Tag Archives: black pepper

Fried Bananas

Sometime back hubby and I had gone for dinner at my parents home and mum had prepared some boiled bananas that complemented the beef and veggies very well. I had never thought of preparing them like that, with new ideas in mind I purposed to try it out. Fast forward a few weeks later, I get a bunch of unripe bananas from my pal Judy.

This recipe is pretty simple and requires minimal ingredients 🙂 I chose to fry mine instead of boiling so as to add a nice touch to the taste.

secret ingredient
secret ingredient

Ingredients:

4 medium sized onions sliced

8 unripe bananas, peeled and washed

water

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Serves 3 people

Tip: When peeling the bananas, to avoid the sap from sticking onto your hands, you can either wear a polythene bag as gloves then peel or apply some vegetable oil on your hands. 🙂

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In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil then add the onions.

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Patience is required to ensure the onions cook down well, we want them translucent not burned, so do it on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Once cooked add the bananas and coat with the onions. Cover for a few minutes to let the flavour of the onions infuse the bananas.

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Add some little (emphasis on little) water to get the bananas cooking. As the bananas cook down the water will also evaporate.

Cover and let the bananas cook.

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You will know the bananas are done when they flake easily when pierced by a fork.

Yum
Yum

 

Serve with your favourite stew and veggies.

Fried bananas, chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach
Fried bananas, chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach

I served with chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach. The recipe for creamed spinach will be up on the blog tomorrow 🙂

Verdict:

This was one delicious meal. I have to say this, I surprised myself.

 

 

 

Yoghurt Dip

A quick dip for your fish fingers.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons plain yoghurt

Handful of dhania finely chopped

Salt and black pepper to taste

the cast of characters
the cast of characters

In a bowl pour in the yoghurt and add the dhania.

green!
green!

Mix well then season with salt and pepper.

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Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Enjoy.

yum
yum

The combination of the fish fingers and the dip is just heavenly.

Another fish finger recipe.

Spring Onions and Bell Peppers Chicken Quesadillas

The previous time I cooked quesadillas, I made a mistake of making few of them and hubby wanted more O-o . On the second take, I purposed to make more than enough. The process is more or less the same other than the addition of bell peppers, spring onions and of course tripling of the recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

10 flour tortillas

1 yellow bell pepper, cubed

1 orange bell pepper, cubed

A handful of spring onions, sliced

Dried oregano leaves

Cheddar cheese shreds/ shavings

For the chicken

3 boneless chicken breasts

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 inch ginger roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon salt

Start by poaching the chicken.

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In a pan heat the vegetable oil. Fry the spring onions.

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Let the onions cook for about three minutes then add the bell peppers.

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colour splash
colour splash

The chicken should be done in under twenty minutes. Drain and save the stock for later.

cheese shreds, oregano leaves, poached chicken breasts
cheese shreds, oregano leaves, poached chicken breasts

Shred the chicken and assemble the quesadillas.

This time I tried a different method, instead of folding the tortilla in half, I used a whole tortilla then covered it with another tortilla. It’s safe to say, I prefer the folding of the tortilla since I’m yet to make tortillas of the same diameter.

On a heated skillet, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil then place the tortilla and layer the cheese, spring onion and bell pepper mixture, the chicken shreds, sprinkle over the dried oregano and finalise with some more cheese shreds.

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Cover with another tortilla.

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DSC09348Repeat the above procedure for all the tortillas.

Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice the quesadillas.

Serve hot.

This time they were in plenty and hubby ate to his fill 🙂

I apologise, I don’t have a decent end result photo.

Spaghetti in Sausage Sauce

This is a quick dinner that I whipped up this past Sunday. It’s pretty simple.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti

For the sauce

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped ginger

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

3 tomatoes diced

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste

5 beef sausages sliced into 2 cm rings

250ml water

A handful of coriander/dhania finely chopped

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

In a big sufuria boil water and add salt. After the water boils add the spaghetti and cook till al dente.

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As the spaghetti is cooking, In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil then cook the onions,garlic and ginger. Season with salt.

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After the onions are translucent add the tomatoes.

red
red

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Cover and let the tomatoes cook down.

Once cooked, add the water, turmeric powder and black pepper.

spicy
spicy

Add the sausage slices.

beef sausage
beef sausage
floating
floating

Cover and let it come to a gentle boil. This will ensure that the sausages cook.

Remember the boiling spaghetti, drain the water and set aside.

spaghetti
spaghetti

Once the sauce has simmered, stir in the coriander. Turn off the heat.

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Finally pour the sauce over the spaghetti and mix it in.

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Serve and enjoy.

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Very delicious.

Breaded Rosemary Fish Fillet

I love it when hubby surprises me with food stuffs, yeah, after getting married I’m surprised at the gifts I get excited about. Raw fish! The gift was timely because it had been a while since we had eaten fish. I wanted to prepare something quick that would not require a lot of handling. I had no intentions of posting this recipe and thus I didn’t take proper photos, but after posting a photo of the meal on my facebook page, I thought otherwise.

I eyeballed the ingredients (I didn’t measure), however, I will try and estimate the quantities.

