Yam Chips with Melted Cheddar Cheese

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Move over Irish and sweet potato chips. You have a new rival! YAM. The purple kind. The kind which melts in your mouth. The kind when cooked and served alongside groundnut stew or beef stew is one of the perfect meals you will ever have. Yes that Yam.  While doing my research, I found out yam has a lot of names in different places. This kind of yam is popular in central Uganda although there are many other varieties and species in the country.

 

I don’t always eat out because this homebody life but when I do, I always want to recreate meals I eat in restaurants at home. Now this epic snack meal has two major ingredients: Yams and Cheese because you can never go wrong with cheese and because yam is just a wonderful alternative to Irish and sweet potatoes. The sharp cheddar adds a savoury taste to the crunchy yam chips creating multiple layers of textures.

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One of the things that make these chips so good is that they have a unique earthy (-ish) taste that is quite hard to describe. If you have eaten these yams you know what I mean.  Now that these yam chips are just the perfect snack, I went bigger and melted Cheddar cheese from Paramount Dairies on them sprinkled some herbs and garnished with fresh from the garden sweet cherry tomatoes. This is the perfect snack! In fact it is the ultimate snack I tell you. Best advice is buy as much yam as you can, peel it and cut it into chips, freeze and whenever you feel like chips, get those yams out and get busy. You should absolutely make these chips

What you will need:

1 Kilo Yams

200 gm Cheddar cheese

Tomato ketchup (optional)

Cherry tomatoes

Salt

Parsley for garnish

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Observations:

  1. When you buy the yams, make sure they do not touch water. This is because they release a substance that when it comes in contact with your skin will cause itchiness.
  2. When peeling the yams, I recommend wearing gloves if you have them but a plastic will work well too. This is to avoid any form of itchiness. Again strictly stay away from any form of water.

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Method

  1. Peel the yams and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. When your hands are still covered wash the yams and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Cut the yams into chips
  4. Fry the chips till slightly golden brown
  5. Sprinkle salt on the fried chips
  6. Melt cheddar
  7. Slice the tomatoes

To assemble

  1. Arrange chips on plate/tray.
  2. Pour melted cheddar
  3. Add the tomatoes
  4. Sprinkle with parsley
  5. Serve warm.

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What are you waiting for? Make sure to use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

🙂

Sophie

 

This post is made possible by Paramount Dairies. You can find Cheddar cheese and more cheese products in major supermarkets in Kampala. Thank you for supporting brands I believe in.

 

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Independence Day Round Up: Foods that Are Proudly Ugandan

work with meIn the last blog post I talked about how we need to pay homage to the food that makes up the cuisine of this nation. It is one of the main purposes of this little blog here. And because there is so much food to talk about, I am continuing by rounding up foods that are found here in Uganda  and are locally grown. I am also sharing links to some recipe ideas from the archive that you can make with them. Just so you know, I had a hard time limiting the list to only 21. There is so much to discover and so much cooking that has happened here.  Wishing you all a wonderful independence day.

Amaranth/Dodo greens

First off is this classic vegetable that, come sunshine or rain, will sprout and thrive almost anywhere. Currently it is glistening from the backyard because of the rain that has graced the land. It is mostly known as poor man’s food but I am set to break the stereotype because this vegetable is packed with lots of nutrients.  And on my quest to break the stereo type, I challenged myself to learn how to cook it in different ways. Here are some of the ways you can prepare dodo and still have a great time eating it. Stir-fried, sauteed, in rice, and in pasta.

Cassava

Cassava is one of my favourite tubers. My father can testify.  I love my cassava very much especially the crispy friend kind. I also realise frying is probably not the best way to cook so, aside from a comforting cassava –bean katogo (which I am yet to share), I tried this sour cream pudding with chocolate and coconut and these cassava balls and I cannot wait to make them again because it is a good base for desserts and chapati. Also this incredibly tasty cassava leaves soup called sombe is worth a try.

Sweet potatoes

Speaking of chapati, I made this sweet potato chapati that is a must try. We have started harvesting our sweet potatoes and it will be chapati all day every day soon! Another way to cook sweet potato is by making these sweet potato ballsfries/chips, rolls which are a fragrant and less expensive but flavorful alternative to making cinnamon rolls and these sweet potato filled cookies.

