We grew up in Kenya and so are very familiar with mogo also known as cassava/yuca (NOT YUCCA!). In the coastal towns like Mombasa and Malindi, it is spotted on roadsides, being roasted on coal, or sliced straight into hot oil to be fried into crisps, enjoyed sprinkled with red chillie powder, salt and lime juice.
Arabs, Kiswahilis, Khojas and other non-Africans often cook cassava with chicken/lamb/beef with green chillies and salt in a rich coconut sauce. That recipe has now been teamed with our Asian masalas and turned into a haleem/soup, which is very comforting to eat, especially on cold rainy days. Recipe below.
- 500 gm fresh or frozen cassava
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 4 tbs oil
- 200 gm grated onion
- 1 tbs ginger and garlic paste
- 1 tbs crushed green chillies
- 1 tsp red chillie powder (skip for mild)
- touch of turmeric
- 500 gms boneless chicken cut into cubes
- 400 ml tinned coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn kernels
- half cup porridge oats
- 2 tbs finely sliced green coriander
- 1 tbs fresh or bottled lime juice
Cut the cassava into small pieces (thaw if using frozen), place in a large pan, add 4-5 mugs of hot water, add the salt and bring to the boil
Boil on low stirring from time to time, until properly softened. Add more water if needed, cook until cassava breaks away when pressed with a spoon. Cool, use a masher to break down any whole pieces - mixture should resemble a thick soup. Keep aside.
Put the oil into a large deep pan, add the onions, cook for a couple of minutes (do not brown) add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
Add the red chillies and turmeric cook together on a low heat until all ingredients are assimilated together. Add the chicken pieces, half a cup of water and cook for 5-6 mins. Add the cooked cassava mixture, and 1 cup of water, bring to the boil, cook together for 3 - 4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and reduce heat to low, keep cooking and stirring mixture from time to time for 10 - 12 minutes. Add the sweet corn and porridge and another cup of water to cook these ingredients.
Keep on low heat, mix together and cook on a low rolling boil for a further 10 mins or until mixture resembles a heavy thick soup.
Add the coriander and lime juice, stir in. Taste and add salt if needed, switch off and serve.
Mogo haleem is usually eaten using a spoon and not served with naans or rice. Best served with this amazing coconut chutney - in a chopper add half a cup of milk, 3 green chillies, 1 cup dessicated coconut, half tsp salt and 2 tbs lemon/lime juice, shrrr! together and remove into a small serving bowl.