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.

Sweet and Spicy Vegetarian Meatballs

Before we dive deep into these sweet and spicy vegetarian meatballs, I have some great news to share. I have opened up a photography print shop on Society6! I have always wanted to make my photographs available to you and now I am excited that you can purchase prints of some of my iconic work. Here is the link to the shop. If you decide to purchase a print from the shop, the sales from it will go towards helping this blog stay up and running so that I can keep bringing you great food stories, recipes and photography.  Tag #AkitchenInUg to share your prints.

As someone who eats beans regularly, eating them the same way can sometimes get boring. Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats a great bean soup/stew. But because I am restless, I sometimes wonder what else I can make into beans. In Asia, beans are sweetened and added to desserts (hello moon cakes!) which I think is so awesome. But I don’t think my family is ready to take that sweet leap yet. I have made several variations of bean stews like this Githeri, palm oil beans,  fresh bean pasta, katogo and these bean burger patties. These meatballs are inspired by the bean burger patties though with a sweet and spicy twist.

The best thing about these meatballs is that you can flavor and spice them as you desire. I had a fresh bottle of sweet and spicy sauce so I made mine sweet and spicy. You can try flavors like Adobo, BBQ or eat them as they are. Also I made a short video to accompany this recipe. Go and have a quick look and then come back and make them.

What you will need:

2 C. Beans. Boiled and drained

1/3 C. Flour

1/3 C. Bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. Green onions, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. Tomato paste

1 Small onion, finely chopped

1 Tsp. Ginger, minced

1 Tsp. Garlic, minced

1 Tsp. Soy sauce

1 Egg

1 Tsp. Sugar

Salt

Black pepper

Sweet and spicy sauce

1/ 4 C. Sweet and spicy sauce

1 Tsp. Soy sauce

 

Method

  1. Mash the beans.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sweet and spicy sauce and soy sauce. Mix all ingredients well.
  3. Let the mixture sit for a while so that the breadcrumbs can absorb any excess liquid.
  4. Mold the mixture into balls using a spoon and fork.
  5. Fry the meatballs till golden brown. Remove from fire and drain of excess oil.
  6. In a separate pan, pour the sweet and spicy sauce. Add the soy sauce and bring to a slow simmer on medium heat. Add the meatballs and toss them till they are all fully coated with the sauce.
  7. Serve warm.

Tag #AkitchenInUg to share your creations with me.