Life. Love. Food

Tag: kenyan food (Page 3 of 5)

Red Onion and Ghee Chapati

While in Precious Blood Riruta, like all other boarding schools, visiting days were always the most anticipated days of the year. Those were the days we would spend those lovely hours with our siblings and parents who we left back home. It was the day we got reminded how the outside world feels, smells and tastes like beyond the school walls. Most importantly, those were the days we were treated to delicious food from home that we normally wouldn’t have in school . For us, this day was even more anticipated because we had just one visiting day for the entire year (I know, that sucked!) To make the most of it, we would specify the exact foods we want brought in from home. For me and my friend Gaciku, we had to have chapati. It is not only delicious but it could be kept a bit longer compared to other foods long after visiting day was over. I hear these days they have chapati as part of their school menu. How lucky! They will never understand our struggle :DD

Today, I have put a twist to my all time favorite flat bread. I hope you like it too.

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Pear and Nutmeg Pancakes

My elder sister Sieva LOVES pears. She loves pears with the same intensity that I love my mangoes, so you can imagine how much she loves her pears. Growing up, I never really enjoyed pears. I watched Sieva eat her pears with such deep enjoyment and theatrics that accompany chowing down of good food. As I grew up and became a lot more open minded to trying our new things, I came to really love this cute little fruit. Now that they are in season, I am also trying to incorporate them in as many meals as I can. I am having plenty of fun in the process :))

These pear and nutmeg pancakes will warm your heart and fill your tummy. There are so full of flavor and easy to make, in true #KK fashion. Do yourself a favor and whip yourself these beauties soon!

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Ginger Matoke Masala

I have been seriously into potatoes lately! Ok, maybe I have always been into potatoes :DD. Besides their wholesome taste, they can be made in countless different ways. The day I made this super delicious ginger matoke masala, I had originally planned to use potatoes. My heart was absolutely broken when I found out I had none. But in true food blogger fashion, all that was necessary was a change up the original recipe and use what I already had at hand. We had received plenty of matoke  from our kin in Maragoli and I decided that is exactly what I was going to use. That was the best choice I made that day!

Before we get into it, let me warn you, the chances of you getting addicted to this are real! This is one matoke recipe I can have every other day for the rest of my life. Yes, everything can be made delicious. And my ginger matoke masala pays tribute to that very statement.

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings

I made these sweet and spicy chicken wings when my sisters were home over the weekend. It is always fun when we are all home. Suddenly, the house is loud and noisy, but in the warmest and most inviting way. We then catch up on stuff we have been doing, stuff we are planning to do and get some good laughs in. And what better way to do this than over delicious food. Not only were we eating these bomb chicken wings, but also enjoyed this orange and ginger cake my eldest sister had baked that very morning. I love my foodie sisters <3

These wings are very simple to make but they are so so sooooo good! The marinade used for them is very simple and passed down form my mum to us. Do yourself a favor and try  out these sweet and spicy chicken wings.

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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.

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Red Onion and Button Mushroom Omelette

Am I the only one who still gets super excited when parents return home from upcountry and they bring lots of fresh FOOD with them? Maybe its a foodie thing, or maybe its just me LOL. My parents always bring fresh produce with them since it is cheaper there and overall of better health and quality. The best honey we have is always from Maragoli and also, the best mushrooms I have ever tasted were from Maragoli. ‘Ovwova’, as we call them, are eaten quite often in shagz. I was so scared about giving them a try but after my mum made them and I had my first taste, I was sold! And that was the day my love affair with mushrooms started. I try add them to nearly anything and to my surprise, they go with almost anything in my opinion.

When I have eggs for breakfast, I like mine scrambled. But when I incorporate other things, I like making an omelette.. Oh! This button mushroom and red onion omelette was so so so good I am literally drooling as I type this out. And in true #KK fashion, it was so easy to whip up 🙂

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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.

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Rosemary and Okra Fried Rice

We ALL have those things we prefer not to eat probably due to some bad food experiences we had in the past. Some time in 2014, I asked my followers on Instagram what they do not like to eat or what they have a hard time making delicious. The answers ranged from beetroot, to matumbo (tripe), to cabbage. One of them pointed out that for them, okra has been so hard to cook since they always find it so flat in terms of flavor and got turned off when it gets kinda slimy. She wondered how some people managed to cook it without it becoming so boring and asked me to help her. I may be over a year late with my response, but trust me, it is worth the wait :))

I made this dish as a challenge to myself and response to the feedback I got upon asking that question. And I love challenges especially when it comes to making something that is healthy but not too appetizing become delicious. Looking for something unique and speedy ? Try this rosemary and okra fried rice.

