Sambusa – Samosa

Kenyan Samosa jpg
Kenyan Samosa Served
Samosa is a triangular-shape savory pastry fried in oil, containing spiced vegetables, ground beef/lamb, ground chicken or fish. In the Kenyan Cuisine, samosas are considered as exotic snacks of all times. Below is a simple recipe for ground beef samosas which are my favorites!

Enjoy!

Beef Samosa filling

Ingredients 
1 kg ground beef
¼kg fresh or frozen green peas
2 red onions, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, grated
1-inch fresh ginger, grated
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (Optional)
½ teaspoon of turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon (optional)
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions

On a medium heat, cook meat in uncovered frying pan or wok. Stir constantly to ensure all lumps are broken. Before the water completely evaporates, add peas, onions, ginger, garlic, chili and spices. Season with salt and pepper

Remove from heat and stir in fresh coriander and the lemon juice

Remove from heat and allow to cool completely

For the dough pastry you’ll need;

4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of any vegetable oil
1 ½ cups of warm water
*Extra flour for rolling

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt and vegetable oil until it is crumbly. Slowly add water little at a time as you knead the dough. Keep kneading for 15-20 minutes until it is soft, smooth and not sticking in either your hands or the walls of your bowl

Cover dough pastry in a slightly greased container and let it rest for 30minutes to 1 hour at a room temperature

Dived the dough into 4-5 equal balls preferably not very big

Roll out a ball into ca. 6-inch diameter circle, brush a little oil on it and lightly sprinkle some flour

Repeat this process with all the other balls of dough while gently laying them on top of each other

Use your rolling pin to thinly roll out the pilled dough into a diameter of 10-12 inches

Preheat a skillet on a medium heat and place the rolled out dough on top of it. Let it cook until it starts to bubble up (make sure not to burn it). Flip it over and cook the other side until it bubbles up too

Neatly place your half cooked wraps on a clean surface and using a knife, quarter them into 4 equal parts (with each part forming a triangle shape)

Separate the triangles very gently and cover them with a clean cloth to avoid drying up

Preparing Samosa pockets and deep frying

In a small mixing bowl, mix ½ a cup of flour with a little water and make a thick flour paste to serve as a “glue” for sealing samosa pockets

Follow the simple steps showed below to prepare samosa pockets

Fold all samosa pockets first in a cone shape before filling them with the cooled meat. Use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to fill the samosa pockets (Do not overfill them)

Seal using the “glue” you prepared (Seal them very well otherwise they’ll open up when frying!)

Samosa bags

Filled and sealed samosa pockets can be stored in the refrigerator and be deep fried the next day or one can also deep freeze them  as desired

Heat up oil in a deep frying pan or Wok

Test  your oil by gently dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If the dough stays at the bottom for a couple of seconds then rises to the surface then your oil is ready for frying but if it rises up immediately after dropping it into the oil, then your oil is too hot and you need to reduce the heat. Too hot oil will only cook the outside and the inside will be uncooked especially if the samosas were frozen

Deep fry samosa till golden brown on both sides and crispy, use a kitchen paper or a clean towel to drain off any excess oil

Serve hot or cold accompanied by a chutney of any kind or a piece of fresh lime
Samosa bite
Enjoy

Supu ya Malenge – Kenyan Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup

In the Kenyan cuisine, Pumpkin is used in various ways; e.g to make soups, as a side dish or as a substitute for potatoes while its soft and tender leaves are used to make the famous mukimo – a Kenyan delicacy. Here is a simple and quick recipe for a tasty silky textured Pumpkin soup! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients 

5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

Fresh ginger, minced

1Kg Pumpkin, washed, peeled, deseeded and coarsely chopped

1 fresh carrot, washed, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 potato, washed, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 ½ litres of vegetable or chicken stock (hot)

½ cup double cream (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Handful dry pumpkin seeds for garnishing

Instructions 

In a large saucepan, heat 5tablespoons of olive oil then gently fry onions, garlic and ginger until soft. Add pumpkin, carrot and potato to the sauce pan and carry on cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally till its soft

Pour the hot vegetable or chicken stock into the sauce pan, stir gently then bring it to boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender

Add the double cream (if any) and simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper

Puree with a hand blender till smooth.

Garnish with dry pumpkin seeds before serving.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup

Tips A few drops of olive oil can be drizzled when serving to add more taste. For an extra velvety consistency the soup can be pushed through a fine sieve into another pan before served. This soup can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Mahamri – Coconut & cardamom doughnuts

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Mahamri is a type of doughnut whose special ingredients include Coconut milk and cardamom. This authentic type of snack originated from the Swahili coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania and is still very popular in both regions. Normally, it is accompanied by pigeon peas cooked in Coconut milk or a cup of typical Kenyan Chai..

