Garri is a staple food in most homes in Nigeria. It is gluten free flour made from cassava. Garri is rich in carbohydrate. Even though I knew people of different ethnic groups prepared different meals from it, I never thought a snack could be made from this food. Until last weekend. It was raining heavily. I was bored. I wanted something to snack on. The biscuits and groundnut stash I keep at home was finished and I was yet to restock. So I carried myself to the kitchen, the experiment zone.
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I checked and dismissed the rice and beans. Fried yam and plantain would have been ideal but I already had that for breakfast. Then I turned to the garri container. My first thought was to smoke garri but I usually enjoy it with chilled water. The weather was very cold already so I dismissed that as well. Defeated, I turned to leave. Then the magic voice, the still small voice that speaks when you least expect it to whispered the magic words, “what if” to me. I turned back to the garri container and saw possibility.
So, I decided to ask Aunty Google to see if this had been done before or if this cookie would be named Obiamaka’s Garri Cookies. Anyway, Aunty Google replied my search for garri snack yielded three results. So, I kissed bye bye to Obiamaka’s Garri Cookies and decided to try my hand at Wainar Rogo, one of the snacks I saw online.
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Wainar rogo is a garri cookie that is enjoyed in Northern Nigeria. It can be fried plain and eaten with palm oil and red pepper. It can also be mixed with protein like egg and meat to make it more nutritious for consumers. Arewa Kitchen guided me through the process of making this snack. But I substituted the kilishi and wheat flour in the Arewa Kitchen recipe with fried beef and all-purpose flour. The result is great.
How to Prepare Wainar Rogo
The first thing to note in making this snack is that the big coarse garri particles have to be removed. Wainar rogo is made with fine garri flour.
Rinse and season the beef. The meat should be well seasoned because the flavor from the meat is all the snack needs. If your meat is not well seasoned, you may need to add extra ingredients to the mixture. Cook on medium heat until it’s tender. Fry the beef till it browns. Scoop it out and place it in a sieve to drain excess oil and cool.
Pour the garri in a bowl and add water. The water should just be enough to moisten the garri. Set the bowl aside for about five minutes. This would allow the it to absorb the water and swell up. Shred the meat and add it to the garri. Add ground pepper, a pinch of salt and egg white to the mix. Work through the mixture thoroughly (as in making a dough). Set aside for five minutes.
Sprinkle a bit of flour on a pastry board. This will prevent the garri mixture from sticking on it. Scoop out small piece of garri mixture and spread on the board. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the mixture. Next, cut into desired shapes.
Bring a pan of vegetable oil to heat. The cookies should be deep fried till they are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain excess oil in a colander. Finally, your wainar rogo snack is ready. Serve hot.
Featured image source: Arewa Cafeteria
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Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address, firstname.lastname@example.org