“In Mosqueiro, a town next to Belém, the tapioqueiros (tapioca sellers) announce their arrival by shouting through the streets: ‘TAPIOQUEEEEEEEEEIRO!’ People are used to being greeted by these voices and their sound is part of daily life. This recipe is one of the most traditional of our region. Usually coconut milk is the ingredient of choice, but in this version we use Brazil nut milk. ”
In a saucepan, heat 1 litre of water to 60°C. Carefully pour it into a blender, add the Brazil nuts and process for 3 minutes.
Strain the milk into a bowl and reserve the strained nuts (you will need 200g of the ground nuts to finish the recipe).
Combine the goma de mandioca and 2 litres of water in a mixing bowl and leave to stand for 1 hour.
Carefully drain the water from the bowl, pouring it away slowly to leave the starch behind in the bottom of the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave it to stand for a further 1 hour, to absorb the excess water.
Meanwhile, cut the banana leaf (if using) into 10cm diameter discs. Wave them quickly over an open flame to soften, then set aside.
Break the starch into pieces with a spoon, add some salt to taste and pass the mixture through a fine sieve to obtain a fine and fluffy powder.
Heat a small non-stick frying pan. Sprinkle some of the starch flour over the base of the pan in a thin, even layer.Cook for 30 seconds, then flip it over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside while you cook the remainder.
Cut out each crepe into circles using a 10cm diameter plain cookie cutter. Moisten each tapioca disc with the Brazil nut milk. Spread a little of the ground Brazil nuts, rapadura and fennel seeds over each of them.
Fold each tapioca disc in half and drizzle with some more Brazil nut milk. Wrap in a disc of banana leaf, secure with a cocktail stick and serve.
The tapiocas are better cooked and eaten straight after sifting the starch mixture, as they tend to dry out if sifted in advance.