Beef and Okra Stew with Peanut Butter.

This recipe is adapted from an old cooking magazine I have, but I made it with a few changes. I chopped the okra instead of using it whole and also added in many more vegetables than the original recipe called for, as well as peanut butter.

It’s easy to make, colourful and flavorful. It takes time though, as you let the different vegetables cook slow and release their individual sweetness and distinct flavor to meld into a thick, rich, hearty stew that sticks to the bones.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 500 g stewing beef. Rub it with a little bit of ground mixed spice. (The blend I had had some cinnamon, clove, and cardamom).
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil.
  • 2 chopped onions.
  • 1 tbsp paste of grated ginger and grated turmeric and smashed with garlic.
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped.
  • Chopped bell peppers (I used green, yellow and red).
  • 1 handful of fresh okra, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 1 tsp each of paprika, mixed herbs
  • 1 tomato, 1 carrot, I small courgette, all chopped.
  • 1 tbsp chopped dry fruit (I used raisins and apricots).
  • 1 lemon.
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated and chopped.
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter, mixed into a 1/2 cup of water to dissolve.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pinch of sugar.

Method.

Clean and chop all your vegetables.

Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan then crush roughly, ensure they do not burn. Set aside.

Heat oil in your pan. Once hot add the beef and brown it on high heat. Do not let it cook through though, or crowd the pan. Just brown then remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the onions, ground coriander seeds and celery. Once onions are translucent, add the ginger garlic and turmeric paste and mix well.

Follow in with the coriander stalks, paprika and mixed herbs, let cook fast without burning, then add the tomato paste and tomatoes. I like adding some salt and pepper at this point then lower heat to let the tomatoes cook into a mush.

The aroma of the dish at this point will have your tummy rumbling.

After the tomatoes cook down, add the carrots and let them cook a while, before adding the courgettes. Once they both cook a little while, in go the bell peppers. This whole process takes a while as you want each added vegetable to be able to release its own flavour into the sauce. Do not rush it.

The vegetables will also release their water into the sauce; hence the need to keep the heat on medium low.

Once the vegetables are soft, add the beef, okra, and your dried fruits. If its too dry, you can add a cup or two of water or stock. Cover and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

The stew will be thick and low, so add your mix of peanut butter at this point, as well as your pinch of sugar.
Check seasoning, stir well and cover and let simmer for about another half hour on low heat.

The sauce will thicken as well as the beef, as all the ingredients also absorb the yummy and rich peanut flavour.

Once ready, squeeze some lemon juice onto the stew and as always, garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

Look at how rich, creamy, thick and colourful that sauce is. Yum!

This is a very filling meal. The perfect comfort food if you ask me.

It is so delicious. Good enough on its own or with some rice on the side. Either way, it is a perfect meal.

Green Banana Cutlets.

Green bananas aka “matoke” as they are known here are available in Kampala in plenty. While many here prefer them steamed and mashed, there are many other meals one can make with them. You can make them into a porridge, like we did here. Bake them, deep fry them, make a yummy breakfast dish or even stew them.

This time round I steamed them whole, let them cool a bit, then peeled and mashed them into cigar like rolls. Next, I pan fried them in butter and a pinch of mixed herbs to get a delicious taste that one cannot believe is green bananas.

Let us get started. You will need:-

  • A small bunch of green bananas, about 9 pieces if small, or 5 large.
  • 1 tsp freshly ground mixed spice blend -I used one that had ground sea salt, pepper, sesame seeds, fennel, cloves, coriander, star anise, onion and ginger.
  • 1/2 cup of cornflour. This makes them crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy inside.
  • 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter.

Method.

Wash the bananas and boil them whole for about 20 minutes, till soft. They will blacken a bit.

Drain and cool them. Peel and mash them together with the spices, cornflour and oil, then shape them into little cigar like rolls.

Heat your pan and add the butter, I like adding a bit of oil too so the butter doesn’t brown too fast.

Add the rolls in batches and pan fry till they are a golden brown colour on medium heat.

They smell and taste amazing. You can have them as a snack or with greens on the side, whatever tickles your fancy.

We had ours with sautéed greens and bacon. I will post the recipe for it soon too.

Colourful, delicious, filling and easy to make. Definitely worth a try.

Keep it here for this and more simple family friendly recipes using what is on hand, as well as titbits about our experiences as a family here in Kampala.

I would also like to thank you all for stopping by, sharing and subscribing to this blog, as well as those who take the time to try out my recipes and give me feedback. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

Love and Light.

Wanjoro.

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?

Simple Pineapple and Mint Salad.

Pineapple and mint always go well together. In juice, in a smoothie and now in this refreshing salad that is another great side dish to add to your recipe collection.

They are both rich in nutrients, aid digestion, boost immunity as they are both rich in anti oxidants that help fight inflammation, great for your skin and breath and make a very colourful plate.

All you will need for this simple and tasty salad are:-

  • Half a ripe pineapple.
  • Coloured capsicum, cut into thin strips. (I used red and yellow).
  • 2 tablespoon’s roughly chopped mint.
  • 1 lemon, juice it and grate the zest too.
  • 2 tbsp honey.

Method.

  1. Cut the pineapple into strips and add to a bowl. I obviously used Ugandan pineapples as they are the sweetest in the world.
  2. Cut the capsicum too and add to the bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, add the lemon juice and honey and mix well. You can also add any pineapple juices to that.
  4. Add the chopped mint and pour over the pineapple and capsicum strips.
  5. Add the lemon zest last before giving it a final mix.
  6. You can chill a bit before serving, to give the flavours time to blend in well together.

Colourful and Tasty.

The salad goes well on its own or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Rice Flour Pancakes with Beetroot Hash Filling.

Pancakes are a great breakfast option. The best thing about this recipe is it’s gluten free and you can prep the night before so all you have to do is cook the pancakes in the morning.

I got the recipe from this site and it’s pretty straightforward.

You can serve them plain with a drizzle of honey or fill them or serve with some fruits on the side. I decided to make a beetroot hash filling for them. Let’s get started.

I made the pancake batter the night before. Heat pan, add a ladle of batter and flip when bubbles appear.
They cook really fast. Keep them in a hotpot so they don’t get cold.
For the filling, chop two apples and one beetroot into bite sized pieces. Add them to a pan with a little water and steam for about 7 minutes.
Drain and cool.
Heat some butter in the pan, add a small chopped onion and mix well. Add the beetroot apple mix. You can add some dried sage here if you like, just a pinch.
Season with some salt, pepper and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Mix well and cook till apples are softened. You can turn off heat and add a drizzle of honey.
Serve as you wish. You can serve the hash on the side.
Or fill in the pancakes and roll them in.

Enjoy your pancakes for a hearty breakfast!