One of my favorite moments of 2016 was when 6 Kenyan food bloggers and myself got to visit Lamu for the annual Lamu Food Festival. It was a magical three day trip that saw me fall in love with the island paradise, it’s people, their culture, their scenic beaches and enchanting buildings. The food was delicious and having been prepared by the masters themselves, it couldn’t get any better! One of the things I always remember having and often day dream about to this day was a sea food pizza we had on one of our busiest afternoons there. It had lots of uduvi (shrimp), lobster and peppers all on a base of a rich tomato sauce. We then went for a sunset dhow ride, came back had dinner (more shrimp for me :D) then set out to again for another dhow ride until midnight. Is there such a thing like overdosing on seafood? I don’t think so! You can never really have enough!
Since I can’t go to Lamu (for now…hehehe) why not bring Lamu to me? I gave you a sneak peak of this recipe on my Instagram Story and Twitter page on Wednesday and as promised, here is the recipe <3
I always tell you guys not to get discouraged when you encounter kitchen blunders while cooking. Instead, you should learn from your mistakes, pick your self up, and try again util you get it right. Our mamas did not raise quitters :DD. As someone who cooks all the time, kitchen blunders and horrific recipe disasters happen from time to time. But with time, the frequency of the mistakes lessen since you get to know what works and what doesn’t. Your mistakes only aid in making you better if you choose to learn from them. Let no one lie to you that they never make mistakes in the kitchen. We all do! I showed you some of my massive fails in this post (read it if you haven’t). I stumbled a little bit while making my mahamri too. My first try had me create the hardest, flattest and most hideous mahamri LOL! I then sat down, thought hard and figured out where I went wrong and got it right in my next try. I will take you through how to make bomb mahamri, tell you exactly where I went wrong the first round and make sure you get it right on your first try <3
One of the things I enjoyed most in Lamu was immersing myself in the culture of the local people. I loved sampling their food (like, duh!!!) and enjoyed even more learning how they prepare things that are typically not as common in inland regions of the country. During our last day of the Lamu Food Festival, we were treated to a hands on swahili cooking class. This was at a local restaurant on Shela beach, overlooking the sea and enjoying the breeze coming in during that hot mid morning. Making Faluda was one of my favorites! It was so easy to make, and as usual, very very tasty to have. You can check out how Umma took as through here. This time I try it out, and of course with my own twist :)). Considering mango season is coming to and end, lets wind it down in style with my chilled mango coconut faluda <3.
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
I often reminisce about all the fun we had in Lamu over their Food festival held April. If you are yet to read my Lamu posts, you can check them out here and here. We had the time of of lives on that Island paradise. Not only did we discover plenty of cultural activity the residents proudly preserve, but we got to indulge in their food which has just as heavy cultural influence, with majority of the recipes passed down from generation to generation. We got to eat plenty of mahamri, viazi karai, bhajia ya kunde and a ton of sea food. It was in Lamu that I learnt that the locals enjoy having their muhogo (cassava) fried and sprinkled with some masala. This was the inspiration for today’s recipe, but of course, I had to do it #TheKWay! With abit of modification and giving it my own touch, you are going to love this just as much as I did <3
It rained hard last night while I was editing the pictures that I took during the Lamu Food Festival. I couldn’t help but contrast the Nairobi weather and secretly wished that I was editing my pictures from my room balcony overlooking the ocean, feeling the warm night ocean breeze and hearing the soft waves against the beach. I swear, I can still feel motion as though I am on a boat. It had always been a dream/goal for several food bloggers and I to attend Lamu food festival and we vowed to make this year the year. After few emails and several calls were on our way to a culinary adventure in one of the most dreamy destinations in Kenya, Lamu. I had a hard time choosing which images to use for this post. If I had it my way, I would just post them all!! I hope as you read through, you get to feel the tastes, sights and sounds of Lamu. Here is how the festival went down:
Hey there! My name is Kaluhi and I love food! Through my blog, I am happy to share with you my self-taught recipes, steeped in nostalgia and the happiest of memories. I hope each recipe you try out is as addictive as the previous one and is shared on a table full of love and hearty laughs!
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