Recipe: Yucca/Cassava Balls (Getuk Lindri)

Makes two dozen

Mildly sweet, bite-sized balls of mashed, sweetened cassava (yucca). This unusual treat is a big hit in Brunei. Read on to learn my struggles with this dessert. My first epic fail.


1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound cassava root, peeled, rough fibers removed, and cubed
1/4 tsp salt
red & green food coloring


1. Peel and cube cassava (yucca). Steam for 30 minutes or until cooked.

2. Add sugar, water, and vanilla extract to a small saucepan. Heat over low until sugar dissolves. This is unbleached organic sugar, which is why it looks a little darker.

Vanilla extract is possibly the best thing in the whole wide world.

Don’t forget that bit of salt.

3. Now, let the games begin. I fought and fought to get my cassava (yucca) smooth, creamy, and without fibers. The battle ended with a food mill, but I’m not sure, even then, that I got everything out. I may have stomped my feet around and yelled a few times. I’ll just show you one picture, before the battle got ugly:

Here’s the yucca, split between two bowls. The sugar mixture is also split into two small bowls and food coloring added.

Next, I had to beat in the food coloring. Red in one, green in the other. At this point I may or may not have been crying due to the sugar mixture setting up as hard as a rock and yucca generally sucking the life out of me… and not absorbing the color evenly.

I tried everything I could to shape this desert. The original recipe calls for a mold, but I didn’t have one.

I tried a rolled tube, but it was no good. Too soft. Plus, look at all they “yuccky” bits that still weren’t eliminated by the food mill!

I tried layering in a small casserole, but I couldn’t get nice slices out.

Even though the potential was there for quite a stunning, colorful, layered dessert.

I even ran it through a pasta machine (I’ve seen some done that way) but just ended up wrecking my pasta maker. Out of respect for the deceased, I’m not showing that photo.

In the end, after several batches of Getuk Lindri, I ended up rolling them into balls.

And then I realized I didn’t have coconut to roll them in.
So I went to bed.
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  1. Oh goodness. I would be mourning the pasta maker most of all. Is it fixable?

    • globaltable says:

      A toothbrush, q-tips, and bottle scrubbers were all required. I’m still not sure all the gunk is out of it. I’m letting it air dry so that bits will fleck out… hopefully! :)

      I should have known better. It was totally too wet.

  2. It’s so nice to know even the pros have a hard time muscling the recipe into submission sometimes!

  3. Isn’t there an old-fashioned potato candy that’s very similar to this? And I’m curious what they were SUPPOSED to look like. They seem fine as they are.

  4. Looking at the pics you linked to, seems as though they had the best luck with a meat grinder. ;)

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