Moqueca Offers Flavors of Brazil in a Tropical Fish Stew
A few of the elements of the dish may be unfamiliar to Americans, but they convey the essence of Brazilian cuisine. The dendê oil, or red palm oil, used as an enrichment and flavoring, brings the moqueca to life. It was once all but impossible to find outside the country; now you can order it online. The farofa, an accompaniment, is ubiquitous in Brazil and adds body to the stew. Both are worth the effort to include.
The dendê oil is a deep ruddy orange, and contributes a nutty sweetness. It’s an African component.
Moqueca is served over rice with hot sauce and fresh chiles. And then there is the farofa. It’s made from manioc, or cassava meal, and sprinkled on the dish like a crumb topping. Whether the manioc is labeled meal or flour, you want it to be about the texture of cornmeal.
Download the recipe and enjoy this traditional dish of Bahia.