Due to its special exotic taste, Mahamri is considered as one of Kenyan’s Delicacies. 

For a perfect Sunday Brunch or that special occasion or just for your family and friends, try this simple Recipe! 

Enjoy … 🙂

Ingredients  

3 cups of flour    

8 -10 tablespoons of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you wish your Mahamris to be)

1 teaspoon of instant yeast

1 teaspoon of cardamom

1 teaspoon of ghee, butter or margarine

1 medium Egg – (optional)  

cup of coconut milk for kneading the dough

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Instructions

In a mixing bowl add flour, sugar, yeast and cardamom, ghee/butter/margarine and the egg. Mix the ingredients together with either clean hands or a mixture. Slowly add coconut milk little at a time, as you knead the dough

If you are using your hands to knead the dough, knead it for a minimum of 15-20 minutes until it’s soft, smooth and not sticky in either your hands or the walls of your bowl
Place the dough in a container and cover it with either a lid or a clean cloth. Let it rest and rise for at least    3-4 hours in room temperature. I normally leave mine overnight! The dough should double in size

Using a dough cutter or a knife, divide the dough into 4-5 equal balls. Coat each ball of dough with flour, cover them again with a clean cloth for 15 minutes and let them puff/rise

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and using a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough into a circle of about 6 inches. Move with the dough and if needed use more flour to prevent the dough from sticking on the surface and on the rolling pin

Cut each rolled dough into 4pieces

Heat up the vegetable oil in a frying pan on a wok

Test your oil by gently dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If the dough stays at the bottom for a couple of seconds then rises to the surface then your oil is ready for frying but if it rises up immediately after dropping it into the oil, then your oil is too hot and you need to reduce the heat otherwise your mahamris will burn and end up not been cooked inside

Fry 4 mahamri at a time (depending on the size of your pan or wok). Use your strainer to splash oil over the top of the mahamris in order to help them puff up. As soon as you see the bottom side of the mahamris has turned light-gold brown turn them over

Keep turning the mahamris until they have a nice golden brown colour on both sides. Remove them from the hot oil and place them in a serving plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil

Repeat this process until all the dough pieces have been fried

Allow them to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!!

Serve for breakfast with pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk and or with a cup of typical Kenyan Chai  ;-)…

Tips

For healthier Mahamris I recommend whole wheat flour or half white and half whole

If you do not like using coconut milk for whatever the reason might be, normal milk may be used. The taste will be slightly different but they are as equal as delicious!

This authentic Recipe is normally prepared in tropical climate. In other climates, you may need to add a little bit of instant yeast than the one mentioned on this Recipe.

Mkate wa Maji – Kenyan Pancakes or Crepes

kenyan crepe - mkate wa maji

 

Ingredients

3 cups of wheat flour

2 cups of hot water

1 cup of fresh milk

2-3 eggs

½ cup of brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Ghee or vegetable oil for cooking

Preparation

In a clean mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar and cardamom.Add water one cup at a time and using a big whisk mix very well. Then add milk and eggs and mix thoroughly till the batter is smooth and without any lumps

On a medium heat, heat up a clean non-sticking pancake pan and add very little ghee or vegetable oil (make sure to spread the oil everywhere once its heated)

Take a medium ladle full of batter and pour it in the middle of the pan. Using the back of the same ladle, spread the batter to determine the shape and size of your pancake

Using a spatula, lift the sides of the crepes to ensure it is not sticking on the pan and gently flip it over

After both sides are cooked, remove the pancake from the pan and place it in a clean plate.

Repeat this process with the remaining batter till you are done.

Serve hot with a cup of typical Kenyan Chai

Tips

For healthier crepes I recommend half white and half whole wheat flour

The bigger the ladle is the thicker the crepe will be hence not enjoyable that’s why I suggest a medium to small ladle

Enjoy pancakes for breakfast or brunch, hot or cold with jam, honey or marble syrup.

Wali wa Kukaanga – Kenyan Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Ingredients

4 cups cold or warm cooked Rice
4 tablespoon oil for stir frying
2-3 Eggs
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 handful fresh peas
Salt and pepper to taste
1 fresh tomato for garnishing

Instructions

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with salt and pepper
Heat wok or frying pan over high heat and add oil. Once the oil is heated, add chopped onions and garlic and fry till light brown. Stir in peas and Cook for about 1 Minute. Now add eggs while stirring quickly to scramble eggs with the peas, add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes

Serve hot and garnish with a fresh tomato

Notes

Other vegetable like baby carrots or paprika may also be used in this menu
For an Asian taste, soy or oyster sauce may be added

Maharagwe ya Nazi – Red Kidney Bean in Coconut Sauce

Maharagwe ya Nazi-Kidney beans on coconut sauce

Once you try this simple, rich and delicious recipe at home, you’ll change your method of cooking kidney beans forever! For this is one of my all-time favourite ways of enjoying them!

