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Traditional Delicacy!

The meal that took the price as a warming food was managu, ugali and fried pork, yum! The pork was bought for another day but it ended up being part of the day’s meal and boy did we enjoy it. Am a very outspoken supporter of ‘don’t cook pork meat in watery stew’ campaign.

So what I did was pan fry the pork, do NOT add oil, just let it sizzle in its own fat, because you want that fat out. Then once it is well and good take out the pork from pan, leave oil in pan, you can use it for whatever you want later on.

          

Then do the onion frying, add garlic/ginger and tomatoes. Once that mix is good and cooked add your pork and a little salt, remember pork can be salty as well. Then add a little hot water and let it simmer. Allow it to simmer to a thick stew as in picture.

The managu (this is a wild vegetable, similar to Kale, but more nutritious) on the other hand, was boiled a bit, I poured out the water, well this is only to remove a bit of the bitterness, we are sternly told that that water has the nutrients, urgh! Moving right along (before am accosted by a nutritionist) I fried an onion and added one tomato and added the managu once the tomatoes were done, then the magic ingredient, sour milk (mala), you can use cream or milk if you have none of the aforementioned, but the sourness of milk does justice to managu. Let it cook in low medium heat for a while, the longer it cooks the sweeter it becomes. That meal was fantabulous, try it out.
Serve with rice if you are unable to make or get Ugali, which is our staple food here in Kenya.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Pork

 

My favorite kind of egg!

My version of sunny side up egg – Pic from my kitchen

So this was my tea time egg on Friday, after a long long long week, am happy I sat down to a lovely cup of orange tea and my egg. I believe the reason as to my liking of this egg, aside from the fact that its very yummy! Is that its moist and you get to dig into that juice-ness with your bread.

Most homes in Kenya have their eggs well done, and that’s between pan-fried or boiled. That’s how I grew up as well, until the travels of hotels and restaurants, opened my palates to a whole new, bright and beautiful world of adventurous cuisine. I do not complain at all about the different ways we make our eggs but its a lot of fun to try new things.

I made my first poached egg just recently, to the continual delight of my husband. It wasn’t quite my liking but the sunny side up is definitely a keeper.

Poached Egg. Pic from google

The other most definite keeper is the egg in a basket, yummy and truly artistic in its form, people who come up with recipes are quite the rebels, umh!

Of course the above is sunny side up but pan-fried on both sides, not just one side as shown below.

Sunny Side up Egg-Pic from google

The usual types of eggs we know are;

Boiled

Pan fried

Scrabbled

Omelette

Yeh that’s about it, I believe. Well in my quest to research about eggs, of course we all know that they are nutritious, but of course too much of them and your body will break out with a bad case of allergy. I discovered a site that has 100 ways of cooking eggs, what! To contain sanity I shall share the link and look at it in my own pace. Enjoy!

http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2009/04/16/100-ways-to-crack-an-egg/

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Eggs

 

Zarda (sweet rice)

 

Zarda (Sweet) Rice

I found this lovely dish on one of my fav recipe sites and thought, wow, this is new and really cool. So since it was too exciting for am generously sharing it before I experiment on the same. So go out and try it out. The person modified it a bit from original sharer, so feel free to also put your additions or subtractions especially if you’re not able to access almonds very easily, coz yeh they are expensive. Enjoy!

 

A fluffy sweet rice mixed with nuts and raisins that works great as a dessert.

Recipe adapted from Rania Zohaib with some small alterations.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice
¾  cup sugar
2 tbsp. margarine
pinch of cardamom powder
4 tbsp. peeled and flaked almonds
10-12 raisins
½ tsp. yellow food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the rice for about 20-25 minutes.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add color and cardamom powder to the water. Then add the drained rice and boil on medium heat until the rice is about 90% done. Drain and set aside.

Now take a small pan and heat the margarine, add the raisins and let them swell up, then turn the heat off.

Take another pan and start layering, first put half the rice, then sprinkle half the sugar and half the almond flakes, again add the remaining rice, followed by sugar and almond flakes. Drizzle the melted margarine with the raisins on top.

Turn the heat on high and stand over the pan. The sugar will start melting right away. Using your fingers or a fork, gently toss the rice with the rest of the ingredients so that it is all well mixed together.

Cover the pan with a cloth followed by the lid and put it on very low heat for about 15 minutes so that the rice gets steamed nicely. Uncover, toss with a fork and serve warm!! :)

PS: The sugar that melts over the rice helps make sure your rice maintains its beautiful appearance, so it won’t get mashed if you are careful in making this dish. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Rice

 

Masala Chips

Ever since I started making masala chips, I was sold out to this brilliant art of transforming ordinary looking fries into something so yummy! It’s another way of feeling as though you have eaten the healthier version of deep-fried fries, yeh! but we all have lies we tell ourselves. So today I share with you the procedure or ‘the recipe’, as per my kitchen adventures. Remember am still not into this ingredient thing because I rarely follow them to par, but let your kitchen instincts urge you on. I still cannot remember what I cooked on the side but am sure it was chicken marinated in something like;

-Soy Sauce                                 – A little Paprika

-Egg                                           -Ketchup

Well that’s as far as my memory can take me, but there are basic ingredients to marinate chicken (I will be sure to share them soon). But hey life is short experiment as much as you wish.

