Fried Mogo/ Fried Cassava

June 28, 2013mayurisjikoni
Blog post


What is Mogo?

Usually pronounced and spelt as Mogo by most Indians from East Africa, its actually called Mhogo (pronounced as M-hogo). Mogo, cassava, tapioca or yuca, call it what you want. A  root  tuber which originated in Paraguay and Brazil, was brought to Africa during the slave trade era. Its a staple diet for the poor as its cheap and high in starch. Filling and cooks easily, mogo is added to stews, cooked with coconut milk, fried, boiled or roasted.

Mombasa and Mogo

Cassava or mogo is grown in abundance in the surrounding areas of Mombasa. A visit to the famous Mama Ngina Drive or Lighthouse as most Kenyans call it, is not complete without having some mogo and madaf (coconut water). Vendors stack up their jikos on drums, stones or whatever support they can find and roast mogo. Some fry the mogo pieces while others make crisps (chips). A bit of lemon, salt and red chilli is applied to the fried or roasted mogo.  Enjoy gazing at the deep blue sea while you enjoy the street food.  Hot crisps are drizzled with lemon juice, salt and red chilli and served with a smile.

My Memories of Lighthouse/ Mama Ngina Drive

When I was young, visiting Mombasa meant a treat of mogo crisps. At that time it was  served in a huge paper cone, made from old newspaper and we paid only 1shilling for it! Now a small bag is 40 times that price or more during the peak season.

lighthouse 1

Street Food Vendors under a huge baobab tree

lighthouse 2

makeshift jiko or charcoal stove over which cassava, sweet potato and corn are roasted.

The place to be at on Sundays

I know of many families who visit Lighthouse every single day. A great spot to laze around, enjoy the vistas, catch up on gossip and meet friends. On most days you may get to see cargo ships entering or leaving the natural harbor. Youngsters slyly check out the other youngsters. Come Sunday and you would think that the whole of Mombasa is on a fashion parade. People are wearing the humble jeans and tops to saris, salwar kameez, fashionable buibuis(abaya), colourful ridas and don’t forget all those young girls in frilly colourful frocks. Men may not be on a fashion parade but they definitely are there to show off their vehicles ranging from the huge Prados to the humble Passo.

The Present:

Now officially called Mama Ngina Waterfront Park, its got a whole new makeover. I hear its got a lovely walkway right from the ferry crossing to Mombasa Golf Club. Its got an amphitheater and now street food sellers have modern designated space. While the old Mama Ngina Drive will be missed, soon be going to check out the new place. I am just hoping that the old baobab trees are still standing.

How to use Mogo?

Besides roasting it, frying it and boiling it mogo or cassava can be used to prepare some delicious dishes.

Make garlic chili mogo which is so famous as a starter in most Indian Restaurants in UK.

Have you tried a Mogo Chaat? Its a filling and spicy tangy dish.

Enjoy Cassava in Coconut Milk – a filling dish made using simple spices like chilli and ginger.

I love Mhogo na Bhajia (cassava fritters) usually served with a chutney and enjoyed during fasting days.

If you ever get cassava flour then you’ve got to try Pan de Yuca which is famous in Ecuador.

Would have never thought of using cassava to make doughnuts, but Mireille has. Check out her Yuca Donuts.

I prefer home made fried mogo

Though we all enjoy the hot fried mogo at lighthouse, sometimes, they can be hard or over fried. I like making my own fried mogo at home. This way I can make sure the mogo is not raw, the oil used is clean and  I can make my own dip. However, I don’t miss out on enjoying the freshly fried mogo crisps (cassava chips or crisps) and the roasted corn.

What is the group Foodies _Redoing Old Posts all about?

While my easy recipe of fried mogo or fried cassava is the same, I’ve just updated the clicks and made the writing a bit more informative. That’s what the group Foodies_Redoing Old Posts started by Renu allows us to do. Rewrite the post in a better manner to make it more SEO friendly and update photos.

Dietary Tips:

  • gluten free
  • vegan
  • satvik
  • ideal for fasting days

fried mogo 1

fried mogo 2

fried mogo 4

fried mogo 3


Serves 4

500g cassava or mogo or yuca
2 tsp salt
water for boiling
oil for deep frying

For the dip:
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1-2 tsp red chilli powder

  1. Trim the ends of the cassava. Run a sharp knife lengthwise to cut make a slit on the outer covering of the cassava. This will help you to peel the outer peel easily.
  2. Wash the cassava. Cut it into long wedges of nearly 4 to 6 inches in length. Remember if it has black spots or strands do not use it.
  3. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok, karai or a pan over medium heat.
  4. When it is hot, fry the cassava in batches till they are light golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve fried mogo with the dip.