They beautifully go well with Chapati, Mahamri, plain white Rise, Ugali/Sima or even simple normal bread.

Enjoy ;-))

Ingredients 

1 cup of dry kidney beans, washed and soaked overnight
2 cups of coconut milk
3 big fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 big onion chopped
3 gloves of garlic, minced
2 or more fresh green or red chilies, (Optional)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder/curry powder
Salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste
Fresh chopped coriander for garnishing

Instructions

Boil the soaked kidney beans until almost soft and tender, then drain and discard the water
Heat oil in a different pan, saute onions and stir until brown. Stir in garlic then add tomatoes. Lower heat to medium-low, and cover the pot. Simmer until the tomatoes soften.
Add turmeric powder/curry powder and stir for 30 seconds
Now add coconut milk and the kidney beans. Stir well all together and simmer till the beans start splitting
Adjust salt and pepper, chilies and garnish with fresh copped coriander

There you go! Serve hot with Chapati or Rice

Maharagwe ya Nazi-Kidney Beans in Coconut Sauce

Tip

Always use dry fresh beans, I wont recommend canned beans for this Recipe!

Chapati – Flat Bread

Chapati 2

Chapati also known as Roti by Indians, is flattered round bread made of white flour.
It is a staple food among the people of east Africa and Asia.
Here is a simple recipes on how to make tasty and soft chapatis at home

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients 

6 cups of wheat flour
3 cups of warm water
3 tablespoon of warm cooking oil or ghee (melted and warm)
2 teaspoon salt
Cooking Oil or ghee for cooking the Chapatis

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt and vegetable oil until it is crumbly. Slowly add water little at a time as you knead the dough. Keep kneading for 15-20 minutes until it is soft, smooth and not sticking in either your hands or the walls of your bowl
Cover dough pastry in a slightly greased container and let it rest for 30minutes to 1 hour at a room temperature

Sprinkle some flour on a clean flat surface then place your dough there and using a rolling pin, roll it untill the surface is very thin (use flour to prevent dough from sticking on the surface and on the rolling pin)

Brush oil on top of the rolled surface, make a small fold on both ends and by using both your hands roll it up into a large, tight sausage shape like

Using a sharp knife, divide the rolled dough into small spirals according to how many chapatis you would like to cook

While heating a non-sticking pan/skillet on a medium low heat, roll each part at a time into a nice round flat shape. (use flour to prevent dough from sticking from the surface and on the rolling pin)
Once your pan is heated place the rolled chapati on top of it. After about a minute, check the bottom of the chapati, if it is golden brown and the top is translucent, flip it over

Brush a little bit of oil on the top of the chapati, then check to see if the bottom is cooked and golden brown as well. If yes, flip the chapati over again, now brush the oil on the second side of the chapati, and turn it over again

After about 15 seconds remove the chapati from the pan, place it on a clean plate and cover it with aluminium foil

Repeat this process to all your chapatis till you are done

Serve hot with stew (Chicken Tikka Masala or Mahagwe ya Nazi) or vegetables

Chicken Tikka Masala 3

Tips

For healthier Chapatis I recommend whole wheat flour or half white and half whole wheat
Chapatis can also be enjoyed cold for Breakfast with a hot cup of Kenyan Chai or soup!

Ugali na Sukuma Wiki – Cornmeal mush with Collard Greens

ugali and sukuma wikii

Known as Ugali in Nairobi and upcountry or Sima at the Coast, this starchy simple meal made of maize flour and water is the most common staple food in the local Kenyan cuisine. It is more typically served with Sukuma wiki (collard greens) and/or meat stew, fresh or soured milk. Sukuma wiki on the other hand is a Swahili name used for collard greens or kale meaning “week-pusher” or “push the week”. These hearty greens are also a staple diet in the Kenyan cuisine and are available all year round in every part of Kenya.

Ingredients for Ugali/Sima

4 Cups of water
2 Cups of white cornmeal / maize flour
1 teaspoon Butter (Optional, I use it for the Ugali to be richer and softer!)

Instructions

Boil water (and butter) in a saucepan

Add maize flour slowly while stirring with a wooden cooking utensil till the consistence thickens. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking smashing any lumps until the mush pulls away from the pot and becomes very thick like dough

For a softer Ugali/Sima more hot water can be added

Place Ugali/Sima in a serving dish up-side-down and serve it hot with Sukuma Wiki

sukuma wiki

Ingredients for Sukuma Wiki

2 bunches collard greens, washed and shredded
1 bunch of spinach (optional), washed and shredded
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, copped
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup water or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon royco mchuzi mix
A bunch of fresh coriander for garnishing

Instructions

In a pan or wok heat vegetable oil and sauté onions till translucent, add tomatoes and simmer till tender

Add the collard greens one hand full at a time, stirring constantly so that they are all coated with the mixture of oil, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle the salt over and stir. Cover the pot/wok and turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes

Mix water or broth with Royco mchuzi mix and stir to the collard greens, keep cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until they are tender to your taste. Add salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot!

