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).
It was 1999 and me and my best friend Ngina were playing outside. Her cousin,Shena, had just come back from the coast and ofcourse, with plenty of goodies. One of the things she brought were ukwaju (tamarind). To us they looked like dates. And if they looked like dates, and felt like dates, then they had to taste like dates…How wrong we were. After puting a handful into our mouths, it was not long before we spat them out. They were so sour. So much so that our tongues kept zinging. LOL. I vowed never to eat sour ukwaju ever again, and wondered why people even liked them.
Now, older and wiser, I have learnt how to use this sour ingredient. After my eldest sister brought them home after some days at the coast, I decided to give it a try. This totally paid off!
I get inspiration for my recipes from almost anything, but usually from things that tug my heartstrings. Today’s recipe was inspired by personalities that embody and radiate sunshine and joy. Those are the personalities of my two young cousins Kadesa, 8 and Mudola, 4. They make me so happy and I just love hanging around them. Last time when they came over, I prepared this dish. This time round I made this, though after they had left. I feel these funfetti pancakes fun, warm and happy feel captures what I feel when I am around these two girls.
I made pancakes last time with raisins and some orange syrup and they were explosively fantastic. This time round, I decided to add funfetti, some freshly squeezed orange juice and a milky syrup. They were so so good. If you loved the raisin pancakes, you will love these funfetti pancakes.
I am always so excited when my small cousins, Mudola and Kadesa, come over to visit from Mombasa. The last time they came over, I made some simple spaghetti and my matata meatballs for dinner. The arrived just as I was taking the spaghetti from the heat. Mudola saw the spaghetti and yelled in excitement “Indomie!!!” and ran towards me. Indomie are a popular noodle brand in this country. And because noodles kinda resemble spaghetti, to 3 year old Mudola , I was making her favorite noodles. She quickly asked for some, and gobbled them down amid giggles, a cheeky sparkle in her eyes and that warm incandescence that filled the room whenever she laughed. She is adorable!
While they love spaghetti, I once in a while prep instant noodles for kina Mudola. I always go the extra mile because we just do not do kawaida here at #KK. Abit of fresh veggies to play up the flavor and bring it to life and it always turns out great. I like my recipes easy and tasty. This is no exception 🙂
December holidays are in full force and many Kenyans are making their way down to the coast. Besides the amazing weather, the picturesque beaches, the hospitable people, rich history and the electric atmosphere, people also travel down to the coast to sample some of the hearty food of the coastal people. They really tale food and its preparation really seriously, which is something I personally admire because eating, in my opinion should be an experience.
One of the foods associated with the Kenyan coast is Viazi Karai. It is sold in little kiosks all over our coastal towns and by hotels too. I decided to add my own twist to the traditional recipe and added several more ingredients which made this already delectable meal even more spectacular.
I have always loved french toast for breakfast. It is such a lovely way to begin the day. Besides that, there are so many ways you can have your french toast, and I love this because it allows one to be creative in the kitchen. I did orange zest french toast some months back and they were unbelievably tasty! My Uncle brought us some coconuts from Mombasa when he came to visit us in Nairobi and I decided to make coconut french toast this time round. I added some caramelized pineapple and this perfectly complimented the coconut in the french toast. I was not disappointed.
I hope you give this a try because they really are the tastiest french toast I have had so far!
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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