Sunday, 4 December 2011

Africa Menus

Great Tastes of Africa

nyama choma kenya food

Nyama Choma: Roasted Goat or Cow Meat - Best Served with Greens and Ugali

Ugali: Ideally, you should eat it with Sukma Wiki (greens) and eat it with your hands

kenya food ugali

Mukimo: Mixture of peas, maize, potatoes - best served with greens and soup

Pilau Rice with Beef Stew
Beef Stew Ingredients
1 lb. beef [not ground] i.e. Cut meat
2 carrots
2 green peppers
4 tomatoes
4 onions
Curry powder
Black pepper
Seasoning salt, Crisco cooking oil, salt

Fry the onions that have been chopped until they turn brown. Add tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Add carrots, black pepper and coriander. Wash the cut meat and sprinkle it with seasoning salt. When the carrots have become slightly soft add the cut meat. When meat is almost cooking add some curry powder and salt to taste.

Pilau rice
1.5 LB rice (water according to rice)
0.5 LB green peas
2 cans pilau masala (type of spice)
3 onions
3 tomatoes
Crisco oil
Wash the rice with cold water. Boil the peas until cooked. Chop onions and then fry them until they turn slightly brown. Then add tomatoes that have been peeled and cut. Boil some of the rice water with the pilau masala until it boils. Add some salt to taste. Add the rest of the water to the fried onions and tomatoes. Then add the green peas when the water starts boiling and the rice. Then let it cook.

Wali wa Nazi - Coconut Rice
A dish that originated from the people living along the Kenya Coast

1/4 kg uncooked rice
Grated white meat of 1 large or 2 small coconuts
Water and salt

Cover the grated coconut with boiling water and squeeze out the first creamy thick milk. Put this aside. Add more hot water and squeeze again to obtain a thinner milk. Wash the rice three times in cold water. Put the thinner coconut milk in a saucepan with a little salt and let it nearly come to the boil. Add the washed rice and stir carefully. Keep stirring so as not to burn. Add the creamy thick coconut milk and continue stirring. The heat must be moderate. Cover the rice with greaseproof paper, put on the pan lid and a heavy weight to seal, and steam for about 25 minutes on a very low heat until ready to serve. Coconut rice can be served with chicken or fish or on its own with vegetables, or curry.

Oysters Mombasa
Baked with a Wine Garlic Sauce
Yield: 8 portions (4 oysters per person)
In Kenya, the oysters are opened and each one goes on its own tiny china ramekin or tiny container, which looks like a miniature coaster. Twelve of these little dishes are placed on a large platter with a bowl of dark, dark-red cocktail sauce and slices of lemon. Mombasa, that lovely city on the coast of Kenya, boasts the very best of these small oysters.

Open 32 SMALL OYSTERS (Bluepoints or Olympias if possible). Leave them on the half shell and place on baking sheets.

Wine Garlic Sauce:
Combine: 1/2 cup MELTED BUTTER
4 cloves GARLIC very finely minced
1 tsp. SALT
Few drops TABASCO

Ladle half of above sauce (1 tsp. per oyster) on each one. Bake at 350'F. for 6 to 8 minutes.
Ladle the remaining sauce uniformly over the oysters again. Serve immediately, four per person, with LEMON WEDGES on a 9-inch plate (or on hot rock salt if available).

Nyama Na Irio (Steak and Irio)
Yield: 8 portions

The Irio:

Drain 1 16-oz. can PEAS and measure the liquid. Put the peas through a vegetable mill or sieve to make a puree. Drain 1 16-oz. can KERNEL CORN and add the liquid to that of the peas.

In a 2-quart saucepan:
Prepare 4 cups INSTANT MASHED POTATOES following package directions and using the vegetable liquors as part of the required liquid.

Add: 3 Tbs. BUTTER
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. PEPPER.

Blend the puree of peas into the mashed potatoes until a smooth green color results. Fold in the drained kernel corn. The consistency should be that of firm mashed potatoes.

