Hi Friends, I hope you had a nice break over the holidays. Happy New Year! So here we go for another recipe which is a cassava stew that we call Kat Kat Manioc in Mauritius. Originally, this dish is made with meat and greens along with the cassava.
But my version is a vegan one and I will be using baby lima beans and portobello mushrooms. So this dish is very flavourful and filling, and easy to make. Let’s start. Cassava or what we locally call manioc brings a lot of flavour to this dish and it is a nice change from regular potatoes.
First let’s start by preparing it. It is easier to remove the skin by cutting the cassava root across into 2 to 3 pieces. Then make a slit into the skin all the way through the outer layer and the pink layer that is just underneath.
Both the outer layer and inner pink layer should be removed. Once peeled, cut the pieces in half lengthwise and place them into a pan filled with water so that the water reaches the cassava up to ¾ of the way.
Cover and turn the heat on to medium and allow the cassava to boil. Pre-cooking the cassava before adding it to the sauce later not only saves a little bit of time while we continue preparing the other ingredients but also, because we are using tomatoes in the sauce, they tend to react with the starch and prevent them from cooking properly.
So, if we were to cook the cassava directly into the sauce, they would take far longer to cook unless you are using a pressure cooker. The red chillies that I am using are not hot ones, they just add in a subtle flavour.
Portobello mushrooms are thick and meaty with a stronger flavour than white or cremini mushrooms. This makes them more adaptable for this dish as they hold their shape a lot better. But if you can’t find portobellos where you live, you can substitute with any other types of mushrooms.
Traditionally, garden nightshade greens, or what is locally known as brede martin or morelle, are used in this stew. But due to unavailability here, I am using Chinese spinach. You may also use swiss chard, beet greens, rainbow or green chard.
Fresh parsley provides another depth of flavour to the sauce. The cassava usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook so by now they should be ready. Test if they are soft with a fork then remove them from the pan.
Keep the water that they have been boiling in as we will use this later. Remove the fibrous stem in the middle of the cassava and leave the cassava aside for now. Now let’s make the stew. In a deep pot on medium temperature, heat one tablespoon of coconut or vegetable oil.
Add one tablespoon of minced ginger. You may also use a mixture of garlic and ginger paste instead. And add in one small diced onion at this stage if you wish. Let these sizzle for about 30 seconds. Then add the cumin and let it roast for another 20 seconds.
Add in the chopped tomatoes followed by a little bit of the water in which the cassava has been boiling. Now add in one vegetable bouillon cube or one tablespoon of bouillon powder. Mash the cube so that it dissolves more easily.
Then add the rest of the water which is about one cup. Add in the mushrooms followed by the chillies. Next add the pre-cooked or canned baby lima beans. I boiled mine from dry. You can also use butter beans or other types of beans.
I do like lima or butter beans though for this dish as they add in a lot of creaminess. Add in about one cup of water or vegetable broth, if you did not use a bouillon cube, and a few sprigs of thyme.
Now it’s time to add in the pre-cooked cassava and parsley. Give everything a good stir. Cover and let the stew simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is a little thicker. Finally add in the greens.
These won’t take long to cook. So, cover the pan and let them wilt for a few minutes. Stir, adjust the amount of water if required and add salt to taste. Our Kat Kat Manioc is now ready. This is a very delicious, nutritious and wholesome meal that is often eaten on its own as a soup or you may accompany it with some bread or rice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe. You can find the printable version of this recipe on our website at veganlovlie.com. Check the description under the video for the link. So, enjoy and bye.