Tag Archives: onions

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.

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Tamarind Dip

Thanks to my foodie pen pal for the month of March, Swabra, I have a new recipe up my sleeve. The dips is perfect for bhajias.

The main star being the tamarinds.

tamarind
tamarind

Ingredients:

500ml hot water

1 rind (about 8-10 seeds) of tamarind

1 small onion finely chopped

A handful of chopped dhania

Sugar – depends on your taste buds

In a bowl, pour in the hot water then soak the tamarind seeds.

DSC08660

Soak till the brown stuff lets out. Then sieve the particles. In related news, I need a proper sieve it took close to forever to sieve.

yeah the sieve i used
yeah the sieve i used

Add the sugar, chopped dhania and onions. Her recipe also had blended carrots and chillis, didn’t have either.

Serve.

tomato dip, bhajias, tamarind dip
tomato dip, bhajias, tamarind dip

Verdict:

Tangy and delicious.

Thanks Swabra :*

Kienyeji Pot Roast

I normally avoid cooking kienyeji (road runner) chicken for fear of under cooking it and of course the fact that it can be a bit tough. On one of my visits at my neighbours place (read the Murigis), I found some Tupike magazines which I gladly skimmed through and voila I landed on this recipe.

I was to host my colleagues for lunch and that moment a light bulb went on since I’d been clueless on what to prepare. So I hosted the lunch and for sure the chicken was a hit. Not only was the chicken perfectly cooked but it was delicious and soft. I believe my colleagues enjoyed since I’m yet to get a negative remark.

Ingredients:

Marinade:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon of crushed ginger

The pot roast:

1 road runner chicken cut in pieces set aside the giblets (liver,heart) and neck

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into huge chunks

3-4 celery sticks, washed and cut into chunks

1 large red onion chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Start by making the marinade.

Crush the ginger and garlic.

my handy mortar and pestle
my handy mortar

In a large bowl combine the vegetable oil and soy sauce.

mixture of vegetable oil and soy sauce
mixture of vegetable oil and soy sauce

Then mix in the ginger and garlic.

ginger and garlic
ginger and garlic

Finally put in all the chicken pieces and mixture evenly with the marinade. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated. (The next image is disturbing, viewer discretion is advised)

marinade

Now, cover the bowl with a clear cling wrap and put it in the fridge for a minimum of thirty minutes. If you have time you can marinate it overnight (in the fridge of course).

So thirty minutes or so later…

Making the pot roast;

carrots, onions and celery
carrots, onions and celery

In a large sufuria, or rather one that can fit one whole chicken put about one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let the oil heat up then saute the onions.

sauteing
sauteing

Once the onions are browned, add the marinated chicken pieces. The cooker should be on high, the aim here is to brown the chicken pieces. When adding the chicken start with the chicken thighs and legs followed by the other pieces.

chicken

Keep stirring to ensure all the chicken pieces get browned. Do this for about three minutes.

browned...i think
browned…i think

Let the chicken cook on high for about ten to fifteen minutes then add in the carrot chunks and the celery. You can season with a little salt.

colour splash
colour splash

Now, reduce the heat to medium or medium low , cover the sufuria and let the chicken cook for forty five minutes.

So, here is where I mention that the chicken was too delicious and we were really hungry that I forgot to take pictures of the end result… yeah it happens. Anyway, go ahead try out this recipe I guarantee that you will never whine again about kienyeji chicken being tough.

Verdict:

Finger licking good. I have cooked this many times over and I’m not about to stop. I think I’ll cook this for dinner tonight.

Thanks for stopping by and I apologise for the hiatus, being a wife, employee and study can sometimes take a toll on someone.

Cheers!!

Happy Birthday Kenya and Brunch

This post has been in my drafts for ages. Apologies for the delay.

Wednesday, 12th December was a public holiday here in Kenya, don’t we always look forward to holidays? Wa!! For me holiday translates to sleeping in. If you know me, you will definitely agree to fact that I love sleeping or rather I’m not a fan of waking up very early. The funny thing is, it’s not like I sleep in till very late, my version of sleeping in is waking up at 8 am. Yeah!!!

Since, I never get to wake up early enough during work days our breakfast is normally not so elaborate, even the times I’ve served pancakes , I usually make them the night before. So as to revenge our lack of proper breakfast, I decided to make a breakfast for champions during Kenya’s 49th birthday. Considering, there was quite an amount of housework to be done it ended up being brunch.

the main ingredients
the main ingredients

For brunch, I served;

Bacon, Brawn and Tomato Cheese Sandwich

Sausages

Parsley home fries

Bacon, Brawn and Tomato Cheese Sandwich;

Ingredients:

8 slices of brown barrel bread

2 slices of brawn, cut in quarters

2 rashers of bacon

1 white onion sliced

1 tomato sliced

Apricot jam – or whatever kind of jam you have on hand or even honey

Mozzarella cheese pieces

Butter

I started by frying the bacon. Since bacon is already fatty, I try not to use any oil in frying it.

bacon
bacon

Next toasting the bread. I applied butter on one side of the bread then into the pan they go.

toasting
toasting

All done.

toasted bread slices and mozzarella cheese pieces
toasted bread slices and mozzarella cheese pieces

Fry the onions. I added just a tablespoon of oil into the pan.

