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Emancipation weekend cooking

 Kenyan dishes are easy to make and use simple ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store. Here are some of the best and popular Kenyan recipes to complete your Emancipation ethnic cooking weekend.

The African cuisine is rich in spices. Popular Swahili cuisine includes pilau and wali (rice cooked in coconut milk) served with a thick meat stew or fish.

A classic favourite among Swahilis is the rice pilau (rice pilaf) dish—a twist to our local pelau.


 n Swahili Rice Pelau


Ingredients

(6 servings)

• 1 lb goat, mutton or beef cubes

• 4 garlic cloves

• 9 cardamom pods

• 4 tbsp vegetable oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 3 cups rice

• 10 whole black peppercorns

• 8 whole cloves

• 8 cinnamon sticks

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• ¼ cup cumin seed powder

• 4 small tomatoes

• 6 cups water      • salt

1. Boil the meat in salted water until tender. 

2. Crush the garlic and cardamom

together with 2 tbsp water using a

mortar and pestle. 

3. Saute the onion until it is golden brown.

4. Add the rice, meat, garlic and

cardamom mixture, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and cumin seed powder. 

5. Cook covered over medium heat

until all are nicely brown, about 10

minutes. Add the tomatoes.

6. Cook and stir until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked down to the

consistency of a sauce. 

7. Add the 6 cups water to the rice mixture, bring to a boil and then cook over very low heat (while covered) for another 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. 

8. Serve with kachumbari—also known as East African cole slaw and made of fresh tomato and onion salad.

 n Swahili Rice Pelau


Ingredients

(6 servings)

• 1 lb goat, mutton or beef cubes

• 4 garlic cloves

• 9 cardamom pods

• 4 tbsp vegetable oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 3 cups rice

• 10 whole black peppercorns

• 8 whole cloves

• 8 cinnamon sticks

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• ¼ cup cumin seed powder

• 4 small tomatoes

• 6 cups water      • salt

1. Boil the meat in salted water until tender. 

2. Crush the garlic and cardamom

together with 2 tbsp water using a

mortar and pestle. 

3. Saute the onion until it is golden brown.

4. Add the rice, meat, garlic and

cardamom mixture, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and cumin seed powder. 

5. Cook covered over medium heat

until all are nicely brown, about 10

minutes. Add the tomatoes.

6. Cook and stir until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked down to the

consistency of a sauce. 

7. Add the 6 cups water to the rice mixture, bring to a boil and then cook over very low heat (while covered) for another 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. 

8. Serve with kachumbari—also known as East African cole slaw and made of fresh tomato and onion salad.

See recipe below.


 n Kachumbari


Ingredients

(4 servings)

• 1/4 head green cabbage,

shredded

• 2 carrots, grated

• 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

• 1 red chilli, seeds removed and chopped

• 1 white onion, thinly sliced

• 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into half-moons

• salt


Mix all ingredients together with a large spoon and season with the salt. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving to let the salt draw the moisture from the vegetables to create its own sauce.


 n Kenyan Roasted

Lemon Chicken


Ingredients 

• 1 whole chicken (skin peeled)

• juice of 3 lemons

• 1 tbsp paprika

• salt to taste


1. Marinate the chicken with the

ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge.

2. The next day, prepare the fire in the jiko (coal pot) and roast the chicken from 30 minutes to 1 hour very slowly by

turning the sides to avoid charring.

3. I have not used oil here completely. The fat in the chicken was good enough.

I like this way of eating the chicken rather than to fry it. 

4. Make sure the chicken is cooked properly. Slow roasting will help to achieve this.

5. Serve with salads of your choice. It tastes better with cut slices of cucumber, tomatoes and onion.

6. Serve with rice pilaf.


 n Tropical Fruit Dessert


Ingredients

(6 servings)

• 1 large pawpaw, peeled, seeded and cubed

• 2 large bananas, sliced

• 4 passion fruits

• juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon

1. Scoop the passion fruit into a large bowl.

2. Add the pawpaw and

bananas. 

3. Toss together gently.

4. Pour the lemon or lime, and toss again. 

5. Serve into small fruit bowls.


 n Maandazi (Sweet Donut)


Ingredients

(makes about 30 pieces)

• 1 cup butter (or margarine)

• 5 tbsp sugar

• 2 large eggs, beaten

• ½ cup milk

• 6 ground cardamom seeds

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 4 ½ cups all-purpose wheat flour

• ½ cup water

• 6 cups vegetable oil


1. Mix and whisk together margarine and sugar.

2. Add eggs and milk and mix.

3. Add the cardamom and baking powder, then add the flour and water. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. 

4. Knead well until the dough is smooth and soft.

5. Cut the dough into 3 balls and roll out each to about 12 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick. 

6. Slice into 2-inch strips and cut into squares. 

7. Heat the oil in a deep

frying pan. 

8. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop in one

maandazi. 

9. If it sinks then floats to the top, the oil is ready.

10. Cook the maandazi a few pieces at a time (do not overcrowd them) in the pan. 

11. Turn them often until they are golden brown. 

12. Remove from the pan, drain and cool. 

13. Serve with hot milk, coffee or tea (chai).


 n Fruit with Chocolate Sauce


Ingredients

(4 servings)

• ½ pawpaw, cubed

• 3 bananas, sliced

• ½ pineapple, cut into chunks

• 1 cup orange juice

• 1/3 cup powdered drinking

chocolate or chocolate milk powder

• warm water

• 1 cup vanilla ice cream



1. Mix the fruit together and add the juice.

2. Let it stand for several hours at room temperature, mixing and

coating the fruit with the juice

occasionally. 

3. Make a light chocolate sauce by mixing the chocolate powder with a small amount of warm water.

4. Divide the fruit and juice

between 4 glass bowls. 

5. Add ¼ cup ice cream to each bowl and top with 1 full tablespoon of the chocolate sauce.



 n Coconut and

Sweet Potato Pudding


Ingredients

(serves 6)

• 1 cup fresh ground coconut

• 1 ½ cups sweet potatoes, boiled or mashed

• 2 eggs

• ¾ cup sugar

• ¾ cup milk

• ½ cup water

• 4 tbsp melted butter

• ½ tsp mixed spices

• ½ tsp cinnamon


1. Mix sugar, sweet potatoes and coconut together with a spoon until smooth.

2. Add butter, milk and water and beat

thoroughly. 

3. Beat the eggs slightly, then gradually beat them into the mixture. 

4. Add the spices and cinnamon. Continue beating until the mixture is creamy and very smooth.

5. Pour the mixture into a greased dish and bake for 30 minutes in a hot oven, until golden brown. 

6. You can serve it hot or cold.

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