Eggplant Thursday: Chana Dal and Aubergine recipe.

This is a tasty dish that works well for a weeknight dinner or lunchbox meal for the kids.

You will need;

  • Chana dal (already boiled with whole spices, I used cloves, cinnamon, turmeric and bay leaf).
  • 1 onion, sliced.
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Some garlic ginger paste, and some crushed coriander seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon dhania jeera powder.
  • 2 grated tomatoes.
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped.
  • I egg plant, chopped.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coriander leaves and some fresh squeezed lemon for garnish.

Method.

Boil your chana dal with the whole spices until cooked but not mushy, set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan, add your mustard seeds, let pop then add the onions.

Once onions are soft, add the ginger garlic paste.

Add the eggplant then a bit of ground turmeric and the dhania jeera powder and mix well.

After cooking a few minutes add the grated tomatoes plus some salt. Let cook a while before adding the potatoes.

Once tomatoes are fully cooked, add some water about two cups and let simmer till potatoes are done.

Lastly, add the already boiled chana dal and the garam masala. Mix well and let the legumes heat through and get the flavour.

Check seasoning, add garnish and remove from heat.

Serve with chapati or rice.

I had mine with some tasty carrot and dhania chapati.

For the chapati, I kneaded the flour with the usual hot water and salt, as well as one grated carrot and 2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of ground cumin that added a unique flavour to the flat bread.

They are so delicious and flaky you can have them on their own too or use them for a Ugandan Rolex, who’s recipe I have already shared here.

Try this stew and let me know what you think.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Buttermilk Jerk Chicken, Plantain and Pineapple Salsa.

This recipe is quite a mouthful, but making it is easy breezy and sitting down to enjoy it is the ultimate pleasure.

It is a perfect weekend meal as you sit down to catch up with our loved ones over a delicious meal.

All you need is :-

  • 4 firm yellow plantains.
  • Chicken legs / quarters, one per person.
  • I cup buttermilk.
  • 3 tbsp jamaican jerk seasoning paste.
  • For the salsa, half a ripe pineapple, one onion, one green pepper, some chopped mint and coriander (one tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of dried mint, salt and pepper.

Method.

Mix your buttermilk and the jerk seasoning together.

This is the brand I used. It has some kick and salty too so be careful not to oversalt your dish.

Clean your chicken and pat dry, then slice it as below image.

Keep the skin on as it will crisp up beautifully when cooking and add to the flavour.
Rub the seasoning all over the chicken, and keep it in a covered dish, marinate for 4 hours, but preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat your grill pan until really hot, add the chicken pieces skin down, let them sear a bit undisturbed then flip.
Once you turn, sear the bottom and once browned, lower heat the let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes till done.

As the chicken cooks, you can get started on your pineapple salsa.

Dice your pineapple, onion and pepper as well as the coriander and mint and add to a bowl.

In a small bowl, add a tsp of dried mint, a tbsp of honey and juice of one large lemon and mix well. This will be your dressing for the salad.
Pour the dressing on the chopped fruit and vegetables. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Peel, slice and pan fry your plantain.

Once the chicken is ready, plate and dig in!

I served mine with some leftover lemon rice that matched the flavours of the other dishes quite well.

The heat of the jerk is just right and the spice is all over every taste bite. The buttermilk tempers the heat a bit but also ensures the chicken is moist all the way through. The plantain and pineapple offer contrasting sweetness, the onions and peppers offer crunch and the mint a cooling effect.

Your tastebuds will be dancing each time you take a bite.

Colours, flavours, aromas are all there.

Definitely worth a try!

Plantain Bread.

Plantain is a very versatile fruit, though we treat it like a vegetable. You can have it grilled, baked, fried, roasted, mashed, stewed or just boiled, and it is good for you. Just make sure you cook it, do not eat it raw.

It is rich in fibre, iron, Potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and B6 and tasty too.

If you have some left over, and ripening from yellow to black, fret not, you can still use them in pancakes, porridge (I have an awesome plantain porridge recipe coming soon), and quick bread/ Cake.

I like making simple loaves for the kids’ school snacks or tea time treat. It comes together fast and you can add raisins, coconut, nuts, whatever you fancy.

For a simple plantain loaf, you will need:-

2 overripe plantains, 1 1/2cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp of tea masala spice (you can swipe with cinnamon), 2 eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/ 4 tsp baking soda, 1/3 cup melted butter, 2 tbsp natural yoghurt, some chia seeds and coconut flakes.

Add the thick batter to a well greased loaf pan and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for about an hour. Start checking at around the 50 minutes mark, as it also depends on your oven and other variables.

It is not so level, but it’s never that serious is it?
The loaf is well baked and slides off the pan so easily, look at that bottom!
The loaf smells amazing and is moist and tasty. Definitely worth a try!

It is a fave in our house.

It tastes even better the next day, and if you want you can make a bigger one in a ring pan and even ice it a bit.

I think every kid likes this part. Other than eating of course. LOL!

For a bigger plantain bread/cake you can double the quantities and bake for 75 minutes.

Note: The riper the plantain the sweeter it is and the sweeter the plantain, the better. Also I do not use a lot of sugar, as we do not like our cakes too sweet.

I like adding coconut in it, finding the flavours blending together pretty well. You can also use coconut oil in place of the butter.

How do you like your plantain?