Kaimati – Kenyan Fried Sweet Dumplings 3 Ways

kaimati
Kaimati 3 ways

Kaimatis are an indulgent Kenyan Coast specialty where by, gooey dough balls are coated with sensational syrup. In addition to tasting heavenly, they are also extremely easy to make.

In many Households, these delicacies are mostly prepared during the Holy Month of Ramadhan as a dessert or a delightful snack, but they can also be found on the humid streets of the Kenyan Coast as street food anytime of the year.

The first time I tasted Kaimati was when I was 6 years old. I had just came home from school and instead of finding my usual snack ready (coconut biscuits with a glass of milk) there was something new in our wooden bowl. Something have never seen before or rather tasted. The little golden brown dough balls looked extra ordinary harmless, but something in them was telling me; “I-dare-you-can’t-stop-me-at-ONE!

Well I picked one just to try…. what happened next is History!

Why don’t you make some and be the judge!

Below the simple and easy recipe..

Enjoy ;-)

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup natural plain yoghurt

½ cup water

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Ingredients for the Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons ground cardamom

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Grated lemon rids (optional)

Instruction

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix very well till the batter becomes sticky

Cover and set aside for 1-2 hours to puff up (can also leave it aside overnight)

resting dough for kaimati

In the meantime, prepare the syrup by;

Adding sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add lemon juice (grated lemon rinds) and cardamom then simmer for about 5-8 minutes or till it’s sticky. The syrup should coat a spoon when ready

Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely

In a wok, heat 2 cups of vegetable oil and using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop dumplings in the hot oil and fry till golden brown

Drop in the ready dumplings in the syrup and coat them for one minute (the longer you leave them the more syrup they’ll absolve hence becoming very sweet)

Voila! Kaimatis are ready!

Another way of enjoy kaimatis is by coating them with powder sugar

powdered sugar kaimatis

Or with melted chocolate
chocolate kaimatis
I served my 3-way kaimatis with a scoop of coconut ice cream and kahawa chungu!
kaimati 3 ways with coconut ice cream
kaimati 3 ways with coffee
Happy when eating kaimatis and sad when kaimatis are finished….. 

Dating my Fiancé; Roasted Rack of Lamb

Liebe geht durch den Magen” A German saying that in English translates to;         “The way to the Heart is through the Stomach”

Happy New Month Everyone!

Strange how time passes-by quickly! It seems like only yesterday we celebrated Valentines Day and today it’s already 5th of March!

The whole of last week, I was down with a very bad cold  (am better now though  otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this) and since I could not do much, rather than lay in bed with an XXXL pack of Kleenex, hot-water-bottle and a flask of lemon-ginger-honey-tea to sooth the flu, my fiancé was such a big help. He went shopping, did the vacuum, fixed us quick dinners and…. even prepared me a detoxifying bubble bath with lavender and tea tree essential oils.

For 5 days, I was like a stranger in my kitchen. Instead of my usual duty of shuffling in the kitchen with my “kiss the Cook” Apron, tightly around my waist, preparing meals and trying out new Recipes, I was the one being fed. This made me feel uncomfortable at first, but I tell you, after a couple of days, I first; Began to enjoy being the first sitting on the other side of the table with an empty plate while waiting for dinner and secondly, Food is not only about serving others but also allowing yourself be served, especially when you need it.

I honestly can’t recall the last time I had such a bad flu, but it just happened to have come just at the right time!

On Friday, I was feeling much better so I went out shopping. Just as I was passing-by the Butcher, this little packs of Lamb Racks caught my eye for they looked so pretty harmless and tasty too- of course when cooked! So in a whim, I bought some.

lamb rack 1

It’s been ages since we had Lamb Racks!  But all I know is that, it’s very easy to prepare and takes no time at all.

As I wanted to show my appreciation and say thank you to my Fiancé for being such a big help, I ended up naming this post dating my Fiancé.

