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?

Aubergine and Cabbage Fry.

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.

Method.

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.

You can sprinkle some chilli or cayenne too for an extra kick.

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.

Try it and let me know what you think of it.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Sweet Potato and Green Beans Curry.

I LOVE sweet potatoes and it has been a while since I shared a sweet potato recipe, so here goes. This time in a flavourful curry that has no heat but the spices still get to shine, as well as the other vegetables.

Ingredients are:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small piece of ginger and 4 garlic cloves. ( I used local garlic which has much more flavour, so you do not need to much).
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 green capsicum (hoho)
  • I small bunch dhania (coriander), (separate the stalks and leaves)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh green beans.
  • 1 can thick coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • A small pinch of sugar
  • Spices are 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon mixed spices blend, 1 tsp Kenyan curry powder and a few curry leaves.

Method:-

Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, dhania stalks, tomatoes and hoho together to a paste. You can add a bit of water to puree completely.

Heat your saucepan, add the ghee, then the mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin seeds.

Let them sputter and release a nice aroma then add your drained sweet potato cubes. Cook them on high and mix so they do not burn then add the spices and some salt. Mix well.

Next add your pureed onion and tomato paste, be careful it will splatter, so lower heat and cover after mixing well into the sweet potatoes.

Let simmer on low till the potatoes are just cooked before adding the coconut milk. Mix it in well and add a pinch of sugar.

Lastly add the green beans, cover and simmer for not more than 10 minutes, we want them cooked but with some crunch.

Once ready, serve with some basmati rice and garnish with the coriander leaves.

Colourful, tasty, and filling.

As I keep saying, vegetables are not as boring as we make them out to be. Just play around with flavours and spices and different ways of making them or having them raw when possible and enjoy all their nutritious benefits.

This is a simple meal to make that uses inexpensive ingredients but luscious, tasty and filling. Sweet potatoes and coconut milk is always a great combination and their sweetness matches the spices used. The beans add texture, crunch, colour and of course nutrients to complete a meal that is definitely worth a try!

You can also check out these other sweet potato recipes already up on the blog:-

Meatless Monday: Couscous and Lentil Balls.

Today’s Meatless Monday recipe does look like it has meat right? But it does not. These are brown lentils fried then simmered in a creamy sauce that the kids will confuse for meatballs before eating them. It is an easy and delicious meal that is perfect with rice, chapati or in this case couscous.

Let’s get started shall we?

Ingredients: 2 cupsBoiled brown lentils also known as whole masoor dal (kamande), one onion chopped, 1 tbsp grated onion, two grated tomatoes, coriander stalks, grated ginger and garlic (about 1 tbsp), one large grated potato, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tbsp ground mixed spices. 1/2 cup of cashew cream (not in picture)
In a large bowl, add the lentils, grated potato, salt and pepper, the turmeric and half the cumin, ginger garlic and mixed spices, and 2 tbsp of all purpose flour.
Get the kids to help you form the mixture into balls.
Something like this.
Next, deep fry the balls until a golden brown colour.
It doesn’t hurt to taste one to check if cooked through and also the seasoning. Just don’t get carried away as they are really delicious and good enough to snack on them on their own.

Before we get started on the sauce, you can soak a cup of roasted cashew nuts in a cup of water. Let soak for a few hours then drain the water. Blend the drained cashews with half a cup of water, a tsp of lemon juice, some salt and pepper and paprika till its a smooth cream. Set aside.

Now we can begin on the sauce,

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
Add your onion, remaining garlic ginger paste and the coriander stalks, mix well and let cook for a while.
Add your grated tomatoes, and cover and let them cook down to a thickish sauce.
Add your cashew cream and 1/2 a cup of water, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes, then add your carrots and French beans.
Add your balls. Cover and let simmer for another 6-10 minutes till they are heated through and the sauce is thick to your liking.
Check your seasoning and they are ready to serve.

You can now prepare your couscous. It is a great alternative to rice, easy prepare and you can spice it anyway you wish. Just follow the instructions on how to prepare it as written on the pack.

Remember to fluff with a fork before serving and squeeze some lemon juice too.
Our meal is now ready to serve, looks good doesn’t it?

Masoor dal is easy to make, flavourful, and is rich in iron and protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and E and easy on your pocket too.

Couscous is rich in selenium, and a great immune system booster. It also has fibre, antioxidants and low carb; so not so bad for your waistline 🙂

A great meal; filling, delicious and laden with vegetables that are all good for you.

Try and let me know what you think?