Ingredients:

  • potatoes cut into fries
  • onions, sliced long
  • fresh tomatoes, crushed)
  • cloves of garlic
  • chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • tomato ketchup
  • Coriander, chopped
  • Lemon Juice
  • Oil to fry chips
  • A few tbsp of oil or Butter

Method:

  1. Heat oil in pan and cook fries in bunches depending on quantity you have to avoid them getting soggy, put aside preferably on paper towels so the excess oil is socked up
  2. Crush the garlic very finely
  3. Add the chilli powder and salt into the garlic mix to make a paste.
  4. If you like your food spicy, go heavy on the garlic and chilli powder.
  5. Add oil or butter in a pan and fry the onions till they are softened and very slightly browned.
  6. Add the garlic chilli powder salt paste made in step 3 and stir for about a minute so the spices cook and their flavor is drown out by the heat
  7. Add the tomatoes and turn to medium heat; stir constantly for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked forming a thick paste.
  8. Add the tomato ketchup and stir.
  9. Add the fries, turn the heat down and mix thoroughly but not so much until the fries start breaking apart.
  10. Add as much coriander as you wish and garnish with lemon juice.
  11. Leave for about 10 minutes and you are good to go!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Potatoes

 

The Food Industry

 

Being that am not exercising good blogging principles by blogging every other day, I went ahead and opened another blog for recipes and foods only! oh boy! What am I thinking?! Well my life isn’t what you would term as ‘very’ exciting, so having 2 blogs is going to really stretch me here, but maybe just maybe, it could be the beginning of something new and exciting. I will work on linking the blogs so that they supplement each other.

The recipe experience and highlight of the week for me and my hubby was ‘adventuring’ at a grilling restaurant and we had these flame grilled cherry and ginger spare ribs with potato wedges and steamed veggies on the side. Of course my hubby had no particular inkling towards the veggies but I felt obligated to eat mine in the hope that my body understands that it has eaten something health-ier! The ribs were very tender and well marinated. We had a chat with the chef, Chef Edward, who is adventuring in the restaurant business. Also came to find out he’s going to cater for the Masaku 7’s, this is the newest and upcoming Rugby team from Machakos or rather the Eastern province (county now, I think).awuwu!

The food industry in itself is quite extensive and very interesting. Its intriguing how we take food so lightly here in this Kenya of ours. I aint saying that we ‘all’ do, but generally that’s how we have been brought up. The people who I give credit to for enjoying and working on their meals are the Swahili in the Coast province( oops county). Having been privileged (not coz am loaded cash-wise, no, just God’s favour) to have eaten at some of our big hotels, and having no particular culinary training, its sad that not ALOT of thought is put into meals. You think well, this is a big hotel, and whatever they service in terms of food will knock my socks or skirt off, then, comes disappointment. I mean with a little bit of keenness and money to buy those ingredients, the now widely travelled and learned Kenyan can pull off some of the moves the ‘chefs’ make. We just need to up our game, am talking about hotels and restaurants and caterers.

We have so many upcoming caterers who do the most shoddiest of jobs, yet they are making a kill in terms of clientele, because we hardly put to mind what we are serving or being served. Being brought up in Kenya and with average incomes (money is relative to every individual), I hardly think we have the luxury to know what it means to be served great food. Though I do believe that the moment you take a particular keenness to something, you discover so much about that thing it’s almost embarrassing to imagine you had no idea or had never contemplated how much that thing was far-reaching, knowledge-wise.

Anyone out there who loves eating out ones in a while and is especially attentive to the service they receive can conquer with me that, we are not doing well in the food industry but (yes but), we are improving due to the rising competition. Employees at those places are bored to death and thus bore you to a point of not really enjoying your meal. Every now and then when you do come across a cheerful waiter/waitress, it’s a breath of fresh air. Another trend that we have is starting off with great food and workers then, I believe, as the ‘greed’ or thirst for more money engulfs us we cut down on ingredients and thus totally spoil the quality of food. They end up underpaying and mistreating their employees who eventually quit, and gradually when the customers notice (they all always seem to think we don’t notice) they take their leave. That business owner ends up operating on losses and wounded pride.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Meat

 

grilling pork in the microwave

Wow okay, so we don’t eat a lot of starch and meats, being healthy is top on my (yes my) list, and through out the week the menu is on healthy foods. But weekends, well lets just say, having had a long hard week, it definitely pays off to eat ‘happy foods’, lol! To the utter joy of my hubby. Anyway, the other day I wanted to experiment on pork (am loving pork everyday). So I will try to put the ingredients, you can measure accordingly, depending on the size of your pork. NOTE: use reasonable and appropriate ingredients. Oh just to mention, tried to make Grilled smoked Pork on our Microwave (that has Grill option) and it didn’t go as planned, next time it shall, so ended up pan frying the pork.

