Caruru: A comparative correlate

Perhaps, cuckoo caruru to a passing purist – indubitably offensed by the profane posit, eyes rolling and looking askance with great affront before hiking off for the hills, thereon, looking back downward with great contempt, loudly disparaging the ruination of the coveted constitution to any within earshot, and they, hanging their heads low, shaking, with piteous consonance. Rightly — they may object to the coopted cognomen, no more baboon a human, but, likewise, a contemplated, common origin.

Caruru, is companion to acaraje – famously. Acaraje – split, prawn stuffed – then coated with traditional caruru: Otherworldly. The nuttiness of the cashews and dende, combined with echoes of the sea, sweet onions and okra – exquisite combination, elevating acaraje over interesting, to decadent – tempting to consume in entirety, though, with wary reflection toward calamitous rotundity, generally serves as a brilliant adornment to fried beans, meats, even curd or vegetables. No excuse, contrived or small, is unreasonable to its inclusion.

Caruru cousin?

The mere appearance of filamental strands of hijiki – hijiki – in a composite referred to as caruru, raises dismissive brows in those disapproving hill dwellers, tut-tutting as they run fingers through their barrels of shrimpy dust, then raise them, letting the soft breeze of the foothills scatter the powder across well-worn, wooden kitchen tables.

But blinded, free of cultural bias and reminisce, they might step from those inclined heights and acknowledge this variation holds fine tribute to its origin, whether considerable as caruru, or derisively denoted danodo, it is near equally competent to effecting ravenous consumption. Fungus for okra, dende diluted, or sometimes replaced with coconut oil – that, blaspheme, for sure. And hijiki – nori, also, but shredded, not obtrusive – left as is, only as experience with addition to the acaraje, altering the lovely golden brown nugget, giving it more a well cooked, (charitably) meatball appearance.

3 onions, diced and deeply bronzed
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
½ Lb. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 sheet shredded nori
1 cup hijiki
¾ cup roasted then ground (to a powder) cashews
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper
½+ teaspoon cayenne
Ground black pepper
1cup dende oil or substitute or dilute
Juice of one lime

Simply address the onions in the oil, then add the rest and cook until flavors have combined.

An amusing side note: Reading the comments for dende at Amazon, many of the negative reviews are offended by the very strong flavor of the very strongly flavored oil. Also, like coconut oil, it is not always a liquid at room temperature, which evidently posed great consternation for many. Purportedly, Dr. Oz recommended the oil for its health benefits, but did not adequately forwarn of its potency. This, apparently, to help lower cholesterol? By consuming a high in saturated fat oil?

I’m no doctor, but, “…evidence is convincing that consumption of palmitic acid increases risk of developing cardiovascular diseases…”  Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding…


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The Crew are omnivorous land mammals