Cafunga by Nadia Mosquera

« This dessert is typical of the Maroon people who live in the northeast of Venezuela »

Nadia, who lives in Caracas, has conducted a number of studies on Maroon communities who live in the states of Miranda and Aragua. The term Maroon stems from the Spanish word « cimarrón » which literally translates into peak dwellers. It refers to the descendants of African slaves who fled the plantations to regain their freedom.

They lived in the forest, protected by branches and leaves and relied on their culinary traditions to cook whatever was available. Hence, it was not unusual for them to cook with cassava and plantains.

Nadia chose to reflect this by making cafunga, a dish that celebrates these two ingredients, and is made by the Maroon people to this day. Some may see its similarities to the Congolese and Angolan chikwangue or Cameroonian cassava sticks.





1 hour and 30 minutes




6 plantain bananas (Cambur titiaro)
2 Yucca
2 shredded coconut
4 star anis
2 cloves
6 plantain leaves
Sugarcane sirup

Cooking directions

  1. Peel and mash the bananas plantains in a large bowl as well as the yucca in a large bowl until is tender and with no lumps. 
  2. Add the coconut, anis and cloves in the puree until we obtain an homogeneous mix. 
  3. Add one sixth of the mix on top of each clean plantain leave. 
  4. Make a roll with the plantain leave. 
  5. Cook in the oven for an hour at 350°F. 
  6. Before serving, open slightly every leave and pour some sirup onto the preparation.