Tea

We Ugandans are tea drinkers.  Maybe it is a British influence or probably an Indian one but we love our tea and we will drink it any time of the day!  So here are some other ways we can drink tea. Iced in the hot days with lemons and also with lemongrass.

Passion fruit

There are some things that are synonymous with Uganda and I believe passion fruit is one of them, especially the juice. In fact it should be the national juice. Don’t you think? So here is this lemongrass infused passion juice because that’s how we make it without a strainer.

Chapati

Another one synonymous with the nation is chapati. I was having a food related conversation a few months back and I realised we consume a lot of wheat. A LOT! Every morning you pass by stalls and kiosks making heaps of chapatti, samosas, and mandazi and they are consumed every day on top of bread! We consume a lot of wheat! So here are ways you can eat your chapati: in the morning as a rolex or a jumbo beef rolex. The possibilities are endless what with CNN talking about the rolex  here and here.

Bananas

Matooke, Ndizi, menvu, bogoya, gonja. Name it, we have it all. I was reading through an encyclopaedia published in 1992 (before the internet took over reading) about Uganda and found out one of the major exports was bananas. Can you imagine the amount of bananas those were? So here are some I have written about that you can try. Gonja,  and then make these donuts,  these banana pancakes, these muffins,  and the epic kabalagala and if you are against frying you can try this steamed version called ebwanga. Also did you know that the banana blossom is edible and tasty too? Here is one way to make it. 

Pawpaw

Paw paw is an instant snack and desert with only natural sugar. And it is so good on its own but if you want to be experimental, try these killer slushies to beat the heat and this edgy salad. If you want to be fancy (who doesn’t?!) you can try these vegetarian pawpaw cream parfaits that made it to CNN last month.

Black jack

Similar to Amaranth, black jack is literary everywhere. Chances are you will find it where ever  there is a bush of some sort. It is also medicinal and makes killer tea (at this point I realise the lines are blurred. Everything that makes a hot beverage is called tea!).

Mujaja

The fragrance that this herb releases is otherworldly! If you have not had Mujaja tea before, you should. It is soothing and smells amazing.

Maize

What is life without maize? You know especially if you have undergone the Ugandan education system? You feed on posho and porridge for over 12 years! And to think all the high school leavers have had to eat poshso for all that time is just insane! So I am imagining by the time secondary  school is over, no one wants anything to do with anything maize. But then fresh maize, hard corns (gweke style) and some corn bread thrown in there will keep you coming back.  So here are some suggestions. This posho stir fry, sautéed maize, and this creamy St. Marcellin salad.

Ntula/garden eggs

Ntula have been around for as long as I can remember and I despised them in my childhood because they are bitter. But now they are one of my favourite vegetables to cook with because they have a great texture and the bitterness adds an unexpected twist to food! They can even be eaten raw!  Try out this ntula muekene stew and these ntula fritters.

Mangoes

My favourite fruit so far (and hopefully forever)! I call it the super fruit.  Don’t believe me? Try these mango popsicles, this three layer cake with mango syrup, this green mango jam (which is epic!) and this mango-pear pie, You can find them too almost everywhere! And now that the trees are starting to put on fruit, I cannot wait to get my fill of green mangoes because the fun is in actually eating the green sour ones with salt chilli, sugar and anything really!

Samosas

Again what is Uganda without samosas or sumbusas might I say? You will find them, just like chapatti, on every corner being vended. I have eaten some the tastiest samosas on the streets! And because we love them so much, we fill them with vegetables, beans (peas) and even rice! Yes we eat them every which way and in every size too! Try these ones with melty cheese!

Beans

Beans! What would we do without beans? And the great part is we have almost every variety under the sun! White, red black yellow small big in every shape color and size. Try these palm oil fried beans, these surprisingly good stir-fried black beans sprouts and this fresh bean soup and this black bean stew.Also beans make really good burger patties.

Pumpkin

Have you ever noticed that the best pumpkins are not even farmed? They just grow by themselves on waste pits and heaps. Now before you think this is a bad thing, let me explain why these are some of the best pumpkins and why they thrive. You see biodegradable waste is manure for these seeds that we randomly throw. Because the environment is so conducive, these seedlings thrive to become the greenest vines and they give some of the best pumpkins. And we like our pumpkins alongside that soft matooke preferably steamed.  Here is some comforting pumpkin soup and pumpkin stir-fry to try.