The Steak:

In a large skillet:

Cut 3 lbs. FILET MIGNON (or any steak) in a 2 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch strips. Sauté in 4 oz. MARGARINE OR OIL, until lightly browned. Remove the steak from the skillet. Blend in 6 Tbs. FLOUR to make a roux. Add 2 cups ONION SOUP made from a packaged mix and cook to medium-sauce consistency. Correct the Seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little Tabasco. Return the steak to the sauce. Make a large mound (about 1 cup) of Irio in center of dinner plate. Form a hole in the center about 2 inches in diameter. Fill the hole with � cup of the sautéed steak and gravy. Smooth around edges of the Irio so it looks like a volcano.
Saladi - East African Salad Relish
Yield: Relish for 8 salads

This salad relish is added to and mixed with the hot spicy food by the guest a little at a time to "cool" the spiciness of the dish and change its texture. If the hostess feels that her dinner is not "hot" enough, a small hot chili pepper is added to the relish.

She may also serve individually or in a bowl additional pilli-pilli or hot red pepper dissolved in lemon or tomato sauce. For your Kenyan dinner you might have a cruet of a white French dressing on the table for those who might want to add it to their salad.

In a 1-quart bowl:

Combine: 2 cups CABBAGE, finely shredded
1/2 cup CARROTS in very, very thin slices
1/2 cup SWEET ONIONS (Bermuda or Spanish or scallions)
1/4 cup GREEN PEPPER in fine strips.

Fluff the mixture up.

That's it. There is no dressing or seasoning.

Fill small sauce dishes, allowing about 1/3 cup per person.



Cook equal quantities of maize and beans in water for several hours until soft. Serve alone or with unripe cooked bananas, carrots or cabbage.

Omena Fish Stew

Omena is a small 2-inch long fish found in Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. In North America this dried fish is sold in Cambodian- or South East Asia - owned grocery stores.

3 cups dried fish (Omena)
4 cups water
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 kilo tomatoes
2 large onions chopped
Salt to taste
2 cups milk

Wash the fish in cold water. Place in a pan and simmer gently in 4 cups of water until the water is nearly evaporated. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water, take them out and peel. Chop the tomatoes. In a frying pan heat the oil. Stir in the onions and tomatoes and cook gently until soft. Add the cooked fish and salt. Stir gently taking care not to crush the fish. Add the milk and simmer for about 30 minutes. The milk forms the gravy. Serve with ugali or rice.

Mango Ice Cream
Yield: 1-quart ice cream

Any fruit ice cream will serve for the Coupe Mount Kenya especially peach ice cream. Fruit sherbet may also be used. Canned pineapple may be substituted for the fresh, but it does not have the same zing.

Mash 4 or 5 RIPE MANGOS, peeled and pitted. There should be 2 cups.

Whip: 1 cup HEAVY CREAM with
1/2 cup SUGAR until stiff.

In a 2-quart bowl: Combine: 2 cups MASHED MANGOS
2 Tbs. LEMON PEEL cut in tiny ribbons
1/2 tsp. SALT.

Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into freezer trays or a 6-cup mold and freeze.

Pineapple Rum Sauce
Yield: 1 quart sauce mixture

In a 1-quart sauce pan:

Simmer: 1 cup PINEAPPLE JUICE (canned) and 1 cup SUGAR until it dissolves and a syrup is formed.

Add 1/2 cup WHITE RUM. Cool.

In a 2-quart bowl:

Cut 3 cups FRESH PINEAPPLE in 1/2-inch dice.

Pour the Pineapple Rum Sauce over the pineapple.

Marinate for several hours.

Place 1 scoop MANGO ICE CREAM in a 6-oz. wineglass.

Top with 3 to 4 oz. PINEAPPLE RUM MIXTURE

Garnish with 1 Tbs. PISTACHIO NUTS, coarsely chopped.

Another dish that originated from the Kenya Coast.

