Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saladi ya Parachichi (Avocado Salad)

Saladi ya Parachichi: Picture taken on a table overlooking the Rift Valley, Tanzania

This dish is so simple yet would be very impressive to serve guests.  Find the largest avocados possible that are perfectly ripe.  Finely dice ripe tomato and red onion.  I would do a 4 tomato to 1 onion ratio. Toss with a little red wine, extra virgin olive oil, course sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Spoon into the avocado holes.  If your avocado holes are quite small, you could carve out a bigger hole and save the extra avocado for later.  

This recipe is so versatile.  You could obviously make this a Mexican avocado salad by adding some lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno to the tomato mixture. My husband had a similar dish in Zimbabwe, but the avocados were filled with a finely diced fresh garlic and hot pepper mixture.  Sounds awesome, doesn't it? This salad would be tasty alongside any grilled meat or fish or a hearty bean and rice stew.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dungu Curried Vegetables and Rice

This dish comes again from one of my favorite African/Afro-Fusion Cookbooks: Taste of Africa by Justice Kamanga

The name of the dish comes from the province of Dungu in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dungu Curried Vegetables and Rice
Courtesy: Taste of Africa by Justice Kamanga

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp medium curry powder
1 tsp gr. cumin
1 tsp gr coriander
1 fresh green chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red pepper, cubed
1 large green pepper, cubed
1 large yellow pepper, cubed
3 carrots, pelled and sliced
200 g fresh green beans, halved
400 g tomatoes, sliced and fried
150 g frozen peas
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a casserole dish and fry the onion until soft.  Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, chilli, and garlic and fry for 3 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice.  Serves 4-6

Now, I rarely let my ingredient stock detour me from making I recipe I want to.  I like to improvise, and if I don't care for an ingredient, I don't use it.  I didn't want all those bell peppers in it so I only used my favorite, red.  I also didn't want to use peas and I didn't have any green beans.  I did have a can of chick peas on hand so I used that for a little protein.  

I really enjoyed this dish. Simple, healthy and satisfying. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pilipili Kali

Above: Roasted Peppers for Pilipili Nairobi-Kali Sana!

Above: Pilipili Nairobi bottled and ready to enjoy...with caution

I really love making Pilipili Kali or African Hot Sauce.  I am going to keep the recipes I have to myself, but, one I call Pilipili Rift Valley and the other, Pilipili Nairobi.  The Rift Valley recipe is from some friends who live near the Rift Valley.  The other recipe, I designed after an amazingly hot pilipili I had at a restaurant in Nairobi.  Both are full of various hot peppers with a little oil, salt and vinegar for preservation and flavor.

   Below: Pilipili Rift Valley being pushed through a funnel, using a chopstick.  Pilipili is more oil based and mild than the Nairobi.