Author Archives: miriamchumbi

About miriamchumbi

I love great food and desire to highlight our African delicacies, passed from generation to generation, as well as the modern African meals. Enjoy!

Pepper Rump Steak

mmmmmhhhhh I have been waiting to make this meal for a while now and it was super super delicious, can’t wait to make it again.

Many people have their own way of making or searing steak, so paper pen and off to you tube I went, spent the better part of my afternoon just to get a recipe I was comfy with. My buddy food wishes never disappoints, because he is simple but ingenious in his cooking.

Next step was to pass by the supermarket and pray I get good steak, (in the average Kenyan home, these are not meats we cook), which I did, not a perfect cut but it would serve my purpose.

Rump Steak


The meat has to get to room temperature, then I seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Pan searing

Once meat was good and seasoned. I heated some oil on a non stick pan, let it get hot then add in your steak. The high heat allows the meat to brown beautifully, do this on both sides letting each cook for 4-5mins per side. Once brown lower the heat and allow the meat to cook as long as you desire, rear/medium rear/well done, your take, Kenyans do well done!

Take out your meat place in a foil paper and cover well to maintain the warmth and juiceness of the meat.

On the same pan add 2 tbsps of brandy (didn’t use this) let the alcohol to burn off and the brandy to reduce then add your 3/4 cup beef stock, let it simmer, then add 1/3 cup of cream (i had light cream as seen below). Let the sauce thicken out or once simmered add in your steak and let it thicken as steak gets the moisture). Remember to add in the juice in the foil paper!

Steak in Sauce

This is how it looked with the thickened sauce (I put in a bit more beef cubes, thus the colouring)

Steak in buttery pepper sauce

Once done, lower heat or turn off and add a tsp of cold unsweetened butter, let it melt and spoon the sauce over the steak to give it a smooth texture.

This meal was served with potatoes and green bananas. All cut up and boiled


Green bananas


The meal and a side of kachumbari (salsa dressing)



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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in General


Sunday Chicken Rice Mix Delight

Chicken Rice Mix Delight


This lovely and mouth-watering meal was prepared by none other than my loving husband, oh am so blessed. A sunday meal that left me wanting more on my plate, even though I was pretty much full already. There is something genuinely divine about the meals my husband cooks, (wish he would do it more often, hey a gal can dream heh).

Maybe its the reason why there are more male chefs than women, don’t get me wrong, am a good cook, well according to my husband and our guests, so he is never being biased. I love trying new stuff and enjoying myself while at it. Probably that’s it, that it’s naturally expected for women to be cooks, and in that notion we become familiar and it becomes about getting it over and done with as opposed to being creative and artsy about the meal.

Being a home maker is no joke, and then add being a mum on top of that and the whole being-artsy-with-food-factor gets replaced by its-food-its-on-the-table eat it, at least it’s not burned today. Oh how I pray never to get to that place where what I put on the table, especially for my husband, seizes to be of much importance and keenness.

So to the recipe, boy that plate had so much, her goes nothing;


1 cup rice

2 tbsp of Oil

Salt to taste

2 cups Boiled water

Wash your rice and let it sit in water for around 30 minutes and drain

Put oil on cooking pot,(you can add cumin seeds at this point, he didn’t) once hot add in your rice. Make sure the oil does not splash on you

Add salt, mix well than add your water and let it simmer

When the water has evaporated a bit, cover the rice and lower the heat and let it cook with the steam

Once ready turn off heat and leave cover on

French Beans

1 cup french beans cut into small pieces

1/2 cup of carrots cut into same sizes as the french beans

1 Onion

2 large tomatoes

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder

Beef Stock

Salt and Pepper


Place oil into pan and add in your cut up onions, let them saute then add your diced tomatoes

Add the coriander powder and salt and pepper

Cover the pan and ensure heat is on medium low so that the tomatoes cook with the steam as well

Leave them for 2-3 minutes then add the french beans and carrots

Add 1 cup of warm beef stock and cover. Keep checking and adding stock or hot water so that the meal doesn’t stick

This cooks for 30 minutes. Allow it to form a thick stew


2 cups of cubed potatoes




Par boil the potatoes (meaning don’t let them cook completely) in salty water

Heat oil on a pan, once hot you can pan fry them in two bunches

Lower the heat to medium once they have browned, to allow the inside to cook, remove and place in a container that has paper towel at the bottom.

