Nairobi evenings can be bitterly cold this time of year. All I ever think about at the close of each day is getting home, having a blisteringly hot shower, slipping into some warm socks and having a hot cup of tea with my favorite biscuits (of course after some supper :))) As I raced towards my matatu stage, I glanced down at the goodies hawkers were selling and momentarily stopping to purchase some things, as usual! After bagging an amazing faux leather coat and cute doll shoes, I couldn’t let myself head home without some veggies! “Madam kuja uchague fresh!!” (Madam come and select fresh ones!!”); one of the lady hawkers exclaimed to me as she stacked her broccoli heads one over the other. I stopped, slowly selected my four broccoli as the droves of people pushed against me on the streets. As I paid, she told me to try make soup with them; that it would be delicious and that I would enjoy it. I thanked her for the veggies and for the idea as that is exactly what I was going to do- make a hearty delicious soup with my broccoli.
My favorite soup yet has got to be this thyme chili broccoli soup! So light and so delicious you will need 700 bowls before you are completely full! So perfect for chilly Nairobi this August! Mtapenda! <3
After a long day, I just had to make one more run and dash to City Market and buy some fish fillet. It was a pretty hot afternoon, and I just wanted to get home, but I knew what I prepare for dinner make would make the short trip worth while. I got to city market and was pleased to see that they had plenty of freshly filleted fish. I slowly weaved my way through the small market, quietly but very intensely surveying each stock. The sellers, ever eager to earn an extra coin, would try woo anyone that walks through in. “Sister wacha nikifungie fresh” (Sister let me pack some fresh ones for you) “Mrembo kwani leo hununui kwangu?” (Are you not buying from me today?) “Brenda si leo nikufungie wings” (Let me pack some wings from you, Brenda.) My name is not Brenda by the way, they were literally guessing LOL! I finally settled on one vendor I passed just at the entrance and got myself a juicy cut of tilapia fillet. I rushed home, rested a little bit and embarked on making my dinner. I wanted something delicious, so I had to deliver on all the flavors. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed and totally blown away!! I made this again this past Sunday when we had guests over and it was a hit! And today, I share the recipe to my garlic grilled tilapia fillet with lime coconut milk sauce.
If I can close my eyes and really focus, I can clearly hear it. I can here the sound of the soft ocean waves breaking on the white sandy beach. I can almost smell the aroma of white jasmine flowers that have littered the lawn after a night of drizzle. I can almost feel the warmth and here the chatter of the townspeople as I scavenge the Lamu streets for my spices. If I close my eyes and really focus, I can feel the slow drift of the dhow at sunset. Nothing beats that experience!! I can taste the salt of the sea on my lips. I can taste all the delicious food they used to make for us. I can feel the sand on my toes; whose toe nails by now have the most hideous chipped nail polish as a result of spending too much time in the water. But who cares? Life in Lamu is about savoring moments that matter, not about seeking fleeting perfection. I often miss Lamu, more so when the pace of Nairobi threatens to bury me. But now that I cannot go to my special place at the moment, I will bring it to me through one of the dishes we had there alot: mbaazi wa nazi (pigeon peas in coconut milk). I hope when you take a bite of this dish, close your eyes and reeeeeaally focus, you will be on the beaches of Lamu with me eating good food all day long. Coz that’s what life should be about :DD
Nairobi heat can make you question your entire existence. I love sunny weather that Jan-Feb-Mar brings, but once it turns torturous, I start questioning my own likes LOL. On the day I made this drink, I was having one of those unlucky-stuck-in-the-sun days. I had forgotten my hat at home, neither did I have an umbrella since I left it after I had switched bags that same morning. So that meant I had to do my errands in the sun. The matatu I boarded to get me home only had empty seats on the sun facing side. So after roasting in the CBD, I further baked away in the matatu. The stretch between my bus stage and home is 20 minutes apart, and much of the walk has no shade, so yes, I arrived home severely roasted and 60 shades darker. All I wanted was to shower and gulp down something refreshing and energizing. Because we had plenty of fruits home that day, I decided a mocktail was due. And boy didn’t I enjoy every eager gulp of this!!! As we enter the final weeks of mango season, please make and enjoy my mango melon mocktail. You deserve it!! <3
I could hear the rumble of thunder from a distance, and I knew that particular weekend would be a cold, rainy one. The house grew dark & cold, so I went upstairs to grab myself a pair of socks. No sooner had I come back down than the rain began aggressively beating on the roof. Huge, angry drops of May Nairobi Rain. A bright flash of lightning lit the entire sky and with it, power was gone. Typical! Since I could not go anywhere outside, nor watch anything I decided to retreat to my favorite place: the Kitchen. That day, I decided to prepare some soup to warm myself up as I waited for electricity to return and keep myself busy.
This butternut soup is so beautiful I literally stared at it for so long. I took so many pics of it and it is one of my most visually appealing dishes yet. It is so filling, very nutritious and very warming. While it is currently not as rainy in Nairobi right now as it was a week ago, it is still rather cold especially in the evenings (22° C / 72F qualifies as cold in this equatorial country). This is the best soup for you to have. Whether as a the perfect prelude to a magnificent meal or just to warm you up, this butternut soup will still make you happy!