1 kg. Meat ( mutton leg, a lean cut of beef, goat or chicken)
1 kg. Rice
1 kg. Onions
1 kg. Potatoes
1 medium size unripe pawpaw
300 ml. (1.5 cups) sour milk or yogurt
2 limes
1/4 kg. Tomatoes
1 small bulb of garlic
Small piece of fresh green ginger
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 small sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and whole black peppercorns
Oil for frying
1 smallest size tin tomato paste

Peel pawpaw, remove seeds, and grate coarsely. Pound the garlic and ginger to a paste. Cut the meat into biggish pieces and put into a heavy saucepan with the pawpaw and garlic and ginger. Add the sour milk or yogurt, and the juice of the two limes. Set over a low heat and stir at intervals. Whilst this is cooking, grind all the spices together and set aside. Slice the onions and fry in oil until brown and crisp. Remove from the fat. Peel and slice the potatoes and fry in the same oil until golden brown. Remove and keep on one side - apart from the onions. Check the meat to see if it is nearly ready, then add the spices and the skinned tomatoes together with 4-5 tablespoons of the fat used to fry the onions and potatoes. Mix together well, then add the tin of tomato paste. Continue cooking over low heat until the meat is really tender and the sauce thick and creamy. It is almost certain you will have to add a little warm water before the meat is cooked. Cook for a final 15 - 20 minutes to make sure all the flavours have blended together.

Prepare and cook the rice. Put a good layer of the rice at the bottom of a fireproof dish or casserole. Pour over the meat mixture, and cover completely with another layer of rice. Now put in the fried onions, reserving a few for decoration, and cover them with the rest of the rice. Boil up the remaining oil and pour over. Take the sliced potatoes and tuck them at the edge of the dish, and across the top, pushing them into the rice. Sprinkle with the reserved onions about 30 minutes. Do not let it become dry. Biriani can be served at table in the casserole if it is decorative one, or else you will have to remove the meat and the vegetables keeping the layers as cooked and serve on a big platter. 

Matoke is a dish that originated in Uganda but has been adopted by Kenyans

8 plantain bananas (Matoke)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
2 onions sliced
1/2 bunch coriander leaves
1 whole chili
2 cups beef stock

Peel the bananas and soak in lukewarm water with juice of one lemon for 2 minutes. Melt ghee/butter in a large saucepan. Fry onions, chili and coriander in ghee for 3 minutes. Add bananas and cover with 2 cups beef stock. Simmer for 30-35 minutes.

Yet another dish that originated from Central Kenya but has been adapted by other communities except for the fact that they use the vegetables available in their areas.
4 green corn cobs
400 gms beans
4 potatoes
1/2-kg spinach/pumpkin leaves
Salt and pepper

Boil the corn. Cut the kernels off the green corn cob. Boil the corn with the beans until soft. Peel and wash the potatoes and add the corn and the beans along with the chopped spinach. Boil together until the potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper and mash.

Irio (Method 2)

2 kg. Potatoes (about 4 - 4 1/2 lbs.)
2 tbsp cooking fat
1 kg. Green peas (2.2 lbs.)
2 cobs tender green maize
One chopped onion
Salt to taste

Prepare potatoes and peas and remove the maize from the cobs. Cook on a high heat with just enough water to cover until the vegetables are tender. Mash the peas and the potatoes to a smooth consistency, adding a little fluid if desired. Fry the onions until brown; add to the other vegetables and fry together on a low heat. Serve when hot.

Mutura and Mahu

This dish originated in Central Kenya. It is composed of large intestines
stuffed with leftover pieces of meat seasoned to taste. This dish is similar
to the Polish Kielbasa.

3 tablespoons chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 kg boneless forequarter of beef
1 green chili chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tripe approx. 200 gms
1 cup blood

Cook onions and garlic in oil until onions are golden brown. Cool them. Cut the beef into small cubes. Mix with blood and season with salt, pepper and chili. Place the mixture in the uncooked tripe and tie both ends firmly. Grill. Slice to serve. Traditionally this is served with ugali or githeri.

