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Maria Bradford’s cassava chips with truffle oil, Parmesan and saffron mayo recipe

A luxurious mix of West African ingredients and European flavours.

(Yuki Sugiura/PA)

“If you are not familiar with cassava, it is tuber with a waxy, bark-like outer skin and a starchy centre,” explains Maria Bradford, author of Sweet Salone.

It’s a staple in Sierra Leonean households, and Bradford adds: “This recipe combines my beloved cassava with European ingredients, such as Parmesan and truffle.

“The flavour is every bit as good as potato chips, if not better, with just the right subtle hint of earthy truffle. They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, perfectly salted and mixed with Parmesan to take them over the top. A simply luxurious snack!”

Cassava chips with truffle oil, Parmesan and saffron mayo


(Serves 6–8)

For the cassava chips:

  • 1kg cassava

  • 1tsp sea salt

  • 60g Parmesan, grated

  • Sunflower oil, for deep frying

  • Parmesan shavings, to serve

  • 3tbsp white truffle oil

For the saffron mayo:

  • Large pinch of saffron

  • 2tbsp hot water

  • 300g good-quality mayonnaise

  • 1–2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


1. To peel the cassava, cut the cassava crosswise into five to eight-centimetre pieces. Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise through the bark-like exterior and into the pink skin beneath. Place the tip of the knife under the skin to loosen it and pull off the skin and bark. Cut into chunky chip-sized pieces.

2. As you work, rinse the cassava and put the pieces in a large saucepan with cold water so it doesn’t discolour. When all are cut to size, add the salt and bring the pan of water to the boil. Boil until the cassava pieces are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the saffron mayo. Crumble the saffron threads into a small bowl and pour over the hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes.

4. Stir the mayonnaise and garlic together in a bowl. Add the saffron water and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt.

5. When the cassava is tender, drain it in a sieve and set aside until completely dry.

6. Heat the oil for frying in a deep, heavy-based pan no more than half full. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small breadcrumb into the hot oil. It should sizzle and turn brown in 20 seconds.

7. Working in small batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, fry the cassava chips until nicely golden, five to 10 minutes per batch. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

8. Toss the fried cassava chips with grated Parmesan and the white truffle oil. Serve with the saffron mayo on the side.


Sweet Salone by Maria Bradford is published by Quadrille, priced £30. Photography by Yuki Sugiura. Available now.


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