Classic Kenyan Beef Stew

kenyan-beef-stew-with-vegetables

kenyan-beef-stew-with-corander

Hello there from my new world! it has been a minute! I know i know.. I guess this is the longest I have stayed without posting since I started this platform. Well, it has been for all the good reasons! first thing first, we have a new member in the family! Yeah! Nick and I welcomed a little cutie, healthy bouncing baby boy on the 13th of june this year! His name is Henry. Weighed 3.4kg and was 52 cm tall of pure happiness. I fell in love with him the moment i held him in my arms, and he smelled heavenly! The first months into motherhood were extremely hard from getting to know him and him us, to dealing with sleep deprivation, postpartum blues, and dealing with the crazy hormonal changes that no one tells you about until you are in it! All of that and all at once!

They say your life changes when you become a mother and they were certainly right. My life changed all over a sudden but for the better. To me, being a mother is having the greatest job in the world, it means getting again that golden chance of seeing the world through my child’s eyes and most importantly, to practicing unconditional love that has no end.

That said, it’s yet again that time of the year (at least in this part of the world) that calls for a warm hearty Kenyan beef stew and this one happens to be the best I’ve ever had. With the simplest ingredients, some oil, a bone marrow or two and of course a beef steak, one gets a delicious dish that distract you from the bad weather outside and warms you from inside.

raw-carrots

 

beef-steak-for-stew

Ingredients

1/2 kg beef, cut into bite sizes

1 cup of water                           

4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 big red onion or 2 small ones, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon tomatopaste

2 carrots, diced

5 small potatoes, diced

3 Bay leave

½ teaspoon paprika powder

½ teaspoon curry powder

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Fresh coriander for garnishing

Instructions 

In a saucepan, place meat, ginger, garlic and 1 cup of water. Boil the meat for roughly 30 minutes on medium heat

Separate meat from broth and set aside (you’ll need the broth later for the stew)

In a separate saucepan, heat vegetable oil on medium heat, fry onions till soft. Add beef and fry till it starts to brown. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook till the fresh tomatoes have softened. Add the spices; curry powder and paprika and mix well. Let the mixture simmer for a minute or two for the spices to mix well with the beef.

Add carrots and potatoes and stir well, again let the mixture simmer about five minutes stirring each minute to avoid sticking in the pan. Once everything has mixed in well add the broth you had set aside earlier. Stir well and throw in the bay leaves, lower the heat to low and Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender stirring from time to time. Season with salt and pepper

Ganish with fresh corinder and serve hot with rice, ugali or chapati.

cooked-kenyan-beef-stew

dsc_0400-beef-stew

Mbaazi za Nazi (Pigeon Peas in Coconut Milk)

dry pigeon peas

mbaazi:dry pigeon peas

Today I woke up feeling positively energized and inspired. Inspired to follow my dreams and manifest them. Life can change in an instant, it’s the act of coping with what happened that really matters. The last months haven’t been the easiest in my life. Most of you might have noticed that since last year and today, I have only managed to post one recipe.

Last autumn, my life took a turn that I didn’t see coming and never would have thought of (that’s a story for another day). Out of the whole experience, I have learned to look at life from a different angle and accepting circumstances as they are instead of trying to change them or run away. At first I wanted to run away from it all – when I say running I don’t necessarily mean jogging – I mean running as first as I could, lung burning run. Run off my fears and anxiety… run off my anger… run off the reality… I did try to run, only to make things worse. I guess it is in our human nature to try and run away from the reality from time to time. But once we realize we cannot change things to be the way we wish/want them to be and start accepting them as they are, life becomes much more easier. Instead of lamenting of the things that we’ve lost in the past, it’s good to learn to let go and see each new day as another opportunity to being a better person that we weren’t yesterday. What seems like the end of everything, it is actually the beginning of something new, another chapter in life. Everything happens for a reason, nothing is a coincidence. I have named the autumn of last year “The Golden Autumn” and am so grateful for each and every lesson it has taught me.

Golden Autumn

The Golden Autumn

It was during “The Golden Autumn” that my mum brought me these peas from her summer holiday in Kenya. Pigeon peas are considered as one of the strongest draught-tolerant crops in Kenya and some other countries in East Africa. Even when everything else dries up; the water wells, plants and the soil, these peas continue to survive and have been a life saver in many homes. I have come to like them a lot of lately and at some point they keep on reminding me how strong I can be. That no matter the situation, we have to keep on moving and being strong. After enjoying them several times is when I remembered you guys (Lol) and just with the last half a kilo left, I happened to manage to capture and write this recipe for you.

