Manataka American Indian Council






Tsalagi - Cherokee Recipes

Ga-Na-S-Da-Tsi (Sassafras Tea) 

Ingredients:  Red Sassafras roots

Directions: To make a tea, boil a few pieces of the root in water until it is the desired strength. Sweeten with honey if desired. Serve hot or cold.

Note: Gather and wash the roots of the red sassafras. Do this in the spring before the sap begins to rise. Store for future use. Some natural food stores carry sassafras root in a dried form. It will resemble wood chips (the kind used when barbequeing). The "store bought" variety work just as well.  Sassafras tea tastes like watered down root beer and is really very good.

Ganuge -



Hickory Nuts

Corn Meal Mush




Directions: Crack thin shelled hickory nuts. Beat hull and all in the corn beater until it can be rolled into a ball. Make whatever size balls are convenient to use. Pour boiling water over this to make a thick gruel. Pour the gruel over corn and beans that have been cooked separately, then mixed together.


Oo-ni-na-su-ga Oo-ga-ma (Possum Grape Drink) 

 Possum grapes, dried *  Possum grapes are also known as Muscadine grapes
 Corn meal 

* Directions: Gather ripe possum grapes - the kind that are still sour after they ripen when the frost has fallen on them. Hang up for winter use.

To prepare: Shell off the grapes from the stems, wash, and stew them in water. When they are done, mash in the water they were cooked in. Let this sit until the seed settle, then strain, reserving liquid. Put the juice back on the fire and and bring to a boil. Add a little cornmeal to thicken the juice. Continue cooking until the meal is done. Remove from the fire and drink hot or cold. Sweeten, if desired.

Uwaga (Oo-Wa-Ga - Old Field Apricot Drink) 

Gather old field apricots 
(field apricots are the fruit of the passion flower) 

Hull out the seed and pulp, and put on to boil, discarding skins. Add a tiny bit of soda to make the seeds separate from the pulp. Squash out the pulp, straining the mixture through a cloth. Drink hot.





EMAIL          HOME          INDEX          TRADING POST