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Button Mushroom and Karafuu Spaghetti

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).

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Lemon Infused Chili Omena

I know many of you must have a serious sneer on your face just at the mention of omena. Omena sends fear, repulsion and salivation in equal measure to different people across the country. These are small fish in the same family as anchovies caught in Lake Victoria, sun dried then sold. They are very popular with comunities at the lake basin, but are slowly taking root all over the county. These little fishies can be quite challenging to prepare but once you get it right, it is nothing but bliss.

In my book, EVERYTHING can be made delicious, just as everything can be made to taste boring. You have the choice, and the ability to decide where you want to fall. Growing up, we rarely had omena. When I finally tasted some at a family friend’s house, I was far from impressed and like many other people, I just disliked it. But that experince pushed my mom to get a recipe that works. And she did land on one. Today’s recipe is her’s together with some twists of my own. It is nothing short of splendid. Really, you must try this out!

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Thyme and Chili Liver

Each day, we learn something new. When it comes to cooking specificaly, you can never say you know everything. Someone will always know something you do not know. That means, we all have something to learn from the other. For the longest time, we used to boil our liver before cooking it. This was until aunty Kabura upgraded us and told us that step was totally unnecessary. I tried it out and this was the softest liver ever. I added a #KK twist to it and this was just elevated to level 100! You will enjoy my thyme and chili liver just as much.

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Mango and Lime Smoothie Bowl

I love mangoes. I feel like I have spent the past two months saying this. But can you really blame me. It turns out than many of you also share my love for mangoes as indicated in this Instagram post. I try have them after all three meals whenever I can and incorporate them in meals too. And for me, there is no other way than channeling the sweetness of this beautiful fruit than in a smoothie bowl.

One of my Instagram (@lizbettynally) followers requested for a smoothie. I had been toying around with this idea and I decided to finally give it a go. My youngest sister, Musimbi, had this and she loved it so much she wanted to have it every day as a post-work out meal. Trust me, it looks as good as it tastes.

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Kachumbari & Kuku Choma Burger

Last year, Heron Portico threw a challenge to myself and other food bloggers in the country to create a Kenyan Themed burger. For various reasons, we were not able to rise to the ocasion then. I couldnt because I had so much going on and I was still singlehandedly polishing up on my then 3 month old blog. Pendo la mama made her Kenyan themed burger a couple of weeks ago and she totally aced it! I have always looked up to her and I feel after she took it up (so well I might add) that gave me the courage to make my own Kenyan Burger.

For my burger, I decided to focus more on what I call the Tastes of Kenya. The things/ foods you eat that will always remind you of Kenya; remind you of home no matter which corner of the world you have this. Flavors that will give you a taste of our beautiful coast,  and those that reminded me of family kuku barbecues in majestic Maragoli hills of Western Kenya. On the eve on Jamhuri day, I present to you my Kenyan Burger: Kachumbari and Kuku choma burger with a sweet and sour Ukwaju sauce.

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Chicken Pilau with garlic sauce

Am I the only one who fears upgrading software coz of the very real possibility that you could loose everything?? After putting this off for so long, I finally upgraded my computer to windows 10. And exactly what I was afraid of happened. My computer went into shock, everything went crazy and all I could see was the white screen of death. I put everything on hold until I resolved this. I literally cried at the thought of loosing all my content. After a heart attack, long prayers, sacrificing an unblemished white lamb a short while, everything came back to normal. I realized my computer was just acting up (and I was panicking LOL) and everything was right where I left it.

After getting everything in order, I somewhat felt great that I went one full day without working on the blog. Maybe I really needed that down time to rest and reboot. And I went ahead and gave myself a three day break. As a choleric-melancholic, breaks are always much welcome since this temperament leaves us subject to burn outs. But now, allow me to treat you with something so good, it will take you to another universe.

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Garlic and Lemon Tilapia Peri Peri

Like many ladies in Nairobi, I always go to Kenyatta Market to have my hair braided. They are not only done cheaply there, but very fast too. I find it comical how the wasusi (salonists) almost come to blows when they spot someone with open hair walking their way. To avoid all that commotion, I have my msusi pick me from the stage when I arrive.  Her name is Connie but I call her Aunty Connie.  She is so nice and I always get braided in her stall. Some weeks back as we snaked our way through the open  fruit market and through the car wash, the aroma of fried tilapia wafted our way. I asked her where I could get some and she promised to direct me after my braids were done. As I got my hair fixed, I thought about all the possible ways I could make my fish (that was before I fell asleep on the salon chair).

