Caruru, what is this dish?

Caruru is a Brazilian dish, it has a complex and multicultural origin. It is made of okra, onion, dried shrimp, palm oil and cashew nuts.

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By the way, it is important to point out that Caruru, despite being a very famous food in Bahia, is not the only one! Also read: What is Vatapá and its origin: Bahian food.

Who am I?

Let me introduce myself.

I’m Rodrigo Schmiegelow, an advertiser specializing in Digital Marketing. Today I live as a Digital Nomad (what is it). In other words, I have geographic freedom and can work from anywhere in the world.

That’s why I can have amazing experiences like this.

I started a trip around the world to get to know places, cultures and regional cuisines. And I will bring great surprises from these experiences.

I’m on the Farofa expedition, getting to know regional cuisines from all over Brazil.

Follow the O Mundo em Lanches Project  (The world in sandwiches) blog on Instagram.

Most famous Caruru’s origin version

Its origin is in Africa, however, there is data indicating indigenous influence in the emergence of this delicacy, in addition to Portuguese cuisine. Based on what I’ve said, it is already possible to notice that Caruru tells the story of Brazil during the colonial period.

The confusion of its origin is reinforced by its name: Caruru, which is derived from an African word, Karuru. However, there is another term with indigenous origin, Caáriru. In other words, there is a great similarity between the terms, generating doubts as to its origin. Nowadays, in Portuguese, Caruru refers both the recipe and the plant.

caruru-plant
green amaranth – caruru

Despite the fusion of cultures, African roots stand out in the dish. It is understood that the arrival of the first versions of caruru in Brazilian territory occurred due to the enslavement of African peoples in the colony of Portugal.

In the preparation of the delicacy, it was used, primarily, okra, dried shrimp, and palm oil. However, after arriving in Brazil, some ingredients were added to the recipe, such as ginger.

By the way, the recipe is quite common in Northern and Northeastern Brazil, mainly in the state of Bahia, due to the large number of Afro-descendants in the region. Other typical Brazilian foods, such as the famous acarajé, are good side dishes for Caruru.

Besides that, Caruru is part of some religious rituals, in candomblé and umbanda, and celebrations of African deities fused with figures of Catholic saints.

Preparation of Caruru

The preparation takes around an hour, and it contains approximately 8 ingredients: okra, roasted peanuts, ginger, dried shrimp, palm oil, coconut milk, lemon, onion and salt. However, the ingredients vary according to the recipe chosen.

In addition, during the whole process, you will only use one pot, but the ingredients aren’t cooked all at once. The important thing is to make the caruru very tasty, and it can be served with acarajé, or some animal protein of your choice.

Anyway, this food is delicious, it carries a large part of the history of Brazil in its flavor, it is worth trying!

How about you? Have you tried Caruru? Tell us your experience in the comments!

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