Sweet Potato Yeast Donuts

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I have always liked loved dusted donuts. Donuts so generously dusted you would think they are glazed. Donuts so fluffy that they almost melt when teeth are sunk into them ( I know my teeth are definitely not happy right now but I’m going to ignore them). For the longest time, I had shied away from making yeasted donuts for fear of messing them up.  Because of this, I have hunted for a  donut fitting the criteria (should be yeasted, soft to the touch,  and dusted) all over Kampala in vain!  But then Black Panther came out last week and it got me wondering. What would the majestic peoples of Wakanda eat?  I’m imagining elaborate and equally glorious meals.  But until I watch the movie and see for myself, here is a soft-to-the-touch, yeasted,  and dusted donut with equal parts of sweet potato. I know you are wondering,  sweet potato donuts (but still they are white!)? The sweet potatoes add a chewy but still soft texture and a complex flavor. The donuts remain white because of the type of sweet potato I used.  I am going to wait for you to make these so we can go see Black Panther together. Deal?

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What you will need:

2 C.  Sweet potatoes, mashed

1 Tsp. Sugar

1 C. Water

2 C.  Flour

3 Tbsp. Sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 C. Oil

2 Tsp. Yeast

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Additional 1/2 C.  Flour

Lumonde donuts-AKIU

Observations:

To make the mashed sweet potatoes: Peel the potatoes and wash them. Bring them to a boil till soft and tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a wooden spoon while still hot and soft.

The additional half cup of flour is to be used if the dough still feels sticky. Use it sparingly though because you do not want to have doughy donuts.

Make sure that the oil is not too hot.  The goal is to achieve a donut that is cooked through while still retaining that golden brown color.

If you have a larger pan (or a frier) you can fry more than one donut at once. I had a small pan so I fried them one by one.

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Method:

Add the lemon juice, vanilla and the 3 tablespoons of sugar in the mashed potatoes and mix well.  In a separate bowl,  add one cup of warm water and the 1 tsp of sugar. Stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the yeast and let it grow for about five minutes. Once the yeast has formed, add the mashed potatoes in the yeast mixture and mix well. Next add the oil and mix. Next add the flour spoon by spoon while stirring. Cover bowl and let the dough rise for an hour. After an hour,  punch and knead the dough for about 2 minutes. On a clean flat surface, use your hands to spread out the dough to about an inch in thickness.  Use a wide rimmed cup or glass to cut out the donuts and a small holed object (think a plastic water bottle) to cut out the donut holes. Repeat the process till all the dough is used up.  Let the donuts rise again for another 10 minutes before frying them.  Place a saucepan on medium heat. Add oil (enough to submerge the donuts) and let it heat up.

Fry the donuts till golden brown.  Drain donuts of excessive oil using a paper napkin.  Dust generously with powdered sugar. Let cool.

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Serve.

 

 

 

5 Star Dining at Chapter Two – Skyz Hotel 

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When you think of 5 Star Dining, it is very rare that Uganda will come to your mind. But with economic growth and technological advancements, Kampala is gradually changing the definition of luxury dining and accommodation. One of the major key players is Skyz Hotel. A hotel that’s relatively new on the scene but one  that has amassed great reviews already. Last week I was keen on finding out what was so amazing about this new place and honestly I was blown away.

Follow this link to read more in depth about the hotel and it’s offerings.

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Skyz Hotel lives up to its name by situating itself on the highest hill in Kampala. It also boasts of having one of the few 5 Star Restaurants in Kampala called Chapter Two, which provides quite the dining experience. Chapter Two has a bright airy and luxurious feel to it.  Because pictures do not do it any justice, you should go see the exquisite restaurant yourself.

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At Chapter Two,  they have a vibrant and colorful menu that made it hard for me to select what I wanted to eat (I wanted to sample everything!). You can order from a range of their perfectly crafted salads for a light but fulfilling meal or you can go all in for a full three course meal.

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For starters, I ordered Thai sweet chilli soy chicken. It came with a very colorful mango salad. The chicken was tender and juicy and was perfectly seasoned. The sweet chili sauce helped bring all the flavors together really well. The salad was the perfect  cool and sweetness with a hint of tang which complimented the chicken well.  For the main meal,  I ordered goat stew. It came with chapati and steaming hot rice.  The goat meat was tender and flavorful. All this was washed down with a refreshing fruit juice cocktail.

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I had the chance to sit down with the restaurant’s  Sous Chef, Patrick. He explained that the menu is specifically crafted to cater to the hotel’s international client base. Most of the dishes on the menu are fusion which makes it interesting and definitely worth a try. Patrick, who was really fun to talk to, was generous enough to give us an exclusive kitchen tour.

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Skyz Hotel has a fully functional kitchen with industrial grade equipment. The kitchen is divided into a hot kitchen; where all the hot food is prepared, a cold kitchen; where all cold food like salads are prepared and a pastry kitchen; where all the divine cakes and heavenly pastries are made. The kitchen has multiple cold rooms which are neatly sectioned to store meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and cooked food separately. All these the Sous Chef walked us through while explaining every big and small detail. The kitchen layout is functional enough to allow easy movement in and out. In addition to Patrick, all the  kitchen staff were really nice and warm which was a fantastic way to end the tour.

I had never stepped in a restaurant kitchen before so this was a pleasant dream come true.

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Visit Chapter Two to experience 5 Star dining at its finest.

They have Asian fusion night on Fridays  at 100,000 per person.

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They have brunch on Sundays at 70,000 per person.

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And since today is Valentine’s Day, there is a special offer. It will involve couple’s dinner and music from prominent Ugandan Musicians. It is at 300,000. This would be a great way to pamper your loved ones.

You can also choose to have dinner, music, bedroom and breakfast for $200USD.

Skyzhotel.com

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @SkyzHotel  to book yours.

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.

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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.

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Let them cool then snack away!