Yam Stew

1 medium yam
4 carrots
1 cup cooked beans
1 tsp curry powder
2 onions
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fat

Wash peel and cube the yam. Scrape the carrots and cut into thin rounds. Peel and slice the onion and fry for a few minutes. Add curry powder and yams and fry gently then add carrots, beans and water and simmer until cooked. Serve with ugali, rice, mashed bananas or crushed maize.

Servings: 10 to 12

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
About 3/4 cup warm water (enough for a kneadable dough)

Knead the dough, cover and leave aside for at least 1/2 hour or, ideally, up to 2 hours. After about 1 hour or right before rolling out, punch the dough and knead again without any more water. Make 10 to 12 1 1/2-inch balls; dip each one into dry whole-wheat flour, and roll out into thin, 6-inch circles. Place a flat, ungreased griddle on the stove at medium heat. When hot, place a rolled-out chapati right side down on the griddle. (The "right side" is the one facing you when you rolled it.) When bubbles are visible, turn over and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the griddle.
If you have a gas stove, hold that chapati with a pair of tongs, and place it directly over the burner flame for a few seconds, until the chapati puffs up. Turn and repeat on the other side.

If you have an electric stove, keep the chapati on the griddle. With a wadded-up paper towel to protect your fingers, press gently all around the chapati. Flip the chapati and press gently around the other side. This procedure should make the chapati puff up. (If you press too hard, the chapati will become too crunchy.)

Remove the chapati from the heat and butter with ghee on the "right side."

Vegetable Samosa

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Pinch hing (pre-mixed Indian spice, may be omitted)
1/2 teaspoon cumin/mustard/sesame seed mixture
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
(Cilantro), chopped
1/2-tablespoon amchur (mango) powder or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin/coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of hot red pepper powder
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into very small pieces
1/4 cup frozen peas (optional)

2 cups white flour
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Or substitute eggroll covers for dough

Servings: 30

To make the samosa filling:
Heat vegetable oil, hing and cumin/mustard/sesame seed mixture in a skillet. When the seeds pop, add onion and coriander. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent, then add amchur powder or lemon juice, cumin/coriander powder, salt and hot red pepper powder. Sauté a few minutes, then add potatoes and peas. Mix well and sauté just until heated through, then remove from heat and set aside.

To make the samosa dough:
Mix flour, vegetable oil, rice flour and salt in a bowl. Add water gradually (about 1/4 cup) until the dough holds together, and knead well. Roll into a ball and cover with a moist cloth. Let rest about 20 minutes.

To assemble the samosas, break off 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces of dough and roll out into 6- to 8-inch diameter circles. Cut each circle in half. Fold each half-circle in thirds to make a pie-wedge shape. Seal the point by pressing or pinching. Pick up the dough, and seal the outside edge by pinching to form a cone. Fill the cone two-thirds with potato mixture. Moisten the lip of the cone with a little milk or water, and pinch to seal. Press the samosa between your palms to remove air pockets. Flute the top edge and cover with a moist cloth until ready to fry.


To keep cooking time low, I recommend using egg roll wrappers as a substitute for actual samosa pastry dough, which is also time-consuming to prepare.


4-5 medium Potatoes, boiled in the skin and cooled
4 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 medium Onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 cup of Peas, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp. Ginger (fresh, minced)
1 fresh Green Chili Pepper, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. Water
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. ground Coriander
1 tsp. Garam Masala (an Indian spice mixture)
1 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice 3 Tbsp. fresh Cilantro/Coriander/Parsley (whatever you can get)
One package of Egg Roll Wrappers

Peel the potatoes and dice them into quarter-inch cubes. Heat the oil in a frying pan and put the onions into it. Fry them until they begin to turn brown at the edges. Add the peas, ginger, chili pepper, fresh coriander, and water. Cover the frying pan, lower the heat to simmering, and simmer until the peas are cooked, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed to keep the mixture from drying out. Add the potatoes, salt, etc., and mix. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly, so that it can be easily handled. Stuff the egg roll wrappers with the filling and deep fry to a golden brown.


