Bake ‘N’ Fry Matoke.

There is no way you can live in Uganda and not eat Matoke. The green bananas that are the nation’s staple food. I have already shared my home version of matoke here. Take a look and try it out. And have also shared my matoke fries recipe.

I have not attempted making it the authentic Buganda way yet, but before then, here is another way of making it that will give the bananas a different taste and texture than what we’re used too. I first came across a baked matoke recipe here on pishi.co.ke, And decided to give it a try with a few tweaks here and there. You will need a small bunch of green bananas, 2 slices onions, 1 tbsp ghee, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds and 1 tsp of cumin seeds, and juice of one lemon. Let’s get started:-

Preheat your oven to 180°C, Line your baking tray with foil and bake your green bananas with the peel on for 30-35 minutes
They will have turned black . Let them cool completely before peeling.
In a wide saucepan, add a tbsp of ghee, then add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and 1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds. Let them cook till they start popping.
Add your onion and let cook till soft and a little browned.
Add a pinch of turmeric and some salt and pepper, mix well then add the baked matoke which you have cut into pieces. Mix gently.
Once the matoke is heated through and cooked, squeeze some lemon juice and serve garnished with coriander.
The best thing about this dish is the bananas don’t get mushy as often happens with matoke. They are cooked but still firm.
You can serve them as is with a cup of tea, or as a main meal with some meat stew and roasted vegetables.
Colourful, filling and tasty!

Green bananas aka Matoke are amazing and can be had in many different ways; I can think of at least 30! And will be sharing them gradually with you on the blog over time. So keep it here, subscribe and share the blog link with your friends. And of course, try out the recipe and let me know how it turned out!

My Perfect Stewed Matoke!

Matoke, matooke or green bananas. Bananas people, not plantains. Yes, there is a difference. Here is a good explanation. Matoke aka green bananas are a popular dish in East Africa and each region has their own special way of making them. Here in Uganda, tooke is mostly steamed in banana leaves and served in groundnut sauce, with vegetables or meat. Or as a breakfast dish called “katogo” which is stewed bananas with vegetables or offal. Very yummy. In Tanzania, it is made into a porridge for breastfeeding mums and even as a beer in some parts of the country. In Kenya, it is mostly stewed with potatoes, vegetables and beef or goat meat.

I have fond memories of my mother making Kenyan style matoke as a weekday meal. Think we had it on Tuesdays or Thursdays, can’t remember clearly. LOL

This is my attempt at making it and though I cannot replicate her recipe, I can perfect my own right? Let’s get started.

List of ingredients

All we need, only the meat is missing here.
  1. 250 g beef, chopped and boiled, set aside with its broth.
  2. Green bananas about 16 small pieces.
  3. 1kg Irish potatoes (optional)
  4. I green capsicum (pilipili hoho)
  5. I tbsp tomato paste
  6. Two large tomatoes
  7. 3 onions
  8. 1 bunch coriander
  9. 1 medium courgette
  10. Four cloves garlic
  11. Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  12. Ground spices ; turmeric, ground cumin powder
  13. Cooking oil
  14. salt and pepper to taste

The method.

Crush your ginger and garlic into a paste, set aside.
Boil your beef in one tbsp of crushed ginger garlic paste.
Grate your onion, tomatoes, capsicum and courgette and set aside. Chop the coriander and add the stalks to the green veggie mix.
Peel, clean and chop your potatoes and bananas.

Green bananas are not the easiest to peel, as they leave a slimy, sticky residue on your hands and your knife. You can wear gloves if you want, or apply some vaseline on your palms before peeling them. Or peel them under running water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan and sauté your onions till soft.
Add the ginger garlic paste, mix well then add the coriander stalks, grated green pepper and grated courgette, mix well.
Add your tablespoon of tomato paste. mix well and let it cook a bit then add your ground spices.
After the spices are cooked, and releasing their aroma, add the grated tomato. Mix and cover and let the tomatoes cook down.
Once your tomatoes are cooked down, add your boiled meat to the tomato sauce. You can tell the tomatoes are cooked when the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Now add the potatoes and mix well. Cover and cook for about ten minutes.

A lot of people add the potatoes and bananas together. I did not as the potatoes take longer to cook and I do not want the bananas to get mushy.

After ten minutes, add your bananas, and the broth you had set aside after boiling the beef. If not enough, you can add some water but not too much. Check for seasoning, bring to the boil and cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium low.

You do not have to add meat or even boil the beef, you can fry it directly and use other spices. You can even use peanut butter, coconut milk, whatever you fancy when making this dish YOUR way.

My yummy perfect stewed matooke is ready! Just garnish with the chopped coriander and squeeze some lemon juice. Then serve hot.
I sprinkled some ground chilli as I like it hot.

Comfort food at it’s best! Try it and enjoy!

Flashback Friday

Today’s #FBF post is to the one of the times we had friends over. I miss that.

What are some of the dishes you always prepare when entertaining? For the Ugandan friends we have visited, matooke (mashed green bananas) and groundnut sauce never fail to feature. I love the groundnut sauce and it is one of those things I am sure even if I learn how to do it , will not be as tasty as the real deal. The best though is Fish luwombo. Where smoked fish is added to a yummy groundnut sauce that is then steamed and served wrapped in banana leaves. This is one of the most delicious meals I have ever tasted and it is quite healthy too. You can also make Luwombo with mushrooms, chicken or beef but I prefer the fish Luwombo.

Since I have no idea how to make this dish, I have been cooking my usual go to meal for many I used to make back home when having people over.

I usually have three starches, two proteins, two vegetable dishes and fruit slices. My starches are usually rice, which can be spiced in different ways, roasted potatoes have to feature (given my obvious love for the tuber) and flatbread, could be naan, chapati, any kind depending also on the number of people I am expecting as I don’t want to slave on the stove all morning making chapati. My favorite meat dish is a lovely goat curry Either dry or saucy. I use this recipe from Kaluhi’s kitchen though change it up sometimes as I fancy. I can also have chicken either fried or stewed. The vegetable, salads and Fruits depends on what is in season.

Since we had a number of kids over, I did mayo ketchup chicken wings and roasted potatoes with mixed herbs and olive oil.

Mayo chicken wings and herb roasted potatoes.

Other dishes were a flat bread recipe from cookitrealgood.com, it is an easy and quick recipe and the bread is yummy and fluffy. The two salads were coleslaw and a cucumber, tomato and onion salad, and the veggies were buttered peas with sweet corn and coloured peppers. The best things about these dishes is that you can prep everything well in advance and they can be made low and slow in case your guests don’t know how to keep time. LOL.

For dessert, fruit slices come in handy for a crowd. Pineapple slices and melon wedges, oranges, bananas etc that are also easy for kids to eat. And may I also say the sweetest pineapples are found in Kampala. I never liked pineapples much but I cannot get enough of them now.

Here are some tips if you are cooking alone I got from a chef friend years ago. One, don’t stress. Two, cook only what you can manage; don’t get carried away with too much variety, Three, use what is in season. It is also much easier on your pocket. Four, marinate all your meats overnight, and last but not least, Prep prep prep. If you can, chop, slice and dice all the vegetables needed the night before and store in airtight containers in the fridge. And in the morning all you have to prepare is the rice dish, potatoes and flatbread. For the rice I usually soak then parboil first. That way it cooks well and doesn’t clump.

Salads, chicken wings, buttered peans and sweet corn, goat curry and coconut cashew rice.

What is your go to meal when cooking alone for many people?