Pressure Cooker Beef Dumpling Soup

It has been a  year since I moved to Jamaica and assimilating has not been a problem because most of the food/ environment and warmth of the people remind me of home. With that said, there are things that are completely different and make me marvel and wonder at how different and unique we all are. For example, I have had to stock my kitchen with loads of thyme, white onions and scotch bonnet, things I would not have done if I were in Uganda. This also means that I have had to change and adapt my meals to the produce that is readily available. One of the few dishes that we really enjoy making, aside from patties, are dumplings. Dumplings are basically flour, salt, oil and water kneaded and either boiled or fried. When fried they have the resemblance and taste of bofrot or puff puff and/ or mandazi. We love them boiled. They are a life saver especially when you need a quick meal to get you through the day. I like making dumpling soup where I boil the dumplings with vegetables, some vegetable stock and a few spices. And just like that, a meal is ready!
Coupled with the love for pressure cooker beef (any pressure cooker lovers out there?), I boiled these dumplings in the aromatic broth to create this rich and satisfying soup. It is soo satisfying I tell you and requires a minimal effort.  In a way it reminds me of Katogo. Where you make a large pan of either cassava, matooke, irish potatoes or any tubers you have available with groundnut paste, beans or beef. The feeling of just waiting for that aromatic soup to get ready and then finally sipping the broth is incomparable!  We like to make a generous amount and then eat it as a family. The speed at which it disappears is amazing which is why I had to take picture before the soup was devoured. Keep in mind that there are many ways to make dumplings and everyone has their own trusted recipe. The one I am sharing with you will help you achieve chewy soft dumplings every time you make them.
What you will need:
Beef broth
Beef, well cleaned
Onions, sliced
Carrots, diced
Ginger, minced
garlic, minced
Scallions/ Green onions, chopped
Cumin
Thyme/ coriander/ rosemary
Seasoning cube/ a drop of soy sauce
1 Scotch bonnet Pepper/ Chili (optional)
Black pepper, ground
Salt
Water
Dumplings
2 C. Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp. Oil
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 C. Water
Observations
  1. I rarely use measurements when making dumplings. Just use your judgment to see how much you need to make.
  2. A ratio of  1 cup to 1 tablespoon of oil is what I use whenever I am making the dumplings.
  3. I used thyme. You can use whatever herbs you have available
  4. You don’t need to add oil to your beef broth. The natural fats in the beef will render the oil which will add more flavor to the beef
  5. It’s best to use meat mixed with bones so that the flavor is enriched. Also they are great for sucking later ha!
  6. I added a scotch bonnet pepper to the beef broth. If you don’t fancy spicy hot food, you can omit it and the chili.
  7. For tender meat that falls off the bone, pressure cook it for about an hour.
Method
  1. Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker. Add water enough to cover the meat. It will be the broth/soup. Cover cooker and cook the beef on medium heat for about an hour or less depending on how tender you want your meat.
  2. While the beef is cooking make the dumplings. In clean bowl add flour, salt, sugar  and oil. Mix well. Next gradually add the water as you mix to create a firm dough. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Using your hands, create  small palm sized disks with the dough.
  3. Check if the beef has been cooked to your liking by removing it from fire and unlocking the pressure cooker. Once cooked, put the beef broth/ soup back on fire and bring it to a boil. Add your flour dumplings into the beef broth and let them cook until they float on top of the soup. Your meal is ready.
  4. Serve with fresh scallions, roasted groundnuts ( true AKIU fashion!), shredded carrot or fermented cabbage.
Do you eat dumplings as well?
Tag #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

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.

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?