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Gari makes up a daily meal to some 150 million people worldwide. It is a common West African food. It could be compared to what potato flour is to the Westerners! It is even more versatile than that! It can be eaten as a snack in cold water on a very hot day, or cooked in hot water to make a dough-like meal called eba or gari foto and eaten with any of the African vegetable soups. It is a popular Ghanaian, Sierra Leonian, and Nigerian food item.

Gari is a fine to coarse granular flour of varying texture made from cassava tubers (also called cassava roots) which are cleaned after harvesting, grated, water and starch squeezed out of it, left to ferment and then fried either in palm oil or without palm oil and serves as a major staple food in West Africa. It is also called garri or gali in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

You can not claim to have eaten any West African food without having eaten gari!

It is most widely eaten as Eba. Eba is made by sprinkling gari into a bowl or pot of boiling water and stirred until a dough of garri is formed. You could add more water to the dough and stir to your desired texture. The finished product is called eba.

Eba is served with vegetable soup and fish or meat. In combination, this constitutes a very balanced diet. Before you finish reading this line, a ball of eba has just been swallowed with a heap of delicious African soup somewhere in Africa, Europe, America or Australia…it is very mouth watering!

Even more refreshing is a meal of coconut and garri under the hot tropical sun! Do you like yours with akara (beans cake) or smoked fish? Put a handful of gari into a bowl and add about half a cup of cold or ice water. You may decide to add sugar and or salt. Some even add evaporated milk and eat with smoked fish, beans, peanuts or coconut. This is frequently taken for lunch in many parts of tropical Africa.

In Ghana, Gari-foto and yor-ke-garri are popular ways of eating gari.Yor-kegarri is gari with beans. Foto gari is made by making a stew and pouring moistened gari into it.

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