Life. Love. Food

Tag: Kenya

Mbaazi wa Nazi

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

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Mango Mint Salad with Passion Fruit Syrup

Admit it, that title made your mouth water, even just a little ;). For me, each time I read it, I literally drool like a wild beast. And when I remember how fantastic it tasted, I literally drive myself to the brink of insanity. My mango mint salad with passion fruit syrup is a taste of heaven. It captures the warmth of golden Kenyan sunshine and almost embodies the fullness of the hearts of the Kenyan people and beauty of Mango season. I am in love with this salad!

I love my mangoes. They are still in season for the next few weeks and I want to make the most of it. Last year, I was busy eating mangoes (duh!) and experimented very little with them in the kitchen. This year, I have really tried :)). As we head into the dusk of 2016’s mango season, let me leave you with a salad with flavors so beautiful it tastes like music <3.

mango mint salad with passion fruit salad_kaluhiskitchen.com_how to make a salad with mango_mango recipes

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Mango and Dark Chocolate Parfait

If you have been following me for quite sometime now on Instagram, You know how much I love mangoes. This love dates back to  my primary school days. As we go through the final weeks of mango season, I am taking full advantage of this and eating as many of my favorite fruit as I can and incorporating them in my food and snacks too.

I love parfaits because they are the easiest things on earth to make. They make the perfect post-meal indulgence and can also make the perfect snack. There are infinite variations to a parfait but here is mine. It is sweet, fulfilling and pretty healthy too :)) This mango and dark chocolate parfait just shows you you can make the perfect snack or dessert without spending too much and with ingredients you can easily obtain.

mango and dark chocolate parfait_how to make a healthy yet delicious snack_kaluhiskitchen.com_healthy desserts bu top kenyan food blogger kaluhi adagala

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Red Wine and Tomato Cheesy Pasta

I have always been fascinated with wine. Not just for drinking but by the amount of stuff you can use it in to trasform your cooking. I once read this quote “When in doubt, add wine” and I can help but agree. It really does add this soft yet assertive taste to food without making it seem like you tried too hard.

I made this pasta dish when my sisters were home in August during their semester break. They always DEMAND that I make them nice things before they go back to college. But who can blame them?! And after all, that is part of what makes me a big sister- To spoil those who come after me ūüôā¬†after plenty of coersion and bribes that come in the form of jewellery and cute dresses. This dish is delighfully saucy & cheesy. And as the¬†clouds roll in and rainy season starts, have this on your to-make list.

www.kaluhiskitchen.com_best kenyan food blogs_pasta recipes_red wine and tomato cheesy pasta_cooking with red wine

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Carrot and Bell Pepper Mushroom Saute

When ever my parents visit Maragoli, Western Kenya, they always bring us lots of fresh produce. This is because the produce is usually fresher and cheaper so they usually take full advantage. Among the things she brings from time to time are uvwova (mushrooms).  I am not sure which type they were but they were white with long lean stems. I am a big fan of them especially when sauteed and they substitute meat really well. At home, my mum, daddy and myself always eat them whenever are cooked. Over Easter, I bought another type of mushroom from Nakumatt Galleria, Chestnut Mushrooms, and this time round everyone loved them. My sisters gobbled them down and I totally loved them too. If you want to try something new, really fast and healthy, this mushroom saute is it.

chestnut mushrooms_carrot and bell pepper mushroom saute_mushroom saute_kenyan food

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Peas and Red Bell Pepper Fried Rice

I love peas. It is one of those meals I can have all day every day with nearly everything. We are really blessed to come from a country where we can find organic fruits and veggies at a really affordable prices, peas being one of them. Hence, when ever I can, I always get myself some. I was walking towards my bus stage one evening and I saw this lady removing peas straight from their pods. Nothing looks fresher and more inviting than that. I stopped and got myself some and decided to make a rice dish with them.

