These Cassava Flour Tortillas are everything you want in a gluten free meal. They are easy to make, non fussy and nutritious all at the same time.
They have a neutral flavour much similar to wheat similar to wheat making the tubey root much more adaptable across various cuisines for people trying to restrict the intake of gluten. They are gluten free, grain free, vegan, paleo and AIP and hence can be safely enjoyed by people following all sorts of food lifestyles.
While the cassava flour tortillas can seem a bit over whelming at first (especially if you are just starting or have never made a tortilla before) I promise you it gets much easier with time.
But before we dive into the actual recipe a little geeky knowledge to help enlighten our minds.
What is Cassava?
Cassava is a starchy root vegetable which is native to South America. (I know I say Africa in the video – which is a mistake / over sight as I was so hung up on the shoot of my first ever you tube video)
It is also referred to as yuca in most parts of the US. The starchy tubey root of the plant is the one that is edible, and is consumed in various forms like boiling, grounding it to flour etc. The cassava plant also yields a starch which is popularly known as tapioca (and not to be mistaken for cassava itself) – which is used in all sorts of puddings, bakings or as a thickening agent across cultures and cuisines.
What is the difference between tapioca and cassava?
Like I pointed in the previous paragraph – Tapioca is the starch extracted from the tubey root of the cassava plant through a process of washing and pulping. Whereas cassava is when the actual tubey root is ground into flour.
Can Cassava kill you?
Well, no! Not at least if you eat it the right way!
Life comes in paradoxes and that extends a bit to food, plants, flowers and everything else around us. Ever heard of The Lilly of the Valley or The Castor bean (ricin) plants? (Breaking bad fans anyone?) One tends to wonder how these beautiful, innocent looking flowers and plants have the capacity to kill?
Similarly, Cassava root too contains naturally occurring cyanide which can be toxic but only when eaten raw. Commercially available Cassava of course rids the final product of all these toxic elements to make sure what remains behind is the magical ingredient packed with health.
Magical because Cassava is the one ingredient that is great for your skin and hair, is high in fibre, is great for people with food allergies and aids in weight loss too. Most importantly it is extremely neutral in terms of taste and probably the only ingredient that tastes very similar to a tortilla or roti made out of wheat.
Cassava is very popular among the gluten free and grain free community due to its versatile nature. It can be used in baking as a 1:1 substitute for wheat and it is also a great alternative for those avoiding nuts. But one must note that it is high is carbs and might not be well suited for those seeking low carb living.
Lets have a look at how to make Cassava Flour Tortillas recipe then:
Cassava Flour Tortillas
- Iron Cast Skillet
- Rolling Pin
- Flat Surface
- Parchment Paper
- Application brush
- 1.5 cups Cassava Flour
- 2 tbsp Coconut Flour optional
- 2 tbsp Chickpea Flour optional
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp Water at room temperature
- 2 tbsp Ghee / Avocado Oil
- Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl (Cassava Flour, Coconut flour, Chickpea flour and Himalayan Sea Salt) & mix well
- Add olive oil and water in smaller quantities to bring the dry ingredients together to form a firm dough
- Make sure that your dough consistency is not too hard or not too loose
- Next heat an iron cast skillet
- Pull a section of the dough and make a circular ball like shape out of it press it a bit to form a disc and place this on a piece of parchment paper
- Cover this with another parchment paper and use a spring roller to roll this flat on any flat surface (I used my chopping board)
- Concentrate on expanding the shape of the dough by keeping the middle portion thin.. the ends can be thick (as we will eventually get rid of them)
- The reason a parchment paper is used to roll a cassava dough into a tortilla is because the dough can break due to the absence of gluten. The parchment paper helps keep it intact and also avoids wastage
- Once the dough has reached to an extent where it cannot be rolled any further take a medium sized circular bowl or a plate and place it upside down on the flattened dough and press it against the dough, then remove excess ends. What remains behind is a perfect round and evenly rolled tortilla
- By now your skillet must be adequately hot, place your tortilla on the skillet
- Cook the tortilla for about a minute or so. Use the spatula and to press the tortilla against the pan – to make sure your tortilla doesn't go uncooked
- After about a minute you will see small circular lifts (bubbles) arising from the other side indicating that your tortilla is ready to be flipped. You can then flip over and cook it from the other side as well for about a minute
- Flip it once again and It should slowly slowly start fluffing up from all the sides of the circle including the middle
- Its then time to apply some fat – either ghee or avocado oil – i have used both and they work perfectly well
- Take an application brush and apply ghee on both the sides of the tortilla generously
- While doing this you will realise that the tortilla tends to fluff a bit more than before indicating it is fully cooked and ready to eat
- Remove from the skillet and serve immediately as a roll or as a roti with a vegetable cooked using either ghee or avocado or coconut oil (coz remember we are all about health here)