Warm and Delicious Maize (Corn) Cookies

Easy to make moist and crumbly interior and golden crunchy exterior corn flour cookies. These corn flour cookies can be made in less than 60 minutes with ingredients readily available in your kitchen/ pantry. 

If you have been following @akitcheninuganda on social media, then you know that last week I was a presenter at the Culinary Institute of America‘s 22nd Annual Worlds of Flavor Virtual Conference and Festival where I talked about Ugandan food. To watch the replay of my presentation, follow this link here.

Remember this cornbread I shared a few months back? Well, I am back with its cousin in form of a cookie. This cookie feels like a warm hug on a cold day. Think of your favorite meal when it has rained non-stop  and the weather is miserable and gloomy. Yes this cookie feels like that! And it doesn’t need any elaborate set of ingredients to make.  The corn flour (maize flour) adds a warm rich and crumbly texture to the cookie. I made it twice in a span of 24 hours because it is that good. 

Warm and Delicious Maize (Corn) Cookie Recipe

What you will need: 
1 C. Corn flour/Maize Flour
2 C. Wheat flour
1 C. Powdered milk
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter /margarine
2 eggs
1 Tsp. Black pepper
1/2 Tsp. Allspice/Cloves

Handful of raisins (optional)
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tsp. Vanilla essence
2 Tsp. Lemon/lime juice
1/2 Tsp. Baking soda

Observations:

  1. I used yellow maize four. You can use white maize flour which works equally well. 
  2. You can easily double the ingredients to make more cookies.
  3. I added raisins since they are what I had available. You can add chocolate chips as well. 
  4. When the cookies are done baking they will be soft. Wait for them to cool down and harden.

Method

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, beat (whisk) the sugar and butter till loose and fluffy 
  3. Add the eggs to the beaten sugar and butter and mix well. 
  4. Next add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients (i.e. the mixed flours) into the whipped butter and egg mixture while mixing. A firm dough should form when all the flour is used up. 
  6. Using a spoon/ ice cream scoop or your hands, form balls from the dough and place them on a greased baking tray. 
  7. Bake for 25-30 at 300 degrees F
  8. Yields 15+ cookies

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

 

How to Make Pumpkin Greens

Lightly fried nutritious and delicious pumpkin greens. Great for stew when cooked with groundnuts and as a side dish when lightly sauteed. Video demonstration attached. 

There is a misconception that African food is not diverse, varied and nuanced. This misconception is heightened by international aid organizations marketing hunger to donors. I am sure you have all seen undignified images of Africans one way or the other. But what they don’t tell you is that most of our food is plant based, medicinal and freshly grown. Take pumpkin leaves for example, not only do we eat the pumpkin but find use and nutritional value in the greens as well. This is true for so many edible plants and vegetables on the continent and explains why we eat a lot of leafy greens. To prepare pumpkin greens, we remove the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf which I cannot quite find a word for in English. I hope the video demonstration below makes it easier to understand. Pumpkin greens are cooked in various forms depending on which region a person comes from.

Pumpkin Greens Recipe

What you will need: 

3-4 Handfuls of chopped pumpkin greens
3 Garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 Small Green pepper, Diced
1 Tsp. Curry powder
1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
2-3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt

Observations: 

  1. Use soft and tender pumpkin leaves to cook. 
  2. Removing the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf helps make the greens softer.  
  3. Adding salt and baking soda helps remove impurities from the greens. 
  4. Letting the greens sit in water allows all the sad to settle at the bottom. 

Method

  1. Peel off the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf stalk and thinly slice the greens. 
  2. Add water in a large bowl. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda. Add the greens and let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Thoroughly wash the greens and then drain them completely.
  3. Place a clean pan/ pot on high fire. Add oil and let it get hot.
  4. Add the garlic and onions and le then cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Next, add the tomatoes and green pepper  and stir well. 
  6. Le the tomatoes cook until tender. This can take about 3-5 minutes. Once they are tender, use your wooden spoon to mash them. 
  7. Add your pumpkin greens and mix well. Let them cook for about 5-10 minutes or until tender. 
  8. Serve with your favorite meal.

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

Sweet Mandazi Pudding

Mandazi Pudding. Have a party and you couldn’t care for cake that much, grab some mandazi, milk, eggs, sugar and all the aromatics and all of a sudden you have this impressive beast of a dessert.

Mandazi: The ultimate east African snack. Although this snack has multiple variations in each county, region and household, you can be assured that the feelings Mandazi evoke are the same across worlds. If you want a quick snack for visitors, Mandazi come to the rescue. In need of a quick but filling breakfast, Mandazi and some ka chai will have you sorted out. In need of a quick lunch without the hustle of looking for a descent eatery, Mandazi has got your back. I cannot recall the number of times I have had a pack of Mandazi on me for emergency situations while running errands in Kampala. What I am trying to say is that Mandazi are versatile. And to be honest they are perfect on their own. So perfect that they don’t need to be enhanced.

BUT.

Just imagine with me, if you will, what would happen when you take this trusty and unassuming snack and drown it in a bath of milk, eggs, oil or butter, sugar and all the warm spices and flavors, then bake it until it has soaked in all the milky goodness. Top it with thick and wickedly sweet condensed milk and sprinkle with some raisins. wouldn’t that be such a delicious treat? See, what happens now is that you have a completely different snack. I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves. Have a party and you  don’t care for cake that much, grab some mandazi, milk, eggs sugar and all the aromatics and all of a sudden you have this impressive beast of a dessert. I made it for my sibling’s birthday and I didn’t miss cake at all.

Sweet Mandazi Pudding Recipe

What you will need:
12-14 mandazi
1 can condensed milk
1 C. Water
2 eggs
1/4 C. Oil/ Butter
Handful of raisins
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp. Ginger, ground
1/2 Tsp. Cloves, ground
1/2 Tsp. Lemon zest
1 Tsp. Vanilla essence
1 Tbsp. Lemon/Lime juice
A pinch of salt

Observations

  1. I didn’t add any sugar since the condensed milk is already heavily sweetened.
  2. If you are using salted butter, you can omit the pinch of salt.
  3. Letting the pudding rest after baking will allow it to cool down and for easy removal from the baking pan.

Method

  1. Break the mandazi into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  2. In a clean bowl mix condensed milk, water, eggs, oil/butter, vanilla, lemon juice and salt till a thick milky syrup is formed.  Stir in the nutmeg, ginger, cloves and lemon zest.
  3. Soak the broken mandazi pieces  and raisins in the milk bath for 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer into a greased cake/bread pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.
  5. Let the pudding rest for another 15 -20 minutes before serving
  6. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.