I remembered discovering peri peri is what our brothers and sisters down south refer to what we East Africans know as pilipili. It really is the same thing- bird’s eye chilli. Feeling inspired by my new discovery, I decided to make my fish spicy and saucy. I just have to warn you before trying my tilapia peri peri, there is a high possibility that you may develop serious addictions to tilapia cooked with this recipe. It is that good! Proceed.

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Sage and Garlic Githeri

On this day, I was home alone. And when there are few people at home, obviously less food is cooked. The fridge was undergoing its seasonal sparseness and I knew exactly what I wanted to eat: githeri. Yes, I love githeri that much and that is the only meal I wanted. Mum had already boiled some maize and beans and froze them for future use. I defrosted some and prepared one of the best githeri yet. When mum came home she shared some of the githeri I had prepared with her friend, mrs.Kamau, and she tooootally loved this! For the weekend, my mum prepared a larger quantity of githeri but using the same recipe I had developed earlier that week. My sisters who were home over the weekend also really loved this new recipe. Seeing how it was so well received at home, I am certain you will enjoy it too :))

Today, we turn one of my FAVORITE Kenyan delicacies into one unforgettable feast!

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Garlic & Cumin Matoke

Besides potatoes, we almost always have matoke in our house. Every weekend, my dad collects a package form Maragoli delivering traditional veggies such as kunde, mto and mrenda, fresh peas and beans and almost always, matoke. The matoke are usually wrapped in some banana leaves to preserve their freshness. They are usually a bit dewy by the time they get to Nairobi but beaming with the bountifulness and greenness of the emerald rolling Maragoli hills.

Because we have a constant supply of one ingredient means we have to create different ways of  making one thing. One of one of the most mellow matoke recipes is my garlic and cumin matoke. It is so easy and unleashes one hell of a party on your taste buds. #MUSTTRY

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Garlic Chicken Strips in Coconut Sauce

Food unrelated news: I decided to start exercising. For those who know me, they know I am pretty tiny (by Kenyan Standards) but truth be told, I am so unfit. As I am growing older, I feel it is so important to keep my body in the best state, even if I do not gain weight that easily. It has nothing to do with weight, but more to do with simply staying fit. I have been doing core work outs and I feel so sore but soooo good! Goal: These abs. And judging by the way I am going so far, this is within reach. I just hope I won’t give get bored along the way LOL

Anyway, back to business. For today, something rich and savory. This Garlic Chicken Strips in Coconut Sauce is one of those meals you can whip up in just a few minutes but have everyone blown away by how beautifully layered the flavors are.

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Chicken Mshikaki with Sticky Honey Sauce

I owe nearly all of my best childhood memories to growing up in Langata. Even now, living in a different part of town, I remember my days in Langata with so much nostalgia. I particularly remember how everyone seemed to come out of their houses in the evening once the hot sun has gone down and the streets are bustling with activity. Under the light of street lamps, a sea of street vendors would litter the walk ways with the hope of walking away with their wallet much fuller than when they arrived. From the soft negotiations between gentlemen selling clothes and their buyers, to aroma of fried tilapia of the ever vivacious ladies selling fish, to people from work in their power suits vigorously rubbing lemon and chilli on their roast maize, to smoke illuminated by the soft dusk light rising from the Mutura grills, Langata really did come to life at sunset. My favorite street food had always been, and still is, Mshikaki.

Today I decided to take my all time fave street food, originally a Kenyan coast delicacy, and transform it into a real feast. My chicken mshikaki with sticky honey sauce will take you to the moon and back!

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Creamy Honey Uji

In high school, Saturday morning breakfast was uji. Yes, uji for saturday. In as much as you don’t really wanna have some, you have no option, so you fill your tummy  with some. Not that I hate it, i just found it bland since it was maize flour porridge and I am used to sorghum porrige. The later is richer in flavor, has more nutritional content compared to the former.

The first time I tried making uji, I made ugali instead. The second time I made uji, it was too light. #DoubleFail. I knew that I had to balance my water/flour ration coz that was where the problem lay each time. Once I got that balance right, I began experimenting with ways to make this phenomenal dish even better. Healthy does not have to be boring.

Are you ready for this? :))

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