Ingredients:

1 fish fillet

3 tablespoons of bread crumbs

2 rosemary twigs, leaves finely chopped

1 tablespoon of dried parsley leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon of fish masala

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

It takes barely two minutes to prepare so start by heating your skillet then add the vegetable oil.

As the oil is heating, prepare the fish. In a large shallow bowl mix all the ingredients, well except the fish.

Generously coat the fish with the dry ingredient mixture. Ensure you pat the mixture on, so that it sort of sticks. Do that for both sides.

Finally gently  and I mean gently place the fish fillet on the skillet. You can even add the excess mixture on the top side.

in the skillet
in the skillet

Cook for about four minutes or until browned. Gently flip it over and cook the other side. Ensure you don’t break the fish apart. Presentation is key here.

Serve on a large plate and garnish with lemon quarters.

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You can serve this with either rice, ugali, potatoes or  just eat it as it is like I did. Like I said, I had missed eating fish. Don’t believe me? Check out the last photo 😀

damages
damages

Butter Beans Curry

Butter beans are white or cream coloured flat beans. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and thiamin. They are a good source of protein plus they are very low in calories and fat. I have come to love these beans not only because of their nutritional benefits but also for their rich taste.

Another thing if, you are pretty busy with either work or school, beans and other legumes tend to become your friends. Let’s take the case of these beans, I bought a 1 kg pack, then washed and soaked the beans overnight. The following day, I cooked them in a pressure cooker for about an hour and they were done. Once cooled, I packed in portions enough for three people then refrigerated. This helps because if I want to cook beans in the evening all I do is remove one pack from the freezer and voila, stew in 20 minutes tops.

Ingredients:

1 half of a medium sized onion sliced

2 tomatoes diced

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1/4 tablespoon black pepper

1 cup pre cooked butter beans

2 bay leaves

1 cup water or vegetable stock

Handful of dhania chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt to taste

the ingredients
the ingredients

First, have you guys noticed how expensive some vegetables have become? I was shocked the other day when I went to the market and found that 8 and I mean 8 tomatoes are going for 100 shillings (slightly above one dollar). The onions and the dhania are equally expensive. The horror. It seems until the shortage ends, I’ll stick to using onion halves and substituting tomatoes with tomato paste. Enough with my rant back to the cooking.

In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil. Saute the onions. When I was setting out my ingredients, I realised that there was a potato laying around, so instead of throwing it out, I peeled, washed then diced it and added it to the sauteed onions.

golden brown ish
golden brown ish

Add the tomatoes.

red!!
red!!

Next, add in the spice; turmeric powder, black pepper and the coriander powder.

coriander powder
coriander powder
spicy
spicy

Stir and cover to let the tomatoes cook down.

yum!
yum!

Add the butter beans.

exciting
exciting

Stir in with the yummy spice mixture. Add the water and the bay leaves.

I see you
I see you

Cover and bring it to a gentle boil.

After ten minutes of simmering, remove the bay leaves then throw in the chopped dhania.

Note: Bay leaves are never eaten, they are great for adding flavour to the food, always remember to remove before  serving

out they go
out they go
green
green

Stir for about two minutes just to awaken the flavour of the dhania. Serve with your accompaniment of choice.

dinner
dinner

Very delicious.

Gram Flour Fish Fingers

I bought some gram flour a while back so that I could prepare some bhajias. Since then, I haven’t cooked bhajias again and I feared my flour would go to waste. I started brainstorming on other ways I could use the flour.

Since, I love making fish fingers and I always coat them with flour, I thought of substituting the flour with the gram flour and boy!!! Need I say more, I have a new way of making fish fingers.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 fish fillets cut into finger sizes

1 cup gram flour

1 cup warm water – cold will work perfectly well too

2 tbsp fish masala

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger, minced

A handful of dhania/coriander/cilantro/parsley finely chopped

Oil for shallow frying – I normally use sunflower oil

In a bowl add in all the dry ingredients, except the dhania and fish.

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Mix them, then add the water slowly till you get your desired consistency. I used the whole cup. The paste was the right consistency. Then add the chopped dhania.

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As for the fish, remember to salt lightly before dipping them into the paste.

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And we are ready to cook.

Start by heating your oil in a pan. As the oil is heating, put the first batch of the fish in the paste.

frying
frying

Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel covered plate.

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To be honest, these were the most delicious fish fingers I have ever made. I have to say, it must be the gram flour.

PS: You can coat with breadcrumbs after dipping the fish in the paste.

Potato Bhajias

I have received several requests on my Facebook page to post a recipe on how to make bhajias. I have to say I’m no expert in this area but I think I can share a tip or two.

