African movie yesterday and they were eating this same thing with some stewed fish. I wanted to reach in and get one. I am so surprised that you put this on today, God is so good to me, he knew I wanted some and I didn't even have to ask. I love everything you present and I really need them here in North Florida where nobody knows anything about Caribbean eats. In NY where I lived all my life Caribbean eats are everywhere especially in Brooklyn. I hope you make it to TV, I'll be one of your #1 fans.

  13. Norman Campbell
    February 14, 2013 / 6:26 pm

    Hi Cris. I live in the rep. of Panama. I am going to put the dumplings in a red bean stew with pig
    tails and dried beef, and should go pretty with some white rice. thanks for the receip..

  14. Pearline
    September 25, 2012 / 4:31 pm

    Hi Chris, Great user friendly recipes. Keep up the good work.

  15. Tele
    September 22, 2012 / 11:24 am

    In Tobago we do not put baking powder in our dumplings. K

  16. D. Singh
    August 17, 2012 / 1:54 pm

    Sometimes I make these dumplings and corn dumplings too. Instead of the cassava, use the corn meal.

  17. Michelle
    April 6, 2012 / 7:38 pm

    I made this today its good friday and i was looking for a good dumpling recipe its my first time making dumplings i followed this recipe but i boiled the dumplings in coconut milk instead of water.. uuummmmmm they came out so good i also made fried king fish acke and saltfish steamed green fig and plantain, with pumpkin, sweet potato, regular potato, callaloo and a nice salad with sweet peppers onions and tomatos and cucumbers but the dumplings made everything complete. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Acupid
    April 4, 2012 / 2:00 pm

    I am going 2 try this 2 nite with the salt fish buljo recipe n have a bit of avacodo porn lol luv all the recipes I make from this site I don’t Trini cook without the help of Chris! ; )

  19. Kaycee
    March 28, 2012 / 4:30 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I've been wanting to make cassava dumpling for a while because my grandaunt use to make it for me in Jamaica. Now I can make them for her!

  20. pat motilal
    December 16, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    hi chris ,pat here ,enjoying all your delicious recipes,love your pastelles,i did not see you put raisins inthe filling,it gives it a sweet and salty taste,i just add some hot water to the dough ,and some olive oil or butter,that keeps it moist,your recipes are just like my mom use to make ,that is what i like about your recipes,its original,i will be trying the dumpling,and the rest as well,please know that i appreciate all you have done thru out the year,thanks for keeping in touch,thanks for being the wonderful person that you are,do have a blessed and enjoyable christmas,with the family,all my love patty aka pat

  21. Shantee Ramgarib
    November 30, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    Hi chris i read all of your great recipes just that i did not commented on them. but they are great

  22. allan
    October 5, 2011 / 11:39 am

    loved your cassava dumplings that reminded me of cassareep, from casava of course

  23. allan
    October 5, 2011 / 11:35 am

    caln u please tell me where i can get cassareep, it is hard to find, i would like to cook a trad. peperpot

    • Lesley E C
      January 13, 2023 / 7:28 pm

      Hey Chris….I tried these for the first time today and was highly impressed….I made a “run down” with okra and when the dumplings were done I transferred them to this pot and simmered for a couple of minutes. served with Escovitch fish, white rice and crushed potato…divine 😋

  24. Raquel
    September 13, 2011 / 12:03 pm

    Hey Chris, I haven't had cassava dumplings since I was a child. My mother was a great cook and I have been doing pretty good myself but have never tried to make cassava dumpling until now because I really didn't know how to and have never asked anyone and my mother has since past away. I will be trying your recipe minus the baking powder because I prefer hard dumplings. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. universallearningcentreblog
    September 10, 2011 / 8:41 pm

    I found frozen cassava at a market the other day. Wonder if I can use that instead of freshly grated cassava?

  26. Jennifer
    August 19, 2011 / 8:26 am

    Chris, I love dumplings this should be great with Salmon trini style.

  27. Michelle White
    August 15, 2011 / 9:13 am

    Hey Chris,
    I'm seasoning my chicken to curry later today. I wanted to serve it with something other than rice for a change. I will also make Channa(Chick or Garbonzo bean) with potato. I think that my curry chicken and your Cassava/Yucca dumpling will make a great pair. If all goes well I'll post a picture. Wish me luck!

    • ryan gebon
      October 6, 2011 / 8:58 am

      Love your Indo-Trinidadian dishes.
      Am from Grenada and we grate a green mango, add salt and chopped bird pepper, onion and garlic and serve it on the rim of the plate of white rice with curry goat and dhal.

      Ryan Gebon….Florida

      [email protected]

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