Nile Perch

Every time I am travelling I keep eyeing those larger than life Nile perches being butchered by the road side. One of my dreams is to buy a massive one and then cook it whole in herbs and spices because that amount of flesh they have is just so unbelievable! Did you know that when the CNN crew came to shoot me in my kitchen my parent’s kitchen, I made perch with groundnut stew and we ate it with akalo (which we call obundu). It was such a great day. You can watch the video here and then go make the stew. Also fish to be specific perch in bugers is epic. The flavours are amazing. You should  try it.

Mukene

I have spotted packaged fried mukene in supermarkets many times. It is great as a snack and can be made into sauce too! Here is how I mostly prepare it with a rich base of tomatoes and it goes well with posho, rice and anything really.

Simsim

I have childhood memories of bucket of simsim paste sent to us by family friends. I learnt to eat it with sweet potatoes and the taste is otherworldly! If you haven’t tried simsism with sweet potatoes, you should. I made a remix of the two by making these simsim balls. Now I always have a bottle of simsim because I like sprinkling it on almost anything.  It enhances the flavour of almost everything.

Irish Potatoes

Did you know that aside from cassava and matooke, irish potatoes and popular for making katogo and chips/fries but mostly katogo. Here is a potato-groundnut katogo to try.

Millet

I hear tales from my parents that I used to feed on millet a lot as a kid. A LOT! It was when I fell in love with bushera that I started to appreciate millet.  I have been experimenting with making millet bread and the bread is so rich and filling. Here is a massive donut I baked with millet over a year ago.

Phew! That was a long list! I hope you find something to try in this season of celebration. Make sure you let me know when you do try them out or use the #AkitchenInUg to share your creations inspired by the above.

🙂

Sophie

Sweet Potato Parsley Chapati

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Have you caught up on the rolex bandwagon? You should because 2016 is the year of the rolex. CNN confirmed it here. In fact it needs a hashtag of its own! I am already dreaming of the many ways I am planning to recreate it aside from this one. But first there is perfecting the chapati recipe which is what I will be talking about today.I am sure you all kitchen enthusiast have made chapati  at least once in your lifetime. I have encountered many versions. and I believe this is what makes chapati very special. There is a standard formula but you will most likely find everyone cooking it based on what they have, their preferences and where they come from. A few weeks ago I was watching a video on chapati making and Miriam stressed very well how East African chapati is fried in oil. In fact there is even deep-fried chapati too! Totally Awesome. So here is a version that I really love that is so filling and very soft because of the sweet potatoes incorporated in. Again this recipe can be adapted to your preferences. I prefer to pan fry  this chapati because this gives it a crisp exterior and a moist soft interior. Also this chapati is more on the sweet side because of the sweet potatoes. They can be eaten on their own, with beans or as a rolex once you add an egg. Make these at the beginning of the week and you will be covered for the whole week.

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What you will need:

3 C. Sweet Potatoes

2 C. Baking flour

½ C. Warm water

¼ C. Parsley, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. Oil

Pinch of salt

Oil for frying

Observations:

  1. The type of sweet potato will determine the color  and sweetness of your chapatis
  2. Have extra flour nearby for dusting the workplace and rolling pin
  3. Over kneading the dough will cause the chapatis to get hard.
  4. Roll the chapati according to your desired thickness.

 

Method

Peel the sweet potatoes and boil them till soft and tender. Measure three cups of boiled sweet potatoes and mash them finely. Add flour, salt, parsley and oil. Mix while adding water little by little until a firm dough is formed. Knead the dough for one minute. Set the dough aside for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, divide the dough into 9 equal balls. Dust the working surface and roll out the balls into chapati.  Heat about a teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Add the chapati. Keep flipping every after 5-10 seconds until the chapati becomes fluffy-ish and has turned slightly golden brown. Remove from fire. Repeat the process till all the nine balls are done. Makes 9 Chapatis. Serve with your favourite sauce, stew or just fry an egg and have a homemade rolex on the go.

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🙂

Sophie