Side Note: I don’t like accumulating dishes, you’ll notice that I’m using the same pan.

excuse the steam
excuse the steam

I fried till translucent then I set them aside.

the onions and bacon on the side
the onions and bacon on the side

Now to assemble the sandwich.

I applied some apricot jam on 4 slices of the toasted bread.

DSC07184

On the other four slices, I put the mozzarella cheese pieces then I popped them in the microwave for one minute to get the cheese melting.

cheesy
cheesy

On the cheesy side, I added the brawn.

pile on the brawn quarters
pile on the brawn quarters

Add the tomato slices.

DSC07187

Finally on the other slices with the jam, pile on the onions and the bacon.

DSC07191

Sausages;

Simply fry the sausages.

Parsley home fries;

Ingredients:

2 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Home fries/ Roast potatoes

Before you start thinking I was cooking up potatoes in the morning, let me mention that they were leftover roast potatoes. The previous night we had had dinner at Green View Restaurant and boy don’t they serve a lot of food. We had some packed for us, since we were beyond full. As I was making this brunch I decided to spice up the potatoes.

In the same pan, heat some oil. Add the potatoes, parsley and salt. Keep turning to ensure they don’t burn. Cook until hot and crispy.

potatoes
potatoes

Brunch is served.

Brunch
Brunch

If you look really closely you can see a framed photo of hubby and I.

DSC07198

This was quite a meal. Delicious and filling.

I’m already looking forward to the next holiday, March 4th.

Guacamole

Guacamole is an avocado based sauce. It originated with the Aztecs in Mexico.

So, I bought some avocados a while back and one thing I know about avocados is that they tend to all ripen at the same time, so if you have many on hand it’s best you share with a neighbour lest you end up throwing some out.

My hubby loves avocados and this love is what made me buy them. I like them too though not in smoothies/juices. I prefer eating them with food or in sandwiches but not in fruit salads, weird?

I can’t seem to remember what I’d prepared for dinner that night but I also made some guacamole to go with the meal.

The beautiful thing with this salad is that it can be done in so many ways as long as you have the avocado to begin with. It’s pretty easy to do.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized avocado

Juice of one lemon

1 medium sized onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic grated – optional

2 tomatoes diced

A bunch of coriander/dhania chopped

Salt to taste

Cut and seed the avocado. In a bowl, roughly mash the avocado. To prevent the avocado from turning dark sprinkle the lemon juice. I have tried this tip and I can attest to its success.

Next add in the onions and garlic.

onions and garlic
onions (well not so finely chopped) and garlic

Add the tomatoes

colour splash
colour splash

Add the chopped dhania, season with salt then mix all the ingredients together.

DSC06906

It’s best served chilled.

Again you can tweak it to your taste.

Hubby loved it, though he didn’t like the raw garlic taste so I guess next time no garlic for me.

Friendship, Pork and Banana Cupcakes, oh and smoothies

Two Saturdays ago, As I was on my way home from town I decide to  whatsapp my friend Brendah. I asked her to come over we bake banana muffins… well they ended up as cupcakes O-o. While still on the road, my friend Mercy texts to find out if I’m in the house.  I tell her that I’ll be arriving in the next 30 minutes, so she says she’ll stop by. So just like that it turns into an evening full of great laughs.

Mercy arrives first, finds me busy preparing for dinner. I had decided to try out a pork recipe I’d seen on Chef Raphael’s page. The recipe is pretty simple and by the looks of the photo that the chef had uploaded it also looked delicious.

Have I mentioned that the lights were also acting up, going on and off after every 5 minutes? That’s Kenya Power for you.

For the pork, this is what you’ll need;

1/2 kg pork tenderloins

1 onion chopped

1 garlic clove chopped

3 carrots

1 green pepper

Soy sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a sufuria then add in the pork.

Stir, then cover to let the pork cook.

At this time Brendah had arrived. she found Mercy seated on a stool in the kitchen. Mercy isn’t much of a cooking girl but on the other hand Brendah loves to cook. What i love about these girls other than that they are my good friends is that they are full of life and they speak their minds.

Brendah got straight into making the banana cupcakes batter while Mercy filled us with stories.

Back to the pork. After cooking for about 15 minutes it will be filled with favourful pork juices.

Add the carrots.

Let the carrots cook down until there’s no more liquid. Then add the onions and garlic.

After the onions have cooked add the green pepper and sprinkle about a tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir, let it cook for 2 minutes or so. Serve as desired. I serve over steamed white rice.

By the time the pork was done, Brendah has finished making the batter and we popped the cupcakes into the oven. I’ll link the recipe in the next post.

Mercy is allergic to eggs so for her cakes/muffins are a no no. So whenever we go for weddings I like sitting next to her when they are serving cake so that she can give me her piece. What are friends for?

Since she wasn’t going to eat the muffins, we decided to make smoothies. Spontaneity in the kitchen.

Brendah and Mercy
Brendah and Mercy

The ladies, chatting away.

The pork was delicious. I have cooked it once more since then.

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.