What would a trip down to the culturally rich Kenyan coast be without learning a couple of new dishes to make?! I wouldn’t have lived with myself if I came back to Nairobi without new knowledge about food preparation and new recipes in my head. As part of our trip’s package, we were privileged to witness and learn the preparation of three signature Lamu dishes. As a food blogger, this chance was not to be skipped since it is through learning new things that we grow. And no one never ever knows it all, right?
Our teacher’s name was Ummu Ahmed. We could tell from the way she spoke, handled her food and engaged us that she was one foodie at heart. We learnt how to make Faluda, Mkate wa Mkono and Makaki wa Kulisha (swahili pizza) but today I will take you through step by step of the latter so that you don’t get too overwhelmed. Makaki wa Kulisha also known as Swahili pizza is basically a flat bread stuffed with a selection of ingredients but most popularly veggies and sauteed chicken. The recipe isso easy and you can definitely try these out at home too. In my opinion, this is one way you can get a feel of the Lamu sunshine right at home.
I have outlined the recipe as we were actually taught. I have however left some notes after certain pictures showing how I would add my own #KKtwist to this already magnificent dish. Since no recipe is written on stone, I would encourage you too to play around and build on the flavor that this makaki ya kulisha inherently has.
Swahili Pizza Ingredients
1/2 a kg of wheat flour
1/4 kg of cooking fat
1/2 a kg of boneless chicken, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 chicken cube spice (maggi or knor)
1 carrot, diced and steamed
a bunch of dhania, chopped
Salt to taste
1 cup of peas
1 cup of corn flour
2 handfuls of broccoli, chopped and steamed
First, cut up your chicken into strips. In a pan, fry the chicken along with black pepper, chicken cubes and salt. Once the chicken is done, set aside for incorporation later.
#KKTwist: To make my chicekn more flavorful, I would add 5-6 cloves of minced garlic for it to cook down together with the chicken. Garlic and chicken are a match made in heaven and this would be no different
In a bowl, mix the flour, cooking fat, salt in with warm water. Add the water bit by bit and knead until soft. Once done, proceed to divide the dough into small balls about 2 inches in diameter.On a flour dusted surface, roll the balls into a flat circle, like you would a chapati dough, only difference is that these should be extra thin and light.
Apply some cooking oil on one half of the circle then fold it into half, then again into a quarter. Roll it out once again towards the edges of the quarter circle. If you prefer not to use CowBoy Fat or simply cannot access some, butter or margarine can work just fine too.
Take the pastry and lightly heat it on a pan until the layers separate. This will take roughly three minutes. Then set aside.
In a separate sufuria, add your onion, steamed broccoli and carrots and dhania.
After they have softened, which will take about 3-5 minutes, add your pre-cooked chicken. Allow this to stay on the heat for another 3-5 minutes then remove from the heat and allow to cool in a bowl.
To this bowl, add your eggs and mix them in. Take the pastry and add the veggie mixture in a layer that’s about 1/4 inch thick.
#KKTwist: I would add a ton of cheese at this point, maybe both parmesan and mozzarella for extra cheesiness. Is there a thing such as too much cheese? I think not!
Let the this fry on a pan for a few minutes, or preferably until each side is golden brown. How fantastic does this look already?!
Allow to slightly cook then enjoy with your favorite drink. I would def hve this right now, right by the beach away from cold Nairobi with some fresh mango or lime juice!!! Can we all just pack up right now and head down to Lamu??!
Making the Swahili pizza had quite a number of steps, but they were all pretty straight forward if you ask me. You too cam make this at home. Or better yet, lets go to Lamu and make this together with Mwalimu Ummu, yes? Yes!
Keep it #KK for the next two Lamu dishes which are so easy to make, but so mind numbingly good!