Siyanglag (Roasted Cassava)

During college, I had visited my friend's house in the deepest part of Basilan Island. Its people where mostly Yakan, one of the Tausug tribes during the era of Sulu Sultanate. After we had caught fishes from the rocky shore of Cambug, my friend brought me to their nipa house. As the food was ready we are called to eat for lunch. It's like a dry picnic, the small fish we caught matched with roasted and steam cassava. To them, cassava is their first food on the table beside rice. They only eat rice once a week or if they have visitors. They prefer so, because they like to eat cassava than rice.

One type of cooked cassava they love to eat is Siyanglag or roasted cassava. Siyanglag can't be separated from Tausug's kitchen in general. It is considered as daily meal to some Tausug most particularly those of them living in rural areas. As most of the Tausug don't care whether
the cassava is high in vitamin or not. Their priority is to fill the stomach with food that could last for more than 6 hours. There's no other food could give them such a long period of satisfaction beside roasted or steam cassava.

Cassava is very popular in the world not only in Sulu. Only the Tausug cook the cassava differently. In South America, for example they make bread out of grated cassava. While some Filipino cook grated cassava with sugar. The Filipino prefer to eat cassava that way than those of that Tausug.

It must be noted, cassava not at all safe to eat. There are cassavas that cause people to death. To make safe, buy only the grated cassava sold in the Market (in Sulu and Sabah grated cassava is highly available). If you a have little garden at your backyard sow only a cassava which is not poisonous.

If you'd like to eat roasted cassava try the steps below:

Extract a cassava from a garden or buy in a market if there's available.
Remove both tips of the cassava
peel the skin
Clean the peeled cassava with water
Grate the cassava
Place the grated cassava on the clean white cloth.
Squeeze the grated cassava until it completely dry. (Note: Cassava juice is poisonous pour it in a proper place.)
After completely squeezing, the cassava is ready to be cooked.


1/4 kg. of squeezed grated cassava
1/2 coconut - To be grated (get the white only)
Oil - 2 tablespoons


Pan (Medium size)
Ladle or wooden Spatula
Bamboo tray (option

  • Pulverize by hand the squeezed grated cassava on the bamboo tray or "Ligu".
  • Remove the hard things on the grated cassava.
  • Mix the squeezed grated cassava, grated coconut and 1 teaspon of oil. (Don't use all grated coconut)
  • Adjust the fire at lowest temperature
  • Heat the pan
  • Pour the oil to the pan
  • Place the mixture squeezed grated cassava on the pan.
  • Always mix or stir the grated cassava on the pan.
  • While mixing add the remaining grated coconut.
  • To find out the cassava is already cook get few of them then try. One sign of the cooked cassava if its color turn to brown. If the fire adjusted to lowest temperature i'm sure color transformation is enough sign for a cooked roasted cassava.