Bejus, a type of of coconut cookie widely known in Nigeria, also seem to be common in the northeast of Brazil under the name bijus or tapioquinhas. Over there, these cookies include various fillings such as dulce de leche, jam, compote or butter. In Nigeria, these cookies are made with only three ingredients: cassava root, coconut, and sugar.This is a dessert that will even appeal to gluten and grain intolerant people, as it contains no wheat flour.
Beju: Nigerian Coconut Cookie [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1/2 pound fresh grated coconut (about 1 coconut) or dried shredded coconut
- 1/2 pound cassava root
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Peel the cassava root and grate it. It is also possible to grate the cassava in the food processor but the result might be a little coarser.
- Place the grated cassava root in a cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess moisture and starch from the cassava.
- Grate the coconut or shred it in the food processor. It is also possible to use dried shredded coconut.
- For this recipe, it is preferable to use caster sugar (finer than regular sugar) but crystal sugar will also work.
- Mix the three ingredients in a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Meanwhile, pour a little of the mixture into muffin tins. You can also use rings and pack the preparation within the rings.
- Place in the oven. After 20 minutes, turn the cookies over and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar (optional).