Citizens, the mighty country of Brazil is known for producing the best football players on Earth, some of the most beautiful women in the world (and some distressingly good looking men as well!) and of course, Samba!
Brazilian cuisine is not as well known abroad, which is a great pity, as it is delicious! Vatapá is just one excellent example recipe as to why!
Vatapá is a Brazilian dish made from bread, shrimp, salt cod, coconut milk, finely ground nuts and palm oil mashed into a creamy and well-seasoned paste.
Alternatively, the shrimp in the recipe can be replaced with ground tuna, chicken or cod among other options.
This dish is very popular in the North and Northeast of the country, but it is most typical in the northeastern state of Bahia, where many of the dishes have African origins.
As noted on the blog theamazingflavoursofbrazil:
“Extremely exotic, this Afro-Brazilian icon is another creamy and rich dish from Bahia made with xerem (a mixture of ground peanuts and cashew nuts), coconut milk and red palm oil (dende).
This dish is so popular in Brazil that even the great composer and singer Dorival Caymmi cleverly turned into tribute song with the same name. He provides the recipe ingredients and some cooking tips and sets the tone that a good Vatapa must be stirred regularly, so it doesn’t go lumpy or burn.
Dorival is absolutely right: Vatapa is so delicious that a song is more than deserved. You will also agree with him when you cook it and the irresistible aromas of palm oil, nuts and coconut milk start to float in your kitchen!”
My version of the recipe is firmly rooted in tradition, with two changes. I substitute Brazil nuts for peanuts as I find they add a richer and more balanced flavor and I’ve added in some minced tarragon as I find the herb complements the recipe. Leave it out for the traditional version. This would be absolutely delicious served with some Brazilian pickled peppers as a condiment, IMHO!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
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