Preparation of the dip:

Add the ingredients for the dip into a jar. Cover the jar tightly with the lid and give it a good shake. Pour the dip into tiny serving bowls.


  • My family in UK uses ready frozen cassava. There is no need to parboil it.
  • Another way to serve the fried mogo is to cut a slit down the length. Rub it with lemon wedges, sprinkle with salt and red chilli powder and serve.
  • To make it into a party starter cut the mogo into big cubes and fry.
  • If you want really soft fried mogo then boil the mogo till its half cooked. Remove from the water and wipe with kitchen towel to dry. Then fry it.
  • If you’re preparing fried mogo for fasting make sure you use oil that is allowed during fasting days.

Pin for later:

fried mogo

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Gujarati Zaika

    June 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    totally new for me… yummy recipe and nice blog..

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    July 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    thank you.

  • Namrata Patel

    July 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Oh! I miss mogo so much.. especially the one cooked in coconut milk!

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    July 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

    ooohhh…. got to wait till i come to Bangalore or you make it. You get mogo in Bangalore.

  • Shreena

    July 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Oh gosh, I miss this!

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    February 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Loving this mogo fries , crisp and with a hint of spice. One question do we not dip this in some milk before using it?

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 23, 2020 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Renu, no you don’t dip it in milk at all. Just fry. If you’re using frozen ones, defrost them in the microwave and then fry.

  • Lata Lala

    February 28, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Good to read about mogo/casava as I have never got a chance to work on it. These crispy fries with hint of spice look so yummy Mayuri.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 28, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Lata, I’ve not been too generous with the red chili powder, some love it really hot.

      1. Geetanjali Tung

        March 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Mogo is new to me. But it sounds delicious. Enjoyed reading the post as well. Casava and Mogo, the light house.. Love it. Hope will get a chance to try it some day. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      2. mayurisjikoni

        March 2, 2020 at 3:51 pm

        Thanks Geetanajali and you will. Depending on where you are, its sometimes available on Big Basket in India and abroad its usually in freezer section of the Indian shops.

  • Pavani

    March 2, 2020 at 3:03 am

    That sounds like an addictive snack. I never cooked cassava, will have to look for it in the grocery store. I want to try this fried mogo 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 2, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      Pavani I’m sure its available in the Indian or Caribbean stores. Try it, its delicious. You can also roast it in the oven for a healthier snack.

  • jayashreetrao

    March 3, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Nice post. Hope I get this cassava soon and I can make it at home. It makes a tasty snack to binge.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, enjoy fried mogo whenever you get cassava.

  • Shailender Sharma

    March 4, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Initially it looked like lotus stem to me from the outer appearance.
    Great to know about Mogo. Such a hidden delicacy. You have presented it so well.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 4, 2020 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you so much Shailender, its available in South India so hope one day you get the opportunity to try it out.

  • Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    March 4, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    di frankly speaking this vegetable is totally new to me. But sounds bit similar to our desi Sweet potato, I think . These fries are super tempting look wise, must be so delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you Sasmita, also known as cassava or tapioca, its available in the south. Its a delicious root vegetable and fried mogo is delicious.

  • Sapna

    March 6, 2020 at 12:59 am

    I always find it difficult to work with cassava , it makes my hand itch while cutting. But for these fries I can try working with this vegetable again.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 6, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Sapana, perhaps you could wear gloves. I’ve been told that in UK sometimes you get ready cut frozen pieces.

  • Geetha

    March 11, 2020 at 2:56 am

    I never heard of mogo until I came to UK. I instantly loved chilli mogo the very first time I tried in a restaurant here. Somehow I got an impression that mogo is a kind of restaurant style dish and so I actually never tried to make it at home. Looking at your simple recipe I feel it’s time to give it a try. Thank you Mayuriji for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 11, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Most welcome Geetha, mogo is an import from the East African Asians who have settled in UK. The dish that you must have tried in the restaurant is called chili mogo, which the restaurants have created a dish, using mogo instead of paneer. I’ve got that recipe too on my blog, can check it out.

  • Lathiskitchen

    March 14, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    I love cassava. I make it for breakfast and also snack. This is one of my favorite.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Lathiya.

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