Sautéed Sukuma Wiki with Bacon.

Sukuma wiki aka collard greens are quite popular in East Africa. It is mostly had with ugali (steamed cornmeal) and fried with onions, tomatoes and spices of choice. It is also a great side dish for meat dishes.

As it is easily available and cheap, it can get boring fast, so one has to look for ways to spice it up. Like we did here with bacon.

You can also mix it up with Swiss chard, cowpea leaves or amaranth greens.

This is quick side dish that is easy to make and so delicious. If one can get younger, tender sukuma greens it is even better as they cook fast and are tastier than the big leafed mature ones.

For this recipe we will need:-

  • 3-4 strips of bacon. I used collar bacon, it is very flavourful, not too fatty and does not dry out when cooked. Making it perfect for this dish.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped.
  • 1 large tomato and 1 green bell pepper (grated).
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  • A small pinch of sugar (optional).
  • 1/2 tsp paprika.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 bunch of tender sukuma wiki (collard greens).
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon.

Let’s get started.

Chop your bacon up and add to a heated pan for it to render its fat.

It is not very fatty and doesn’t get too crispy. Cook for about 4-6 minutes on medium heat then set aside.

Add oil to the same pan, followed by the onion and garlic.

Once softened, add the grated tomato and bell pepper mix, as well as the paprika, and sugar, if using. Cover and let cook down till its a thick sauce.

Do not forget your seasoning.

Once tomatoes have cooked down, add the greens and increase heat. Let them cook for about 8 minutes till tender. They will shrink down fast, so keep that in mind when seasoning.

Once greens are cooked, add in the bacon you had set aside and mix it in well.

Last goes the squeeze of lemon and turn off the heat.

Let it rest a short while before serving, so the flavours can meld in well.

(You can add in cayenne or hot pepper if no kids will eat it).

This is a great side dish for ugali, mashed potatoes or chapati.

We had ours with these green banana cutlets whose recipe I shared last week here.

It is tasty, easy to make, colourful and smells so good!

Please try it and let me know how it turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Recipe coming soon… Savory crepes.

Soy Bean Coconut Curry.

This recipe is an awesome meatless meal that can be adapted to any other kind of beans too. It was my first time to make soy beans.

I had bought these beans thinking they were the usual kidney ones, but once I opened the pack, I had to google what type they were.

In terms of taste they are not bad; They have an earthier taste than kidney beans, and seem not to absorb the curry flavours as well as other beans. The kids loved them though; so I guess they are not that bad.

Ingredients are 1 blended onion, ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp each cumin seeds, curry powder and garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 can of coconut milk, chopped coriander, 2 cups already boiled soy beans, salt and pepper to taste and cooking oil. I used 1 tbsp of coconut oil.
Heat you oil and add the cumin seeds, followed by the onion. And the ginger garlic paste. Mix well and cook till they stop smelling raw.
Add the ground spices and lower heat to let the spices cook through well without burning. The oils and flavours release are what make this curry taste so good.
Next goes in tomato paste, still on low heat to avoid burning. It will have lovely colour and aroma. Do not forget your seasoning.
You can add a splash of water to avoid burning. Next go in the beans, mix well and check seasoning.
Let the beans cook in the spice mixture a while to get the flavours…
…then add your coconut milk. You can add a pinch of sugar too.
Let the beans simmer in the sauce on low for 20-25 minutes. Garnish before serving.

You can serve immediately, but I like making my curries and stews a bit ahead, then let them sit a while for the flavours to absorb well in the pot.

The result is a creamy coconut curry that’s tasty, colourful, aromatic and not hard to make.

I had mine with rice, the kids with chapati. It goes well with both.

Definitely worth a try.

Green Banana Cutlets.

Green bananas aka “matoke” as they are known here are available in Kampala in plenty. While many here prefer them steamed and mashed, there are many other meals one can make with them. You can make them into a porridge, like we did here. Bake them, deep fry them, make a yummy breakfast dish or even stew them.

This time round I steamed them whole, let them cool a bit, then peeled and mashed them into cigar like rolls. Next, I pan fried them in butter and a pinch of mixed herbs to get a delicious taste that one cannot believe is green bananas.

Let us get started. You will need:-

  • A small bunch of green bananas, about 9 pieces if small, or 5 large.
  • 1 tsp freshly ground mixed spice blend -I used one that had ground sea salt, pepper, sesame seeds, fennel, cloves, coriander, star anise, onion and ginger.
  • 1/2 cup of cornflour. This makes them crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy inside.
  • 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter.

