Tasty Chicken and Peanut Stew.

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes. It comes a close second after my chicken in lemon and garlic that I have already posted here on the blog. Check it out too.

I love cooking this chicken in peanut butter for my loved ones. It is hearty, delicious and easy to make.

Let’s get started right away:-

Our ingredients are 1 kg of skinned chicken cut into pieces, one large chopped onion, 1 large chopped tomato, some tomato paste, 1 tbsp ginger garlic and turmeric paste, Freshly ground black pepper and salt, 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter, 2 cups water, a small pinch of sugar. 1tbsp of cooking oil.

Method:-

Clean and chop your chicken into pieces. Sprinkle salt and some freshly ground black pepper on it and mix well.
Add the peanut butter to a bowl and add one cup of water and mix well till the butter is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat your wide heavy based sauce pan and add the cooking oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sear till brown but don’t let it cook yet. Once brown set aside.

Add your onion to the same pot and cook till soft. Add the ginger garlic and turmeric mixture and let cook for a while.

Next add the tomatoes and paste. Let cook down into a paste / sauce. Once the tomatoes are soft and cooked through, add the chicken pieces. Mix well.

Add the peanut butter you had dissolved with the remaining water. Mix, lower heat. Cover the pan and let simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked though. Boneless chicken will obviously take a shorter time to cook.

The sauce will thicken so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. If it’s too thick you can add some water as it simmers.

Once ready check seasoning then serve. It goes well with rice and vegetables.

Very flavorful.

I usually determine how much seasoning to use depending on the peanut butter, so it is important to use a good quality. If it’s too salty or sugary it will affect the taste of the sauce, that’s why I prefer checking the seasoning at the end.

Rice, chicken peanut stew and steamed vegetables.

Try it and enjoy!

Simple Irio Recipe.

Irio is a staple in my motherland, and is more or less the same as mukimo, which I have shared here and here. Irio means food in my mother tongue, and is used to refer to the mashed mix of maize, beans, potatoes and fig gourd leaves, which we call ‘kahūrūra. This is not to be confused with pumpkin leaves, though they are very similar. However you can replace them with pumpkin leaves if you can’t get the fig gourd leaves and they will work just as well.

This is a nutritious and filling meal to make, and you can have it on its own, or with an accompaniment of your choice. I like traditional food because you get to taste the authentic flavour of the different ingredients and benefit from the nutrients and it tastes just as our forefathers or rather mothers made it.

Ingredients: 1 kg or so of peeled Irish potatoes, already boiled maize and beans, blanched pumpkin leaves. For the accompaniment i made stir fried veggies (onions, capsicum and courgette)
Peel, clean and boil your potatoes in salted water. A dash of pepper is ok too.
Once the potatoes are almost cooked down, you can drain the water and add the beans and maize so they heat through.
Add your blanched and blended pumpkin leaves, check seasoning and mash away…
….till you get this smooth mash. You can use a potato masher or a wooden cooking stick to mash them up.
I had some leftover fried onions (birista), so I crushed them and mixed them in the irio adding a lovely flavour.
Look at that lovely green colour! I really love colourful food especially when the colour comes from natural ingredients that offer added nutrients too.
Final plate: Irio and stir fried vegetables for the win! Yummy.

For the stir fried vegetables, I first caramelized the onions low and slow till they released their sugars, then increased heat and added the veggies to just let them cook a bit, before adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, then garnished with sesame seeds. Yum!!!

This is such a great veggie full meal that’s also perfect for #meatlessmondays too don’t you think?

Tasty Githeri.

Gītheri is one dish that is synonymous with where I come from, and a trademark of Kenyan cuisine. It is also found in other communities by different names, and with some slight differences. Whereas we Central Kenya folks make it with maize and beans most of the time, some communities add groundnuts to the mix, or just have maize and another cereal or legume such as peas, pigeon peas and hyacinth bean which we call ‘njahī’ in my mothertongue.

I have already shared another githeri recipe here using fresh green peas but here I will share with butterbeans, with a tasty twist. Let’s get started:-

Ingredients: Already boiled butterbeans and green maize, 1 tsp mustard seeds, some curry leaves, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 large chopped onion, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped green pepper, chopped carrot and courgette and coriander leaves to garnish.
Heat your pan and add one tbsp vegetable oil, once the oil is really hot. Add the black mustard seeds and curry leaves, they will sputter immediately then add the onions before they burn, mix well.
Once your onions have softened, add the coriander stalks, green pepper and ginger garlic paste, mix well and cook for a whole then add your spices of choice here; I just added some Kenyan curry powder.
Add the chopped vegetables, and let cook a bit. Then add the beans and maize.
Add some salt and pepper, and a little water if too dry, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the flavours are blended well.
When ready, garnish with your coriander leaves and serve hot.
Avocado goes perfectly well with gītheri, so add some chunky guacamole and chilli on top, then enjoy!

