Delicious Vegetable Stew.

My daughter calls this Pesh’s red stew, after her Aunty who introduced this lovely dish to me. I had it when back home and craved it when we got back to Kampala, had to text her to send me the recipe. I had to use what I had on hand, but it was delicious all the same.

It is tasty, colorful, healthy, filling, meat free, gluten free and easy to make. What’s not to love about it?

It is full of colorful and healthy garden vegetables. Beetroot, carrot, zucchini, eggplant and chickpeas simmered together in a tomato and onion sauce. It’s finger licking good!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients are:-

  • 1 tsp cooking oil.
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 1 carrot, chopped.
  • 1 beetroot, peeled and chopped.
  • I green, I yellow and 1 red capsicum, chopped.
  • I bunch of coriander. Stalks and leaves separated and chopped.
  • 2 tomatoes.
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
  • 1 tsp, grated fresh turmeric.
  • Spices are a tsp of paprika, Kenyan curry powder salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup water or stock.
  • 1 medium eggplant and 1 medium courgette, both chopped and soaked in salty water. (This helps remove the bitterness in the eggplant and helps them maintain their shape and natural flavour when cooked, just remember to rinse and drain before adding to the saucepan).

Method.

Heat your sauce pan of choice, add the oil, once hot add the onion and coriander stalks, cook till soft.

Next add your garlic and ginger paste as well as the fresh turmeric. Mix well and let cook till they stop smelling raw, then add your spices. Ensure the spices cook well and do not burn, the tomatoes go on and cook till soft.

The carrot and beetroot go next, followed by the eggplant and courgette. You can cover and let them cook for a while after adding some salt and pepper.

Once they are cooked for about 7 minutes, add the bell pepper then the drained chickpeas, with your vegetable stock or water.

Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When ready, garnish with coriander and serve hot with your starch of choice, though as with most meals, you can just have a bowl on its own.

We had ours with some roasted plantain and avocado slices, Yum!

Colourful, tasty, easy to make, healthy and doesn’t take too much time to cook; what’s not to love about this dish?

Sweet and Savoury Plantain Pancakes.

This is a tasty way to switch up your pancake game. Instead of the usual sweet fluffy breakfast fare, why not try a savoury pancake, served with baked beans, eggs and smashed avocado for a yummy brunch at home option?

Our ingredients for the pancakes are :-

  • 3 medium really ripe plantains.
  • Some coriander, a bit of onion, green pepper and garlic, all finely chopped.
  • 1 tsp mixed spices blend.
  • 2tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water ( as an egg substitute for 2 eggs).
  • 2 cups self raising flour.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 2 cups of natural yoghurt.
  • 1 full tablespoon Coconut oil.
  • A splash of Apple cider vinegar.

Method.

Peel and mash your plantain into a puree. You can use your blender.

Then add the chia “eggs”, yoghurt and oil into the plantain puree, as well as the chopped vegetables mix.

Add the flour, mix well then add the mixed spices and a pinch of salt then the ACV till it is a thickish mixture.

Let the batter rest a while, before making them just like regular pancakes, but a bit smaller, using a tablespoon to add the batter to the pan.

They are fluffy, delicious, smell and look so good.

They are fluffy, soft, smell so good and very delicious. The ripe plantains offer their natural sweetness, the vegetables are hard to see but coupled with the spice offer a wonderful savoury flavour, the chia seeds act as the binder but still offer a bit of crunch and the acv boosts the pancakes’ fluffiness.

The pancakes will go well with baked beans, avocado and eggs for a complete colourful, tasty and nutritious brunch dish.

We had them with smashed avocado.

Roughly mash a ripe but firm avocado add a squeeze of lemon to avoid it turning black as well as add a fresh tangy flavour, a pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of paprika.

You can choose to have them with scrambled eggs…

… or a poached egg.

It is all up to you.

Yummy, colourful, healthy and filling. Try this for a delicious weekend breakfast option.

Spicy Chicken Wings and Avocado Salad.

This is another really simple but really tasty wings recipe. As always with a lot of my chicken dishes, the secret is in the marinade, and this one here is a must try.

You will need:-

  • About 500g chicken wings
  • 1 heaped tbsp jamaican jerk seasoning.
  • 1 tbsp balsamic drizzle. (Simmer equal parts balsamic vinegar and honey till thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. Cool, cover and store in the fridge to use as needed).
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Clean your wings and rub/pour the marinade all over. Let marinate overnight.

Heat your pan, add the wings, skin down.

Once seared brown, flip and cook for 25 – 30 minutes till the wings are completely cooked. Lower heat and keep turning so they do not burn.

For the salad, you will need:-

  • 1 ripe but firm avocado.
  • Juice of one lemon.
  • 1 small chopped onion.
  • 2 chopped firm tomatoes.
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
  • 1 green pepper chopped.
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala.

Method.

  • Mix all the vegetables except the avocado in a bowl.
  • Mix the lemon juice and the chaat masala and salt.
  • Peel and cube the avocado and add the the vegetables, then pour the lemon dressing. Fold in well and pour some more lemon on top. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.
Avocados are always in plenty here in Kampala, and tasty too, you will include them in almost all your meals.
Final plate: Spicy wings, fried potatoes and salad.

The chicken is really spicy thanks to the jerk seasoning but not overpowering due to the underlying sweetness of the balsamic drizzle. The wings are well cooked, skin is crispy and the inside is still moist and full of flavour. The deep fried potatoes are crunchy on the outside, and go well with the tangy salad.

Perfect for that night you want to indulge a bit. So go on and give this a try. The taste, colours and aroma are all worth the effort.

What’s for Breakfast?

I was watching a tv show the other day that featured a place in Mexico that serves the “World’s best breakfast” and it did look really delish.

What I love most about this first meal of the day is there are no rules. You can have tea, coffee, last night’s leftovers; whatever tickles your fancy to fuel you at the start of the day. But please do not go without it.

Standard breakfast fare here ranges from oats; be they soaked overnight, cooked in the microwave or on the stovetop. I am an oats fan. Granola too with some greek yoghurt is a fast and delicious fix for the week days when you cannot afford to linger over breakfast. Puffed amaranth is also a fav but I am yet to get some here. Rice porridge is becoming a staple too as rice flour is abundant here.

Traditional breakfast options include steamed matoke (green bananas) then topped with a groundnut sauce. Boiled or roasted arrowroot/ yams, sweet potatoes, or porridge.

Weekend breakfasts for us are mostly hash mixes, using potatoes, sweet potatoes or even plantains; whatever seems to be on hand at the time. Fruit options are fresh fruit juice, sliced pineapples and caramelized apples or caramelized bananas are great pancake fillings too. For protein, smoothies work well, with nuts, seeds and fruits to top. And eggs as omelettes, scrambled, or poached. And pancakes also feature quite often.

What is your preferred breakfast? Heavy or light? Sweet or savoury? The options are unlimited. This is one meal that should never be skipped.