What I love about mogo is its earthy flavour, which truly comes to life when it’s gently steamed or boiled. It’s so distinct, you’d know within a split second that someone is making ‘bafelo mogo’ (steamed cassava). It reminds me of the beautiful Mombasa sunshine. This chilli, garlic and lime version is a favourite in our British-Indian-East African home. Follow my tips for perfectly-crispy mogo chips without having to deep fry anything.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Indian
Keyword: cassava, east african asian, mogo, vegetarian
Steaming basket or collapsible steamer
Large pan with tight-fitting lid
Sauté pan or frying pan
1kgfresh or frozen mogoalso known as cassava or yuca
8large cloves garliccrushed
1lime, zest and juice
2tbspfresh coriander leavesto garnish
Lime wedgesto serve
Peel the cassava using a vegetable peeler. Chop it into bite-sized chips, about 4cm long and 2cm wide. Remove any tough fibres from inside as and when when you come across them.
Fill a large pan with around 4cm water and bring to a boil. Place a steaming basket inside the pan and add the chopped mogo chips. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a medium-high heat for around 18-20 minutes, or until the mogo chips are tender. A knife should go through the chips with no resistance.
Remove the mogo chips from the steaming basket. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so. At this point, you'll notice more thick, string fibres and stalks that are attached to the mogo chips. Remove these as they are very unpleasant to eat.
Once all the tough fibres have been removed and while the mogo chips are still very warm, toss them vigorously in a colander, bowl or steaming basket. This will knock the mogo chips about and rough up the surface – it's what will make the mogo chips crispy without having to deep fry them.
Heat the oil and half of the butter in a large pan. Add the roughed up mogo chips and allow to sit, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. This will help crispy up the bottom. With the help of a spatula, toss to coat every piece in the hot fat. Cook over a high heat until the mogo chips are golden and crispy all over.
Push the mogo chips to the side of the pan so that there's a well in the centre. Add the remaining melted butter, along with the cumin seeds, garlic, chilli, turmeric, salt, lime zest, and lime juice. Turn the heat down and mix the aromatics together, keeping them in the centre of the pan, about 1-2 minutes until the garlic cooks out a little.
Toss the mogo with the aromatics and allow to cook over a medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot, with extra lime wedges.
This dish can also be made using frozen mogo chips. Steam them in exactly the same way and remember to remove the tough fibres. If the pieces are large, cut them into bite-sized chips after they've been steamed and before you rough up the surfaces.
Toss the mogo about and rough up the surface – it's what will make the mogo chips crispy without having to deep fry them. This is a technique traditionally used for roast potatoes but it works perfectly for any starchy root veg or tuber.
This mogo is best eaten as soon as it's made. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 3 days. You can reheat them in a frying pan, in the microwave, oven or air fryer.
I do not recommend freezing mogo once cooked as it will change the texture dramatically.