Here is what you’ll need for 2

2 Racks of Lam

5 cloves of garlic

1-2 inches of ginger (optional) it’s more for a nice aroma

5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Lamb mixed spices (optional) I happened to have some

A bunch of fresh thyme of rosemary

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

mix for lamb

mix for lamb spices

Instructions

Trim any exes fat from the racks

Generously, Season with salt and pepper ahead of time

In a marinating dish, add olive oil, garlic, ginger, Lamb spices and thyme or rosemary

Mix these ingredients together, and then add seasoned lamb racks

With your Hands, mix Lamb Racks with the marinade and set it aside for at least 2 hours at a room temperature

marinated lamb

 While this 2 babes were marinating, we decided to go to the cinema to watch Samba. I must say Omar Sy is my favourite actor of the year!

marinated lamb rack

Preparation

Heat 2 tablespoon of Olive oil on a cast iron skillet at high heat

Sear Lamb for about 2-4 minutes on each side, until browned all over (This creates a deep rich flavour on the Meat along with a brown colour)

Preheat oven to 220°c

Transfer the Lamb to a Roasting pan

Roast for about 8-10 minutes for (Medium) and 10-12 Minutes for well done

Let the Lamb rest for 5 minutes before serving

I served mine with thyme, paprika + sea salt French fries and a green salad as a side dish

lamb rack with french fries

Indulge in, woo that special someone all over again and Enjoy the ride!

Oven Baked Whole Red Snapper + Happy Valentine

oven baked red snapper

On a thursday afternoon, I visited one local Indian market recommend by a friend to get some fresh fish. At first I wanted to get Tilapia, but as they unpacked fresh fish, I couldn’t get my eyes off this gorgeous fresh-looking whole red snapper stirring at me with its clear bright eyes, telling me please pick me ;-). Bought. The fish monger gladly cleaned, removed scales and gutted it for me. Now I couldn’t wait to get home to prepare it.

For this beauty of a fish, I decided to only use the most simplest marinade I had at home. Just like my mum used to do it, actually she still cooks her fish this way for as long as I can remember. Since Kenya has got the most tastiest fish from Lake Victoria all the way to Indian Ocean, we know how to preserve the natural taste of it by only using the most affordable, quickest and easiest marinade you can think of. If you happen to oder fish in a local restaurant anywhere in Kenya, put smile on and ask the waiter/waitress what marinade had been used on the fish, you’ll be surprised because mostly only salt and lime juice is used, yet its taste lives you craving for more. Thats what i exactly used on the this recipe with just a little bit of a twist.

While the Fish “breathed” in my kitchen sink, I grabbed my pestle and mortar, threw in some garlic cloves, ginger, some lime juice, salt and pepper and voila, almost half way done!

It could be a challenge to eat a whole grilled red snapper since it’s a little bit bony but if you follow the flesh gain, it is easy to enjoy it. It has a great flavour and a white flaky flesh when cooked.

Before i share the recipe with you, let me give you a few tips on how to know your fish is fresh before buying it.

  1. Fresh fish should be odourless (pleasantly of the sea) if it smelly fishy, it’s not fresh.. have some drumsticks for dinner instead
  2. Fresh fish must have clear bright eyes, dull eyes mean the fish is not fresh
  3. Fresh fish should have bright reddish gills, a dark blue-purpleish colour means the fish isn’t fresh…

Lets get started…

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 head-on-whole red snapper, scaled and gutted

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Juice of 2 small limes

4 garlic cloves

2 inches of fresh ginger (optional)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + more for dizzling

A pinch of salt, pepper and masala/paprika powder

Preparation

red snapper
red snapper and spices

Wash and rinse your fish under running cold water. If you are using a deep frozen one, refreeze it over night in your normal refrigerator before cleaning it.

Pat dry both inside and outside using a paper towel

Let it rest somewhere in your kitchen while preparing the marinade (I let mine rest on the baking sheet)

Grab your pestle and mortar then add in; Garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt, pepper and masala/paprika powder

spices in pestel

Roll the pestle across the ingredients so that they crush and burst. Continue until all of the ingredients have been crushed and mostly intact.

With a knife, cut some slits on the fish about 4 or 5 on each side. This was the fish will be able to cook evenly.

First, rub olive oil on both side of the fish and the inside. Then apply the marinade on the fish slits on both sides and the inside.

Stuff lemon slices and sage inside the marinated fish

spiced red snapper

Preheat oven to 220 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes

Drizzle some olive oil on top before serving

Serve hot with vegetables, rice, potatoes e.t.c

Enjoy and come back to thank me for this amazing but simple recipe. ;-)

Ready to eat red snapper

Kenyas Best Tomato Sauce + A give Away

kenyas best tomato sauce

I know, I know, it has been a while now, since I posted something new! Work has gotten me tied up for the last few months. But from now on ill be posting something new regularly. ;-) …I promise.. “wink wink.

