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?

Tasty French Beans Recipe.

French beans aka green beans aka haricot vert are usually had as side dishes, steamed or sautéed. Here is a simple recipe that enables them shine as a main vegetable dish.

Green beans are known as ‘miciri’ or ‘mishiri’ in my mother tongue and are usually chopped and added to a stew with meat (beef) carrot and potatoes.

I however prefer them a bit bigger in size and crunchy too, cooked through but with some bite to them.

They are rich in various vitamins, such as Vitamins K and C, also rich in folate, fiber, and calcium among other nutritional benefits.

They are also easily available and affordable in Kenya and Uganda. And are one of Kenya’s main horticultural export crops.

My son loves them. Whether as a saucy curry, sautéed with some butter, steamed or even roasted with some carrots there is no shortage of ways to get your family to have and love this vegetable.

Let’s get started.

Our ingredients are:-

1. French beans. (About 2 large fistfuls). Cleaned and sliced diagonally.

2. One large onion. Chopped.

3. Two large cloves of garlic. (Use local, it has better flavour).

4. 2 tablespoons cooking oil.

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. Spices used are 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds, a bit of turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of Kenyan curry powder.

7. Three tomatoes, chopped.

Method.

Heat your pan and add the oil and mustard seeds, then the onion.

Let the onion cook till a bit brown and add your minced garlic.

Add the ground spices and mix well till they release their flavours then add the tomatoes, and some salt.

Lower heat and cover. Let the tomatoes cook down into a mushy sauce.

Add your green beans and mix well.

Cover and cook on low for ten minutes. If you want them more tender cook for longer but not too long as they get chewy. Ten to twelve minutes are just right for me.

Check seasoning and serve hot. You can have it as a side or as a main vegetable dish. I had mine with some aromatic rice.

Easy peasy. Simple, tasty, colorful and filling.

Give it a try and have your French beans in a different way. You will not regret it.

Red Cabbage and Peas.

Purple/ red cabbage is a great vegetable to add to your meal plan. It is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

You can have it raw in a salad. Like we did here. Or sautéed with green peas that’s a lovely side dish for your rice and kids’ lunchboxes.

This lovely vegetable dish has the following ingredients:-

Half a red cabbage, sliced, two grated carrots, one sliced green pepper, 1 chopped onion, 1 cup of green peas, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste. Spices used are 1 tsp each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and Kenyan curry powder. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method.

Heat your wide based pan and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil. As well as the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they start sputtering, add the onion and let fry till translucent, before adding the crushed ginger garlic and mix well.
Add the curry powder and mix well, before adding the carrot and green pepper, salt and pepper. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add your cabbage. Mix well and let cook for another 3 minutes.
Add the peas and mix in well. Let cook till they are ready which is 5 or less minutes. Then switch off heat.
Squeeze some lemon juice and serve hot.

You can have the dish as it is for a light lunch. Or pair it up with rice or flaky chapati for a healthy vegetarian dinner meal.

It’s also perfect with some carrot rice. 😋

Healthy, tasty, colorful and filling. It will be a hit with you and the kids. Definitely worth a try.

Tasty Chickpea, Eggplant and Spinach Curry.

This curry is insanely delicious!

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.

Ingredients are : a can of chickpeas, a small bag of baby spinach, two medium eggplants, one onion, 3 tomatoes, a heaped teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, some tomato paste, a pinch of sugar, cup and a half of thick coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste, a small bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated and chopped. Our spices are 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp dhania jeera powder and a tbsp of Kenyan curry powder. Also used a tsp of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and 1/2 a tsp of fennel seeds, as well as a bay leaf.

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!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Easy Charred Eggplant and Peas.

Here is another delicious eggplant recipe that will have you wanting more of this amazing vegetable. It is spicy, has some heat, is filling, tasty, and colourful. The wonderful aromas and flavours are heightened with the addition of some coconut milk which adds to the richness and complexity of flavour to the dish.

All you need are two eggplants, sliced onion, garlic ginger paste, one sliced tomato, one cup of peas and one chopped potato. Spices used are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dhana jeera powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Other ingredients are coconut oil, tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste and one cup of coconut milk.

First, chop your eggplant into thickish pieces and pan fry for about 12 minutes, 6 on each side until browned and a bit charred, set aside.

Heat your saucepan, add one tablespoon of coconut oil and a teaspoon of the black mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds, once they start sputtering, add your sliced onion. Mix well and let cook till onions begin browning at the edges then add your one teaspoon of crushed ginger and garlic.

Once the ginger garlic is cooked a bit, add one tbsp of the dhana jeera powder, a pinch of chilli powder, 1/4 tsps of the ground turmeric and one tbsp of tomato paste. Let cook and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn, then add your sliced tomato.

Reduce heat and cover to let the tomatoes cook down. Once they are softened completely, add the potatoes and a cup of water. Cover and let simmer for a while till the potatoes are almost soft, then add your peas.

Let the peas cook a bit and mix well into the sauce, then add your eggplant and coconut milk. Cover once again and simmer for ten minutes on very low heat.

As it simmers, the flavours and colours will meld together into a beautiful sauce that will have an inviting aroma too.

Garnish with chopped dhania when ready, then serve with your main of choice.

The curry looks and smells amazing. The eggplant holds its shape well and is full of all the lovely spicy flavours with a hint of smokiness from the charred parts. Delish!

I had mine with some soft and flaky pumpkin chapati.
It also goes well with some basmati rice.

If you are looking for simple and delicious way to have your eggplant, this dish is a great option. Be it #meatlessmonday or #eggplantthursday, it ticks all the boxes for a colourful, decadent and tasty vegetarian curry.