Beetroot Buns.

Where are my colourful food lovers at?

This one is for you.

My kids and I love the bright pink colour of these beetroot rolls or bun. They are delicious and easy to make. They are good enough on their own or with a soup or as a sandwich.

They are so colourful and tasty!

For this recipe, I used 3 cups of all purpose flour. Added about Half a cup of atta (whole wheat ) flour. One tbsp sugar, pinch of salt, one cup of warm water, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tsp yeast, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, one tsp of ground mixed spice (I like the savory flavour) and one grated beetroot.

Always activate your yeast with the sugar and warm water.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour mix and stir well with a wooden spoon till it comes together into a shaggy dough. Then place onto a floured countertop and knead with your hands till smooth and soft.

Oil the dough, cover and let rest till doubled in size. It takes one hour in a warm area. Or a switched off oven with the light on.

Punch air out of the dough once risen then shape into 12 rolls.

Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

Cover and let the shaped buns rest for about 30- 45 minutes before baking for about 18 minutes in a 180°c oven.

I brushed them with a honey butter mix before putting in the oven and after taking them out.

For honey butter, melt 2 tbsp of unsalted butter then add in 1 tbsp honey and mix well. It makes rolls soft, gives a nice sheen, aroma and a bit of yummy stickiness.

You can top the buns with sesame seeds too if you want.

They have a wonderful aroma and look so pretty too.

So delicious!

Had ours with some pumpkin soup. And the rest were great for breakfast too.

Definitely worth a try.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Herb and Cheese Rolls.

I am a big fan of savoury / seasoned breads. Such as these yummy cheese and herb rolls.

Don’t they look lovely?

I like using this recipe from half-baked harvest, though I usually make a few changes here and there.

These rolls are so soft, fluffy, buttery, well seasoned, herby, cheesy and great to have with some soup on the side or even on their own.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

1. 3-4 cups of all purpose flour.

2. 1 small packet of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp).

3. 2 tbsp honey.

4. Small pinch of salt.

5. 1 cup of warm milk.

6. 2 tbsp of melted butter. Have some extra butter on hand to brush on the rolls once out of the oven.

7. 2 eggs.

For the herb and cheese filling our ingredients are:-

1. 2 tbsp chopped coriander.

2. 2-3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (grated).

3. 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese.

4. 1 minced garlic clove.

5. Salt and freshly ground back pepper.

6. Mixed savoury spice seasoning.

This is the savory seasoning I used.

7. 2 heaped tsp mixed herbs (mine had thyme, oregano and basil).

8. 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

Let’s get started.

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and mix well. Add the sugar, milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix with a wooden stick then once its kind of a shaggy dough, knead with your hands till it is soft and smooth.

2. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about one hour in a warm place, or till the dough is doubled in size. I usually keep mine in the oven with the light on.

3. For the filling, chop your coriander, which can be alternated with parsley too and set aside in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar and mozzarella, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and the savoury spice and mix well.

4. In another small bowl, add the cream cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and the minced garlic and mix well.

5. Get a baking tin and line it with parchment paper.

6. Once dough is ready, punch and knead a bit to deflate it. Roll it out to a rectangle shape, but not too thin.

7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough generously, then sprinkle the cheddar and Herb mix.

8. Roll it tightly into a log shape, same way we do with cinammon rolls, then slice into 12 pieces.

This recipe makes 12 rolls.

9. Place the cut pieces in the baking dish, cover and let rest for half an hour.

10. Preheat oven.

11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the rolls and bake fo 25-30 minutes at 170°C. You can let them brown a bit and you will smell and see the cheese bubbling on top. They smell so good!

Love it when the cheese bubbles over. Yum!

12. Once out of the oven, brush generously with some melted butter and let rest for about 10 minutes.

13. Serve warm as a brunch side, or with soup on the side.

They are fluffy, soft, well seasoned and so tasty.

They bake so beautifully too. See how well browned the bottoms are. 😍

We have had them here on their own, with some roasted tomato soup and some pumpkin soup.

Had them with some pumpkin and bell pepper soup.
They go well with some roasted tomato soup too! The soup recipe is from here.

Definitely worth a try!

Sautéed Cabbage and Amaranth leaves.

