Caruru. Bahia, Brazil

An estimated 1.3 million slaves were imported, from West Africa, into Bahia before slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888. These people were to have an immeasurable impact on what Bahia was, and is today. Shipped from Africa in horrendous conditions, the ones who survived the transatlantic trip, were sold and put to work in the regions vast sugar plantations.

Other than a providing a work force for the Sugar Barons, the Africans who were removed from there homes brought culture – music, Religion, artesiania, dance and of course gastronomy. Due to this huge displacement of people, Salvador is the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture in Brazil and its influence is unmissable. At night the colorful city throbs with Afro-Brazilian music that accompanied the interesting smells that waft through the lively cobbled streets.

Here is a recipe for Caruru. A typical Afro Brazilian okra and shrimp stew.


  • 1 kilo okra
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Half a cup of dende oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 large knuckle of ginger
  • 1 cup of cashew nuts
  • 1 cup of peeled peanuts (unsalted)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 250 grams of fresh shrimp peeled and washed
  • Salt
  • Pepper

1. Add the garlic, ginger, cashew nuts, peanuts and cilantro to a blender and blend to a smooth paste.

2. Chop the okra into small pieces.

3. In a large pan add a little of the dende oil (red palm oil) and the onion and soften over a gentle heat.

4. Now add the contents of thee liquidizer to the pan and stir well.

5. Add the chopped okra to the pan with two cups of water. Cover and stew on a gentle heat for.

5. After 10 minutes lift the cover and add the shrimp.

6. Stir the contents of the pan well, season to taste, replace the cover and continue to cook for a further ten minutes.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 19th, 2008 at 10:07 and is filed under Brazilian Recipes, Cycle Touring, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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