Cucumber Papaya/ Pawpaw Slushie

Hey guys! Did you know that when you mix equal parts of cucumber and papaya/ pawpaw, you get a cantaloupe-like taste? The beauty of combining tastes and flavors never ceases to amaze me! I first discovered this way back in 2014 when I was making this papaya slushie. I, however, did not have time to develop this recipe until recently. And now I can finally share it with you. As most of my recipes, I am sharing a basic one which you can tweak and remix however you want. If you don’t fancy frozen drinks,  you can skip the freezing part and just blend the fruits into juice.

What you will Need:

1 C. Cucumber, Cubed

1 C.Papaya/Pawpaw, Cubed

Sweetener (sugar/honey)

1 Tsp. Lemon juice

Observations

  1. Use a fully ripe papaya.
  2. If you are making this for a large group, simply double the recipe
  3. I didn’t include any measurements on the sweetener because our tastes and preferences vary.
  4. If you are using a blender that requires liquid, add about 1/4 -1/2 cup of cold water

Method
Freeze the cubed fruits for about an hour.After an hour, place all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.Serve cold!

Let me know in the comments below how you would remix this frozen drink.

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Ugandan Groundnut Stew Video

If you were to ask me what one challenge I face in blogging, it would be recipe writing. You see I come from a background where food is not measured.  Where cooking is based on instinct and experience. Where you try this and try that until you achieve the taste you are going for. Someone once asked me on Instagram what serving size a certain dish called for and I had a hard time explaining because again, serving sizes are a rare thing in African co​​oking.   You will notice this with sombe (which you can get from an e-book when you  subscribe to my newsletter. Link is in the sidebar). Elaborate and thorough dishes like sombe,  oluwombo, groundnut stew, etc are hard to quantify. You just know when to stop adding salt, spice, water etc. With that said,  I still desire to share these complex thorough dishes with you because  they are amazing  and I am an advocate for preserving  history through and through.

So today I am sharing groundnut/ peanut/ kinyebwa/ kinyobwa soup/ stew because it is really great and also because I have been trying  to perfect this kinyebwa for as long as I can remember. ​There are many way to make groundnut stew and every person has a method that works for them. I am sharing this method because, after many trials, this is the one that has been yielding the best results.​ Groundnut stew is basically a thick rich stew made out of ground/ punded groundnuts (also known as peanuts).

Here are a few things to keep in mind while making this stew: 

  1. The stew gets its dull pink color from the pink coating of the nuts that we prefer not to remove although there are people who remove the coating. 
  2. The stew is made by simply boiling water, adding the ground nut paste  and salt and simmering til it reduces to a thick rich aromatic  paste. 
  3. There are factory made pastes ( I made this Nile perch stew with the paste) which can be found all over the country but you can make your own groundnuts at home by using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. I used the latter. 
  4. Some people prefer to use roasted ground nuts while others don’t. The roasted nut paste heightens the flavor by adding a sweet rich toasty flavor.
  5. Groundnut stew is sensitive and can spoil any time. Use less condiments and vegetables and make sure that it does not spill over.
  6. Groundnut stew requires a lot of patience. It can cook for up to 4 hours depending on the amount you are making and the consistency and aroma you are trying to achieve.
  7. If you notice, I have not included a specific measurable stew and that is because this stew doesn’t have strict measurements. It depend on how many people you are cooking for, the amount of ground nut paste you have and the consistency you are trying to achieve. With that said, I used about 250 grams of ground nuts which is roughly a cup  and about 4- 5 cups of boiled water.

Now that you have known the basics of the stew, watch the video below to see how I made this stew from beginning to end.

Let me know in the comments below, have you tried ground nut stew? How do you make yours?

 

Loaded Bean and Dodo (Amaranth) Salad

Starting this blog, I was young and naive. All I knew is that I wanted to cook exciting, interesting and delicious food. Years later,  I now understand the value of food, using local produce,  using fresh produce and being creative.  This salad was conceived after binge watching the amazing Fat Salt Acid Heat docu-series. I was blown away by the beauty of how the most basic of ingredients yield some of the best flavors.  When you think of beans and dodo and potatoes individually, a salad rarely comes to your mind.  But when the same ingredients are transformed through different techniques, what you get is a beautiful vibrant salad that is so satisfying and complex in flavors.  This is one of the main reasons I keep slaving away in the kitchen like a mad woman because the ecstasy of discovering something else a common produce can be is unmatched! I had a hard time naming this salad because it has dodo,  masala potatoes, sweet and charred carrots,  beans, green onions for a spicy kick, pumpkin seeds for a crunch and a sprinkle of cheese to marry all the flavors together. This would have made a really long title. Ha!
What you will need: 
1 C. Beans, boiled and drained
1C. Potatoes, cut into wedges
1 C. Carrots, julienned
A handful of dodo(amaranth greens), steamed
1/4 C. Green onions, chopped
1/4 C. Nuts
1/4 C. Cheese, grated (optional)
Juice from half an orange
1 Tsp. Soy sauce
1 Tsp. Ground cumin
1 Tsp. curry powder
1/2 Tsp. chili flakes
Black pepper
Salt
Observations: 
  1. Using cheese is optional.
  2. Use salt carefully keeping in mind that all the individual salted components will be combined. With that said, I salted only the potatoes. Then sprinkled salt on the finished salad.
  3. You can use any type of beans. I used red beans.
  4. You can use any nuts available to you.
  5. I recommend a non-stick pan to avoid burning
Method:
  1. Place a pan on fire, Wait for it to get hot. Add about a teaspoon of oil.
  2. Add the potato wedges. Shallow fry the wedges till half way cooked. Make sure you keep stirring to avoid burning.
  3. After they reach the half-way cooked point, add the salt, cumin, curry powder and black pepper and mix well. Let them cook till tender.
  4. Remove the potatoes from fire and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan, add a half teaspoon of oil.
  6. Add the carrots to the oil. Add the juice of half an orange.
  7. Let the carrots  shallow fry till the orange juice has reduced to a thick sauce and the carrots start to slightly char.
  8. Remove the carrots from the pan and set aside.
  9. Using the same pan still, add half a teaspoon of oil and saute the green onions.
  10. Add the soy sauce, and chili flakes to the frying onions.
  11. Fry the onions till they turn a bright green but still have a crunch.
  12. Remove the onions from fire
To assemble the salad
Layer the salad by starting with the boiled beans. Next add the potatoes. Next add the steamed dodo. Add the caramelized carrots on top. Next add the onions. Sprinkle your nuts/seeds on top. Finish off with grated cheese.
Serve with a glass of wine or iced tea.
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