One of the things that’s easy to take for granted in this part of the world, is having access to fresh green vegetables all year round.

If one has space to grow their own, even better. If you do not and have to buy, it is ok as they are not only inexpensive, but come in many different varieties to please different palates.

Amaranth leaves are more commonly known in Uganda as “Dodo” and in Kenya as “terere” or “mchicha.” It is on rotation in our meals a lot. It is rich in vitamins, easy to digest, low in calories and is a great immunity booster.

In this simple recipe, I used red amaranth leaves which are also rich in antioxidants, and gave the veggie mix a bright red color. Green amaranth leaves can work just as well too, minus the red colour obviously.

Let us get started:-

Ingredients.

⁃ Half a head of cabbage, chopped.

⁃ I small bunch of amaranth leaves. I used red but green can work well too.

⁃ 2tbsp ghee.

⁃ 1 tsp mustard seeds.

⁃ 1 large onion, sliced.

⁃ 1 tsp of crushed ginger and garlic.

⁃ 2 tomatoes, chopped.

⁃ 1 tsp dhania jeera powder.

⁃ 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.

⁃ Sliced bell pepper (optional).

⁃ Salt and pepper to taste.

Our spice mix for this dish.

⁃ A pinch of garam masala.

⁃ 1 small lemon halved.

Method.

⁃ Clean and chop all vegetables.

⁃ Heat pan, add ghee and mustard seeds. Once they sizzle a bit, add the onion and let cook till it is soft and translucent.

⁃ Add the ginger garlic paste and mix in well.

Once it’s cooked a bit add the tomatoes and cumin / coriander powder as well as some salt and pepper.

⁃ Let the tomatoes cook down then add the veggies.

Mix well and let cook for not more than ten minutes. You don’t want to overcook them. Leave uncovered.

They will shrink and wilt a bit. Don’t over cook them though. The cabbage is great when it still has a bit of crunch.

⁃ Check your seasoning and add the garam and squeeze half a lemon over the veggies.

The red amaranth leaves’ colour will give the dish a nice reddish, pinkish hue.

Serve hot with rice, ugali or chapati. It’s a perfect side dish but also yummy and healthy enough on its own.

Definitely worth a try don’t you think?

Try and let me know how yours turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

My Chicken Palak Curry.

I’m a big fan of various Indian delicacies. And this is how I make one of my favorite chicken curry dishes.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients.

1. 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 large pieces.

2. 2 bunches of spinach (Swiss chard)

3. 1 bunch fresh mint. chopped.

4. 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves separated.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. 1/2 cup of unflavoured yoghurt.

7. 3 ripe tomatoes, pureed.

8. 1 large onion, chopped.

9. 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste.

10. A small knob of grated whole turmeric.

11. 1 tbsp garam masala

12. 1 tbsp tomato paste.

13. 1 tsp mixed spice blend (see picture for what I used).

14. 1 tbsp kasuri methi.

15. Whole spices: cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamom pods.

16. 2 tbsp ghee.

Method.

• Chop and clean your chicken, and pat dry.

• Mix the yoghurt with half of the ginger, garlic and turmeric paste, the chopped mint, garam masala, mixed spice blend and salt and pepper.

Marinate the chicken in this mixture overnight or for a couple of hours if pressed for time. (Reserve a bit of the mint though).

• Heat your pan, add ghee and the whole spices. Let them release aroma then add onion.

Let the onion cook till soft and a bit browned. Add the remaining ginger garlic, turmeric paste, coriander stems and mix well.

• Next go in the tomato paste and pureed tomatoes. Lower heat and let them cook till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan, then add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

• As the chicken cooks, blanch the spinach, cool in icy cold water to preserve the bright green colour then drain and puree together with the mint and coriander leaves you had set aside.

• Add the pureed greens to the chicken and mix in well. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Or until chicken is cooked through. Remember to check on the seasoning.

The dried methi leaves go in last. Switch off heat and let sit a bit.

It looks, smells and tastes so good!

Serve the curry with jeera rice and some naan or chapati.

As with all curries, It tastes better once it sits a bit so keep some aside for lunch the next day. The flavours will be even better!

Lunchbox Rice balls. Recipe coming soon…