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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Pumpkin and Egg Fried Rice

December is upon us! I feel like I say this every time a new month approaches. It is only because time is really flying by so fast and I cannot keep up! Can you believe that in less than 30 days we will be in 2019. I cannot believe it yet! The festivities are officially in full swing. Even I can feel it. I ended up making steamed cinnamon rolls(I don’t have an oven) in the middle of last week in my InstaStories. Follow me on Instagram (@akitcheninuganda) to see more of the behind the scenes and random musings. Anyhow in the spirit of the holidays, I present you with this pumpkin and egg fried rice. This fried rice is ideal for a quick meal fix or for brunch because it is honestly easy to put together. If you have some pumpkin in your kitchen, you have to try this.

 

What you will need:

2 C. Pumpkin, cubed

4 C. Cooked rice

2 Large Eggs

1 Large Green pepper, diced

1 Large onion, diced,

1 Tsp. Garlic, minced

1 Tsp. Ginger, minced

1 Tbsp. Soy sauce

1 Spring of thyme

Salt

Black pepper

1 Tbsp. Oil

 

Observations:

  1. I used a young pumpkin with a tender cover. If your pumpkin has a hard cover, you will have to remove it.
  2. This is how I made my rice. If you have a variety of vegetables, you can add them for more texture and flavor.
  3. Aside from thyme, garlic, ginger and black pepper, I didn’t add any more spices. The rice is colored yellow from the pumpkin.

 

Method

  1. Place pan on medium heat. Add Oil.
  2. Next add the cubed pumpkin and the sprig of thyme. Let the pumpkin shallow fry.
  3. While pumpkin is cooking, crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them.
  4. Once the pumpkin has cooked through (this may take 5 – 7 minutes) remove it from the pan and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan and flavored oil, make scrambled eggs.
  6. Return the pumpkin to the pan with the scrambled eggs.
  7. Next add the onion, garlic, ginger and green pepper. Mix till an aroma is released. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.
  8. Next add the rice and mill till well incorporated.
  9. Serve hot.

What are your plans this December?

Use the #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

Easy to make Lemongrass flavoured Uganda Bagiya

Lemongrass Maize Bagiya-2

I have, for the longest time, wondered whether dessert or anything baked/fried can be made from maize flour alone with out adding any other flour like wheat. And my recipes with maize flour on its own have failed because maize flour does not have gluten to bind it when water is added. This little triumphant experiment started out as me wanting to make churros because they seem extremely easy to make and ended up into these sweet bagiya because I have no other name for them really. Also because the sweet aroma of lemon grass is irresistible. I borrowed the churro making method but instead used plain maize flour.  These sweet bagiyas are a fun and useful way to utilize your maize flour and they make a great easy to make snack. I could not stop munching away at these.

What you will need:

1 C. Maize flour

1 C. Water

1 Tbsp. Butter/margarine

1 egg

3 Tbsp. Sugar

A handful of lemon grass leaves

½ Tsp. Vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

Oil for frying

Observation:

  1. If you are using a plastic, like I did, cut a small hole at the corner of the plastic and pipe your batter into the hot oil.
  2. If you are using a piping gun, select a nozzle with the tiniest hole and attach it to the gun.
  3. Wait for the mixture to cool down before adding the egg so that the egg does not cook.
  4. Make sure the heat is medium because maize flour burns easily.
  5. Do not over crowd the pan.

Lemongrass Maize Bagiya-5

Method:

  1. Add water to a saucepan and add the lemon grass.
  2. On high heat, bring the water to a boil.
  3. In a bowl, add maize flour, sugar and salt and mix.
  4. Once the water has boiled and has released a sweet fragrant aroma, remove from fire and sieve the lemongrass leaves.
  5. Pour the hot water immediately into the flour mixture and mix until there is no flour visible.
  6. Add the vanilla and butter and mix well.
  7. Set the mixture aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. After the ‘posho’ has cooled down, add the egg and mix till a clear batter is achieved.
  9. Place your batter in a plastic/Piping gun and pipe into hot oil.
  10. Fry the bagiya till golden brown.
  11. Remove the bagiya from the oil and drain.

Lemongrass Maize Bagiya-4

 

Let them cool then snack away!