Naryal Vaaro Mogo (Cassava in Coconut Cream)

A lovely beef 'stew' of coconut with cassava, this curry dish is not too spicy but wonderfully fragrant with ginger, garlic and cumin. This dish is one among other traditional East African dishes I was introduced to over twenty years ago. I am sure that since then I might have tweaked it here and there to my taste but this is the way I serve it. As it is quite rich and filling, we eat this with some chapati or naan with a light salad.

Ingredients (in no particular order, sorry) :
  • Beef in 1 " cubes - about 1 lb or 500 grams (cut up from roast or steak-beware of poor cuts in stewing beef that might leave this tough.
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste (or you can grate fresh ginger)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (or fresh garlic but make sure it is crushed)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 2 tsp. cumin pwd.
  • salt as noted
  • 1-14 oz pkg of thawed frozen cassava (mogo) (You can cook from scratch but that is a long and laborious process....difficult to cut cassava root and although I do buy it fresh, it is much simpler now that it is available in frozen packages.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • fresh lemons for serving
  • 1 can of coconut (naryal) cream (I have never used a coconut bar so if you do...make sure when you follow the directions on the package that you have enough for a cup of it liquefied)
  • 1 chopped hot pepper (thai chili, or you can use a jalapeno - remember to 'de-seed' under running water to lessen the fumes)
  • two tomatoes chopped
  • water as specified
Putting it together!
  • Cook the meat in 2 cups of water with the ginger and 1/4 tsp salt until the meat is tender. I usually bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about twenty minutes.
  • Cut the cassava into about 1 inch cubes. Make sure you remove the thick fibrous strip in the middle of the 'root'. Cook separately in about 2 1/2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt until tender. Be absorbs the water and can stick to the bottom. Check it often. I takes about twenty minutes also. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk. Stir thoroughly and cover to absorb.
  • When meat is done, skim fat from top of meat mixture. There should be just enough water to barely cover the meat. If there is too much, remove the excess. Add chopped tomatoes, cumin, garlic, turmeric, chili pepper and chopped coriander. Stir and simmer five minutes more. Add the cassava mixture and stir well. Simmer on very low heat another ten or fifteen minutes stirring often. It may seem like there is a lot of broth but the cassava will definitely absorb it. Cover and let sit until serving.

Serve with fresh lemons for squeezing and chapati or naan.


  1. Another exotic dish by Trish! These are the kind of plates I order when we go to 'Shandar Hut'...but never try cooking myself. It looks wonderful.

  2. I'm not sure I would try making this dish but you can come cook for me anytime Trish!!

  3. Hi ! This is my first visit to your site and I just wanted to say hello ! I will be back to try out some of your fabulous looking recipes !!

  4. Hi.. Just wanted to remind you to cook the cassava well! Undercooked cassava has toxins in it(specifically, cyanide) that will build up if you eat lots of undercooked cassava.