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?

Eggplant Thursday: Chana Dal and Aubergine recipe.

This is a tasty dish that works well for a weeknight dinner or lunchbox meal for the kids.

You will need;

  • Chana dal (already boiled with whole spices, I used cloves, cinnamon, turmeric and bay leaf).
  • 1 onion, sliced.
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Some garlic ginger paste, and some crushed coriander seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon dhania jeera powder.
  • 2 grated tomatoes.
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped.
  • I egg plant, chopped.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coriander leaves and some fresh squeezed lemon for garnish.

Method.

Boil your chana dal with the whole spices until cooked but not mushy, set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan, add your mustard seeds, let pop then add the onions.

Once onions are soft, add the ginger garlic paste.

Add the eggplant then a bit of ground turmeric and the dhania jeera powder and mix well.

After cooking a few minutes add the grated tomatoes plus some salt. Let cook a while before adding the potatoes.

Once tomatoes are fully cooked, add some water about two cups and let simmer till potatoes are done.

Lastly, add the already boiled chana dal and the garam masala. Mix well and let the legumes heat through and get the flavour.

Check seasoning, add garnish and remove from heat.

Serve with chapati or rice.

I had mine with some tasty carrot and dhania chapati.

For the chapati, I kneaded the flour with the usual hot water and salt, as well as one grated carrot and 2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of ground cumin that added a unique flavour to the flat bread.

They are so delicious and flaky you can have them on their own too or use them for a Ugandan Rolex, who’s recipe I have already shared here.

Try this stew and let me know what you think.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Aubergine and Cabbage Fry.

This is a simple side dish that goes well with some aromatic rice, hot chapati or even on its own.

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that a lot of people do not like or know how to make, or assume it is bitter. Aubergine aka eggplants are easily available here and affordable too. They are rich in anti oxidants, vitamins, high in fibre and low in calories among other benefits. Cabbage is also inexpensive but also rich in minerals and Vitamin K, helps fight inflammation in your body, low in calories, helps in digestion and contains Vitamin C too among other nutrients. Both vegetables go surprising well together in this simple dish, try it and let me know how it turns out.

We will need:-

  • a 1/4 head of cabbage, roughly chopped.
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced.
  • 1 sliced onion.
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spices : 1/4 tsp ground tumeric, mixed spice blend and some dried basil.

Method.

To avoid bitterness from your eggplant, slice and soak in salted water first and let it sit as you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat your saucepan and the oil, then the onion and let it cook a bit till it starts to turn translucent before adding the chopped garlic.

Cook it well, then add the spices and tomato paste, mixing well to avoid burning. You can reduce heat and add a tablespoon of water so they can cook but not burn.

Rinse off your eggplant and pat dry on kitchen towel, before adding to the pan. Let the eggplant cook on high for 5-8 minutes, then add the cabbage.

Mix well and check seasoning, let fry till just beginning to soften, remove from heat and serve hot.

The eggplant is crispy at the edges, well cooked, not bitter and adds a meaty texture to the dish. The cabbage is cooked but still a bit crunchy and well coated and flavoured with the spices.

You can sprinkle some chilli or cayenne too for an extra kick.

This simple vegetable fry is tasty, healthy, colourful and filling. It is delicious enough to have on its own, as a filling for a hot chapati wrap, with rice for the kids’ lunchboxes, as side dish for dinner, or as a simple and quick lunch dish.

Try it and let me know what you think of it.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Eggplant Thursday!

Eggplant, Brinjal, Aubergine; that’s what I’m talking about 🙂

Eggplants are low in calories but contain fibre and are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which makes them a beneficial addition to your list of healthy ingredients. Clean well and keep the peel on to retain all the nutrients and fibre.

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

The purple eggplant is common here but not as common as the garden egg locally known as ‘entula’ though I’m yet to try cooking it.

Entula aka garden egg. Image source: New Vision Uganda website.

My favorite way of making eggplant is in a curry, eaten with chapati or rice. In ratatouille or simply roasted with olive oil, mixed herbs and served over spicy couscous as I did here.

I also add it in my stews, both vegetable and beef stews. Roast egg plant in the oven then add it to your thick beef stew at the end. The flavor and texture blend quite well.

But if you like your eggplant spicy, here is an amazing recipe that is worth a try.

Chop your eggplants, about five of them and set them aside. Sprinkle some salt on them to reduce the bitterness.

Peel and chop your potatoes also about 5 of them, about the same size as the eggplant.

Peel and chop three tomatoes and one medium sized onion. Then crush some garlic and ginger together. Set aside.

Heat some oil in a pan, add 1/4 tsp of turmeric and fry your eggplant for about seven minutes, season well then set aside. Do the same to the potatoes, fry them with in he same oil, season well and set aside.

In the same pan, add some oil if it seems dry, then a tsp of cumin seeds. Add the onion and mix well. Sauté till soft, add your garlic ginger paste and mix well till the raw smell goes away. Now lower heat and add your spices as follows, 1/ 2 tsp of ground coriander powder, Dhana jeera powder, red chilli powder and 1 tsp of garam masala. Mix well and let the spices cook well. You can add a splash of water so they don’t burn.

Next add your tomatoes and cover the pan. Let the tomatoes cook down into a mush; about ten-15 minutes on low heat. You can now add your potatoes and egg plants in the masala. Mix well and carefully to coat them with the sauce, cover and cook about ten minutes on low for potatoes to cook completely.

You can sprinkle some dry fenugreek leaves at the end of cooking or squeeze juice of half a lemon. Garnish with coriander and let sit for about five minutes before serving.

I had mine with an oat roti. Deliciousness!

How do you like your eggplant?