Method.

Wash the bananas and boil them whole for about 20 minutes, till soft. They will blacken a bit.

Drain and cool them. Peel and mash them together with the spices, cornflour and oil, then shape them into little cigar like rolls.

Heat your pan and add the butter, I like adding a bit of oil too so the butter doesn’t brown too fast.

Add the rolls in batches and pan fry till they are a golden brown colour on medium heat.

They smell and taste amazing. You can have them as a snack or with greens on the side, whatever tickles your fancy.

We had ours with sautéed greens and bacon. I will post the recipe for it soon too.

Colourful, delicious, filling and easy to make. Definitely worth a try.

Keep it here for this and more simple family friendly recipes using what is on hand, as well as titbits about our experiences as a family here in Kampala.

I would also like to thank you all for stopping by, sharing and subscribing to this blog, as well as those who take the time to try out my recipes and give me feedback. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

Love and Light.

Wanjoro.

Out and About: Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Entebbe Wildlife Sanctuary, popularly know as the Entebbe Zoo, is one of the places one must visit when in Entebbe or Kampala.

It is located in Entebbe, but not that far from Kampala; about a hour’s drive, which makes it an excellent family outing option.

We have been there several times already, but this time round was more special to us as we had yet to see the two Bengal Tigers the zoo acquired sometime last year.

There is a lot to see at the zoo. From chimpanzees, to beautiful lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephant, snakes, otters and even the elusive Shoebill stork, usually found at Mabamba Bay. I have already written about our visit there here.

There were a few changes we noticed while there. Obviously, there are standard Covid 19 prevention protocols to be observed, the zoo is now charging parking fees, and there is a small vehicle to drive those who do to want or are unable to walk around, (at a fee of course).

There is a big playground filled with different activities for children, a restaurant (that serves some awesome fish) and an area one can picnic at on the shores of Lake Victoria.

This time round though, we just wanted to see the animals. We began at the tiger enclosure. Such majestic creatures.

The lions, cheetah and leopard were all asleep though, I guess it was big cats nap time.

Can you spot the leopard?

They also have a caracal and a serval which I find so beautiful with its black spots, long neck and long legs which make it a great jumper.

The zoo has two rhinos too that are so good at minding their own business, just grazing peacefully.

The kids were fascinated by the tigers, the rhinos which we were lucky to get really close to, the chimpanzees as well as the otters.

It was also our first time to see the otters up close as most times they hide out in the water.

Other fascinating sections were the reptile section, with the snakes and crocodiles.

If you are an avid birdwatcher, you will be able to hear and spot a few birds in the trees as you walk around the zoo. We spotted other animals too that are not part of the captive ones such as vervet moneys frolicking in the trees and a monitor lizard.

How many monkeys can you spot?

There is a botanicals section too, that is very informative on indigenous plants and their healing properties. Sadly this time round the guide was not available and the garden looked a bit rundown but I was able to get a few photos and information. It is one of my favorite parts of the gardens as we get to learn how many plants and trees around us, including some we view as weeds, were actually used in olden times to heal and manage various diseases and disorders. Quite intriguing.

The zoo has many other animals, warthogs, giraffes, baboons, red tailed monkeys, crowned cranes, ostriches, buffalos, waterbucks, a zebra, elephant and many more.

Rothschild giraffes
Ostriches.

PS: I know there are people who do not like going to zoos as they do not want to see the animals in captivity. Well, for me, I see it is a learning opportunity. We get to see many animals and learn about them without having to travel to do so. Travelling to see animals in the wild is not within reach for many. Some of the animals are also rescued from the wild as they are at risk of being poached or endangered, so it is part of animal conservation efforts undertaken by those entrusted to care for them.

Many of the trees around the zoo had signs indicating their names, both local and scientific and if they are indigenous to the region or not.

Some also have installations around them to promote conservation and how to reuse plastics that are a menace to the environment.

These used water bottles are being used as planters for tree seedlings.
These tree base has been reinforced with used soda bottles in the concrete and plastic bottle caps on top.

We all enjoyed ourselves despite being a hot day and the place being quite busy than all the other times we have been there.

When you decide to visit the zoo, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses will not hurt too as there is quite a bit of walking around to do to see the animals.

Definitely worth a visit.