Chickpea pilaf.

This is a delicious and flavour full one pot meal that’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.

Chickpeas are rich in nutrients; a great source of protein which is perfect if you don’t want to use meat in the dish. The greens used here (amaranth and spinach) are also great sources of vitamins and protein too.

Colourful and tasty.

I like one pot rice meals such as this as they come together so fast and one can put in what’s available to make a tasty meal.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup of rinsed and drained chickpeas.
  • One large onion, chopped.
  • Two tbsp coconut oil. Or ghee.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds and one bay leaf.
  • One cup soaked basmati rice.
  • Ginger garlic paste. A tbsp will do.
  • 2tsp ground good quality pilau masala.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Greens of choice ( I bunch will do, chopped).
  • Chopped coriander.
  • 2 cups water or stock.

Method.

  • Heat your pan and add your coconut oil as well as cumin seeds and bay leaf.
  • Once they start sputtering, add onions, cook until starting to brown then add the ginger garlic paste. Mix well. Before adding the pilau masala.
  • Next go in the coriander stalks and the chickpeas, as well as salt and pepper, followed by the chopped greens. I used a mix of amaranth leaves and spinach I had leftover from a previous meal.
  • Add the rice and mix well. Then in goes your stock. Cover and simmer till all the water is drained and rice is cooked through.

Serve with a salad of your choice.

I had mine with a simple tomato cucumber and onion salad.

Perfect for a light dinner, quick lunch and a hit with the kids.

What’s not to love about this beautiful meal?

Trying out new recipes from loved ones…

Tasty French Beans Recipe.

French beans aka green beans aka haricot vert are usually had as side dishes, steamed or sautéed. Here is a simple recipe that enables them shine as a main vegetable dish.

Green beans are known as ‘miciri’ or ‘mishiri’ in my mother tongue and are usually chopped and added to a stew with meat (beef) carrot and potatoes.

I however prefer them a bit bigger in size and crunchy too, cooked through but with some bite to them.

They are rich in various vitamins, such as Vitamins K and C, also rich in folate, fiber, and calcium among other nutritional benefits.

They are also easily available and affordable in Kenya and Uganda. And are one of Kenya’s main horticultural export crops.

My son loves them. Whether as a saucy curry, sautéed with some butter, steamed or even roasted with some carrots there is no shortage of ways to get your family to have and love this vegetable.

Let’s get started.

Our ingredients are:-

1. French beans. (About 2 large fistfuls). Cleaned and sliced diagonally.

2. One large onion. Chopped.

3. Two large cloves of garlic. (Use local, it has better flavour).

4. 2 tablespoons cooking oil.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. Spices used are 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds, a bit of turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of Kenyan curry powder.

7. Three tomatoes, chopped.

Method.

Heat your pan and add the oil and mustard seeds, then the onion.

Let the onion cook till a bit brown and add your minced garlic.

Add the ground spices and mix well till they release their flavours then add the tomatoes, and some salt.

Lower heat and cover. Let the tomatoes cook down into a mushy sauce.

Add your green beans and mix well.

Cover and cook on low for ten minutes. If you want them more tender cook for longer but not too long as they get chewy. Ten to twelve minutes are just right for me.

Check seasoning and serve hot. You can have it as a side or as a main vegetable dish. I had mine with some aromatic rice.

Easy peasy. Simple, tasty, colorful and filling.

Give it a try and have your French beans in a different way. You will not regret it.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry.

Here is a simple, but oh so creamy, and tasty coconut chicken curry that is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner for the family.

It uses your pantry staples; so you do not need to worry about complicated shopping, and I dare say it’s restaurant quality in terms of richness, flavour and visual appeal.

For our ingredients we shall need, chicken breast, cubed. chopped onion, shopped tomato, tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, coconut cream, coriander, ground turmeric, a pinch of red chilli powder, and Kenyan curry powder.

Sprinkle some salt and freshly ground pepper on your chicken cubes.

Heat your pan, add some oil, once hot, sear the chicken on high heat till golden brown. This is to seal the moisture; do not let it cook through, set aside.

In the same pan, add more oil if needed.

Fry onion till soft and add the ginger garlic paste, then the ground spices. Let them cook well before adding tomatoes, which you will also cook down.

Add the chicken and mix in well into the tomato and onion mix.

Chicken breast cooks really fast, so you do not want to overcook it.

Add the coconut cream, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes for the chicken to cook through and absorb the curry flavours.

Once ready, garnish with coriander and serve hot.
Creamy, luscious, colourful, quick and easy to make and finger licking good.

Best served with some naan. Or?

Love,

Wanjoro.

Viazi vya Rojo.

“Viazi” is potatoes in Swahili, so this dish is basically stewed potatoes or potatoes in a thick tomato and onion sauce.

Lemon and tamarind add tanginess to the flavourful red sauce that has garlic, cumin and other spices.

The best accompaniments to this dish are bread to scoop up that sauce, but it goes well with rice too and vegetables on the side.

Tasty and colorful.

You will need:-

  1. Potatoes, about a kilogram, peeled and chopped into medium pieces.
  2. 1 large onion.
  3. Ginger garlic paste.
  4. 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  5. 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. 1 tsp mustard seeds, whole cumin seeds.
  8. 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp curry powder.
  9. 1 tbsp ghee.
  10. 1 tbsp tamarind paste.
  11. Juice of half a lemon.
  12. A small pinch of sugar (optional).
  13. 1 bunch coriander, stalks and leaves separated.
  14. I green pepper, chopped.

Method.

First boil your potatoes with some salt and 1/2 the turmeric as well as half the cumin seeds, until just ready, do not let them overcook. Set aside to cool.

Heat your pan and add the ghee and mustard seeds, once they start sputtering, add the cumin seeds, followed by the onions.

Let onions cook till soft and translucent then add the ginger garlic paste, let it cook till the raw smell stops.

Add the ground spices, lower heat to let them cook a bit before adding the tomato paste, followed by the coriander stalks and green pepper. Then add the tamarind paste and mix well.

Next go in our tomatoes, cover and let cook on low till mushy.

Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the potatoes and about half a cup of water.

Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes till potatoes are fully cooked and the sauce is thickened.

Once ready add the lemon juice and coriander leaves, fold them in carefully to not mash up the potatoes and serve.

Easy, tasty, filling, and colourful.

If you love potatoes, this will end up being one of your favorite potato dishes. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Love,

Wanjoro.