Ingredients:

Potatoes, peeled, washed and sliced thinly

1 cup gram flour

3/4 cup water

2 tbsp dried parsley leaves

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

Oil for frying

I started by making the potatoes. I used a food processor for the slicing. It was very fast and the slices were perfectly thin.

potato slices
potato slices

Then make the paste that will coat the potato slices.

the gram flour
the gram flour

In a bowl, pour in the gram flour. DSC06291The spice mix.

spices
spices

Mix the spices with the flour and water.

the paste
the paste

Take about a handful of the potato slices and dip then in the paste. Ensure they are coat completely. DSC06301 In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. Sadly I don’t have a deep pan so I just used the one I had. Ensure that the oil is hot before you start frying the bhajias. Once hot, you can gently put in the coated potatoes.

bhajias
bhajias

Cook on both sides till browned then remove with a slotted spoon. Drain the bhajias on a paper towel covered plate.

I made some kachumbari to serve with the bhajias.

kachumbari
kachumbari

Dinner is served. DSC06315

Verdict:

Delicious.

If I could do it all over again:

Add about a teaspoon of baking powder to the paste and also add chopped dhania/coriander/cilantro.

Pilau: Beginners Luck??

I love cooking and venturing into the deep when trying out recipes but there are a few recipes that I even tremble at the thought of trying them. Some of you may wonder how one can get scared of cooking pilau, but trust me, it was a real fear. Fear, mainly because I don’t want to fail. Perfectionist much?

Anyway, thanks to my dear friend Nixx and the many bridal showers I have attended, I can say I felt confident enough to make pilau this past Sunday. You may question the relation between pilau and bridal showers. Well, in the past two bridal showers we’ve held for our friends we decided to cook food instead of the usual bitings and on these occasions I got chance to see how to prepare pilau.

Enough with my stories and onto the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of rice

3 cups of hot water

1/4 kg of meat – boneless is preferred

1 medium sized white onion chopped

An inch of ginger root finely chopped/grated

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Pilau Masala;

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp cloves

About 7 cardamon pods

1 tsp black pepper powder

pilau masala...

I didn’t have the store bought, already mixed pilau masala but since I had whole spices in my spice rack, I decided to make my own masala.

Side Note: Masala – a combination of various spices.

There are various ways of making the masala mixture but I chose the easiest. I’ll take time and write a detailed post on spices and making masala. I put all the spices in my little grinder. For the cardamon I removed the seeds from the pods first. Grind till you get an almost fine powder then add the black pepper and set aside.

white onions and ginger
white onions and ginger

Heat the vegetable oil in a sufuria. Add the onions and the ginger.

Let the onions brown, this will aid in giving the rich colour in pilau.

Once browned, add the tomato paste and salt.

tomato paste
tomato paste

Add the meat and mix.

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Cover and let the meat cook. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking onto the pan. (I should invest in non-stick sufurias)

Once the meat is cooked add the rice and the masala.

Mt. Ricemore
Mt. Ricemore

Mix it all up.

the mixture
the mixture

Add in the hot water and slightly cover the sufuria.

Let the rice simmer till almost all the water evarporates. Turn off the heat and cover the sufuria for about five minutes then serve.

Done
Done

Serve with chilled kachumbari.

Dinner
Dinner

I was extremely proud of myself. Thank you Nixx.

It’s safe to say, I will be making pilau more often.

PS: Garlic is also used but I had ran out of garlic. You can add 3 grated cloves into the onions.

Baked Meatballs in Tomato and Pepper Sauce

Sometime last week my colleague mentioned meatballs then I realised it had been quite a while since I’d prepared any. One thing with food is that when you start thinking about something you just have to get it. I figured all that I needed was the minced meat which I was sure I’d get from our local butcher.

The beauty of this recipe over the previous one is that it’s less tedious since you just pop the meatballs into the oven and wait. Plus no frying involved hence it’s the healthier option.

Ingredients:

For the meat balls

1/2 kg minced meat

2 pork sausages – casings removed

2 cloves of garlic

Cheddar cheese – I had it in the fridge so I thought , why not use it – spontaneity

2 tablespoons dried parsley

4 tablespoons bread crumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, put the minced meat, sausage meat and grate over the cheese and garlic.

the minced meat, sausage meat , cheese and garlic

Mix with the fork till all the ingredients are well incorporated. Then add the breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.

Mix well and you are ready to bake. Well not just yet, make medium sized balls first.

Remember to pre heat the oven at 350ºF.

Oil your baking dish with some vegetable oil.

Place the meatballs onto the prepared baking dish then slightly press down with a fork.

all done- well half at least

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove flip over and let the other side cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

all cooked and crispy

You can freely enjoy your meatballs at this stage but I normally prefer them in a sauce.

Put the meatballs on a paper towel lined plate so as to drain the oil.

yummy

At this point, hubby had just walked in from work, without much thought, I quickly give him a bite of the meatball and his reaction says it all. Jackpot!!

This recipe yielded 30 meatballs. I decided to store half for later and cooked the remaining half.

For the sauce;

Fry the onions in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

1 onion chopped

Cubed 2 tomatoes and slice 1 half of green bell pepper.

colour blocking?

Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

tomatoes and tomato paste

Cover and let the tomatoes cook down. Add just about 2 tablespoons of water.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of rubbed basil leaves

the sauce

Finally add the bell pepper and meatballs.

swimming

I served over steamed white rice. You can also serve with spaghetti.

Verdict:

Best meatballs ever!! I kid you not. I dare you to try this recipe. You will not be disappointed.