Makes: Serves 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- 1 TEACUP PACKED WITH SMALL, DRIED SHRIMPS
- 2 LITRES OF TUCUPI
- 3 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
- DE-CHEIRO PEPPER FROM PARÁ, TO TASTE
- ½ BUNCH OF CURLY ENDIVE LEAVES
- 1 PINCH OF SALT
- ½ BUNCH OF PARA CRESS LEAVES
- ½ SOUR OR SWEET MANIOC STARCH (GOMA)
Clean the shrimps, ripping off their heads and legs. Simmer in warm water, exchanging the liquid three time and storing 1 litre of the last batch of water. Heat the tucupi over medium heat along with the garlic, de-cheiro pepper, curly endive, shrimp, and salt; close the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the para cress leaves until tender; set aside. Heat up the shrimp’s cooking liquid. When it begins to boil, add the manioc starch and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the forming of lumps. Add the para cress to the tucupi, cook for a few minutes and serve the broth with starch in a bowl.
One of the most symbolic dishes from the Amazonian region, it comes from the “mani poi”, the old soup prepared by Pará indigenous people and recorded by Câmara Cascudo. In the North, the tacacá is usually sold by street vendors and enjoyed during the late evening – depending on where it’s made, different touches might be added – such as popcorn, flour, or mush.