Ugali Mayai is an elite meal that reminds one of hostel life, a simple and inexpensive way to have your nutrients on the go. It is so easy to make, delicious, healthy and colourful. It is a great quick dinner recipe that will use your pantry staples on those evenings you do not want to spend a lot of time cooking.
Eggs are called “mayai” in Swahili and ugali, which I have explained in a previous post here, is one of my favorite meals, in spite of the fact that I am such a lousy cook when it comes to it. LOL.
Let’s get started.
Note: It is not a bad idea to have black salt in your pantry. It reduces bloating and heartburn, is rich in antioxidants, but since its not iodised and has fluoride, it should be used sparingly, and just to enhance flavour, not to replace regular salt.
All you have to do is take your time and let it sit a while. As with all curries the flavors just melt into each other and are still delicious as leftover lunch.
This curry has eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, baby spinach and some coconut milk, making it an explosion of flavour that will please both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
First off, drain and rinse off our chickpeas, set aside. Chop /Dice your eggplant and soak in salted water to remove bitterness and avoid them turning black.
Heat your pan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add the mustard, cumin and fennel seeds and bay leaf.
Once they start sputtering add the chopped onion and some coriander stalks. Mix well and let it cook till softened, before adding the ginger garlic paste.
Once that cooks, add your ground spices, lower heat and let the spices cook a bit. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
You can now add your drained and rinsed eggplant, add a splash of water, cover and let cook for 5-6 minutes. Then add the tomatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper, then cover and let the tomatoes cook down. ( I do not rush this as I want the flavours to blend properly, also I usually season food as I cook).
Once the tomatoes cook down, add the chickpeas and about a cup and a half of thick coconut milk. Mix well, cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Add your washed and drained spinach leaves and let cook for about five minutes more. Check seasoning, turn off heat and garnish with dhania leaves.
Serve hot with chapati or rice.
We had ours with coconut and pumpkin chapatis, whose recipe I will share soon.
Enjoy this meal as a quick weeknight curry that is great for the kids lunchboxes the next day too.
It is healthy, colourful, tasty and easy to make which as you already know, I love!
Here is another simple side side recipe that goes well with grilled meats, wraps, plantain, roast potatoes and many more dishes.
I love red cabbage because of its colour, obviously, given my love for colourful food. But also because of its numerous health benefits. It has vitamins C, K, A, B6. Minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, zinc among others. It is colourful hence heavy on antioxidants that help protect our cells, helps fight inflammations and contains fibre too. Cabbage often gets a bad rap but once you know how to prepare it and the health benefits, it will make a worthy addition to your meals.
The best thing about red cabbage is you can have it cooked as I did here as a stir fry, you can include it in your vegetable manchurian or raw like in this salad.
To get started, you will need:-
Half a red cabbage, shredded or sliced thinly.
2 grated carrots.
1 sliced onion.
Dressing is 1 tablespoon low fat mayo, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tsp mixed herbs and some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
To begin, slice your onion and soak in warm salted water to reduce bitterness.
I like the crunch of the cabbage against the tang of the mustard and lemon coupled with the sweetness of the carrots and honey in the dressing. The dressing is just enough to coat the vegetables well without overpowering it. The sweetness of the plantains and the lemon marinade in the chicken match the salad well, a perfect burst of flavour in each bite. The kids love it and so do I.
How do you prepare your red cabbage? Please share any red cabbage recipes I can try out.
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.
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.
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.