Now, who does not love a tasty Tomato Sauce? I bet none!
I have tried a lot of recipes on how to prepare a tasty tomato sauce and each time I still come back to this one!

Flash back a few months ago, my Sister, my mum’s best friend with her 2 lovely adorable children and I all gathered at my Mum’s for a weekend. We joked around, made fun of each other, talked and laughed out loud with my mother, being the funniest one in the family,  telling us all the new jokes in town! It was such a lovely experience.

Time passed by very quickly and soon it was time for dinner yet we hadn’t decided on what to cook. My sister suggested Pasta, since it is quick and easy. Then it hit on me that I have this mouth-watering Tomato Sauce Recipe, which I am sure, is the best I have ever tested so far.

After checking on what my mum had in the refrigerator, I just noticed she had all the ingredients I needed.

This Recipe is simple and quick to prepare, yet its taste will leave you wanting more and more of it.

I am more than glad to share it with you.

Enjoy and thank me later. ;-)

kenyas best tomato sauce
Kenyas best tomato sauce

 

Ingredients

3 large fresh tomatoes
A hand full of fresh cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
2 cans of diced tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger-garlic paste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or fresh cracked pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon brown sugar
2-3 bay leaves (for a nice exotic aroma)
A bunch of fresh basil ribbons
Salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste

Method

In a saucepan, boil 4 cups of water and put the whole tomatoes in the boiling water for a minute then remove and immediately dip them in cold-iced water to stop them from further cooking. Peel their skin off, coarsely chop and blend to desired consistency

In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-low heat and fry chopped onions till translucent, add ginger-garlic paste and fry till soft and aromatic

First add canned tomatoes and the bay leaves and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon

Later on, add the blended tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes/fresh cracked pepper and let the mixture simmer on low heat for another 20 minutes

Season with salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves

Enjoy

kenyas best tomato sauce
kenyas best tomato sauce

 

Note

Serve with pasta or as a side sauce

This tomato sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or deep frozen for future use

Drizzle the tomato sauce with a spoon of olive oil before serving.

Kahawa Chungu – Authentic Kenyan Bitter Coffee

Coffee Beans
Kahawa
Kahawa Chungu featured foto

Each time I think of Kahawa chungu or best known as Bitter coffee, the first thing that runs into my mind is the story of a Thousand and one Nights!

It all started a few months ago, after I finished reading “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. This was the 3rd time I was reading this book, and each time the story becomes more and more interesting! It is like I cannot get enough of it! I wonder if this is just me, or, this also happens to other people when they find their favorite Authors and can’t get enough of their stories?

Anyway, after I finished the book, I wanted to read something totally different. So I got myself a novel, which is set in Kenya in the early 1917 called “Green City In The Sun” by Barbara Wood. After reading a quarter of it, I got bored since to be honest, I could not get Things Fall Apart out of my mind!

Then one afternoon, as I was going through my Library, I came across “Alfu Lela U Lela au Siku Elfu Moja Na Moja” famously known as – A Thousand and One Nights! – I had gotten this book as a present once and hadn’t read it though I knew almost all the stories. What made me feel like “relieved” to have found it was that it is in Kiswahili! I immediately started reading it that evening.

Coffee and Book Alfu lela u lela

Since then, my childhood memories started emerging one after the other on how my Late Uncle (R.I.P) used to narrate us all this one-of-a-kind folk tales. My favorite one (and still is) is the one of Aladdin and the magic light. He would make himself a cup of Kahawa Chungu and we would seat around him to listen as he narrated. I believe if he were alive today, he would be a master storyteller.

Kahawa Chungu is a specialty of the Kenyan Coast cuisine mostly preserved for old men. Due to its bitter intense flavor, full body and pleasant aroma with notes of cardamom and cinnamon, this concentrated black coffee from freshly grounded Kenyan Coffee beans, is traditionally brewed over a charcoal stove in tall brass kettles reminiscent of the ancient Arabic World.

