Green Banana (Matoke) Fritters.

Green bananas, aka matooke or green fig are popular in the region, and inexpensive as they are available all year round. They are mostly served stewed or steamed and mashed, but can also be fried or baked.

I have shared several green banana recipes here on the blog already, from the usual stew, to a curry, baked or fried as French fries or cutlets, and even as porridge.

I love fritters. They are a great way to use up various vegetables you have on hand and are easy to whip up, need just a few pantry staples, and do not take too much time to make. In this recipe, green bananas are the star of this vegan friendly and gluten free meal, that is inspired by Indian pakoda aka fritters.

They work well as an appetizer or snack (tea time or after school), though they can be quite filling if you are unable to have just a few, like my household and I. 😋

For this recipe you will need:-

1. A small bunch of medium sized green bananas. If they are big, 2-3 fingers will do for a family of 4-5. (As a snack).

2. 1 small onion.

3. 3 large cloves of garlic.

4. 1 cup chickpea flour; also known here as besan/ gram / bhajia flour.

5. 1/2 cup cornflour. Can be substituted with rice flour.

6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Spices -a small pinch each of turmeric, paprika, ground coriander.

8. Herbs- I use parsley or mixed herbs.

9. 1 tsp baking soda.

10. Cooking oil to fry in. Half a litre will do.

Method.

1. Wash the green bananas, peel them and soak them in a bowl of water to avoid them blackening. (Tip: Peeling bananas under running water will ensure your hands and knife do not get the sticky stains that usually bother one when peeling them).

2. Heat your oil on medium.

3. In a large bowl, add the flours, salt, pepper and spices and whisk till well combined.

4. Grate your onion and garlic directly into the flour, and add in the parsley.

5. Grate the bananas into the mixture too, and using your hands, mix gently to combine everything.

6. You do not need to add water to the mixture as the vegetables will release their water as you mix.

7. Add the baking soda last and give it one last mix. Remember to be gentle.

8. Use a spoon to scoop the mixture into the hot oil, and fry for about five minutes or until golden brown.

9. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

10. Serve hot with your condiment of choice. They are tasty enough on their own or with a hot cup of spiced tea. Yum!

Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, they are so flavourful both in and out.

How do you like your green bananas?

Savory Oat Pancakes.

These pancakes are a wonderful option to our usual sweet pancake options.

They make a great breakfast, brunch or tea time snack and are filling, colourful and oh so tasty, which are my non negotiables when it comes to good food.

They are both vegan and vegetarian friendly as they are dairy free and egg free. They are also gluten free, and guilt free.

Best of all, they make great use of those little vegetables that are usually left in the fridge looking all forlorn and neglected at the end of the week.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:-
• 2 cups oats. Quick cooking ones work well.
• I heaped cup of assorted vegetables. ( I used some finely chopped onion, tomato, capsicum and grated carrot).
• 1 tsp grated ginger, and one grated garlic clove.
• 1 tsp mixed spice blend (this enhances the savory flavour).
• 1 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.
• 1 1/2 cups chickpea (besan) flour, also called gram flour locally.
• 2 cups water and more if needed.
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
• Cooking oil.

Method.
1. In a dry, preferably non stick pan, toast the oats on a low flame till they become a bit darker in colour. Don’t burn them . Toasting them releases a subtle nutty aroma and flavour. Put them on a wide plate or tray to cool down completely.


2. As the oats cool, chop or grate your veggies of choice. I like removing the seeds from the tomato. This can go into the salsa mix you will serve on the side.

These pancakes are also a great way to load up on your fresh veggie intake. 🤗


3. In a large bowl, add the gram flour, paprika, salt pepper and mixed spices. Mix well to combine.


4. Add the cooled oats and the water gradually till you get a thickish batter. Start with one cup of water and add gradually.
5. Next go in the chopped vegetables. Mix well and remember to season well. Taste a little bit to confirm.


6. Heat the pan on medium low and add a tablespoon of oil. Swirl the pan to ensure it is well coated, before adding a ladle or scoopful of batter. You can use a measuring cup for this.


