Arrumadinho do Cerrado

© Carlos Stan

Arrumadinho do Cerrado is a traditional recipe that has its origins on Northeast region of Brazil, specially the Pernambuco state. I first tried this dish in a bar in Fortaleza 11 years ago, and I loved the perfect combination of flavors and textures! Then I’ve cooked it sometimes here in my city (very far from Northeast, because I’m in Southeast region and Brazil is a continental country! hahah). Last year, I’ve participated in a Gastronomic Festival in Igarapé, near my hometown, which celebrates the cooking knowledge of  cities’ elder ladies and I was invited, along with my friend Denise, co-author of this recipe, to show a recipe to the festival participants. So we’ve re-created this recipe without meat and using local ingredients from the Cerrado (our Brazilian “savannah”), such as jatobá and baru (both are Leguminosae) and using the black eyed bean as the main star of the dish. People loved the recipe and it is also present on the festival’s book publication.


For the black eyed beans:

  • 250 g black eyed beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A small bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Parsley and salt to taste 

For the Baru Farofa:

  • 1 cup cassava flour 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 50 g of toasted baru nuts (or any nuts of your preference) 
  • Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to taste

For the Maxixe Vinaigrette:

  • 6 maxixes (or cucumbers)
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Black eyed beans: Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. Drain this soaking water sauce and cook with salt, bay leaf and coriander until it is ‘al dente’. Finish with finely chopped parsley.
  2. Baru Farofa:Sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic until it begins to caramelize. Add the cassava flour and finally the spices. After giving it a sharp look, about 3 minutes, put the chopped pepper on top, sauté a little more and it’s ready.
  3. Maxixe Vinaigrette: Cut the maxixes into slices and the tomato into small cubes. In a bowl add the maxixes (or sliced cucumbers), tomato, finely chopped onion with vinegar of your choice, sugar, finely chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Mix well and let it rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before assembling the dish.
  4. Plate Assembly: The dish is “arranged” as follows: a ring, usually used for frying eggs, is placed on a plate and first the cooked black eyed beans are placed, then the baru farofa, then the maxixe vinaigrette and it is finished with a fried quail egg (optional), sprinkled with spices of your choice.
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