The cassava plant (Manihot esculenta, also called manioc, yuca, and yucca) is native to the American tropics and was brought by Europeans to Africa during the sixteenth century. All over central Africa, the cassava tubers are made into Baton de Manioc (more correctly: Bāton de Manioc) and other, similar, Fufu-like foods called Bobolo, Chicouangue, Chickwangue, Chikwangue, Kwanga, Mboung, Mintumba, Miondo, and Placali, which are always served with a soup or stew or sauce. In Central Africa, cassava leaves are prepared and eaten as greens.


several pounds of cassava tubers

leaves of Megaphrynium macrostachyum, or banana leaves


Soak the cassava tubers in a tub, pond, or stream for three days or longer.

Peel the tubers, and wash them in large tub, changing water several times.

Use a mortar and pestle to pound the tubers into a thick, smooth paste.

Put the paste into the leaves, fold them into packets, and tie them closed. (Make the packets uniform in size. Two sizes are common in Central Africa: either 1 to 2 inches in diameter by 12 inches in length; or 4 inches in diameter by 12 inches in length.)

Place sticks or a wire basket in the bottom of a large pot. Stack the packets on the sticks, add enough water to steam-cook them (the water level should be below the packets). Cover tightly and boil for four to eight hours. The finished baton de manioc should be very thick and solid -- thicker than mashed potatoes, nearly the consistency of modeling clay.

Baton de manioc is served warm or at room-temperature, with soup, stew, or any sauce dish. The cooked baton de manioc will keep for several days, if kept in the leaf-wrapper in a cool, dry place.

Note: the leaves should not be eaten.


Serves 4.


area : Central Africa

course : vegetable dish


source : The Congo Cookbook