3-4 tablespoons chopped spring onion/coriander leaves
1.Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat and then add your vegetable oil,red onion and garlic,fry for 30 seconds.
2.Add your grated zucchini,potatoes,chopped carrots,cubed tomatoes and a teaspoon of tomato paste,add salt and black pepper to taste and lower heat to medium low and fry the vegetables for 3-5 minutes till tender.
3.Add your fresh beans and corn/maize then add enough stock or water ,simmer covered for 20-35 minutes till stock reduces and you have a thick sauce.
4.Add the 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions/coriander for garnish,stir and serve
Do you know what goes really well with spaghetti especially if you are not a meat lover like i am…
It is cumber,carrots,red onions and lots of tomatoes.
My son loves this dish so much he almost always scraps his plate clean.
And it is a very very cheap dish too,no exotic ingredients in this dish.
1 medium sized red onion,chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped finely/minced
1 medium sized zucchini sliced
2 carrots grated/chopped
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil/vegetable oil for frying
200 grammes of spaghetti
1.Boil a medium sized saucepan half filled with water,then add a tablespoon of salt once its starts boiling.Don’t worry you will not taste the salt.
2.Boil till al dente about 6-7 minutes.
3.Drain the pasta but retain a cup or so of the pasta water,you will add it later to the vegetables.
4.In the same saucepan add some olive oil.vegetable oil then add your chopped red onion and sauté till tender,.
5.Add the minced garlic,sauté for 0 seconds,then add your tomatoes,carrots fry for a minute or so till softened then add your tomato paste and salt and stir.
6.Add the cucumber slices and cover for a minute to let the steam tenderize them.
7..After a minute add a few tablespoons of the pasta water,enough to cover base of sauce pan,let simmer for a minute to thicken the sauce then add your drained paster and stir then cover for 30 seconds and remove from heat.
I could go all Shakespearean and spew odes about chapati…
This Asian delicacy tha is a favourite of mine is something I could eat all week.
In a forum that I am a member of,someone asked how she could make the perfect chapatis.
Everyone gave her ideas on how to make them but they forgot to give her the measurement of the ingredients she would use to make them.
Like cake making,chapati making is a precise art,once you get the measurements wrong nothing ever seems right after that.
In a bid to correct this I have written out my fool-proof chapati recipe that has everyone asking for more.You can find a another recipe chapati recipe where i mixed wheat flour with gram flour here .
I need also to mention that to be great at making chapatis,you need patience and lots of practice,i will never forget how first chapatis were as hard as biscuits with time I have become good at it.
2 cups each white and brown flour plus an extra 1 cup for rolling out and needing
3 level tablespoons softened butter
1.5 cups warm water
2 tablespoonfuls of chopped spring onions
1 level tablespoon of sugar
1 level teaspoon salt
1 cup corn oil
1.In a bowl sift flour,sugar and salt together then add your butter.Using clean fingers rub in the butter in the flour till it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
2.Add your chopped spring onions and using a fork mix them into the flour.
3.Make a well in the centre of your flour and add the warm water and working from the centre outwards mix in the flour till you have a soft lumpy dough.
4.Turn the dough onto a clean surface and working with clean hands use your palms to kneadt he flour turning it over frequently and making sure to dust flour your working surface to prevent the dough from sticking.
5.Chapati flour does not need to be kneaded for too long just work it till you have a soft ,elastic dough that does not stick to your work surface.
6.Once your dough is read,shape it into a ball .Clean your bowl,dry it and return the dough to the bowl , drizzle a tablespoon and a half of your cooking oil onto the dough then roll your dough round the bowl to make sure every inch is covered with oil.
7.Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set it aside for 20 to 30 minutes to give it time to rest.This is what gives your chapatis a soft texture as the gluten strands have had enough time to rest from all the kneading .
After 30 minutes get your round ball of dough and using a sharp kitchen knife divide the dough into 2 equal halves then quarter it,each quarter gives your about 4-5 balls each of dough.
Rollout each ball of dough out to about 1/8 of an inch round ,drizzle about half a tablespoon each of good vegetable oil and spread it evenly all over your rolled out dough, using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush.
Roll your dough into a thin cylindrical shape and then into a spiral and set aside,repeat this with each of your balls .
Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat,get each chapati ball and roll it out into 1/8 of an inch round ,put it on the heavy skillet till you see bubbles on the surface then you know its time to turn,oil the cooked side then turn it over oil the second side,turn again and once it lightly browned your chapati is ready to be turned onto a flat platter and covered with a clean kitchen cloth.
Repeat this procedure with the rest of the balls of chapati.
Better English was an English grammar book we used in class 3 ..the year 19 something and it had some tongue twisters.
My favourite at the time wa all about Betty Botter and her butter.
It went something like this….
Betty Botter bought some butter, “But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I bake this bitter butter, It will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter – That would make my batter better.” So she bought a bit of butter, Better than her bitter butter, And she baked it in her batter, And the batter was not bitter. So ’twas better Betty Botter Bought a bit of better butter.
Maybe this obsession with Betty may explain my love for butter despite what health experts say that its bad for your arteries.
I don’t use it everyday because like all good things moderation is key but when I do..
It is great especially when working with wheat and for popcorn,gives popped corn a really nice buttery taste.
And for toasted bread ,especially when you want to make garlic bread…..scrumptious.
In terms of nutritional value;a gramme of butter gives you about 7 calories .
