Classic Matooke Katogo

Ah Katogo! I cannot believe it took me this long to talk about it! Actually I have talked about katogo before here and here. It’s just that I have never talked about matooke (green banana) katogo and I know you are wondering why. Well, as much as it is a popular breakfast dish, it is always a treat in our household because a) I am yet to perfect that soft tooke wrapped in banana leaves  and b) peeling these green bananas is an art in and of itself. So often times I find myself steering clear of matooke altogether. But once in a while the craving hits and point b) is ignored. Now this is the simplest way Katogo can be made. Peeling matooke and throwing them in a pan, adding diced tomatoes and onions and anything else that you think will help enhance the meal and letting it boil till the bananas are soft and tender. Easy! Once you learn how to make this classic katogo, you can then customize it to your liking.

What you will need:

15-20 Green bananas

10 Medium sized tomatoes

1 Large onion

2 Scallion stalks

1 Tsp. Oil + Additional 1/2 Tsp. Oil

Salt and pepper

Observations:

  1. Applying oil to your hands before peeling the bananas prevents the sap from staining and sticking to your hands.
  2. The amount of water you add to the katogo will determine the consistency of your katogo. More water will make it soupy and vice versa.
  3. Sometimes a lot of tomatoes can make the food a little bit tart. If so, add a little bit of sugar to cut through the tartness.

 

Method:

  1. Apply the 1/2 teaspoon of oil on your hands and the knife you will be using. Peel the green bananas. Place the peeled bananas in water to avoid excessive oxidation.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and onions and set a side. Place a clean pan on fire and add the 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the onions and let them cook till translucent. Next add the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook till tender and paste-like.
  3. Add the bananas and enough water to almost submerge the bananas. Let the katogo boil till the bananas are almost tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once they start becoming tender, reduce the fire and let the katogo simmer. Remove from fire  and let cool. Serve with ghee, a side of greens and tea.

Have you tried katogo before? What variation are your favorite?

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Green Banana (Matooke) Chips

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Last week I took a quick trip to the west and was amazed by the endless banana farms we passed. Rolling fields of matooke in Bushenyi!! On the way back we brought with us a full bunch because they are cheaper in price and not to mention you can get the best matooke there. This recipe idea was conceived while I was knee-deep (not literally) in peeling matooke to prepare katogo. I did make the katogo but these chips went faster than the katogo.

Trust me this is restaurant level amazing! I cannot believe I never tried this before.  I am going to attempt describing the flavours that are at play here.  A base of crispy fried savory green banana chips topped with sweet mushy avocado, drizzled with slightly tangy ketchup, sprinkled with crunchy fresh purple onions and finally sprinkled with a generous amount of nutty roasted simsim seeds. There you have an epic meal/ snack easily.

What you will need:

Chips

4 Large green bananas, peeled and washed

1 C. Breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. Salt

1 Tsp black pepper, ground

1 Tsp. Water

Oil for frying

 

Garnish

1 Small avocado

Ketchup

2 Small purple onions

Roasted simsim

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Observations:

  1. Use firm green bananas that are not on the verge of ripening
  2. The bananas release a sticky fluid when rested at room temperature.
  3. Fry the chips on medium heat to avoid burning before they are fully cooked
  4. Fry the chips in small batches to keep them from getting soggy.
  5. Use a very ripe avocado

 

Method

Chips

  1. Drain the peeled washed bananas. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the bananas into chips. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the banana chips and the one teaspoon of water. Mix the chips till the water coats them all.
  3. In a small bowl, add the bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well. Using a fork, coat each banana chip with bread crumbs and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil on medium heat. Add the chips. Fry till golden brown and crispy.

To assemble

On a plate with a clean paper or paper towel, place the chips, scoop ripe avocado on top, add sliced onion rings, drizzle with ketchup and finally sprinkle with roasted simsim. Serve  warm

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Let me know when you try these chips

🙂

Sophie

 

Cinnamon Spiced Mandazi

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It’s mandazi time! These mandazi were made in celebration of so many things. Last week, the UCE results came out and my little sister passed well. The passing alone called for celebration. And yesterday was my birthday! I am growing old people! So we thought making mandazi would be wonderful since we are avid mandazi eaters!

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When you think of Ugandan kitchen staples, flour is a major component. We Ugandans eat a lot of flour. A LOT!  And mandazi’s are almost found everywhere.  Almost everyone can make and have their own recipe for mandazi too.  So I thought it would be a good idea to share my recipe for mandazi with you. Just to prove how simple mandazi are to make, here is:

What you will need:

2 C. Baking flour

4 Tbsp. Sugar

1 C. Water

2 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine

1 Tbsp. Baking powder

1 Tbsp. Ground cinnamon

1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

Powdered sugar (optional)

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Observations:

  1. The water should be cold.
  2. Make sure your oil is not very hot because this will cause the mandazi to burn before cooking through
  3. Cinnamon adds a mildly spicy and fragrant flavour.
  4. If you are using less oil. Make sure to flip the mandazis occasionally so the dough is fully cooked through.

 

Method

  1. In a clean bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add salt, cinnamon and sugar and mix well.
  2. Rub in the butter till the flour becomes coarse.
  3. Mix the vanilla in water and add water and mix till a firm dough forms and is no longer sticking to your hands.
  4. Set aside to rest for ten minutes.
  5. After ten minutes, flour your surface and roll out the dough to about 1 ½ -2 inch thickness.
  6. Cut out rectangular shapes from the dough.
  7. Place a pan of frying oil on medium to high heat. Let the oil heat through.
  8. Fry the rectangular shaped dough ie the mandazi until rised and golden brown. Makes 10+
  9. Dust the mandazi with powdered sugar.

Serve

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Do you like mandazi as well? Or better yet, have you made them since the year began? Let me know below.

🙂

Sophie