1 1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 cup milk (I have heard you may need more)
Oil for frying

Mix together dry ingredients and mix in egg and milk until well mixed. Roll out as for a jellyroll to about 3/4" thickness. Cut using a doughnut cutter with center ring removed or a glass turned upside down. Fry in hot (365F) oil until golden brown. Makes about 1 dozen

Chapatis #2

2 cups flour
3/4 - 1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melted butter

Mix all ingredients together; divide into fourths. Roll each into a circle; spread thinly with melted butter. Roll up like a small jellyroll and then roll it into a coil. Roll flat again. Fry in a hot heavy skillet until brown on both sides. They do not brown very well in a Teflon coated pan.

Samosa #2

Use eggroll casings for pastry.

1 pound ground meat
1/2 pound onions, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper

Brown meat; add remaining ingredients, and cook together.

Form triangular cups with pastry. Seal edge with paste of flour and water. Fill with meat filling. Fold top over and seal. Be sure there are no open corners, or you'll lose you filling during frying. The puff will be triangular. Fry in moderately hot deep fat until brown and crisp. Serve warm and fresh, with a wedge of lemon to be squeezed on it.


1 large pack egg roll wrappers
1 lb. Ground beef or lamb
1 cooked medium potato (I toss in leftover mashed sometimes)
1/4 cup cooked green peas
1 med. Onion, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated (I just use it, already ground, from the
2 teaspoons curry powder (remember, curry here is a lot weaker then Kenya -
add to taste)
1/2 tsp. Chili powder
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
2 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped - or mint (I skip this)

Mix the filling ingredients except the butter, lemon juice and chopped herbs and fry in the butter until just cooked through. Sprinkle on approx. 2 tbsp of water and increase the heat until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and herbs. Stir well and leave to cool.

Cut the egg roll wrappers into 1-3/4 inch strips. To prepare the samosas using egg roll wrapper strips, turn one end over to make a triangular shaped pocket, then turn again in the opposite direction. Fill the cavity with a spoonful of the cooked filling and continue folding until the whole strip has been used and a triangular shaped pastry results. Seal the end with water or a paste made from flour and water.

Heat oil for deep frying to fairly hot and fry the samosas, several at a time, until golden and crisp. Serve hot with fresh mint chutney.

Now use phyllo pastry (frozen at the grocery store) for these cut a single sheet into strips, and fold into triangles, and bake in the oven.

Garam Masala, Indian style
A spice mixture, called for in some recipes

1 - 2" long cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp cardamom pods, shelled
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground turmeric

Dry roast all of the spices in a heavy skillet over med.-high heat. The whole process should take about 10 minutes. Let cool. Transfer spices to a grinder and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar.

Sukuma Wiki

1 lb. Sukuma wiki, kale, or spinach
3 chopped tomatoes
2 chopped onions
Leftover meats (optional)
3 tablespoons oil

Fry onions in oil in large pan. Add tomatoes and any leftover meat. Cook together until tomatoes are soft. Cook chopped spinach. Add spinach to onion mixture and cook over low heat 20 minutes. Season to taste. Serves 4.

Tanzania Chicken

1 stewing hen
1 14-oz. Can tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper

Cut up chicken and cook, keeping meat on bones. Mix together all remaining ingredients. (Adjust spices to taste) Pour over chicken and simmer together. You can also add a bit of tomato paste and sugar. Thicken a bit. Serve on rice.


2 cups maize meal (cornmeal)
4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Stir boiling water as you sprinkle in maizemeal. Cook for 20 minutes or until it is very thick and smooth, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Cover saucepan and continue cooking 10 more minutes over very low heat. Serves 6.

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