Culinary Delight: Roasted Potatoes, Mutton and Stir fried vegetables.

It has been a while since I posted some food and yes, it is another potato dish. They are still a favorite. I just love potatoes 🙂

We do not dine out a lot but when we do, Mambo Italia pops up frequently. What’s not to love about their food? One of their options for sides are potatoes roasted with sage and garlic. Yum! Not only are their portions large, their food is down right delicious and filling.

Here is my attempt to recreate the potatoes:-

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Sage and Garlic.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 5 large potatoes
  • I tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method.

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into thick slices or wedges if you wish.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water, together with the garlic and turmeric.
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes until almost but not quite cooked.
  • Drain and cool
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius,
  • In a bowl, mix the olive oil, paprika and thyme.
  • Add the cooled potatoes and mix well, then arrange on a baking tray.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

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Potatoes roasted in sage and garlic, boiled mutton and stir fried vegetables.

As the mutton was quite fatty, I boiled it with 2 chopped red onions, I tbsp of ginger- garlic paste, 1 tbsp of chopped coriander (include the stalks), 1 chopped tomato, salt and pepper to taste. You can add 1 tbsp of tomato paste to thicken a bit and add colour to the stew. Let it boil with two cups of water until thickened and reduced to your liking. The mutton was about 400g. This was my version of the famous “tumbukiza” where meat is boiled with all other ingredients you want in there and served hot and saucy.

The stir fried vegetables were carrots, courgette and green pepper (capsicum or hoho as we call it here) sliced into strips. I added a bit of soy sauce and honey to add flavour and a glossy finish.

Below is another potato dish I made weeks ago, only this time the I used mixed herbs, onion and garlic, and the side was some deep fried fish which I made a tomato based sauce for.

This was also very delicious and filling.

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Roasted potatoes with mixed herbs and garlic, deep fried fish in homemade tomato sauce.

Aren’t potatoes bae?

PS: I do make other healthier *cough cough* dishes, keep it locked for the recipes.

 

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Culinary Delights: Breakfast Hash

May I declare my love for potatoes for the umpteenth time? They are bae. Delicious and filling no matter how you make them.

I love having them for weekend breakfast or brunch. They are a lovely way to start a long day or counter a hangover!

Here are two takes on breakfast. One with Irish potatoes, the second with sweet potatoes or ngwaci as we call them here.

There is no need to boil them first, just chop ‘em up in small cubes, add to a wide pan in a layer covering the bottom of the pan and they will cook pretty first.

Take 1.

  • Peel and cut your Irish potatoes into small cubes. Also slice one red onion and chop one green pepper (hoho).
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onion and green pepper, cook till soft. Remove and set aside.
  • You can add some more oil, just a bit, let it heat up then add your cubed potatoes evenly on the pan, let them sizzle on medium heat, you do not want them to burn without cooking all the way through, turn them when the edges are crispy and brown, add salt, pepper and spices of choice. I used garlic powder and Spanish paprika.
  • You can now add any leftover meat you may have, or even bacon. I added some leftover steak, cubed. Then add back the onion and green pepper mix. Mix well.
  • Make a few wells in the pan and crack a couple of eggs, cover and let eggs cook to your liking.
  • You can add some grated cheese just before serving. I used cheddar. Yum!
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    Breakfast Hash: Potatoes with green pepper, leftover steak, eggs and cheese!

    Take 2.

  • Same process but this time I used one sweet potato, and did not add any eggs or cheese.
  • I had some leftover mutura (our Kenyan traditional version of blood sausage) which I added after adding back the onions and pepper mix.
  • I used mixed herbs instead of spices and served with two beef sausages and a creamy tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad leftover from previous night’s dinner.
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Sweet potatoes with mutura, served with a creamy salad and beef sausages.

Both versions are delicious, filling, and a great way to include leftovers that are not enough for a main meal. Try them this weekend!

 

Culinary delights: Spaghetti and Tuna.

Pasta and tuna are an amazing combination; tastes great; cooks fast and is filling, a perfect weekday dinner recipe.

I however still need tips on how to plate spaghetti 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 courgettes, diced.
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (optiona)
  • 1 can of tuna chunks in oil, drained.
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese to serve.

Method.

  • Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and fry till transluncent.
  • Add garlic, give a quick stir and add the courgettes. Cook for about seven minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, some salt and cook till tomatoes are mushy, you can add a bit of water to increase the sauce.
  • Let the tomatoes cook for about 9-10 minutes till the sauce is thick.
  • Add the tuna and basil, let heat through and serve.
  • Cook pasta as per package instructions, as the sauce simmers. Toss in the sauce and serve with some cheese on top.