Once all done sprinkle with paprika and mix well

Kachumbari (salsa dressing)

3 ripe tomatoes

1 large onion



Peel and dice the onions into small pieces

Place them in a container add water and 1/2 tsp of salt (this helps remove the oniony taste)

Dice the tomatoes into small pieces. Let the onions sit for 5 or so minutes

Mix onions and tomatoes in a bowl and add the ketchup. You may not need to add salt, but taste just to make sure

You can add coriander or chilli to this mix
Last Step, Chicken

500 gms of chicken cut into cubes



Boil the chicken in salt water

Heat oil on pan

Don’t let the chicken get cooked, so drain water and dry completely

Then place the pieces onto the hot oil, let them brown and then turn. Switch the heat to medium low so that you can allow the chicken to get cooked inside.

Drain onto a paper towel

Serve all the above side dishes and enjoy (oh am tired of typing, so you had better enjoy this meal)!



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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Chicken


East African Delicacy- Matoke (green bananas)

Matoke, Spinach & Bean stew

Today I share a meal that in many ways is a delicacy to us guys in East Africa. Matoke, cooked green bananas and bean stew.

Matoke Recipe

8 Green bananas (peeled and cubed)


3 Tomatoes


1/2 cup Coconut milk

1/2 tsp of Turmeric

1 tbsp Oil

Salt & Pepper


So start by cutting and frying the onions. Add your cut tomatoes and cover, let them simmer until they are cooked.

Add the bananas, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Pour in chicken stock or Knorr cube mixed in a warm cup of water. Cover and let the bananas cook, adding hot water to ensure they don’t dry up.

Please resist the urge to stir too often as the bananas will break into smaller pieces.

Once they are almost ready add the coconut milk and coriander, stir, cover for another 2-3 min. Turn off the heat, your are good to go.

Remember the stew can be as thick or as thin as you wish it to be, but thick is definitely better.

You can enjoy them with meat stew, minced meat, chicken steak etc be creative

You can also incorporate meat into the process, in that once the onions are ready, you add in your cubed meat pieces, cook until ready, add in tomatoes and follow above process. Delicious too!
For my fan Ursula, Spinach and beans recipe



1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup cream or milk

Baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste


Add butter in pan, once melted stir in your onions, let them cook for a minute.

Pour in your milk or cream and let it cook for a while, until it thickens

Once done, add in your spinach, having washed them earlier on and allowed the water to drain

Mix in well, add salt and pepper to taste and after 4 minutes you are good to go. Ensure the milk is good and thick so that when you add in your spinach, it doesn’t take a lot of cooking to thicken the mix.


Simplified Bean Stew

11/2 cup cooked beans


2 tomatoes

Beef broth



Coriander, Optional


Heat oil in pan, add the onions. Cook for 1 minute then add the tomatoes, beef broth and cover. Let them simmer for another 2 minutes

Add the beans, salt and 1 cup of hot water or beef broth and allow the stew to cook for another 15 minutes, adding water where necessary. We believe the longer the stew cooks, the sweeter it becomes, but be the judge of your stew as well.

Mix in the coriander and serve!



Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Bananas


Mild Sweet and Sour Pork

ooooh, I have been waiting to make this meal for a while now, and yes yes it was worth the wait, delicious! So am trying, yes trying to cut down on the fatty side of pork, because am gaining a little bit of weight. Honestly, I’ve never understood what benefit or lack of, pork has to the human body. I just know it smells divine on a frying pan. So anyone out there who wishes to educate me, please do feel free.

Sweet and sour has always been two of my favorite words in one sentence, something that has a bit of hot and sweet to balance off your palates, now what more could one ask for! Since the first time I tasted sweet and sour sauce, I was sold out, sadly though no other sauce with the same name has ever matched that first love encounter. Umh I think it was at the Intercontinental, someone give me that recipe, pleeeeeaaaaaassssssssseeeeeeee!

