Am I the only one who gets mesmerized when someone speaks fluent Swahili with the coastal accent. It sounds almost musical; almost like poetry. Granted, we Nairobi folk fully understand Kiswahili, but we mix it we so much English and sometimes our vernacular languages so it sounds like a whole other language. I was purchasing some produce from a certain coastal lady and I just spoke to her so that I could listen to her speak. She was a talkative lady and spoke with so much theatrics that I just couldn’t get enough of. It was lunch time and she was eating some meat with chapati. She asked me if I know how to cook and I told her that I in fact love cooking. We exchanged tips and later told me that I have to taste meat cooked with kaarafuu. “Karafuu?” I asked. “Nyinyi wanabara mwaziita cloves” (None coastal people refer to them as cloves.) I told her I had not tried that yet, but promised to cook more with it. Hence the birth of my button mushroom and karafuu spaghetti. Cloves have a very very assertive taste. But when used right and in moderation, it brings out the taste of whatever it is cooked with so so well.
For today, some spaghetti, with button mushroom and the amazing flavor of karafuu (cloves).
New friendships always intrigue me. They intrigue me because getting to know a new person and getting acquainted to their views and opinions really excites me. I enjoy meeting foodies the most! I met this guy some weeks back and boy doesn’t he love good food. While I was keeping him company as he ate, we combed through so many topics; from hiking to ACCA, to food. While we talked about food, he told me about all the coastal foods he enjoyed while he was at Mombasa. Then he said, very seriously, how so many people make fake biryani; biryani that does not have the same taste as that of the coast. At the back of my mind, I remembered I had already prepared a beef biryani post to be published two weeks from then and quietly wondered how this would measure up to coastal biryani LOL. But there are so many ways of making one dish. This is my take and to be honest, this was just beyond delicious.
Everyone at home loved this. Because it was cleared within 2 hours of making it, I think that is a good sign. I am sure you will love this too.
It was 1999 and me and my best friend Ngina were playing outside. Her cousin,Shena, had just come back from the coast and ofcourse, with plenty of goodies. One of the things she brought were ukwaju (tamarind). To us they looked like dates. And if they looked like dates, and felt like dates, then they had to taste like dates…How wrong we were. After puting a handful into our mouths, it was not long before we spat them out. They were so sour. So much so that our tongues kept zinging. LOL. I vowed never to eat sour ukwaju ever again, and wondered why people even liked them.
Now, older and wiser, I have learnt how to use this sour ingredient. After my eldest sister brought them home after some days at the coast, I decided to give it a try. This totally paid off!
I get inspiration for my recipes from almost anything, but usually from things that tug my heartstrings. Today’s recipe was inspired by personalities that embody and radiate sunshine and joy. Those are the personalities of my two young cousins Kadesa, 8 and Mudola, 4. They make me so happy and I just love hanging around them. Last time when they came over, I prepared this dish. This time round I made this, though after they had left. I feel these funfetti pancakes fun, warm and happy feel captures what I feel when I am around these two girls.
I made pancakes last time with raisins and some orange syrup and they were explosively fantastic. This time round, I decided to add funfetti, some freshly squeezed orange juice and a milky syrup. They were so so good. If you loved the raisin pancakes, you will love these funfetti pancakes.
I am always so excited when my small cousins, Michelle and Leila, come over to visit from Mombasa. The last time they came over, I made some simple spaghetti and my matata meatballs for dinner. The arrived just as I was taking the spaghetti from the heat. Michelle saw the spaghetti and yelled in excitement “Indomie!!!” and ran towards me. Indomie are a popular noodle brand in this country. And because noodles kinda resemble spaghetti, to 3 year old Michelle, I was making her favorite noodles. She quickly asked for some, and gobbled them down amid giggles, a cheeky sparkle in her eyes and that warm incandescence that filled the room whenever she laughed. She is adorable!
As I was remembering this day, I decided to make some noodles, but with an amazing twist. This is simply outstanding, you would think that they are those served by Marion Grasby. I like my recipes easy and tasty. This is no exception 🙂