Ugali

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 green chilli, chopped

750ml/26fl oz/3¼ cups water

250g/9oz/2/3 cups medium or coarse white cornmeal, or polenta or maize flour

Salt, to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and chopped chilli, and roast for 1 minute.

Add the water and salt to the pan and bring to the boil.

Pour the cornmeal into the water very slowly in order to avoid any lumps. Keep stirring until all the lumps have broken down. (Stirring is the secret to a perfectly smooth ugali.)

Cook the ugali over a medium heat for 6–8 minutes, stirring constantly. The ugali is done when it pulls away from the side of the pan and does not stick. Take off the heat and cover until you are ready to serve.

Serve with sukuma wiki, daal or vegetable curry.

Sukuma Wiki

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, plus extra to serve

500g/1lb 2oz collard greens or kale, washed

½ tsp ground turmeric

Handful of chopped peanuts

Salt, to taste

250ml/9fl oz/generous 1 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Heat the oil in a medium-size pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, black pepper and onions and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the greens, turmeric, peanuts and salt and cover with the water. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes until the greens are tender and the water has evaporated. I like my greens crunchy and firm so I cook for a shorter time. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the lemon juice.

Serve hot, garnished with extra tomatoes. The best way to eat sukuma wiki is with Ugali or Kenyan Chapati.

Githeri

Serves 4

Ingredients

280g/10oz/1¾ cups dried kidney beans (maharagwe), or 2 x 400g/14oz cans kidney beans

3–4 fresh corn on the cob, husks and strands removed, or 1 x 340g/12oz can sweetcorn/corn

1 tbsp sunflower oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1–2 green chillies, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled

140g/5oz/1 cup peanuts

¼ tsp ground turmeric

Salt, to taste

Juice of ½ a lemon, to serve

Coriander/cilantro leaves, to serve

Method

Soak the dried kidney beans overnight. Rinse the pre-soaked beans, put them in a large pan along with the corn and add a pinch of salt and enough boiling water to cover. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat for 45–60 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside, saving the water to be used as stock. Omit this process if using canned beans and corn – simply drain and rinse and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat; add the cumin seeds and onions and fry for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook over a low heat for about 6 minutes until mushy. If the mixture begins to stick to the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water.

Next add the chillies and peanuts, then tip in the cooked potatoes, corn and beans, and add just enough water to cover. Add the turmeric and salt to taste and let the stew simmer over a low heat for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the flavours are well combined.

Just before serving, add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve on its own or with chapatis.

Strawberry Faluda

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp basil seeds

250ml/9fl oz/generous 2 cups full fat milk or plant-based milk of your choice

200g/7oz/2 cups fresh strawberries (or frozen and defrosted)

10g of agar agar/china grass or wheat vermicelli

3 tbsp rose syrup

2 tbsp sugar

For the topping

Vanilla Icecream

Flaked almonds and pistachios

Method

Soak the basil seeds in warm water in a bowl and leave for 10 minutes, whisking from time to time, until thick and jelly-like. (Alternatively, you can leave it overnight in the refrigerator).

Soak the agar agar vermicelli in boiling water for 5-6 minutes until soft. Take it out in sieve to remove the excess water.

Place all the strawberry, milk, and sugar in a blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

To assemble, spoon the basil seeds, rose syrup, and vermicelli into 4 large wine glasses, pour the milkshake over and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of flaked almonds and pistachios.

Best serves chilled.

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Mandazi

Makes 16

Ingredients

450g/1lb/scant 3½ cups plain/all-purpose flour

1 tsp fast-action/instant yeast

7 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ghee or butter

240ml/8fl oz/1 cup coconut cream

Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

To serve (optional)

Icing/confectioners’ sugar and/or ground cinnamon, for dusting

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add the butter and mix, then slowly add the coconut cream and knead into a dough.

Leave the dough for 3–4 hours in a warm place (or leave overnight if you can) until just about doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 8 balls and roll each into a circle about 15cm/6in in diameter. Cut each circle into quarters.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and, once hot, drop in the triangles one at a time, without overfilling the pan. The oil should be hot before frying otherwise the mandazi won’t puff up. (You can do a test by dropping a little of the dough into the oil; it should immediately sizzle and float to the surface, and be golden brown within a minute.)

Cook for about 2 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Drain and leave to cool.

Sprinkle with icing sugar or ground cinnamon if serving as a dessert. Alternatively, you can serve the breads with Coconut and Mango Chutney and Kenyan Masala Chai.