From Nelsons Kitchen


From Nelson’s Kitchen

Vatapá is a dish from Bahia in the Northeast of Brazil. The roots are African. The base for the dish is bread soaked in milk, and then it has a very interesting combination of ingredients typical of that region of Brazil. Vatapá is a traditional filling for Acarajé. You can usually find frozen raw grated cassava at SuperStore.

  1. Preparing the base
    • Cut the bread in slices, put in a large bowl and pour enough milk to soak the bread completely
    • Peel and cut the onion in thick slides.
    • Peel and cut the ginger into slices
    • Peel the garlic cloves
    • Add the onions, ginger, and garlic to the bowl of a large food processor and process it until liquified.
    • Add the soaked bread, the grated cassava, the peanut butter, and the tomatoes to the food processor.
    • Process, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time, until you have an homogeneous paste.
  2. Cook the base
    • Transfer the paste to a heavy-bottom pan and cook at moderate heat, stirring the pot from time to time to avoid sticking to the pan and burning, until the paste becomes thick and start to release from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Finish the vatapá
    • Stir in the dried shrimp, coconut milk, the dendê oil and let the vatapa get very hot again, but without boiling
    • Turn off the heat, add the fresh shrimp and the chopped parsley and cover the pot for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked in the residual heat.