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?

Githeri ya Minji.

Gītheri is a central Kenyan traditional meal of maize and beans, mixed and boiled together; similar to what is known as ‘succotash’. It can be had plain with some salt, you add some potatoes to make a mash which we call ‘mūkimo, or fry and have other spices and vegetables or even meat added to it, or add some groundnuts, the varieties are endless.

This time round I made mine with fresh green peas, which we call ‘minji’, and had it with some cabbage to make a delicious vegetarian meal.

Let’s get started:-

  1. I cup blanched peas
  2. I cup boiled green maize; you can use sweet corn too.
  3. 1 large potato, chopped
  4. 1large chopped onion
  5. 1 chopped courgette
  6. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  7. 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.
  8. 1 tsp dhana jeera
  9. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  10. coriander leaves for garnish
Heat oil in a pan, fry your onions till soft.
Add the ground spices, mix well then add the tomatoes and some salt, cover and let cook a bit.
Add your courgette and potatoes and let cook over medium heat, you can add a little water so they do not burn.
Then add the peas and maize and mix well
If you want your gather dry, just cover and cook on low till potatoes are cooked through. If you want it to have a thickish sauce, add enough water (about a cup) to just cover the mix, then cover and let cook through till it reduces to your liking and the potatoes are cooked through.
Once ready to your liking, check the seasoning and add the coriander leaves and a tbsp of lemon juice to garnish. You can have it on it’s own like this, or with rice or other vegetables.

For the vegetable side dish, our ingredients are:-

Half a head of white cabbage, 1 carrot, sliced bell peppers, onion, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp curry powder.
Heat your pan, add the oil and mustard seeds and let them release their aroma and start popping..
Add your onion, I mixed red and spring onion.
Add your curry powder, some salt and add the green pepper and carrots. Mix all well on high heat.
Add your cabbage, mix well, then add the other bell peppers, and cook your vegetables to your liking.
I like them cooked just in the middle, a bit soft, a bit crunchy. One of my grandmothers would NEVER eat cabbage I had cooked as she would always complain it’s undercooked. LOL. So I would serve mine then let the rest cook to her liking.
This is such a beautiful dish, the colours are so inviting you just want to dig in.
An avocado if available adds more oomph to the popping colours and flavours! And in Uganda and Kenya, how can a meal be complete without avocado on the side?

The best thing about gītheri is there are no iron clad rules. As always, it is up to you to use what you have and flavour it your way. This makes a perfect meatless Monday or quick midweek meal as it is easy to whip up and one of the easiest way to load up on some veggies.

Give it a try!

Easy Peasy Spaghetti!

This is such an easy recipe. Perfect for lunch, a light supper and an easy way to get some veggies in the kids. Quick, delicious, filling and you can use up those forlorn looking vegetables in the fridge.

Assemble your ingredients.

One large leek, chopped, three grated cloves of garlic, two carrots and one grated courgette, some lemon zest and chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
In a large heated pan, add a tbsp of olive oil and one tbsp of the butter. The oil is to make sure the butter does not burn and brown too fast. Add your leeks cook for a minute, add the garlic and mix well on medium heat.
The spaghetti can be cooking at the same time. You can use any pasta you have on hand.
Add your grated vegetables and mix well. Be easy on the salt If using salted butter. I used white pepper, a 1/4 tsp and 1 tsp off dried oregano for added flavour. Reduce heat and add the lemon zest and coriander and mix well.

Drain your pasta when ready and add to the vegetables in the pan, add some of the pasta water to ensure it does not dry out too much.

Grate some cheese if you like. I used some black pepper cheddar.
Voila! Your meal is ready! You can sprinkle some chilli flakes if you wish.

Dinner is ready in 20 minutes! Not bad right?