Pasta

Moroccan Beef- My style.

My dearest friends, my love for potatoes is no secret. I love them boiled, baked, fried, stewed…

It has been a while since I shared a recipe so here goes last night’s dinner.

My take on a Moroccan Beef stew, accompanied by potato wedges and coleslaw.

Moroccan Beef Stew

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg beef, cubed
  • 2 onions
  • 1tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves mixed together
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste

Method.

  • Heat oil, add meat and saute for about 15 minutes till it turns a beautiful brown colour.
  • Add onions and mix well till soft, then add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add the ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, mix well but make sure they do not burn.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes, honey, paprika, salt and water. Stir everything well and bring to a boil then lower the heat and let it simmer for an hour when covered.
  • End result is a thick rich stew, serve with starch of choice.

PS: You can add raisins or dried apricots when done, then let it simmer for 15 more minutes uncovered.

For my potatoes, I parboiled them with garlic and salt then pan fried to get the crispy and charred taste. Served sprinkled with salt and freshly ground black pepper. My coleslaw is the easiest, shredded cabbage and carrots, salad cream and a bit of sugar to enhance the flavour.

Kindly try it out and let me know how yours turned out. 🙂

 

Pea and potato curry- My Way

A lot of people have the perception that vegetarian meals are boring. Eh, Wrong!

Vegetarian meals are delicious, nutritious, filling and some are easy and quick to make too. Perfect supper for when you do not want to slave in the kitchen after slaving at work. Hehehehe.

My love for potatoes knows no bounds, and as I have mentioned here, I love Indian food too. So combining the two is easy for me and tasty too.

This meal was last night’s dinner, make sure you keep some to carry for lunch the next day…. I know I am not the only one who finds leftovers tasty. Yum!

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Coriander and mint rice and my take on pea and potato curry. Delish!

Mint and Coriander rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • I bunch finely chopped coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp mint
  • 4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

 

Method.

  • Heat the butter in a pan and add the herbs and spices, make sure they do not burn.
  • Add the rice and stir to mix well. Add the water, cover and let cook till all the water is absorbed.
  • You can uncover once to check seasoning and mix to ensure herbs are well mixed in the rice.
  • You can add a squeeze of lemon too.

Pea and Potato curry. (My way)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • I large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • I large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • Four large potatoes, cut in small pieces
  • 1Cup frozen green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Method

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds
  • Once they splutter, add the onion and sauté till golden brown. Add the garlic ginger paste and ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • Add the curry powder and mix well, you can add a splash of water here to ensure the spices cook and don’t burn.
  • Add the tomatoes and let cook till mushy. You can add the paste here if you wish.
  • Add the carrots and courgette and potatoes and let them fry in the masala mixture till evenly covered, then you can add the peas.
  • Add ¼ cup of hot water and let simmer on low heat till ready.
  • Once ready sprinkle the garam masala, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

PS: I season in stages, a little salt here and there as each layer cooks to ensure taste is to my taste.

Also, add water in 1\4 cups as per how dry or soupy you want the curry to be. Adding to much water will water the flavours down.

Final add, you can add the coriander stalks to the curry; they add a lot of flavour too.

Enjoy.

Weekend Recap: Nairobi Mamba Village.

Saturday

Was Njeri’s day to have her hair done. Nothing much happened. I visited my former work place and it was nice catching up with former colleagues. We stayed in traffic for a long time though. I do not know why I had the not so bright idea of heading to Mombasa Road on the same day as the Mater Heart Run. Sigh.

Saturday dinner was chicken and lemon, chunky fries and coleslaw. I was happy that I would finally get pictures for the recipe so I could update it on the blog but Kenya Power had brighter ideas. Power was gone the whole afternoon till next morning. The food was delicious though. The only photo I got before my phone went off did not do the meal any justice. LOL

Sunday

Went to Church and decided to head to Mamba Village to treat the kids.

Mamba Village is a crocodile farm located along the Langata – Karen Road, just after Stedmark Gardens. The big sign on the road is no longer there so I had to call for directions. We were shocked when we got there. The place has huge grounds but the landscaping and some of the facilities have been severely neglected.

The restaurant grounds are beautiful though, well-kept and clean. And the washrooms were very clean too. Other positives were the service and the food albeit less positive. Service was fast, food was good, though nyama choma was a bit dry (the beef especially), and not marinated as claimed.

