Life. Love. Food

Thyme and Garlic Mbaazi

There is ALWAYS more than one way of preparing a dish. ALWAYS!!!! While we may have our personal favorites that we may prefer to stick to for one reason or another, there is no harm in exploring other options. I have always had mbaazi cooked in coconut milk, and I one day wondered how else could I prepare them and still bring out the amazing taste mbaazi inherently has? Coz just like everything else, there is more than one way of cooking mbaazi!! I asked you guys on twitter and my mind was opened up to all the different ways you make them. Velma Kiome (@mzinduzi) loves her’s with courgettes, carrots, matoke or potato, fresh herbs and spices of choice and she prefers that her mbaazi are fresh and green and not the dried kind. Chululups (@miss_patriciah) uses mbaazi instead of beans in her githeri plus with lots of veggie assortment and cooked as a dry fry. She taught me this dish is called Gítherí a njūgū (I love learning from my tweeps! Need to try it out!!). For me, besides having them in coconut milk, I like mine  as a rich stew, similar to a bean stew, but with rich full flavors of  garlic and thyme! Ready to step out of your comfort zone and try out something different? Buckle up!!



1 cup of mbaazi

2 tomatoes, grated

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of coriander stalts

6 cloves of garlic

1/2 a teaspoon of chili flakes

1/4 ginger root

1 tablespoon of royco

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Coriander leaves, for garnish


Soak your mbaazi overnight. The next day, put them to boil together with 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped until softened. The flavor of the garlic infuses really well into the mbaazi giving the beans themselves such full flavor even before cooking has begun. You can do the same with beans, ndengu and njahi for that extra flavor kick.

Once done, drain the water and set aside.
In a sufuria, add your red onion, garlic, finely chopped coriander stems and let this sautee until softened and fragrant.  I often use the dania stems in my cooking and hardly ever discard them. They have such an intense flavor and they liven up almost every dish you add them into. I particularly find them beautiful in any cereal dish, as part of samosa fillings, beef stews and githeri. Always save your dania stems!!!

Add the tomatoes, thyme, tomato paste, royco and chili plus 1/4-1/2 cup of hot water and let this simmer for about 10 minutes. I have been so so obsessed with thyme lately so expect to see plenty of it in recipes to come! I used the dried variety which I bought from CarreFour (they also have fresh thyme) but you can find it at any other supermarket.

Once that is done, add your boiled mbaazi plus another 1/2 a cup of hot water (or vegetable broth) and let it simmer for another 20 minutes on low heat so that all the flavors meld. If you fancy, you could also add some coconut milk to them at this point which will again be another way of adding more flavor but vastly different form the traditional way it is prepared at the coast.

Once done, garnish with your dhania and serve.

I was not surprised at all when my sisters loved these thyme and garlic mbaazi, because they indeed tasted so so good! My youngest sister forced requested me to show her how I made them once again, step by step, because she would love to prepare them for herself when she was off at school.

I had mine at all times of the day! In the morning together with my breakfast after my morning jog. Sometimes at lunch time with some wali wa nazi and sometimes in the evening with chapati and creamed spinach. The combinations you can have with mbaazi are infinite and that is a huge plus!! Check out the recipe to my mbaazi wa nazi HERE (coconut milk mbaazi) and try out this one too!!

To the beauty of food!

-Kaluhi <3 <3 <3

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  1. Olivia

    I wouldn’t trade anything next to my bowl of mbaazi & chapati. This is just mouth watering for me lol


    • kaluhiskitchen

      I hope you get the chance and try this recipe out <3 <3 <3

  2. Joy

    Are mbaazi chickpeas? And if so, where do you get yours? I’m having such a hard time finding them in my neighbourhood.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      They are not chickpeas. I buy mine from a supermarket, they are always there.

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