It is rich in vitamins A and E,Riboflavin which is also known as B12 an is important for body growth and in red cell production,it also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
It is also rich in minerals great for your bones and teeth like calcium,phosphorus and potassium while also containing a good amount of sodium and small amounts of fluoride,zinc and magnesium.
The Kenyan dairy market has only two types of butter ;salted and unsalted butter.
Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted.
If you intend to use butter in your cooking use the unsalted one.
When using butter for any recipe scoop as much as the recipe needs and refrigerate the rest.
When making bread,cookies,cake,flat bread/ chapati or any product that calls for rubbing butter into the flour make sure it’s at room temperature before adding it to your flour.The exception would be in certain pastry recipes where it may call for using cold butter.
If you are not going to be using the butter too quickly freeze it as this will help it keep for longer.
When using butter for frying,never heat it over high heat as t burns very easily,moderately low heat is best.
When using butter with other oils like sunflower oil,first heat the pan add the oil then add your butter .
Butter can also be added to soups to give them a glossy silky smooth texture.
Here is how to make coriander or dhania butter that you can use on toasted bread/crostini.Only make as much as you can use at a time.
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 finely chopped tablespoon of coriander
In a small bowl using a fork thoroughly mix the butter and coriander together .
For a total of 8 years of ,4 each in upper primary and high school ,i spent every evening eating githeri.
Githeri is a central Kenyan delicacy of boiled maize and beans, fried in onions, tomatoes with some potatoes put in for good measure.
Murram as we called it in school then, was a staple and you did not have to be a rocket scientist to know what food our faithful cook Kariuki would put out to be served by whoever’s duty it was to act as “server of food” for that week to a table of 12 hungry teenagers.
The only deviation to this routine was on visiting days and any other day when parents trooped to school to see their young geniuses take a break from all the hard work.
Then they would bring us chapatis,pilau,chicken ,soda and anything else we were starved off in school.
Only for them to leave us with Eno to keep of indigestion that inevitably came with eating too much.
One of my first posts on this blog was turning githeri on its head and making a salad out of it in deconstructed githeri.
Now this is another way to have this Kenyan classic ,which nutritionally speaking, by combining maize and beans it results in a perfect protein much like rice and beans has been made famously healthy by the Mexicans.
My 5-year-old loves it and your family will love it too.
Its githeri jazzed up with some spice and lots of vegetables off different colours that make it so appealing visually.
I digress…this was meant to be a recipe.
2 cups dry/fresh beans parboiled
1.5 cup green corn/maize parboiled
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-sized red onion,chopped finely
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 medium-sized potatoes peeled and halved
2 tomatoes cubed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small green capsicum,chopped
2 medium-sized carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1.Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat and pour the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
2.Add the red onion,saute it till it turns soft then add the garlic and fresh ginger root minced,fry for 30 seconds taking care not to brown it too much.
3.Add the garam masala and the black pepper,let cook for 15 -30 seconds taking care not to burn it, then add the potatoes and the vegetables plus the salt and tomato paste.Let it cook covered for 2-3 minutes ,stirring often till it turns into a thick sauce .
4.Add the beans and maize and enough stock to cover and let simmer for 30 minutes till the potatoes are soft and a fork passed through them goes through and the stock has reduced to just below the level of the beans and githeri.
This recipe was inspired by my sister in laws who make the most amazing pumpkin chapatis.
It uses a sweet pumpkin that I picked from my kitchen garden but you can use butternut or whatever type of pumpkin is available.
The three flours i have used in the recipe are locally available and give the chapatis depth in terms of texture,flavour and colour and the added benefit of using whole wheat flour which is that you get dietary fibre,calcium and iron.
1 cup pumpkin,cubed
3 cups water
1 cup whole wheat flour/amaranth flour
1 cup regular four
1 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 scant tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
vegetable oil for frying
1.In small saucepan put 2 cups of water then add the 1 cup of chopped pumpkin and bring it to boil.
Cook till pumpkin is tender about 15 minutes.
2.In a mixing bowl add the three flours,salt and sugar and mix together with a fork.
3.Once the pumpkin is cooked you are left with about 1 cup water,blend this or mash with a fork till it looks like a paste .Add half a cup of water(cold) and then add it to the flour mixture,retaining half of it incase you need more water for the dough.
Make a well in the middle of the bowl with the flour and pout this pumpkin water in.
4.Incorporate flour into the pumpkin water with a fork, then once mixed use your hands to knead dough for 5 minutes till the dough is soft and smooth.
5.Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and knead again about 2-3 minutes.
6.Let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered.
7.Get a large platter,sprinkle some flour and using knife or kitchen scissors snip off dough and roll little dough balls the size of a small egg placing them on the platter .It makes about 12-14 chapatis.
8.On your rolling board roll out the chapatis into thin discs the size of a small dinner plate,brush with vegetable oil and roll into strip.Then roll the strip round into a round ball and place back on the platter.
9.Repeat this with the rest of the balls.
10.Heat a heavy frying pan.skillet/girdle over medium heat then take one ball of the dough roll it out into the size of a small dinner plate then place on the hot pan.
11.Watch for bubbles on top of the dough and you know it’s now time to turn the chapati over.
12.Brush the cooked side with some oil,turn it over.Brush the second side with oil turn it over,by now both side of the chapati should have lovely patchwork of brown.Turn it onto a clean platter and cover with a kitchen towel.
13.Repeat this with the rest of the chapati balls.