What was to be Grill Smoked Pork Ingredients;

Brown Sugar

Honey

Lemon Juice

Vegetable Oil

Red pepper flakes or Chilli Powder

Step one is to marinate the pork in all the above ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once ready to cook, you can either grill or pan fry on a non-stick pan. I never add oil to the pan, just let the pork sizzle in its own fat.

Mashed Potatoes

Buy potatoes, peel and boil in salty water.

Once tender pour out water and add, cream or milk, butter, black pepper a bit of chilli powder lemon juice coriander (dhania) if you wish and mash it all up.

Peas

Boil them and either fry with onions and butter OR fry onion in vegetable oil add tomatoes and the cooked peas and allow stew to simmer in medium heat.

All done simple and fun, serve and enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Pork

 

Home Made Comfort Foods

It is sad to note that with increase in economy a lot of things are becoming lesser and lesser of importance to the average or ‘common’ Kenyan. Meaning the Kenyan whose getting a paycheck at the end of the month with a substantial amount of money worth spending. There was a time that life wasn’t this complicated, forgive me for sounding like a whiner and not ‘in touch’ with reality, but I miss those days, don’t you? We could enter a supermarket with Kshs. 2000 and buy so much stuff for the month or even months. Anyway refer to a previous post for my total disregard of the times we are living in.

On a happier note, this Sunday was pizza Sunday, hooray! And my lovely wonderful awesome husband made, yes I said it right, made us some overly delicious pizza. To think that in this age, an average pizza costs Kshs 600 is just shocking. We are talking about a pizza that can only satisfy 2 chicks who rarely eat that much, meaning you’d have to spent Kshs 1000 plus to get a pizza that gets the attention of your stomach. I think the last time I bought a pizza it was around Kshs 300 or so (I don’t pay myself first often enough), and that only happened when it was a special-treat day. Its becoming more and more economical to buy ingredients of comfort foods and just make from home. I think this is especially good because its high time Kenyans learnt how to make other foods aside from, umh Ugali, Sukuma, Rice, Githeri, Beef stew (with too much unnecessary water), Mukimo, Njahi, Pilau… you can add any that comes to mind.

Do not get me wrong, because, am well aware of the economical situation in Kenya, I live in Kenya, Nairobi to be exact! But there are those times when as a family or pals, you just want to relax and treat yourselves to something nice. Averagely that would mean going to town, to a chips joint and ordering chips and chicken. 1/4 chicken in town is roughly what?, Kshs 140, Burgers cost Kshs 250 or so, Chips is Kshs 60. Considering that the price of potatoes has come down, you can make so much fries at home for Kshs 60. Now when I come from work I pass by the market (kawangware to be exact and like twice a week) where if it’s a kuku-feel-day, the local butcher can cut for me gram-wise chicken, meaning my options are not limited to the kilogramme. This works out so well, coz its pocket friendly and definitely healthier, because I get to choose how to cook it.

Red meat is something we should all strive to stay away from, once a week is the best you should do. 1/4 kg of meat is Kshs 80 (for now) depending on how large your family is, dictates how much you will buy. Pork I have come to discover to my utter shock(guys from central county, largely farm pigs), is cheaper than meat (no, that’s not the shocker), but there are so many ways you can cook pork and enjoy it. Please don’t make pork stew, just wrong, unless you are cut the tenderloin (no fat). If you can find someone who sells chicken at a good price, take that option as well, or better still have a mini chicken farm (now, I get my mum). Fish is something that is becoming evasive, but we pray it shall be restored into the market for all of us fish lovers to be able to buy and enjoy it more often than not.

When you have a mum who farms, take advantage of that by ordering legumes from them and any ‘wild’ vegetables, for the lack of a better word I mean vegs like managu, kunde, terere etc which are great sources of fiber, the only challenge is undoing them from the stem, but hey ‘mtaka cha mvunguni sharti ainame’, I don’t know how to translate this in english. Locate a person who can also supply you with onions and tomatoes in plenty and at a good price, this helps your budget alot. Back in the single hay days this stuff wasn’t important, I enjoyed my tea/bread/egg days once in a while, but now, cooking has never been this much fun. So single or not cooking is for all, explore and discover, but don’t overindulge the ‘wrong’ foods.

Not actual Pizza but another made later on, simple ingredients

So back to the pizza, we bought pizza base bread at Uchumi or you can learn how to make it (my next mission), and the other toppings my hubby made at home (curious of what they were aren’t you, siri yetu) and if you have an oven great, if not put in microwave and let the melting of cheese bring everything together. Ofcourse don’t put uncooked toppings and expect them to cook in the microwave, duhest! You can do the same with a burger, buy the meat, bread and have your own homemade delicious inexpensive burger.

The average cost of the home pizza came to around Kshs350, remember they were 2 pizzas whose price in a restaurant would have been around Kshs 500 each or more. Anyone want to order a home-made pizza?

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Easy Made Foods

 
 
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