Saucy Cassava (Muhogo wa Rojo)

Servings : Serves 4-5

This is a classic street food most commonly found in the beautiful little touristic Swahili town of Malindi (in Kenya) but versions of the dish can be found up and down the entire coast of the country. It somewhat resembles the more famous Zanzibar Mix of Tanzania. The dish consists of tender pieces of cassava/tapioca/yuca cooked in a lusciously creamy yet tangy sauce, and is served with a drizzle of fiery tamarind chutney (ukwaju). A bowl of this may also be topped with shavings of crushed cassava chips/crisps for some textural contrast.


  • 500gm cassava/yuca/tapioca
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste
  • 2-4 tbsp finely grated or minced raw mango
  • 2-3 red or green chillies, slit
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • water, as needed
  • 2-3 tsp salt, or to taste


Peel and cut the cassava into chunks, wash well and boil until tender. Drain and cut the chunks into smaller bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Put 3 cups of water in a pan and warm over medium heat. In the meantime, mix the flour, turmeric powder, salt, chilli powder and garlic paste in a small bowl and then add about 4-6 tbsp of water and mix to form a runny paste or slurry. Add this paste into the heated water whilst stirring regularly to avoid any lumps from forming. Continue cooking this mixture whilst stirring for about 10-15 minutes. Add the raw mango and slit chillies and keep on cooking this sauce over medium low heat until all the raw taste is gone from the sauce and it thickens up.

Next, add the cut up boiled cassava pieces and stir them in. Let this simmer gently whilst giving an occasional stir. If the sauce feels too thin you may keep on simmering until it reduces. If it is too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out. If you want to add coconut milk for some extra flavour and creaminess, you may add it in at this point and mix.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir one last time, taste and adjust salt if needed then turn the heat off. Serve in individual bowls with accompaniments of your choice. Highly recommend spicy tamarind chutney/sauce and some form of crisps/chips (cassava or potato) to elevate the eating experience.


Leave a Reply