This is a light fried rice dish. It is wholesome very healthy and very warm if I may say. I has this charm that will make where ever you are feel like home. As an addition to our many rice recipes, sample my pea and red bell pepper fried rice.

peas and red bell pepper fried rice_fried rice recipes_fried rice_kenyan food

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Gourmet Coleslaw

One of my most memorable childhood memories are those that involve family get-aways and ¬†short trips within the country. I particularly fondly remember¬†the times when¬†my parents used to take my sisters and I (sometimes together with my cousins) ¬†to a recreation spot deep in the breathtaking Maasai Land called Olooloitikoshi every other Sunday afternoon. As we had been told, olooloitikoshi means “The land of the Zebras” in the Maasai dialect (i stand corrected if that translation is wrong :D), and for us, it was the funnest place on the planet. Immediately after church, we would pass by home, dress down a little, prepare some bitings and leave for the Rift Valley. One of the things that my mommy used to make every single time was some coleslaw. This always made the perfect accompaniment to the tender roast meat and the steamy soft mukimu served by the locals together with all other delicacies we would have at the foot of the Ngong hills.

Today I present to you  one of dishes that never never missed our outings,coleslaw, but with a delicious gourmet twist.  It goes beyond the basic cabbage and carrot for coleslaw and includes an array of other ingredients that make this more wholesome and 5 star worthy. Read on to know exactly  how to make your coleslaw fantastic <3

gourmet coleslaw_kaluhi_s kitchen

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Thai Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango

I thank God for jan-feb-mar for the sunny weather that, for some reason, makes me so energized, and that my favorite fruit, mangoes are in season. Because there are so many around, retailing at very affordable prices, I always try to have my fave fruit in as many ways as I possibly can.

I decided to make a mango dessert that has its origins in Thailand. This Thai Sticky Coconut Rice  with Mango is a recipe I bumped into accidentally while searching for food photography inspiration on food gawker. I was happy that the ingredients they use are also available here. To add my own twist to an already existing recipe, I added sesame seeds instead of dessicated coconut to add a nutty taste. I also used coconut cream instead of coconut milk it make it thicker.  I would never have though using rice as an ingredient in a dessert but this worked so well. The rice is meant to compliment the mango though, and not the other way round. And this is a healthy snack, that will still give you that sweet kick but minus all that sugar overload.

You do not have to go to Thailand. Bring Thailand to you!

Thai Sticky Coconut Rice with mango

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Spicy Minced Beef Samosa

I always love to indulge in a snack to keep my energy up, especially when I have tons to do, but little time to sit down and have a full meal or when I know I will be stuck in the hellish Nairobi traffic for some hours. Among the many things I like to have, I particularly enjoy having a samosa ( or many samosas :D) in the as I wait for a matatu or bus. They are one of the most delicious Kenyan treats in my opinion.

I decided to have one of my favorite snacks as today’s blog post because this blog would never be complete without it. The recipe is very easy to follow, and I am sure you will want to try this too. ūüôā

Hope you enjoy the read ūüôā

 spicy minced beef samosas
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Beef Pilau

Pilau is one of the meals that define Kenyan cuisine. Just like chapati, pilau is  one of those meals that is ever present at any major ceremony in this country. Pilau is a rice dish that is cooked in a seasoned broth, with some pieces of beef, chicken and sometimes peas, nuts and raisins, and whose brown color is obtained from being fried in caramelized onions and a blend of spices. Global variations of pilau are pilaf/pilav of Turkey, Pulao of south-central Asia and Palaw of Iraq.

Pilau is associated with the people of the Kenyan coast, and I must admit, they make the meanest pilau but we are slowly catching up :). There are many variations to the recipe but today I will give you my take. You cannot have a Kenyan food blog without the most cherished Kenyan recipe!

beef pilau with coleslaw.1

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Nutmeg Doughnuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze

In Kenya, after completing high school, there is about a 4 month wait between the time you complete your exams and the time the results of the national exams are released. During this period, majority of us did short computer courses to make good use of our time and to better ourselves. During the end of each class every Wednesday, I would treat myself to a chocolate doughnut from Bakers Inn that was close to my computer school and on my way to the stage. It nearly turned into a weekly ritual, but this eventually died down once they increases the prices of their doughnuts.

