Instant Pot Dry Food is comfort in a bowl ready in 20 minutes. What do you call the food pictured above? In my family we call it metemgee or metem regardless of how much broth it has and what the accompanying ingredients are. In my husband’s family they call it dry food if it is the finished dish has no broth. But if it has broth and is served with duff, fried or steamed fish and a boiled egg they call it metemgee or metem. Even though the cooking process is the exact same for both versions. So what do you call it in your family? No matter what you call it you don’t have to spend hours making it, if you have an Instant Pot.
Cooking Dry Food in the Instant Pot:
The star of this Instant Pot Dry Food dish is the ground provision or root vegetables. I love having cassava as the center of attraction. Cassava or yuca is my favorite root veggie. Typically, it takes at least 30 minutes to boil cassava to the right tenderness but cooking it in the instant pot only takes 8 minutes. Instant Pot for the win! Seriously why aren’t you using your Instant Pot?
I’ve started making my own fresh coconut milk from grated frozen coconuts that I buy at the asian market. It really makes a difference in the flavor and fat content of my dishes. For the Instant Pot Dry Food I added 7 ounces of grated coconut and 2 cups of water to my blender cup. Then blended it for a minute or two then strained it using a fine sieve. I then added that coconut milk to my instant pot with the sautéed onions, garlic and cassava.
After 8 minutes of pressure cooking the cassava is tender and the coconut milk has the separation of fat and oil that this dish is known for. To achieve this on the stove top version, you would have to boil the coconut milk for at least 20 minutes before adding in the cassava, then cook the cassava for another 20 minutes. Instant Pot Dry Food is comfort food in a hurry but it tastes exactly like the stove top version.
Different Cooking times for different root veggies:
For this dish, I like to cook the cassava halfway before adding the other root vegetables. Cassava is tougher than sweet potatoes and plantain and I don’t want mushy root veggies. After the cassava cooks, I add in the plantain and sweet potatoes and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. You can use any combination of root vegetables you like. These are the ones available where I live but I wish I had some Guyanese eddoes to add to this dish.
I like to garnish the Instant Pot Dry Food with some fresh green onions, mixed right into the pot at the end. Then, before serving the dish I top it off with some fresh thyme leaves. Fresh herbs really brighten this dish. This Instant Pot Dry Food dish is a complete meal on its own or pairs really well with steamed or fried fish. Happy Cooking and be sure to check out my other Instant Pot Recipes here!
The Instant Pot Dry Food Recipe:
- 1½ lbs of cassava, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 large sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 large white sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 4 yellow (ripe) plantains
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 heads of green onions finely chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 wiri wiri pepper or scotch bonnet for flavor
- pinch of black pepper
- Salt to taste (about ¾ teaspoon)
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté
- When the Instant Pot is hot add the coconut oil and then sauté the diced onions and chopped garlic for about 1 minute
- Add the cassava and coconut milk, salt, pinch of black pepper and sprigs of thyme
- Hit cancel on the Instant Pot to turn off the sauté function
- Seal the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes
- Release the steam using a rapid release method (instructions for this can be found in your instant pot manual)
- Next add the remaining root vegetables and the whole wiri wiri or scotch bonnet pepper to your instant pot and mix together with the cassava and the coconut milk broth
- Seal the instant pot and pressure cook for another 3 minutes
- After the Instant Pot is done pressure cooking let it sit for 5 minutes before releasing the steam again.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot
If you add more coconut milk you will end up with mushy veggies and a lot of broth.
Cutting your root vegetables in similar sizes will allow for even cooking
I used frozen cassava for this recipe but I've also made this dish with fresh cassava for the same results.