Fried cassava with caramelised onion chutney

One of the most popular foods in Panama is the yuca (cassava) we can have it boiled for breakfast or at noon for lunch, one can make fritters stuffed with meat (carimañolas) or it can be dipped in a sauce or Mojo; is the perfect accompaniment for fried fish and usually you will find it in the sancocho. To these and other preparations we can add the fried cassava, either directly (raw), which gives a very crisp texture or boiled beforehand for a softer texture.

These tidbits of fried yucca work marvelously with caramelized onion chutney, a rich combination that I’m sure you will love. If you don’t have time or desire to make the chutney yourself, you can always buy it and in this case I recommend you try the yucca with mango chutney, another great combination of flavors.

I hope you feel encouraged to make these at home. This twosome is a perfect snack or appetizer.


  • Cassava
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Water


  • 2 onions, chopped (any kind will do, but red or purple onions give the best color and a sweeter taste)
  • Olive or sunflower oil
  • 1 cup vinegar. You can use sherry, red wine, balsamic or a combination of all
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • 10-15 black peppercorns


For the cassava

Wash, peel and chop the cassava in large pieces. Cook in boiling water until soft, but not too soft (10 – 15 minutes). When it has cooled a bit and can be handle without getting burned, cut the pieces into cubes. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the diced yuca until golden. Place them over paper towels to drain the excess of oil, put chopsticks in some of them and serve with the chutney.

For the Chutney

Slice the onions and heat with a small amount of sunflower or olive oil in a stainless steel pan until soft. Add the chosen vinegar (or a mixture of vinegars), brown sugar, bay leaves and crushed black peppercorns. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over low heat for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the onions are transparent and all the liquid has evaporated.

If you want to keep this chutney for longer, up to 6 months, then pour the hot mixture directly into small sterilized jars, seal and store in a cool dark place or the fridge.

To keep it longer, a year or more, put the sealed jars into boiling water and let them simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.

Ideally, the chutney should be left to stand for 4-6 weeks to mature and all the flavors to blend; but if you make it the day before or a few days ahead it will be good too.

Finally, to this basic recipe you can add other ingredients according to your tastes or to experiment with flavors until you find the one you like. Some examples are a couple of garlic cloves, cumin, thyme, red currant jelly or jam, cloves, raisins, mustard or apple. You can also add a tablespoon of corn flour (cornstarch) to thicken the sauce.


Adapted from

23 Replies to “Fried cassava with caramelised onion chutney”

  1. I’ve enjoyed cassava in the past and serving it with either chutney sounds delicious. I must admit, though, that I cannot wait to make the onion chutney. I bet it’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Giovanna!

  2. This looks delicious Gi. I wish I had seen this recipe when I was making the menu for tomorrow’s virtual dinner party. I hope you are still planning on attending.

    I don’t think I have ever had a cassava before. This seems easy enough and probably the chutney is better with age. I just might try this!

    1. Hi Tom! (I’m still thinking on a short name for you mister…)
      Thanks for stopping by and of course I’m going to the party tonight (don’t know what to wear though 😉 )
      You have to try the yuca (cassava) is very good. See you later!

      1. I look forward to seeing you here. You flew first class and should have landed already. The important thing is what not to wear!!

        I’ve seen yucca but did not know cassava was the same thing. I can just go to the market tomorrow but it won’t be the same without the chutney.

        A short name for Tom? If you can do it, you can call me it! You made me smile.

    1. Hi Tandy!
      Thanks for stopping by. Is the same for me with your blog; I get to know and learn so much about ingredients from your “side of the world”. I love it!
      Have a nice day 🙂

  3. This looks great! I’ve had yuca at some restaurants, but really only as fried strips, much like french fries. Whenever I see it at the local grocer, I think of hwo I can make it into something different, or with a good condiment. I will definitely try this!

    1. Thanks for your comment Braintomahawk!
      I love yuca, you can do different things with it. Take a look at the Carimañolas recipe at this blog, those are really good 😉

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