Sitting on low benches on the humid streets of the coastal region, elderly Men sip hot kahawa chungu from miniature ceramic cups while playing Chess. Kahawa Chungu is traditionaly accompanied by Haluwa (A type of dense, sweet confection) or Dates.

Kahawa Chungu
As days passed by, my mind and fingers started burning to make Kahawa Chungu recipe and post it here. At last, I grinded my Kenyan coffee beans and below is the recipe.

Enjoy

Ingredients

3 tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans

1 cup of cold water Seeds of 3 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and maintain at a low boil for 10-15 minutes

Pour through a strainer into a coffeepot and serve hot with Haluwa or Dates

Kahawa Chungu, Bitter Coffee

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala 2

Chicken Tikka Masala is boneless chucks of chicken marinated in spices and youghurt then cooked in spicey sauce. In the Kenyan cuisine, this dish defers slightly depending on which part of the country one is. In Nairobi and other parts of upcountry regions, cream is basically used to season the sauce while in the coastal regions, coconut cream is used with various spices.

Below is a simple recipe on how to enjoy Chicken Tikka Masala at home!

Chicken Tikka Masala 1

 

Enjoy….

Kenyan Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

For the Marinade

1/2 Kilo Bon less chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 cup thick natural youghurt
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and garlic paste
A pinch of Methi (Fenugreek) powder
A pinch of Turmeric powder
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Juice of half a lime
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Add the spices in a mixing bowl and mix well to make a thick marinade
Add Chicken to the marinade and mix well
Cover and let it marinade for atleast 4 hours! I personally let mine marinade overnight in the refrigerator

Preheat the oven to 250°C, put inn the marinated Chicken and grill it for half an hour.

In the meantime prepare the Masala Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup cooking oil
Whole garam spices (1 bay leave, 2 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 clove,black pepper and cumin seeds) this will give your cooking oil a delicious aroma and add an exotic taste to the Masala Sauce
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped or blended
1 teaspoon grind cashew nuts
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and garlic paste
1 teaspoon of chilli, coriander and cumin powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 cup of water
Juice of half a lime
1/2 cup cream or Coconut cream (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Cubed tomato, red bell pepper, onion and a bunch of fresh coriander for garnishing

Instructions

In a big cooking pan or wok, add oil, whole garam spices and heat up. Let the spices blend in with the oil while heating up till you get a nice delicious aroma

Add finely chopped onions and cook till uniformly brown and soft. Stir in ginger and garlic paste and cook for about a minute or 2

Add finely chopped or blended tomatoes together with the tomato paste and grind cashew nuts. Let the mixture cook till the fresh tomatoes are soft and pulpy

Lower the heat and add the spices; chilli, coriander, cumin and turmeric powder. Add a little bit of water to avoid them from burning. Let the paste cook for about 3 minutes while stirring constantly to avoid it from burning

Add the half grilled chicken tikka into the paste and stir well till the chicken captures the gravy flovour

Pour in the cream or coconut cream and lime juice and stir the mixture very well

Season with salt and pepper

Garnish with fresh cubed tomatoes, red bell pepper, onions and coriander

Serve hot with Rice or Chapati..

Chicken Tikka Masala 3

 

 

 

 

Kenyan Tomato Avocado Salad

Tomato avocadoAvocado

 

Ingredients

2-3 large fresh garden tomatoes, washed and slices

A handful of cherry tomatoes

2 medium avocados, peeled and cut into bite size chucks

1 red onion, thinly sliced (Optional)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Fresh basil, parsley or coriander for garnishing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a salad bowl add slices tomatoes, avocados and red onion (if any)

In a separate bowl mix olive oil with lemon juice and toss the mixture into the salad Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Garnish with basil, parsley or coriander….

Enjoy!

Tomato Avocado Image

 

Tips

Do not refrigerate this salad

Fresh chilies might be added according to your taste

 

 

 

 

Kenyan Creamy Coleslaw Salad

Coleslaw Salad-3
Being one of my favorite Salads, Coleslaw is also one of all-time salads in the Kenyan Cuisine.

It can be served as a starter or as a side dish to a BBQ chicken, roasted Goat or Deep fried Fish.

Below is a simple recipe for a creamy Coleslaw to enjoy at home.

