Meatless Monday: Lentil Balls in Peanut Sauce.

This recipe is similar to this one with a few differences when it comes to flavour.

I used whole masoor dal, which we call “kamande” in my mother tongue as it’s an easily available, affordable and tasty source of protein that holds its shape well and blends well with whichever spices you choose to cook it with. In this case I used a store bought mixed spices blend.

It contains cinnamon, coriander seeds, nutmeg, cardamoms, cloves, ginger and bay leaves.
Our ingredients are 2 cups of already boiled lentils, salt, pepper, one grated raw potato, a pinch of paprika, a tsp of the mixed spice blend, a pinch of turmeric, some garlic powder and 2tbsp of all purpose flour. You can also use breadcrumbs.
Mix well in a bowl and roll into little balls.
Fry the balls in hot oil. Do it in batches to ensure even browning and crispiness.
It never hurts to taste one and check for seasoning.
In a large sauce pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and sauté one chopped onion till soft.
Add one tbsp of the mixed spice blend and let it cook before adding two chopped tomatoes and a tbsp of tomato paste. Mix well, lower the heat and cover. Let the tomato mixture cook down till the tomatoes are mushy and the oil leaves the side of the pan.

As the tomatoes cook, add two tablespoons of good quality peanut butter in a cup of cold water. Mix well till the peanut butter is completely dissolved.

Add the peanut butter solution to the tomato sauce and mix well. Let cook a bit and if it’s too thick just add some water. Ensure it doesn’t burn.

Tip: When seasoning keep in mind how salty or sweet the peanut butter you are using is, as you do not want your dish to be too salty.

Add the lentil balls into the peanut and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for about ten minutes till the balls are heated through. Keep the heat low throughout so the sauce does not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.
You will know it is ready when the sauce is thickened and the balls are heated through. Garnish with coriander leaves.
It’s best served with some steamed rice that will balance out the rich and creamy flavour of the sauce.

If you are looking for a decadent, tasty, finger licking vegetarian recipe, this is it. The kids and anyone else you make this for will love it.

The “meatless meatballs” hold their shape really well and the grated potato and breadcrumbs help maintain their crispiness. The lentils are full of flavour and have a meaty texture that will please the palate.

Vegetables are not boring and this is one way to jazz them up when feeling indulgent. Go on and give this recipe a try.

Colorful, tasty and filling just the way I like it. 😋

Perfect for #meatlessmonday right?

Tasty Chicken and Peanut Stew.

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. It comes a close second after my chicken in lemon and garlic that I have already posted here on the blog. Check it out too.

I love cooking this chicken in peanut butter for my loved ones. It is hearty, delicious and easy to make.

Let’s get started right away:-

Our ingredients are 1 kg of skinned chicken cut into pieces, one large chopped onion, 1 large chopped tomato, some tomato paste, 1 tbsp ginger garlic and turmeric paste, Freshly ground black pepper and salt, 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter, 2 cups water, a small pinch of sugar. 1tbsp of cooking oil.

Method:-

Clean and chop your chicken into pieces. Sprinkle salt and some freshly ground black pepper on it and mix well.
Add the peanut butter to a bowl and add one cup of water and mix well till the butter is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat your wide heavy based sauce pan and add the cooking oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sear till brown but don’t let it cook yet. Once brown set aside.

Add your onion to the same pot and cook till soft. Add the ginger garlic and turmeric mixture and let cook for a while.

Next add the tomatoes and paste. Let cook down into a paste / sauce. Once the tomatoes are soft and cooked through, add the chicken pieces. Mix well.

Add the peanut butter you had dissolved with the remaining water. Mix, lower heat. Cover the pan and let simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked though. Boneless chicken will obviously take a shorter time to cook.

The sauce will thicken so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. If it’s too thick you can add some water as it simmers.

Once ready check seasoning then serve. It goes well with rice and vegetables.

Very flavorful.

I usually determine how much seasoning to use depending on the peanut butter, so it is important to use a good quality. If it’s too salty or sugary it will affect the taste of the sauce, that’s why I prefer checking the seasoning at the end.

Rice, chicken peanut stew and steamed vegetables.

Try it and enjoy!

Matoke and Groundnut Sauce.

This is a Ugandan staple. Green bananas grow in abundance here and are well loved by the populace. Matooke or matoke as it’s called by Ugandans is the traditional staple for the Buganda kingdom. You can search for videos on YouTube to see how they make perfectly steamed matoke and use the whole banana while at it. I find it so amazing.

If you visit someone from Baganda, you will definitely be served matooke and groundnut sauce alongside other dishes, but the steamed bananas and the purplish tasty sauce made of ground up peanuts HAS to feature.

This is one filling and healthy meal that brings out the real authentic flavour of the green bananas and the groundnuts. It has no added oil or spices, though you may add some if you so wish.

Side note: I’ve noticed peanuts are called groundnuts here. And ground nut sauce (gnut) is not the same as peanut butter/ sauce. Peanut butter is made from already roasted groundnuts, but the gnut sauce is from raw unpeeled groundnuts.

You can choose to grind the nuts yourself or buy the paste then cook it. The cooked sauce is then referred to as ‘Binyebwa’.

Ingredients: I bunch of matoke, two eggplants, one onion, garlic and two tomatoes.

Tip: To avoid the sticky sap that comes from peeling green bananas, peeling them under running water really helps. No blackened hands and knife. 🤗

Peel and clean your matoke and steam. If you don’t have a steamer you can boil, drain, and let the steam evaporate a bit before mashing. I only added salt and pinch of white pepper.
Once ready. Mash your green bananas to a smooth mash and keep hot till ready to serve.

For the binyebwa aka groundnut sauce, I only added salt as I like it as it is with no added spices.

Ground groundnuts. For one cup of the powder/ paste I used about 3 cups of water.
In a non stick sauce pan, add your paste and the water. Let it boil then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes
The sauce will begin thicken and darken as it cooks. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn /stick at the bottom and also to avoid it getting lumpy.

If it’s too thick for your liking, you can add hot water. Also remember to season it. And let it cook completely. You will know it’s cooked when oil forms on top and it really darkens in color.

The sauce gets a brighter / deeper colour if the peanuts are unpeeled. If peeled. It’s lighter.

Once ready, serve the matoke with the sauce as it is or with any preferred accompaniment.

Steamed matoke and gnut sauce.

I served with baked garden vegetables, (courgette, eggplant, tomato, onions and garlic).

I drizzled the vegetables with some olive oil. Seasoned with salt and pepper and baked for 30 -40 minutes in a 200°C oven.
Final plate: Ugandan style matoke, gnut sauce and garden vegetables.

A tasty and filling veggie laden meal that’s perfect for meatless Monday don’t you think?

I have loads more recipes coming up using this versatile green banana. Subscribe to the blog so you do not miss out, and also check out this other tasty matoke recipes already up, such as my bake n fry matoke, my perfectly stewed matoke and my MIL’s Mix and Mash.

Thank you for your continued support, I really appreciate it!