Anyway to serious business, found this recipe and had to try it out. This time round, I was good at taking pictures so basically you’ll see the steps or outcome of steps (no didn’t take detailed ingredient pictures, working on that though 🙂 )

Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin (no fat) Ingredients:
For the sauce:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar ( I used regular white vinegar, just a bit)
fresh pineapple juice ( buy a fresh one and squeeze out juice, about 1/2 a cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoons Wapambe hot chili sauce (Call me for this sauce, very hooooooooooooooot)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Mix all the above ingredients into a bowl, except the water/chicken broth


For the pork:
500gms pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut, flattened with meat tenderizer
salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup water or chicken broth to thin sauce


Tenderize the pork and season with salt and pepper

Heat pan on high, add oil and once ready place your pork and reduce heat to medium high sear pork for about 5 min on both sides

Pork Pan fried

Set pork aside

Seared Pork


Add butter on the same pan, place your pineapple chunks, stir for around 4 mins

Pineapple chunks

Add the sauce and stir for another 3-4 mins, then add in chilli flakes or powder and the garlic paste and let it simmer for about 6 min, adding a bit of water or chicken broth so that the sauce doesn’t thicken too much. Once ready add in your pork

Sweet bubbly Pork

Once you are happy with your cooked pork turn off the heat and serve with your choice of side dish, rice, fries, mashed or roast potatoes etc. I served mine with creamy creamy yummy spinach and mashed potatoes, delicious!

Delicious Pork


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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Pork


Chwan Chicken

Szechwan Chicken, Green Banana’s and Curry Cabbage

Cooked up something different and interesting the other day, we enjoyed it tremendously. The szchewan chicken, I still don’t know how to pronounce it, so we called it chwan with my husband. There was a few things I did not have so, I guess its appropriate to call it Chwan because it missed the Sze, ha! The recipe came from, look it up and also try my recipe below, you shall definitely enjoy it.


  • 1/4 kg Chicken
  • 2 tsp corn flour ( I like limiting my meals to processed stuff, original recipe uses 2 tbsps)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder (I didn’t have this used a bit of paprika, tandoori, coriander powder)
  • 2 tsps of oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 spring onions

For The Sauce :

  • I cup chicken stock (used knorr chicken cubes. Put one in a cup and add hot water, stir)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp five spice powder (same as above)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp of corn flour – in one tbsp stock/ water


  1. Coat chicken in corn flour, salt and five-spice powder. Brush off excess.
  2. Stir-fry the chicken until lightly coloured. Remove from pan. Pour off all but 2 tsp of oil.
  3. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds before adding onions and all the sauce ingredients (mix all sauce ingredients together).
  4. Bring to a boil, return chicken to pan, heat through and serve.
Green Bananas
– 8 large green bananas
– 6 tbsps oil
First peel the bananas and boil in salty water. I added a bit of vinegar for taste.
Ensure you remove the bananas before they are well done. Drain and add cold water to ensure they don’t keep on cooking, least they become mushy
Cut up the bananas into quaters for easy frying on pan
Heat oil on pan and add in your bananas, keep the heat on medium so the bananas don’t burn
Cook them in bunches, avoid overcrowding the pan.
Curry Cabbage
2 tsp of oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 large tomatoes
2 large carrots grated
2 cups of Cabbage
2 tsps Curry Powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook until they become transparent then add the curry powder and black pepper
After a minute add the tomatoes, allow them to cook until they are broken and form a thick paste
Add the cabbage and the grated carrots, cover with a lid and let the cabbage cook on steam
You can allow them to cook as much or as less as you wish, depending on whether you want them crunchy or well done.
Once done drizzle cut coriander, mix and turn off the heat.
Serve and enjoy with a glass of cold juice!


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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Chicken


Kac Kac/Somali Cookies

Somali Mandazis

These are the best mandazis I have ever come across, simple ingredients and so so so so (ok you get the message) simple to make. Thanks Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun for this fabulous recipe. Since I started making them my husband can’t have enough of them, until now his buddies (yeh he’ll carry to work too) are making indirect orders (tough chance guys).

