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?

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?

Simple Curried Goat.

This is a lovely goat curry recipe that is full of warming spices but not much heat.

It is colourful, tasty, filling and easy to make which as you know is my forte right here.

You will need:-

  • About 1.5kg bone in goat meat.
  • 1 tbsp spice blend ( equal parts ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg).
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, turmeric and garlic (crushed into a paste).
  • 2 medium green capsicums, chopped into strips.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Two sliced onions.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder.
  • I large potato, chopped.
  • 1 large chopped carrot.
  • Coriander leaves for garnish.

Method.

Garlic, ginger, turmeric and a spice blend of equal parts ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Crush the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Add the lemon juice, spice blend, salt and pepper into a thickish paste.

Cut the goat meat into medium pieces, smear with the spice paste, cover and let marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan till hot.

Sear the meat till brown to seal the juices inside.

Add the onion and mix well till soft then add the curry powder and tomato paste, mix well make sure it doesn’t burn. Add 2 cups of water, enough to just cover the goat.

Lower heat and let the goat simmer for an hour or so, till tender…Then add the chopped capsicum, potato and carrot and simmer a while till the potatoes are done and the sauce is to your liking.

As it cooks, do not forget to check seasoning and stir after a while so it doesn’t burn and stick at the bottom of the pot.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Cooking it low and slow allows all the spices to cook down and release all their awesome flavour into the meat, potatoes and carrots. The meat is tender and falls of the bone but not mushy, and the potatoes and carrots are cooked but still firm and full of the amazing curry flavour.

If you are wondering how to please your family this weekend… try this dish. It is definitely worth the effort.

Served up with some rice and salad is a great way to enjoy this truly delicious meal.

This dish smells, looks and tastes amazing!

Meatless Monday: One pot Lentils and Rice.

This dish is a basic easy to make but oh so tasty lentil pilau. It is also known as mujadara in some parts of the world.

It is a vegetarian and gluten free meal that works well for an quick evening meal and kid’s lunch box the next day. It is so simple to put together, tasty and inexpensive, perfect for a weeknight meal and since it is one pot, not much cleaning up after. Yay!

Ingredients are:-

  1. 3 large onions, sliced.
  2. 2 tbsp of birista. These are fried onions like the ones we use for biriani. I usually make a lot then freeze and use in various dishes or as a snack.
  3. 1 cup basmati rice.
  4. 2 cups parboiled brown lentils (masoor dal).
  5. salt and pepper to taste.
  6. 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  7. 1 small bunch of coriander.

Method.

Sort then boil your lentils until ready but still firm.

Next, slice your onions and heat your oil in a large saucepan that will be big enough for your dish.

Fry the onions until soft and caramelised then stir in the coriander stalks too.
Add the rice and mix well till all the grains are covered with the oil mixture, then add the lentils and your seasoning.
Add two cups of water, let the dish simmer till ready.

I use basmati rice and use a 1:2 ratio at all times; 1 cup of rice will require 2 cups of water, cover and let simmer till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender but not mushy.

The onions give the dish a lovely flavour, colour and aroma.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and 1 tbsp of the birista and fold carefully before serving.

You can now serve it as it is on its own, or with a yogurt sauce on the side, or with a salad or any other accompaniment you wish.

However you serve it, do not forget to garnish with the rest of the fried onions. The crunch goes so well with the sweetness of the caramelised onions and the lentils and rice will have absorbed the flavours too.

We had it here with some beef balls in mushroom sauce.
Personally, I like it best like this, with the birista as a topping on the rice.

I love the differences in flavour of the onions that are nothing you would expect. The caramelized onions are sweet having released their sugars, and soft. And the fried ones are crispy with a deeper flavour, nothing like the tanginess we associate with red onion.

This is a simple but very tasty meal that is filling and healthy too. It is one of my favorite rice dishes to make and the kids love it too.

Try it and enjoy!

Stewed Matooke with Chicken.

This is a simple, tasty and hearty one pot meal that doesn’t take too long to make, but will leave you deliciously satisfied.

Ingredients needed: 1 small bunch of green bananas, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp tomato paste, about half a kilo of boneless chicken, one large grated onion, one large grated tomato, 1 green pepper, grated too. Spices are 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp ground turmeric and 1 tsp cumin seeds. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:-

Peel your green bananas and keep them submerged in a bowl of water so they do not turn black. You can slice them into twos or thirds, depending on how big you want them.

Chop your chicken breast into small pieces and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Let it get really hot. Sear the chicken fast till it’s brown on the sides and set aside.

The chicken doesn’t have to cook through. Just browned is fine.

In the same pan, add the cumin seeds, then the ginger garlic paste. Mix well then add the grated onion. Let it cook till it starts to brown then add the grated green pepper and coriander stalks.

Mix well and let cook a while.

Add the spices and let them cook well then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and a splash of water. Let them simmer till they soften and cook through.

The tomatoes will cook down to a thick sauce.
Add the chicken and mix well.
Add the green bananas and mix well.
Add some water to just slightly above the mix. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes till the matoke is cooked but not mushy. Do not forget to check the seasoning.
Add the chopped coriander. It’s now ready to serve.
It is tasty, colourful and filling.

It makes a perfect weekday meal as it doesn’t take too long to put together and uses one pot.

It is a healthy meal, delicious and filling, and the kids will love it too. Definitely worth a try.