You have the option of a la carte or a platter selection. Their buffet is Kes 1500 per person, which didn’t make sense for us to try cause of the kids. We decided to go for a meat platter with three different accompaniments.  That was more than enough for the four of us and we even had to take away some of the meat.

The highlight of the place however are the Nile Crocodiles they have there. They are divided into three sections. The kids, the teens and the mature crocs. The kids were fascinated and Njeri even held a baby croc! Too cute.

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The Mature Crocs basking in the sun

That is a two year old tortoise, isn’t it the cutest?

They also have some tortoises and three female ostriches. Njeri and Leo were bowled over by the tortoises too, especially the baby one that was so small it could fit in her hand. She did not want to let go of it. We had a guide too, Stephanie who took as round, answered all our questions, involved the kids in a little Q and A of what they had seen. Let’s just say we all learnt a lot.

We were also lucky enough to watch the crocs being fed. This is done once a week, every Sunday at 4.30 pm. Messy and stinky affair to be honest but also quite intriguing.

Mamba Village will have to do a lot to reclaim its lost glory, especially now that neighbouring Stedmak Gardens has started a small park too with snakes, ostriches, turtles etc.

Price wise, H and I paid Kes 250 each, Njeri Kes 100 and Leo got in free. Their Facebook page is Mamba village  I found the pricing quite fair and would not mind going there again.

Have a great week ahead and strive to learn something new every day!

Weekend Recap

Friday

A couple of my colleagues decided to check out #nairobiburgerfest to kick off this weekend and why should I not tag along given my love of food?

Venue of choice: Urban Burger at Prestige Plaza, Ngong road .

It is the newest branch of the Urban Gourmet Brand and it has kept up the standard  quite well methinks.

It was quite busy as it was lunch time and burgerfest after all, but the service was on point. I had a cheese burger, my colleagues had the Texan burger, the blue cheese and the fourth was the chilli burger. Unfortunately the chilli burger was not as hot as the waiter made us believe, but delicious nevertheless. We had the burgers with fries, onion rings and coleslaw on the side. We were all stuffed, and had to get doggy bags for the fries. The patties were juicy, the buns fresh, the salsa on point too.  They really do have great burgers and I am delighted that they are now closer to where I work. Yum!

Saturday

Was to take Njeri to dance class then spoil her rotten afterwards. Unfortunately, dance class was canceled and she had a tummy ache so decided to stay home and sleep. I decided to do a bit of shopping for the kids and stock up on groceries. Came across this place; Tracy’s Kids Collection and I am in love. Good quality and beautiful selection of kids wear at really good prices. Her customer care is top notch too and she is located just across the popular Smart Baby at Chaka road. Smart Baby does have good clothes too but awful customer service. I am done with them. Tracy’s  is my new boo!

Rushed home to check on Njeri after grocery shopping. Sigh. Current food prices are a joke! I really do not see how the current government expects us to reelect them.  H was coming home from a work trip, decided to make him some yummy chicken biryani with creamy cucumber salad. I got the biryani recipe here Easy and quick. I did get carried away with the food colour though. LOL.

This was my second time to attempt this dish and I am pretty proud of my effort!

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Chicken biriani with creamy cucumber salad

Creamy cucumber salad recipe. (Serves 3-4)

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and deseeded, and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt, sieved to remain with a smooth curd (takes an hour so to remove the whey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • I small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp dhania chopped finely

Method

  • Mix the curd with the onions, herbs, dhania and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cucumber, mix well and chill till ready to serve.

PS: Ensure the yoghurt drains well and deseed the cucumber so salad is not too watery and runny.

Sunday

I have said here before I love weekend breakfasts, and as a Mother’s Day treat to myself, I made these yummy pear and nutmeg pancakes. I reduced the sugar though to 2 tbsp as I did not want them too sweet.

The taste is out of this world, OMG!!!! I served with some fruits and downed with my usual ginger tea.

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Pear and nutmeg pancakes with an assortment of fruits and jam

This is one recipe I need to try again. Too delicious!!!!

Also check out more recipes on Kaluhi’s blog. They are easy to make, use easily available and affordable ingredients, you cannot fail to have a delicious and filling meal as a result.

After church we stopped over at Wilson airport for the kids to do a bit of plane watching as we caught up with  a good friend. Njeri and Leo loved it! Uncle Alex scored maximum points with them on that one. Headed home as my bestie Vee was around. We caught up on stories of work, food, future dreams etc ; the visit actually ended up being a sleepover as we were still chatting past midnight. LOL.Too bad she has to go back to Uganda tomorrow. It was a great weekend to say the least.

