A colourful, delicious, healthy and filling curry that is easy to make, and does not take too long either.
You will need:-
1 cup already boiled chana dal.
About 300g of ground beef.
3 tbsp of cooking oil.
I large chopped onion.
2 tsp coriander seeds.
1 heaped tsp smashed ginger, garlic and some turmeric.
About 2 cups chopped pumpkin cubes.
I small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped.
1 green pepper, sliced.
I cup homemade tomato sauce. Can be alternated with 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed.
2 tsp curry powder.
Salt and pepper to taste.
To begin, heat your oil in a pan and the onion.
Once onion is soft and getting a bit browned, add your ginger, garlic turmeric paste and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.
The green pepper and coriander stalks will go in next. Then the curry powder. Mix in well and let cook a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn.
Followed in my the beef mince. Let the meat cook on high heat till it is no longer clumpy and has began to brown.
Once the meat is cooked down well and dried out, add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Cover and let them cook down, before adding the already boiled chana dal.
Look at how colourful it is. If using tomatoes, you can add a cup of water so the curry does not become too dry. If using tomato sauce, add water if needed and remember to check and add your seasoning (salt) as you go.
Add the pumpkin last as it will not take too long to cook and you do not want it to turn mushy. You want the cubes cooked, soft but still firm. This should simmer for no more than ten minutes as the mince was already fully cooked before adding the lentils.
Once done, add in the coriander leaves and switch off the cooker. The curry is pleasing in terms of how it looks, the aroma and how it tastes.
A couple of incidents that happened some time ago made me think about this more than usual. I have had to stop and ask myself how supportive I have been of my children’s relationships, both within the family and with their friends.
With the pandemic, there has been less physical interaction with their friends due to off campus learning and social distancing. The kids have adapted fast and are ok playing with each other but there is still something missing.
With schools opening in January for face to face learning here, the kids are looking forward to seeing their other friends and planning for playdates.
Children generally make friends with those closet to them; neighbouring kids, church mates, classmates, or in extra curricular clubs such as music, swimming or gynmastic classes. When we moved away, they had to start from scratch, which was not easy as we did not know many people here, and those we did, had kids much older than them. Our immediate neighbourhood doesn’t have kids their age too, but thankfully we were lucky to meet up with some family friends who had also moved here.
One of the things I am always keen on is knowing who their friend’s parents are, and their contacts. Play dates can be arranged but no sleepovers.
Playdates are good as one gets to observe how the children are interacting with each other. It can give one an idea of what values their friends have, by how they behave when in your home, my assumption is that the other parent is doing the same (though we know this is not always the case).
Some of the ways we have been trying to support their friendships in this social distancing times is by having them invite a friend over, letting them use my phone to record voice notes for their friends, scheduled video calls, emails and even cards or notes left in class cubby holes, so their friends can pick them up when they go collect their schoolwork.
I am learning to be intentional in this; speaking to them about their friends and what they like or miss about them. I also talk about my friends, and how my friendships were at their ages. Keeping communication lines open is important, they will be more willing to speak up when things are not right and be more confident in sharing the good experiences too.
Parenting includes recognising and supporting our children as individuals. They have their own likes, preferences and dislikes, and we need to teach ourselves how to acknowledge their desires in creating social bonds for themselves as they grow. No man is an island. As adults, we take pride in our social relationships, why do we forget that our kids need it too?
Children learn from us. The pride and fun they see us enjoying in our friendships adds to that appeal for them, and they yearn to get the same recognition and enjoy their friends company. Obviously we do have to discuss boundaries, safety and respect, but let us be supportive of their positive friendships.
I think I may have just found my best beef stew recipe yet!
It is aromatic, rich in colour and flavour, and the beef is so ‘melt in your mouth’ tender, the kids will enjoy it.
Also, it is fast to make as it’s made in the instant pot. Which I really need to make more use of other than for boiling maize and legumes.
You will need:
I kg stewing beef, cut in medium large chunks.
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 chopped onion.
About 1 heaped tbsp of crushed ginger garlic paste, mixed with some coriander seeds and some whole turmeric.
1 tbsp mayonnaise, yes, mayo. I used low fat gluten free option, but any can do.
I cup homemade roasted tomato sauce. 4 Chopped tomatoes will do too. Peeled and chopped.
1 tbsp mixed spice blend. The one picture has cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamon and bay leaf.
Salt and pepper.
Crush the ginger, garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.
(I am a firm believer that spices and herbs should not overtake any dish’s natural flavour. A little goes a long way in this meal.We are also lucky here that a lot of our livestock and poultry is still naturally reared which makes it more flavourful).
Rub the beef chunks with the mixed spice and mayo, as well as a teaspoon on the ginger garlic paste. You can let it marinate overnight if possible or at least half a day.
Switch on your instant pot and select sautè function.
Add the oil, then the onion, followed by the remaining ginger garlic paste. Let cook without it burning then add the tomato sauce and the meat. Cover.
Select meat function on the instant pot.
Mine cooked for thirty minutes at normal pressure. Let it release pressure naturally for about ten minutes then do a quick pressure release carefully.
Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
You can have it this way, just remember to garnish with some coriander leaves.
If you however want to thicken the sauce and deepen the brown colour further, select the sauté function again and let it cook for about 8 minutes, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
The sauce will thicken further and the brown colour will deepen.
This meal is so good. Once served, you may think it was made for hours.
Serve it with a side of your choice. We had ours with celery rice. I have already shared the recipe for that here.
This is a simple vegetable curry that is full of flavour, filled with lots of healthy vegetables and comes together quite easily.
You can use any vegetables you have on hand. So feel free to mix and match as per your favourites.
Our ingredients are:-
2-3 tbsp of coconut oil. You can use ghee too if you wish.
1 large chopped onion.
1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds, and 1 bay leaf.
2 tsps garlic ginger paste.
1 tsp grated whole turmeric.
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 juicy tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
1tsp mixed spice blend.
2 heaped tsps Kenyan curry powder.
1 tsp garam masala.
1 cup already boiled chana dal.
1 large potato, peeled and chopped.
1 eggplant and I courgette, chopped and soaked in salty water.
1 cup chopped green /French beans.
1 small bunch coriander, separate the stems and leaves.
1 cup, bell pepper, You can use any colour or all colours.
1 can of coconut milk.
Salt and pepper to taste.
*Boil your chana dal in a pinch of turmeric, 1 bayleaf, 3-4 cloves, and a cinnamon stick. It adds flavour and extra colour to the lentils.
Tip 2. *Soaking the eggplant and courgette (zucchini) in salted water lets them retain their shape and flavour once you cook them. Remember to drain and rinse before adding to the pan so the meal is not too salty.
Heat oil in your saucepan and add the cumin and mustard seeds.
Add onion, let cook till soft then follow with the turmeric and ginger garlic paste.
Add in the mixed spice and curry powder and let cook down a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn…
…then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook down till tomatoes are mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Drain the soaked vegetables and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook a bit covered on low heat.The veggies will all release their liquid and absorb the spices’ flavour.
Once the vegetables are cooked a bit, add the coconut milk and garam masala as well as a small pinch of sugar. A teeny weeny pinch.
Cover and continue cooking on low for about 20 minutes.
Once done, give a final stir and check seasoning and if the veggies are cooked to your liking.
Garnish with the chopped dhania leaves then serve.
This dish goes well with some steamed rice or chapati.
The curry is colourful, flavourful, filling and healthy. Definitely worth a try.