Ingredients

1 head of cabbage, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, washed, peeled and finely shredded
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small celery stick or 1 apple, finely shredded
8 tablespoons mayonnaise
4-6 tablespoons granulated sugar (Depending on how sweet you would like your Cole Slaw)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
¼ cup milk
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
A bunch of fresh coriander or any other herb of your choice for garnishing

Kenyan Coleslaw Salad

Instructions

In a large bowl combine; Mayonnaise, sugar, lime juice, white vinegar, milk, salt and pepper and beat the mixture well using a whisk until very smooth
Add chopped cabbage, carrots and onions and mix very well
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight before serving
When serving, garnish with coriander or any other herb of your choice
Enjoy!

 

Biriani – Biryani

Biryani (4)Biryani just like Pilau is a rice-based dish known for its unique aroma and flavor. It is basically cooked with spiced chicken, mutton, beef, fish, eggs or vegetable. This exotic dish is among the specialties along the Kenyan Coast.

Below is a chicken Biryani recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients for Chicken Biryani Sauce

8-10 skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into large pieces
5 potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered
2 hard boiled eggs
½ cup of vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime
180 ml natural yogurt
2 tablespoons grated raw papaya (optional)
4 medium onions, diced
4 fresh tomatoes, sliced or blended
1 Can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
4 tablespoons of biryani mixed ground spices
1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste
1 tablespoon fresh garlic paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste and fresh ground pepper
1 cup of chicken broth or hot water

Instructions 

In a mixing bowl, add yogurt, half of the lime juice and grated papaya, half ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and pepper. Add chicken and marinate for 2 hours or overnight
In a preheated oven, roast the marinated chicken for 45 minutes. Set aside once it is done
In the meantime, heat oil in a wok or frying pan, deep fry potatoes till soft and crispy then set aside
In the same wok or pan, fry onions till soft and golden brown, set aside as well
On a medium heat, preheat a larger sauce pan, add some vegetable oil in it, pour sliced/blended fresh tomatoes and fry  till very soft. Add Can tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Little oil may be added to prevent the sauce from sticking on the pan
Add biryani mixed ground spices and the remaining spices, stir well to blend in spices with the tomato sauce
Add chicken, potatoes, fried onions and hot water or chicken broth. Cover and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes

 Ingredients for the rice

1Kg Basmati rice
4 cups of hot water
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
A pinch of saffron or food color
2-3 bay leaves
Salt to taste

Biryani (2)

Instructions

Wash rice then soak for 30 minutes
Soak a pinch of saffron or food color in some water and set aside
Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt, 2 tablespoons of oil and 2-3 bay leaves
Drain the soaked rice and add it into the boiling water. Partially cook rice until it is about 80% cooked. Strain any remaining water and set aside
In a large baking dish or aluminum foil, spread some oil and layer half of the rice. Sprinkle some saffron or food color and some oil on top
Repeat this process with the remaining rice not forgetting to sprinkle the remaining saffron or food color and oil on the top
Cover and steam cook the rice on low heat or put it in a preheated oven on 180°c for 10 minutes.
Serve hot with the Biryani sauce on top

Alternatively, rice and the biryani sauce can be cooked together on layers by first placing rice on a large baking dish, followed by saffron or food color, some oil and the biryani sauce. Repeat the layering till done and steam cook for 15 minutes. This process infuses the tasty biryani spices into the rise as it steams.

Enjoy ;-

Biryani (7)

Chai ya Tangawizi – Authentic Kenyan Ginger Tea

Chai ya Tangawizi - Kenyan ginger TeaChai as they call in Kiswahili to refer Tea is one of Kenyans widely drunken beverage. There are a lot of different ways of doing it. Below is an authentic recipe I learned from my mother to enjoy chai at home!

Karibu Chai

Ingredients

4 cups of fresh milk
2 cups of water
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of loose pure Kenyan black tea (or any other loose black tea)
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves

Instructions

Add spices into a mortar and using a pestle grind or mash them into a powder like

In a wide saucepan, add water and bring it to boil on a medium heat

Add tea, ginger, spices and sugar and let the mixture boil for 2-3 minutes on a low heat

Add milk and bring to simmer, stirring with a sieve to blend in sugar and the spices. Let the chai boil again for another 2 minutes before removing it from the heat

Strain the chai and serve hot

Chai

Tip

Chai goes well with Mahamri