Tips

Maize meal is the most commonly used for Ugali/Sima but it can also be substituted for sorghum, millet or coarse cassava flour.

Beef stew, chicken or fish can be served as a side dish to go with this menu.

Kuku wa Kupaka – Chicken in Coconut Sauce

kuku wa kupaka

This mouth watering authentic dish is a specialty at the Kenyan coast whereby chicken is cooked in a spicy coconut sauce. It is a perfect illustration of how the Swahili people intermingle with Arabs and Indians in terms of cooking in the coastal region… Hear is a simple recipe of how to enjoy kuku wa kupaka at Home!

Enjoy……

Ingredients

8-10 pieces of chicken ( I personally suggest skinless chicken breasts or thighs)
Fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
3 green chilies, chopped (can be eliminated for a milder dish or substituted for sweet bell pepper)
Juice of one fresh lime
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, washed and sliced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder / turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups of thick coconut milk
salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste
fresh chopped Coriander for garnishing

Instructions

Marinate chicken pieces in ginger, garlic, rosemary, chilies, Lime juice, salt and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil then set aside covered. (For better authentic results always leave the chicken for 1-2 hours before grilling it).Set aside the remaining marinade as you can use it later on the sauce.

Grill chicken pieces in charcoal or oven for 30 minutes
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and saute finely chopped onions till light brown, add sliced tomatoes and on a medium heat simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste for another minute then add curry powder/turmeric and cumin seeds, stir and mix thoroughly for 5 minutes
Add coconut milk and the remaining marinade you used for the chicken (If there’s any left). Lower the heat and stir the sauce for about 5 minutes till its very thick. Season with salt and freshly grounded pepper

EITHER

Add grilled chicken into the sauce and simmer while covered for 30 minutes until the chicken is done and tender like i did on the photo above

OR

Place grilled chicken in a serving dish (One that can be used in an oven) pour some of the thick coconut sauce over and put the dish in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Check from time to time.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander!
Serve with Rice, Chapati or Mahamri..

Tips

This method can also be used for Samaki wa kupaka (Fish in coconut sauce)
Some recipes add potatoes or hard-boiled egg to the sauce, simply boil coarsely chopped potatoes separately and add them to the sauce towards the end.

Matoke – Cooking Bananas or Plantains

matoke

Matoke/Plantains is one of the Traditional main dishes in south western Kenya to the Kisii community which consists of steamed green cooking bananas. This starchy dish also counts to one of National dishes in Uganda and other countries in east Africa.
Matoke / Plantains can either be cooked separately and served with a stew or as one dish including other ingredients e.g Vegetables, Potatoes or beef.
Here is one of my favorite simple and quick recipe to prepare Matoke.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
For smashed Matoke you need;
8-10 Matoke/Plantain – peeled, coarsely chopped and washed
1 hand full of peanuts, crushed to powder like (or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter)
1 tablespoon butter (optional, i use it for them to be more tender)
1/2 cup fresh dairy milk (optional)
2 cups of water to boil
Salt to taste

For the Beef stew you need;
1 kilo Beef, cubed
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups of beef broth or water
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 fresh ginger, minced or crushed
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
Fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 table spoon of royco mchuzi mix
*Other Vegetables like carrots, and pepperoni may also be added.

Directions

Smashed Matoke/Plantain
Put Matoke/Plantain in a pan, add water and salt and bring them to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook them till tender but not mushy for about 20 minutes. You can check if they are cooked by piercing with a fork.
Once they are done, drain them and add milk, butter and crushed peanuts/peanut butter if any. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute then smash them lightly. Serve with beef stew.

Beef Stew

First boil beef with ginger for 10-15 minutes (I always do this for the meat to be tender)
Separate broth from meat and set both aside – you’ll need the broth later for the stew
Heat vegetable oil and on a medium heat fry onions and garlic till light brown. Add beef and continue frying till it starts to brown.
Add tomatoes (and the rest of the vegetables if any). Stir the mixture very well and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the broth/water, salt, freshly grounded pepper and royco mchuzi mix to test. Cover the pot and on low gentle heat, let it cook for 30-45 minutes. Stir in between.
When the beef stew is done, switch off the heat, add fresh coriander and place the lid back. This way the coriander will be cooked by the steam hence giving your stew a very good taste.
Serve hot with Matoke.

Matoke (smashed with beef stew)

Notes
This is just one way of doing Matoke as there are many other ways.