These are tapioca pearls made from cassava flour instead of tapioca starch. These were cooked using the flour, instead of the starch to show that it can be done. They can come out black too when they are cooked, just like the black tapioca pearls, but I used powered sugar when making them from scratch. Here I will cover how to make these same boba pearls from scratch. It is very similar to making the regular tapioca pearls from scratch.
Cassava flour can be used as a substitute for tapioca starch. It comes from the same plant that regular tapioca pearls are made from. The plant is pulled up from the root, its root is harvested, the brown outer layer is cut and peeled off, and the root is grinded to make flour. The difference between cassava flour and tapioca starch is that only the starch of the cassava plant is used to make regular black boba pearls. The cassava flour comes from the entire root.
The health benefits are the same as tapioca pearls made from starch, since they come from the same plant. It has iron, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. It is also a rich source of carbohydrates with almost zero fats.
When making the dough for the cassava flour tapioca pearls, it was very easy to work with. Also, the tapioca pearls came out perfect with a soft and chewy texture, just like tapioca pearls made from starch. The only thing is that the outer layer had a slight grainy texture. If you don’t mind that, then go for it and create your tapioca pearls using the cassava flour as a substitute for making your boba from scratch.
How To Make Boba From Scratch Using Cassava Flour
1. Heat a non-stick pan on the stove to medium with a small portion of water in it.
The amount of water will depend on how many boba pearls that you are planning on using. Here, we will such cover the basics of how it is done, and let you decide that.
2. Add sugar to the water and mix it together.
While the pan is heating on the stove, add a small portion of sugar to the water. I added 1/4 of a cup. The amount of sugar used will sweeten the dough even more depending on how much you want. I used powdered sugar for this, but you can use brown sugar if you want the pearls to come out darker in color if you like.
3. Add cassava flour to the pan with the water.
Add in some cassava flour and mix it into the water. I used a little less than the amount of water I had to mix it.
4. Mix and stir the mixture on the heated surface.
While the flour mixture is on the stove, continously stir it until it thickens up into a thick slimy looking blob. It will take some time to firm, but it will inevitably happen while it is heated. Keep stirring until it thickens.
Move the mixture to the center of the pan, and gather all the left over mixture from across the pan into the center.
5. Mix more flour into the dough.
While it is on the stove, mix more of the flour into the dough to make it less sticky. This is the final step for creating the dough that will be formed into tapioca balls. The dough needs to have a dry but not crumbly consistency. If it is crumbly, then add very small drops of water into the pan and keep working it into the dough. If it is wet and sticky, incorporate more flour in small amounts. Keep weaving these into the dough until it forms a dough for making the tapioca balls.
See how to fix tapioca dough for a complete troubleshooting if you are stuck and need more help on making the dough come out right.
6. Make tapioca balls from the dough.
Break off pieces with your fingers and form small balls for cooking in your hand by rolling it in the palm of your hands. The balls need to be less than 8mm in size for them to fit in a boba straw easily. Aim for this in size. If you can’t measure them, then make a ball and compare the size of it to the diameter of a boba straw. Making it smaller as needed.
The pearls will not expand when they are cooking, and remain the same size once they are done. They are soft and chewy on the inside once they are fully cooked.
They are cooked at the same times as the traditional tapioca pearls.
If enough sugar is used when cooking the dough, then there may not be a need to soak the boba pearls into a sugar mixture after they are done cooking. Mine had enough sugar in them to make them sweet without having to soak them as I usually do.