The several times I have made them, I mixed the ingredients not as per the actual recipe, but according to how I liked them to turn out. They are moist and buttery, try them out.


1 cup flour; sifted
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 cup butter; melted (this is like 8 tsps)
½ cup sugar (8 tbsps, you can use as much or as less)
1 egg
1 ½ tsp. warm milk
oil for frying


1. In a bowl, gently blend the sifted flour, salt, and baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and egg.
3. Add the milk to the butter/sugar mixture and mix.

For step 2 & 3, I usually just add in the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients instead of mixing them separately. I like when the dough is ready but the sugar granules have not yet melted, makes such crunchy but moist cookies, yummy! But you can try out the above steps and then try my step, see which one you like better.
4. Add mixture to the flour and knead until smooth dough is formed.
5. Cover with a damp towel and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
6. Roll out to ¼ inch thick piece.
7. Cut into shapes. Some people cut it into diamond shapes or squares.
8. Deep fry until golden brown.
9. Drain on paper towels.


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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Breakfast


Cooking/Braising beef shin-on bone

pan-fried beef shin on bone side A

pan-fried beef shin on bone side B

So Monday was a holiday here in Kenya and I was being a good host. In my quest to try out something new, I stumbled across this lovely meat in the supermarket and went on the net to find out what to do with it. Now to my fellow Kenyans, Braising is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared (cooked at high temperature) and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added, from WIKIPEDIA.

After several and aggravating attempts, I came across a lovely site, for meats, yummy! and it had this lovely recipe on how to cook beef shanks, which is the same as beef shin on bone, a meat cut from the cow’s leg, upper I believe. Am not a fun of putting a lot of water/broth to any kind of meat, so in struggling with this new idea, I decided why not, life is too short. All I can say, is that plates went back to the kitchen with bones only, yeh success!

Being in the kitchen trying to wrap up a lot is not as easy, so I managed to only take a picture of the beef once it came from the pan after frying it on butter for about 10 minutes on both sides, sob sob! But I will cook these babies again, that is a guarantee. For those who think its expensive, you’d be surprised because those pieces cost me Kshs 166 and Kshs 210 respectively (depending on weight and they are packaged in twos), that’s bigger than any piece of 1 kg meat cut into 4 pieces, and it had bone marrow too, yummier!


Melt butter/veg. oil on non-stick pan and place the beef. On high heat let the beef brown on bother sides, 1-2 mins each side.

Take out beef shanks and place them aside, as I did above, and another trick is that you can cover them with foil paper, just to maintain the moisture. Put the pan aside for later use, don’t wash.

2 tbsp veg. oil or butter
4 beef shanks (about 1 1/2-inch thick)
3 large onions
1 bay leave (I didn’t have this, so left that out)
6 springs thyme
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery (I used leeks instead)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups beef broth (I used Knorr beef cubes broth)
chives to garnish (you can use a bit of coriander-dhania)

Always remember to start a meal when all your ingredients are prepared. As per’s recipe, there are some items I did not have, either because they were not readily available or are a bit expensive. These are the ingredients I put together for my big pieces of beef shin on beef, remember you can use half of the ingredients if you are cooking 2 pieces only;

3 Onions cut vertically (with the grain not across the grain)

3 Large carrots diced

1 leek sliced thinly

Rosemary and thyme broth ( so since I had these in smaller pieces, I just boiled them and sieved the broth on the beef)

Beef broth (since this was not readily available, I just bought the knorr beef cubes took 2 cubes put in a large container and added 2 cups of hot water)

Fry the onions in the same pan you browned the beef pieces.

Once you all the above ingredients ready, take a big sufuria and put your beef pieces in, add all your ingredients, season with salt and black pepper, cover with lid and let it cook for 3-4 hours on low heat, simple.

But do remember to check the soup levels once in a while, and once the beef is cooked allow the stock to thicken on high heat.
I served the above with creamy mashed potatoes and  peas, yummy! Enjoy your meal

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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Beef

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