7. Let the pancake cook until it looks dryish on the surface, then flip carefully to cook the other side. It will turn a lovely golden colour and firm up. They will however not puff up like our usual fluffy pancakes as they have no rising agent or gluten. So flip carefully, don’t make them to thick and keep the heat medium low to low, so they can cook completely on the inside. I like mine with a few crispy edges, which is fine.


8. Once ready, put them on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Look at that lovely golden colour!


9. Serve immediately with salsa or chutney and some avocado. The colours, flavours and textures blend in so beautifully.

This is a perfect colourful and filling meal that is not hard to make, makes use of what you have on hand and is healthy too. Win Win Right?

Definitely worth a try!

Soy Bean Coconut Curry.

This recipe is an awesome meatless meal that can be adapted to any other kind of beans too. It was my first time to make soy beans.

I had bought these beans thinking they were the usual kidney ones, but once I opened the pack, I had to google what type they were.

In terms of taste they are not bad; They have an earthier taste than kidney beans, and seem not to absorb the curry flavours as well as other beans. The kids loved them though; so I guess they are not that bad.

Ingredients are 1 blended onion, ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp each cumin seeds, curry powder and garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 can of coconut milk, chopped coriander, 2 cups already boiled soy beans, salt and pepper to taste and cooking oil. I used 1 tbsp of coconut oil.
Heat you oil and add the cumin seeds, followed by the onion. And the ginger garlic paste. Mix well and cook till they stop smelling raw.
Add the ground spices and lower heat to let the spices cook through well without burning. The oils and flavours release are what make this curry taste so good.
Next goes in tomato paste, still on low heat to avoid burning. It will have lovely colour and aroma. Do not forget your seasoning.
You can add a splash of water to avoid burning. Next go in the beans, mix well and check seasoning.
Let the beans cook in the spice mixture a while to get the flavours…
…then add your coconut milk. You can add a pinch of sugar too.
Let the beans simmer in the sauce on low for 20-25 minutes. Garnish before serving.

You can serve immediately, but I like making my curries and stews a bit ahead, then let them sit a while for the flavours to absorb well in the pot.

The result is a creamy coconut curry that’s tasty, colourful, aromatic and not hard to make.

I had mine with rice, the kids with chapati. It goes well with both.

Definitely worth a try.

Curried Black Beans in Coconut Cream.

The title is a mouthful I know, but the title had to convey what the meal is about. Curried, rich, colourful and each spoonful is flavour filled and creamy and decadent and oh so tasty.

Black beans are a wonderful source of fibre, antioxidants and are said to be great in lowering blood sugar, among other numerous benefits.

To add to the meal’s colour, taste and flavor, I added bell peppers, grated carrots and celery.

Let’s get started. You shall need:-

  • I large onion, diced.
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, crushed with some grated turmeric and a few coriander seeds.
  • 1 large grated carrot.
  • Chopped assorted bell pepper (green, red and yellow)
  • I bunch of fresh coriander, separate the stalks, leaves and chop all finely.
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 tsp ground garam masala.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 1-1/2 cups of coconut cream
  • 2 cups already boiled black beans
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method.

Heat your pan and add the coconut oil, then the cumin seeds and let them sputter.

Add the onion, chopped coriander stalks and celery.

Let cook till onion is translucent, then add the ginger, garlic, turmeric mix.

Next go in your tomato paste and let cook for a while before adding the tomatoes, some salt as well as the spices.

Cover and let cook till the tomatoes are soft, spices well incorporated, then add the carrots and bell peppers. Mix well.

Once the vegetables are cooked for a short while, add the black beans and mix well till they are well coated with the spicy vegetable mix. If too dry you can add just a splash or two of water. Check your seasoning too.

Lower heat then add the coconut cream. Cover and let it simmer through for about 10-15 minutes, then add the crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi).

Let it cook on low for a few more minutes. Switch off heat and add the chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

This meal is hearty enough on it’s own, but if you want to you can have it with some avocado on the side, or with some tasty pumpkin and coconut chapati whose recipe I shared recently.

Dig in and enjoy.

PS: As with all curries, it will taste much better the next day. That is, if you are lucky enough to have leftovers.

Colourful, tasty, healthy and easy to make. What’s not to like about this dish?

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?