Fried Mogo/ Fried Cassava
EVENT: FOODIES_ REDOING OLD POSTS #19
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.
Street Food Vendors under a huge baobab tree
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.
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.
- gluten free
- ideal for fasting days
FRIED MOGO/FRIED CASSAVA
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a wok, karai or a pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, fry the cassava in batches till they are light golden brown and crispy.
- 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.
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