Gītheri actually means ‘plain’ as it was usually eaten as is with just some salt. And it is tasty that way, fresh off the pot when boiled together then drained and served hot sprinkled with salt is one way. You can also mash it with potatoes and it becomes ‘mūkimo’ which I have already shared here, or fry it with some onions and spices and array of vegetables for a different taste like in this post.

That is the beauty of cooking, using what you have on hand to experiment with a different way of eating your food, isn’t it?

Tasty Kenyan Beef Stew

Beef stew is a classic Kenyan dish. Cubes of beef cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and various spices are combined to create a tasty and hearty stew that goes well with chapati, ugali or rice.

Every household has its own way of making it. Where I come from, potatoes, peas and carrots are a must. And the dish is served hot with some steamed cabbage on the side.

This here is my version of a dish that I love and is also on my list of top comfort foods that remind me of my childhood.

Ingredients: 500g Beef cut in chunks, 3 large potatoes cubed, 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 sliced carrots, 1/2 tbsp tomato paste, I tbsp ginger garlic paste, I large chopped onion, 1.5 tsp Kenyan curry powder, coriander to garnish, salt and pepper to taste.
Add your chopped onions to the same pan and cook till soft and a bit brown.

Add your garlic ginger paste, stir well then add the curry powder. Mix well to avoid burning then add the tomatoes. Cover and let the tomatoes cook through before adding the meat you had set aside.

Add the meat …

Now, there are many memes and jokes made about how much my fellow Kenyans from the Mt. Kenya region like our stews soupy. This is my PSA; Please do not, I repeat DO NOT add too much water. In fact add half a cup and if it’s too little just a bit more.

Below are some images from the internet that folks like making fun of us cooking with.

Back to our stew, let it come to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40-60 minutes.

When the meat is cooked and soft, and the sauce thick to your liking. Switch off, stir in the coriander and serve hot with rice, chapati or ugali.

It is perfect with some steamed Kenyan Mwea Pishori rice which is medium grained but very aromatic. However, I didn’t have some when I made this so just served it with some basmati rice and steamed cabbage on the side. Still delicious!

As always a reminder, this is how I make my beef stew, everyone has their own version. A lot of people add bouillon cubes, I didn’t as I don’t use them at all. You can personalise it your way and add green peppers, courgettes or peas to this and it will still be tasty. Try it and Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Easy Vegetable Pilau.

Pilau is a very common dish in East Africa, and once again like biriani, everyone has their own way of doing it. In Kenya pilau is darker in colour and has meat, but once you move to the coast, it is lighter in colour and has no meat, maybe potatoes but that is it.

Whatever way you make it, it is sure to be delicious. Vegetable pilau is my go to for the kids’ school lunch or a meatless Monday meal. It is an easy one pot meal full of incredible flavour. Let’s get started shall we?

Ingredients: ground pilau masala, ginger garlic paste, chopped onions, whole pilau masala (bayleaf, cumin seeds, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom), chopped tomato, rice and my vegetables of choice. I used potatoes, green beans, green pepper, carrot and beetroot. All chopped in small pieces.

Rinse and soak your basmati rice for about 30 minutes. You can use the whole pilau spices as is, or grind them, which I did as we do not like biting into cloves or cardamoms when eating.

Very fragrant freshly ground pilau masala, it has a very strong aroma.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of cumin seeds and the bay leaf, cook for a while and add the onion. Let the onion brown a bit but do not let it burn. Remember, the darker the onions cook, the darker the pilau. Then add one tablespoon of ground ginger garlic paste and mix well.
Add your freshly ground pilau masala and mix well, do not let it burn. If using tomatoes, add them at this time and let them cook down completely, then add the store brand already ground pilau masala if you didn’t have the whole one.
Add your vegetables and some salt and pepper. Let the veggies cook a bit, the potatoes can be about halfway done.
Add the drained rice and mix well to let it be coated with the spices.
Add your veggie broth or water and bring to the boil. I use two cups of liquid for one cup of rice.
once the rice starts boiling, cover and reduce the heat to let it simmer slowly until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. I added fried onions, raisins and roasted cashew nuts but it is not a must.

Your vegetable pilau is now ready to serve. You can serve with it a nice kachumbari salad, some raita or even have it on it’s own.

Looks delicious right?

This is an easy meal to make and a great way to use what you have on hand to make a delicious meal for your family. Give it a try!