Weekender Bahrain, Sunday, August 25 2019

Bolo Polana

admin 21-Sep-2016

Bolo Polana

From the land known as ‘Mozambique’

What you need:

*500g potatoes, peeled

*500g raw, unsalted cashew nuts

*2 tbs flour

*400g sugar

*220g butter

*Peel from 2 lemons, grated

*9 egg yolks

*4 egg whites, beaten



How to make it:

*Bring the potatoes to a boil in a saucepan, then simmer for twenty minutes until soft.

*While the potatoes are cooking either bake the cashews for 15 minutes at 170 °C until slightly browned or toast them in a dry frying pan.

*Process the cashews in a food processor until they form a smooth paste then set aside in a bowl.

*Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them well so they are creamy, then combine with the nuts.

*Add the flour, sugar, butter and lemon peel to a food processor and blend until light and creamy. *Add to the potato and nut mixture.

*To this mixture add the egg yolks one by one, mixing constantly.

*Add egg whites to the mixture and combine well.

*Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin and bake at 180 °C for 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the centre of the cake is cooked.

*Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cake tin.

*Serve when cool.


Cook’s tip:

To test if a cake is cooked in the middle, insert a meat skewer into the centre of the cake. If any mixture is clinging to the skewer when you withdraw it, the cake needs more time in the oven.



Much of African cooking has been influenced by colonisation and trading. This is particularly so in Mozambique which has been influenced by Arab, Persian, and later Portuguese, slave and precious metal traders, not to mention the Indian spice traders. Of these, the Portuguese have had by far the biggest influence on the region, settling there from the late 15th century.

Without these influences, this recipe would be missing the two main ingredients, potatoes and cashews, both of which were at one time onlyfound in South America.They were almost certainly introduced to Mozambique by the Portuguese. These days, Bolo Polana is considered to be a traditional Mozambican dessert and the namedcomes from the Polana district of the Mozambican capital, Maputo. The combination of cashews and potatoes produces a rich cake with a nutty flavour.





I hope you enjoyed the thirteenth of our eighty dishes from around the world. Please join me next time when we visit Zambia .


The journey we are undertaking finds its roots far earlier than my childhood, when I helped my mother to bake. In fact we need to go back to 1873 when something occurred that would influence me as a child and throughout my adulthood.  It took almost a hundred years for there to be any effect on my life, but that happened when as a child I was allowed to borrow some books from the adult section of a library. The first was ‘Around the World in Eighty Days.’The author, Jules Verne, was a great visionary in his writing, with prophecies of going to the moon, and travelling vast distances under the sea. But it was the journey of Phileas Fogg that first captured my imagination, inspired me to write, and gave me a yearning to travel which is still with me this day. 
I am not a professional cook or chef; I am an aircraft engineer by trade, as well as an author of crime fiction. From an early age I had an interest in the preparation and consumption of food (particularly the consumption!), often helping my mother bake. As I grew older, I tried making my own variations of recipes, sometimes with disastrous results, but on occasion something edible emerged.
So it seemed the most obvious thing to do would be to combine my love of food with my desire to travel, and embark upon a journey of discovery of the foods and people of the world.

Welcome to my ‘Around the World in Eighty Dishes.’
Glen R Stansfield.
Author, biker and nutcase.