Have a great week ahead!

Potato Love

Potatoes are bae. Love them in all their forms. Roasted, boiled, fried, mashed…..YUM!

We are in the midst of drought and vegetable prices have skyrocketed as supply is less than demand.

Luckily, H travelled to an area known for fluffy potatoes and came back with some plus fresh juicy carrots the kids and I keep snacking on.

I made potato bhajias the other night, with salad and panfried tilapia.

The bhajias were literally eaten off as I cooked by the kids, by the time I plated my portion, they were the few remaining, but hey, as long as we were all fed, it was fine.

For the potatoes, I just sliced them thin and dunked them in a thickish batter of gram flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and finely chopped coriander.

Do not overcrowd in the pan as you fry so they can get crispy and not clump together.

The salad was a basic kachumbari of onion, tomato, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon and a bit of chopped coriander leaves, I just added some grated carrots as these carrots are so sweet and juicy, I had to add them. J

The fish-fresh Tilapia was marinated in lemon juice, seasalt and black pepper, then pan fried. Do not forget to squeeze some lemon just before serving.

A delicious and filling meal.

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Crispy  fries potatoes, tilapia and kachumbari

Pranked!

I do not like pranks. Not one bit.

So my friend Hash decided to play a prank on me a couple of weeks ago.

She is a great baker and always busy, but she was my choice to bake Leo’s third birthday cake. I had booked months before. Yes, months and even paid a deposit. All that was left was for her to deliver.

Hash is meticulous, keeps time and keeps her word so I was sure she did not need to be reminded about the cake.

A week to the delivery date, I texted her. This is the texterversation took place:-

Me: Hey dear, hope you have been well, are we still on this Friday?

Hash: Hey, Huh? What’s happening this Friday? I am not in the Country till the fifteenth, what was it about?

Me: I am to collect my son’s birthday cake.

Hash: Oh Shit! I completely forgot!!!

I started getting a bit mad…

Hash: So, what do we do?

Huh? Was she for real, chic was asking me what to do? I was officially pissed so I just texted H to let him know what had happened. All he did was text back “ It is ok, we will figure out what to do.”

I had to head into a meeting so I did not respond but I was not pleased and how could I get another baker to do a great job in such short notice?

When I got back to the office a couple of hours later, I decided to ask Hash for my refund and get an acquaintance who happened to be an upcoming baker to do the job for me. I was really disappointed as I know Hash is very OCD about her work even if it  was some emergency.

Then my phone beeped ..

Hash: Are you there? I was kidding.

Me: Silent and seething..

Hash: I hope I didn’t give you a mini heart attack, I was just pulling your leg and yes, we are definitely on for Friday.

WHAT? This lady was playing a prank on me the whole time?

Needless to say, Hash is so sweet , you just cannot get mad at her. LOL

Sigh. I was happy though but those two hours were torture for me, no pranking Mama Njeri please, a beg oh!

Here is the wonderful cake she baked for my son.

Leo turns Three!

My  Lil’ man is three! Yipee! Oh how time flies.

It feels like just the other day we came home from the hospital and Njeri was a bit afraid of this constantly crying baby but she also showed him so much love and affection, and still does.

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Isn’t he handsome?

The two have a great bond. Oh they do fight like fiends (which siblings don’t?)but they also have their own little private jokes and games they play with each other.

We did not have anything big planned for his birthday. I am yet to throw a huge party for either of them, I have always preferred a family affair which I know will change over time as they grow.

His cake was this beautiful creation from a good friend who has become a leading baker in her own right. In her words, “it was not her best creation,” but  we loved it.

I really appreciate the fact that she pulled it off as she was also planning her twins’ birthday party and my cake was to be delivered the day before the party. Not withstanding the crazy butter shortage in this town. Argh!

I sent her an online pic of what I wanted and she nailed it! This is his current favorite cartoon. His first birthday was Lightning Mcqueen, Second was Paw Patrol (done by Hash too) and this was Blaze the Monster Machine. I am pretty sure next year will be auto themed too. Hahahaha.

Vanilla with buttercream frosting by the lovely Hashnunish Sultan. You can check out her creations on FB page, Custom Cakes by Hash.

It was a beautiful cake by a beautiful person and the taste was heavenly. Still licking my lips at the memory of the yumminess 🙂

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Vanilla with buttercream frosting Blaze Monster Machine Birthday Cake