Mbaazi za Nazi (pigeon peas in coconut milk) is the most stumble breakfast dish for most homesteads in the Kenyan coast. Traditionally they are accompanied by Mahamri.

Normally dry peas are used but even young peas would do.

cooked mbaazi

Mbaazi za nazi:pigeon peas with coconut milk

Mbaazi za Nazi (pigon peas in coconut milk)

Ingredients

½ kg dry pigeon peas or 2 cans precooked pigeon peas

Water for boiling the peas

1 cup normal coconut milk

½ cup thick coconut milk

2-3 green or red chilies

½ teaspoon turmeric or curry powder (optional)

Salt to taste

Instructions

Soak dry peas overnight and rinse them in the morning before boiling them till soft, takes about an hour. (If using canned rinse well and drain)

Drain once they are cooked and add 1 cup of normal coconut milk, chilies, turmeric powder, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on very low heat for about 10 – 15 minutes

In a separate saucepan, place the thick coconut milk and bring it to a light boil stirring constantly using a whisk until it has double thickened. Remove from heat and set aside

Scoop a few spoons of the thick coconut milk on to the pigeon peas folding it before serving

Enjoy with Mahamri or Chapati

Roasted Chicken with Garlic Butter and Vegetables

roasted chicken with garlic butter

 

It’s Friday afternoon and I can feel the gentler pace of the weekend creeping in. Too often my weekends are poles apart from my weekdays. While the week is full of chaos and running from home to work and back, my weekends are spent in a slow motion. The slowdown brought by the end of the week changes everything. As I approach the weekend, everything in me inside and out slows down as well. I am openly and willingly admitting that, naturally I am a slow person. And I love it. The art of slow living gives me such inner peace that sometimes, if assigned to do something I fall in love with the process more than the final product.

whole chicken with lemon

It’s Sunday late afternoon and I am listening to Matt Simons sing catch and release on Spotify. We have just walked in the front door less than an hour ago from our usual Sunday walk in the nature, walks that I so dearly love and adore. The wildflowers blooming, the sound of the stream, the birds singing, the soft wind blowing, the quietness of the woods and fresh breath clears the cobwebs in my mind and soothes my heart. We walked in the front door and I peeled a sweet potato, chopped some carrots and halved a lemon, seasoned a whole chicken with garlic butter and threw everything in the oven to slowly roast. And now, as I lay here on the sofa listening to catch and release all I can think of is the smell that comes from the oven. Oh my! The savoury and piquant smell of a roasting chicken is just out of this space! Every time I happen to make a little trip to the kitchen, I would stand on the oven just to sniff the sensational hot air gushing out of the oven and when the long awaited minute of busting the chicken finally arrives, I’ll get all giggling as I slightly open the oven door and my nose will be greeted by that extra intense sniff. You see it’s the little things in life that makes us happy.

bowl of vegetables

chicken stuffed with half a lemon

In my growing arsenal of roasted meals, this chicken is among the top 3 and what makes it unique is the use of sweet potatoes, or so I believe. Their tangy sweetness seems to ooze very well with the chicken. In the Kenyan Cuisine, these vegetables are among the easiest to love and either grilled/roasted, boiled or cooked in coconut milk, they have a unique way to deliver their unique taste. Did I mention that I also added some fresh ginger to this dish? Oh and shallots! So many goodies in one pan!!!

seasoned chicken

Of all the culinary pleasures in the world, my favourite is eating a crispy, well-seasoned skin of a roasted chicken and I am firm you’ll all agree with me that is it for certain one of life’s finer things.

Below are 2 simple tips for getting a crispy skin.

1. Let the chicken stand at room temperature uncovered for one hour before cooking.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels so skin doesn’t steam in oven.

If you do these two things, in addition to letting the bird rest for 10 minutes before carving, your roast chicken will be divine — crispy skin, golden brown all around, juicy meat.

