Coriander Garlic Ginger Paste

Instant flavor boosting garlic ginger paste with coriander and green chilies. Great for adding flavor to any savory dish you make. Keeps well refrigerated. 

Flavoring and spicing food is something I eagerly look forward to because as someone who grew up with two options of Harambe Kanzali (curry powder) and Royco to add to most of the food, tasting and savoring foods with acquired tastes and flavors is intriguing. Yes there are staple condiments such as tomatoes and onions and the occasional garlic, that will feature in almost any dish but we Ugandans are known to spice our foods sparingly. Ginger, to me, was something I associated with sweet foods such as tea, candied ginger, and ginger cookies.  It isn’t until recently (not more than 10 years honestly), that I started to fully embrace it in savory foods. In fact I have also started adding black pepper to my milk tea as it adds a spicy peppery punch. But that is a story for another day. 

After realizing that ginger ground with garlic and added as a base to stews created an amazing fragrant flavor, I got to work. Adding my own twist to it, I added coriander  and green chilies hence the green color. And because I like efficiency so much, I made it in bulk and to be honest, it reduces prep time. So if you would love to try your hand at making bulk ginger garlic paste, here is the recipe:

What you will need: 

1 C.  Garlic
1 C. Ginger
1 C. Cooking oil
1/4 C. Green chilies (optional)
Handful of fresh coriander leaves

Method

  • Blend everything till pureed.
  • Transfer the paste into a clean sealable container. Refrigerate for up to 2 months (the oil helps preserve the paste). 
  • Use a teaspoon every time you cook for an instant flavor boost.

Have you used or made garlic ginger paste? Let me know in the comments below. 

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How to Make Posho/ Ugali Using Rice Video

Learn how to make mock posho/ugali using rice. This posho, served with a delicious rich and hearty stew, almost passes for the real one. 

If you have been to most parts of East and Southern Africa, you will notice that maize is a popular ingredient in our diet. So much so that we pride ourselves in having multiple variations regionally. I remember my childhood dotted with multiple trips to the family garden to plant, weed and harvest this maize and then gleefully roast it by the fire or steam it overnight to be eaten as breakfast. In Fact if you have passed through the boarding school system (an educational system left behind by the colonial legacy and a type of rite of passage) on the continent, then you know that maize is on the menu 7 days a week, all school year. Rinse and repeat. Now imagine my utter shock and surprise when I realized that maize as we know it is not native to Africa. It was introduced through the transatlantic trade. It made me think of how a crop once foreign has seeped into the fabric of what we call society now. So much so that we cannot isolate ourselves from it. So as an adult I found myself craving this posho, something I once distasted in my younger years, that I decided to make a version of it using rice while in the diaspora. You will be amazed at how it almost tastes like actual posho. And with a rich hearty stew, this posho will hit all the right spots. 

 Posho Rice Recipe

What you will need: 

3 C. Rice
Water
 
Observations:
  1. Make sure to use rice that is well sorted. 
  2. Use short grain (regular) rice
  3. You can use a ratio of 2:1 of white rice to brown rice to achieve brown posho.
  4. You can reduce the rice in half f you are cooking for a lesser number of people. 
  5. If you want the posho to be a bit coarse, blend your rice well but not entirely smooth.
  6. If you find your posho a bit hard and would like to water it down, add about a cup of water to the cooking posho, cover the pan and let the water come to a gentle boil, remove the lid and continue mingling to achieve your a desired thickness.
 
 
Method
  1. Soak rice in water  for 6+ hours or overnight.
  2. Wash the rice and drain the water. 
  3. Add the soaked rice in a blender and add enough water to cover the rice.
  4. Blend till smooth. 
  5. Place a pot/pan with 2 cups of water on fire and let it come to a boil. 
  6. Add your smoothly blended rice to the boiling water. Stir the rice continuously to avoid the formation of lumps. 
  7. The rice will start to thicken as you stir and eventually harden.
  8. keep mixing using the cut and fold method to mingle the posho until a firm meal is formed. This can take from 10-15 minutes. 
  9. Reduce your fire, cover the pot and let the posho simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  10. Remove from fire and serve with your favorite rich hearty stew like this one, this one, this one, this one, or this one.

This is the last post for the year 2020! Thank you for always supporting this blog. See you in February of 2021. Happy holidays and a Happy New Year in Advance!

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How to Cook Maleewa (Smoked Bamboo Shoots) video

Maleewa: Ugandan smoked bamboo shoots native to the Bugisu  region in Uganda. A detailed video showing you how to prepare this delicacy as stew.

Maleewa. This lesser known but essential food is a staple in eastern Uganda among the Bugisu region. The bamboo trees that grow around Mountain Elgon are harvested when still tender. They are then smoked and dried for preservation.  Maleewa is believed to aid in longevity and people who eat it live longer because of its nutritious value. Because of this belief, it is served  to every special visitor as a sign of respect and love and on special occasion such as weddings. Maleewa is usually cooked with either groundnut paste or simsim (sesame) paste. Preparing maleewa is not hard although the process is detailed. In order to make it easier to understand the process of preparing maleewa for cooking,  I made this video below.

 

What you will need: 

Maleewa shoots (about 2-3)

Groundnut paste (about half a cup)

1 Tsp. Baking Soda/ Rock salt

Salt

1 Tsp. Curry powder

1/2 Tsp. Black pepper (optional)

Observations

  1. Washing the maleewa till the water is clear removes the extra smokiness that may cause it to become bitter.
  2. Do not discard the hard parts/nodes of the bamboo. Instead use them alongside other vegetables to make vegetable stock. They add a unique smoky flavor.
  3. Depending on the size of the maleewa, one shoot can yield about a cup of chopped maleewa to cook with.
  4. Since groundnut stew is sensitive, it is minimally flavored. I only used curry powder, salt and pepper. You can flavor it however you want.

Method

  1. Add water in a large bowl/ pot. Add the baking soda/ rock salt. submerge your dried smoked maleewa and let it soak for about 3 hours. It can soak over night as well.
  2. After 3 hours, remove the maleewa from the soda water. Wash the maleewa gently until the water is clear. This can take up to 4 washes. Once the water is clear, drain the maleewa.
  3. Cut the soft parts of the maleewa while skipping the hard nodes. Slice the maleewa however you want to and set a side.
  4. Prepare your groundnut paste for cooking. Watch this video to see how it is made.
  5. Once the groundnut stew starts to simmer,  add the maleewa, curry powder, salt and black pepper and stir well. Let the stew simmer until it has reduced down to a thick richness.
  6. Remove from fire and serve with your favorite starch.

Have you ever had maleewa before? If yes, what was your experience.   Leave a comment below.

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