Some weeks ago on my twitter handle, one of my followers asked for a doughnut recipe. I was more than happy to give her one and in the process, re-live one of my favorite indulgences back in 2010. I added my own twist by adding fragrant nutmeg into the  mix, and instead of having a cocoa-powder-icing frosting like Bakers Inn, I opted for a rich dark chocolate glaze with some sprinkles which added an extra crunch. This was really fun to make and so delicious to have!

chocolate nutmeg doughnuts

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Sweet Potato and Tender Maize Stew

Stews are rather popular in Kenya, probably because they leave room for addition of different food groups into one pot making preparation of a meal faster. As an accompaniment to many dishes, the most common stews here are beef stew and Irish potato stew. However, people are trying out new things, including myself.

I made this sweet potato stew and I was happy to note how delightful and light it was, and this was a much welcome change from the ordinary. This stew is so comforting, every bite feels like you are receiving a huge hug. I used the warm spices of nutmeg and cardamom to elevate the sweet potato flavor. This really is a must-try for everyone.

sweet potato and tender maize stew

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Coconut milk Fish curry

One of the things I love about cooking is that you can transform one ingredient and have it in so many ways. For fish, you can have it fried, stewed, stuffed in bread, made into a patti and so many other different forms. In Kenya, fish is usually fried or stewed unfilleted and in many times whole. I love fish, and to be honest, I can have it which ever way it is served.

Today I made one of the tastiest fish I have ever had. It was filleted and I stewed it in coconut milk, garlic and lemon. Read on to know exactly how this went down:

COCONUT MILK FISH CURRY

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How to make coconut milk

Coconut milk is one of my favorite substitutes for using water or vegetable stock in my stews or various other dishes. In my opinion, using coconut milk is one of the easiest ways of adding more flavor or transforming the taste of a dish. Coconut milk is not a dairy product though. Even so, it has plenty of health benefits. It helps with improving skin and hair health, boosts the immune system, has plenty of antioxidants, has anti-fungal properties and many more.

You can get this in the supermarkets, and if you are in Kenya, I recommend coconut milk by Kara as it is of high quality. But you can also make your own coconut milk, and here is how you can do that:

HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK

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Ginger and Garlic Marinated Liver

Liver is one of my absolute favorite organ meats. It is soft, has a rich taste and takes a relatively short time to cook. Sometime ago¬†on facebook, I asked which which you cannot stand. I was surprised to see that many people do not like liver. Some stated it was because of it’s¬†smell that does not go away even after cooking. For others, it is because they just could not figure out how to add more flavor.

Today I made fried liver, that had marinated in ginger, garlic, milk and green onion prior to frying it. This made that “raw-meat-smell” to go away and more importantly, added a lot more flavor to the liver. More so, I believe to have great tasting liver, you need to cook it with plenty of red onion and plenty of bell pepper, which I added while frying. This is so simple to do, yet produces really tasty liver. I hope you enjoy it too ūüôā

ginger and garlic marinated liver

 

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Drop scones with strawberry yoghurt chocolate ganache

In Kenya, it is not unheard of to have impromptu guest at any time of the day. And whether guests come unannounced or not, it is part of our culture to prepare a meal, small or big, as a sign of hospitality toward our guests. In our home, when guests come unannounced, we turn to easy meals that take a short time to prepare but will still make the guests feel at home. My mother almost always turns to drop scones during such situations. They are very delicious when eaten straight from the heat and they fill the entire house with the most welcoming aroma that any person would love to walk into.

Today, I added a twist to my mother’s favorite and added a rich homemade mascarpone filling. As if that is not hearty enough, I drizzled a chocolate ganache on top of them, which I made with strawberry yoghurt as opposed to heavy cream. And as always, it is easy to make! If I can make this, trust me, you can too.

drop scones with strawberry yoghurt chocolate ganache

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