Ingredients

1 whole chicken

6 – 8 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 lemon, halved

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Vegetables

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

3 medium shallots, halved or quartered

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces

Fresh thyme for the vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Start by first preparing the chicken. Remove giblets from the chicken, trim any excess fat from and around the bird’s cavity then rinse and dry it thoroughly. The drier the chicken, the crispier the skin will be

Tie the legs together with a kitchen twine and place the bird in a baking dish or a roasting pan. Let the chicken sit at room temperature uncovered for one hour before roasting

Prepare the vegetables by placing them in a large bowl and drizzling with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss to combine and set aside

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius

Generously season chicken both inside and out with salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add the minced garlic, fry till the garlic is soft. Brush the melted garlic-butter all over the bird including the cavity. Place the two halved lemons and the rosemary sprigs inside the cavity. Place the prepared vegetables around the chicken

Roast the chicken for 1 hour basting it in between using a spoon and titling the pan to collect some juice and spooning it on top of the chicken

Once done, remove the chicken from the roasting pan and transfer it to a cutting board to serving platter.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving

roasted chicken with vegetables

Serve with accompanying vegetables and enjoy!

Oven Baked Garlic & Rosemary French Fries + Masala Sauce (chips masala)

chips with masala sauceYesterday was our anniversary  (5 years and 7 months yeah!) I still cannot consider how time passes by quickly. It seems like we just met yesterday yet at some point I feel like have known him all my life and even the life before!

Since I had the day off, I wanted to prepare something special yet healthy and of course not time consuming (we all have that issue of time, I bet, don’t we?)  I had potatoes in my pantry – I always have potatoes somewhere around the kitchen since there are so many things one can do with them– and after debating with myself of weather to do some quick potato salad or baked potatoes, someone inside me was yearning silently but with an increasing frequency for something spicy! While I was tempted to do Kenyan Chips Masala, I decided to give the recipe a few twists of my own hence making it healthier.

Chips Masala is basically French fries mixed with spicy-tomato-gravy-sauce and garnished with a bunch of fresh coriander and a touch of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Instead of deep-frying the fries, I baked them in the oven coated with garlic, rosemary and olive oil to get them nice and crispy and instead of mixing them with Masala sauce – I personally don’t like mushy Chips Masala as a result of the sauce – I covered them with the Masala Sauce.

Masala sauce calls for a generous use of tomatoes and a good measure of spices. The amazing array of spices and flavours combined with tomatoes and topped on crispy French fries does surely taste amazing! Sincerely speaking from yesterday’s experience, this was one of the best side dishes have made in a while. So many flavours from the Masala sauce, rather easy, and quick to put together, AND pretty healthy.

potatoes

Ingredients for Oven Baked French Fries

1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch french-fry strips

4 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stripped off and minced if desired

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Masala Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil or any other cooking oil

3 green cardamoms, 1 bay leave, ½ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and some cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 onion, finely chopped

3 aroma fresh tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon curry powder (I used the original Kenyan curry powder – simba mbili)

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon dhania powder

1 teaspoon crushed chillis

½ cup water

Salt to taste

A bunch of fresh chopped coriander

½ a lemon

Preparation

First prepare the sauce by heating up oil in a medium pan over medium heat.

Add green cardamoms, bay leave, cinnamon stick, cloves and cumin seeds, let this whole spices blend with the oil while heating up. This will give the sauce a very nice and spicy aroma

Add finely chopped onions, minced ginger and garlic and toast till the onions have lightly browned evenly

Add fresh tomatoes together with the tomato paste and simmer till soft and pulpy

Lower the heat and add all the other spices and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid it from burning

Add water and salt and allow the mixture to simmer over very low heat for 30-45 minutes while stirring form time to time

Keep it warm till serving time

For a more silky texture, the sauce can also be pureed in a blender or food processor.

Preparing garlic and rosemary French fries

Mix together olive oil, garlic, rosemary and salt. Allow them to sit together for a while.

Preheat oven to 200 °c

Evenly distribute potato strips on a baking sheet and pour the olive oil mixture over them. Mix together till all the potato strips are coated with the olive oil mixture. Spread them in an even layer, place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until have acquired preferred brownness and crispiness

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

While serving, cover with Masala sauce and garnish with fresh coriander and a squeeze some lemon juice on top.

french fries with masala sauce

Enjoy!

Roasted Rack of Lamb

lamb rack 1

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 the 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.

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 😉

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.

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 Chapati  or rice

Chicken Tikka Masala 3

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)

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