Stewed Mung beans with Eggplant.

Mung bean, green gram, moong, pojo or as we call it in Swahili, ‘Ndengu’, is a legume that is rich in nutrients, easy to cook and versatile as it blends in well with many flavour bases. In an onion, tomato gravy, sautéed with greens, in coconut milk, as a filling for savory pancakes or vegetarian samosas, it holds its own quite well. They are mostly sold as dry cereals, but one can sprout them too for added health benefits.

I like it uncomplicated, just simmered in an onion, tomato sauce with a bit of curry powder; I will definitely have a second helping. Ndengu also goes well with starchy sides such as chapati, rice and even ugali.

This time round I opted to add in roasted then mashed eggplant, it thickens the sauce and also adds a hint of smokiness in the dish.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cups of already boiled legumes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes and 1 green pepper (capsicum) grated
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp dhania jeera powder
  • 1 heaped tsp Kenyan curry powder
  • 1 large eggplant, roasted over open flame then mashed. You can also broil it for 20-30 minutes in the oven then peel and mash.
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 cups water or stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, or if you have whole, cut a small piece and crush with the ginger and garlic.

Method.

Heat your pan, add oil and the cumin seeds, once they release their aroma and begin sizzling in the oil, add your finely chopped onion. Mix well and let cook till it is soft and translucent.

Add the crushed ginger, garlic and turmeric paste and let cook off the raw smell, before adding in the spices.

Lower the heat and let the ground spices cook well for them to release their oil, aroma and flavour. You can add a tablespoon of water so they do not burn, then add the tomato paste.

This will be followed by your grated tomato and capsicum mix.

Cover and let them cook down till it’s a bit dry and the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Add in your mashed eggplant and some seasoning.

Once the eggplant in mixed in well, add the boiled ndengu / mung beans. Mix well before adding in the water or stock.

Simmer for 20-25 minutes on low till the stew is well flavoured, thick and cooked well enough.

Check your seasoning, garnish then serve.

I used the green part of some leftover spring onion to garnish.

A bowl of this is quite filling for a light lunch, for a heartier meal, you can have it with rice, ugali or chapati on the side.

We had it with some soft and delicious carrot and spring onion chapati.

Colourful, healthy, filling, easy to make and oh so tasty! Give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Coconut and Pumpkin Chapati.

Everyone has a go to chapati recipe. This is fast becoming one of mine.

If you have been following me for a while now, you know I am no food purist, especially when it comes to chapati. I am all about trying different ideas and flavours. Such as here.

I love pumpkin as it gives a nice flavour and colour, and I prefer it to butternut. I tried it with some coconut and omg! I am in love with the lovely flavour.

Looks, smells and tastes lovely.

So what will you need?

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour.
  • 1 cup of whole wheat (atta flour).
  • Besan flour – 1 cup. ( this is optional, I like mixing it in with my chapati though)
  • 1 small cup steamed and mashed pumpkin.(Tip: add some cinnamon when steaming and thank me later).
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Salt to taste.

Method.

Mix your flours in a large mixing bowl, and add the desiccated coconut. and oil. Mix till crumbly.

Add the pumpkin purée then half the coconut milk.

Begin to knead well, add any liquid if needed, but knead for about 20 minutes as we do to ordinary chapati dough, till it is smooth, soft and elastic.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for half an hour.

After, roll out and cook the normal way we make chapati, you can use ghee or coconut oil.

This is the coconut oil I used, other times I use the parachute brand.

The chapatis’ aroma is heavenly to say the least.

Serve it up with your favorite curry or stew.

I had mine with a spinach, aubergine and chickpea curry I have already shared here.

As well as with a black bean curry recipe coming soon.

They are great to have with tea too. Or a rolex.

What would you have yours with?

Meatless Monday: Chapati Madondo.

This is a vegetarian dish that is very popular in East Africa. It is basically chapati and beans stewed in different ways. ‘Madondo’ is Kenyan slang for beans. Here in Uganda, a lot of people use ghee to prepare their beans. In Kenya, we like adding coconut milk or cream. Others like beans in a curry, or just an ordinary stew with added vegetables such as carrot, courgettes, capsicum and coriander.

It is cheap, tasty, healthy and filling, which makes it a favorite meal to make at home and a great lunch option at the food kiosks for the working class folks too.

I like beans as they are an inexpensive way to get in your protein, fibre, iron and anitoxidants just to name a few. They are versatile, you can cook them in so many ways and flavour as per your preference. My daughter loves baked beans in tomato sauce, I like them in a curry and my son likes them as a stew with chapati. This time round I added some peanut butter and I loved the added creaminess and nutty flavours.

Tip: If you find beans too gassy for you, try adding a small but whole piece of ginger the next time you boil them. Discard the ginger once you have boiled them. The ginger removes that gassy effect and also adds a lovely flavour to the beans.

Let’s get started shall we?

Ingredients: Already boiled beans, Chopped green capsicum, courgette, chopped onion, and chopped tomatoes as well as ginger garlic paste. Spices used were turmeric, paprika, curry powder and coriander powder.
Heat your sauce pan and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. I added some cumin seeds then onion. Once onion is softened, add the ginger garlic paste and coriander stalks, I threw in some leftover celery too.
Add your spices and mix well. Please let the spices cook so they can release their lovely flavours. You can always add a splash of water so they do not burn. Once the spices are done, add the tomatoes, lower heat and cover. Let the tomatoes cook down till oil leaves the sides of the saucepan.
Add your already boiled beans and mix them well. Also check on the salt at this point. Cover and let them cook on low for a while.

For the peanut sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter with a cup of water till it’s dissolved and add to the beans…

Mix well and cover. Let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

…Please keep the heat low as the sauce will thicken as it cooks and you don’t want it to burn.

Our beans in peanut sauce are ready! Look at how creamy and luscious it is. You can garnish this with dhania leaves and for extra decadence some fresh cream.

This dish is not complete without chapati as an accompaniment. I made these specific chapati even healthier by mixing in some pureed pumpkin leaves in the dough. They give a lovely tinge to the colour as well as added nutrients.

Yummy!

This was a different way to make the beans. I liked the outcome and the kids did too so I will definitely try it again.