Coconut Cassava (Tapioca) Dessert

This is one of my favourite childhood desserts. In the old days whenever my mom wanted to make this, she would ask us to help her dig out the cassava roots. This was always such a fun field trip even though it is just behind our ‘kampong’ (village) house. Which child wouldn’t want to play with dirt and digging up earth, pulling out the plant roots, chopping up the plant and replanting them after that? I remember that I kept asking my mom frequently about when could we dig up the roots again after replanting it.🙂 Then my mom would send us to hunt for a coconut (there used to be lots of coconut trees in front of our kampong house) and start shredding the coconut flesh using the old fashion method (ie. sitting on a long wooden bench with a metal spike at the end). It was such a fun and learning activity that I wish I could do it nowadays with my Little One.

Cassava or tapioca plant or yuca (most people associate it with tapioca flour) is a tall plant that can reach up to 15 feet sometimes. They survive not only very well in dry season (with high humidity) but also in poor soil conditions. Cassava can be easily propagated by cutting the stems into sections and just planting them into the soil before the wet season. Their leaves can be eaten cooked however they are very toxic raw. My mom used to cook these leaves in spicy coconut milk base. As for their tuberous roots, we usually boil them and eat them as they are (without any seasoning) or make them into desserts.

This is my entry for this Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Lia from Swirling Notions.

Coconut Cassava (Tapioca) Dessert
  • 1 cassava root (peeled)
  • ½ fresh coconut (shredded)
  • sugar
  • salt
  1. Cut the peeled cassava or tapioca roots into medium-sized pieces and put them into a non-stick pan or wok filled with some water.
  2. Boil them covered until they are cooked. Make sure that the water cooking the cassava do not dry out before they are cooked or else they will be burnt. Fill in a bit of water if needed.
  3. Cut them into small triangles or cubes and put them aside in a bowl or salad bowl.
  4. Add the shredded coconut, some sugar and salt to the cassava pieces and mix them till combined. Taste to see if the seasoning is to your liking and adjust it accordingly.
  5. Serve at room temperature or cold.

I do not know how to really describe this taste but I’ll do my best! The combination of flavours is balanced and one doesn’t overwhelm the other. With each bite, you have the natural fragrance and taste of cassava and at the same time, fragrant sweet & salty taste of fresh shredded coconut blend together.


This dessert is best eaten on the day that it is made.

Coconut Cassava (Tapioca) Dessert