basically a mixture of mashed potatoes, peas and corn (maize). It is a traditional dish among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. In fact the name of this dish is the Kikuyu word for food. Usually served as a side dish to a meat dish
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
5 lb (2.5 kg)of potatoes peeled and chopped quite small
1 lb (500g) of green peas (can use tinned processed peas – use tins to make up approx weight. Drain well)
1/2 lb (250 g) of sweet corn or closest size tin, Drain well vegetable oil
- Fry the finely chopped onion in a little vegetable oil to a light golden colour in a pot.
- Add the peeled potatoes to the pot and cover with boiling water.
- When almost cooked, add sweet corn and peas (and salt if desired). Let boil for 2 to 5 minutes
- Mash the mixture until potatoes are smooth. It should look a lovely pea-green colour.
Irio (recipe 2)
1 cup dried peas (or canned peas)
1 lb canned corn or 6 ears of fresh corn Several potatoes or instant mashed potatoes
½ lb pumpkin greens or spinach Lima Beans (optional)
Chopped fried onions (optional) Black pepper
Salt Serves 8
Boil dried peas until détente, drain and set aside. Also boil the potatoes, corn, lima beans, and the greens, drain and set aside.
Mix the fried onions with all the above, add salt & pepper to taste and mash.
The consistency should be that of firm mashed potatoes. You can also add a little bit of butter if desired.
The leftovers taste great the next day when fried with a bit of oil in a pan.
Ugali is to Kenyan cuisine what mashed potato is to the British except more widely eaten –
i.e. with most meals. Ugali is similar to Southern Africa’s Mealie-meal, Nshima, and Sadza. In West Africa it is called Fufu.
It is usually made from maize (corn) which was brought from the Americas to Africa by Europeans. Previously it was made from millet. It is a starchy accompaniment for the African soup or stew or sauce, or other dishes with sauce or gravy. Ugali is generally made by boiling and vigorously stirring a starchy ingredient into a thick, smooth mush. Many Kenyans feel they haven’t had a meal unless they have eaten Ugali with a sauce or stew.
6 cups of water.
4 cup of maize flour or white cornmeal that has been finely ground – available in ethnic grocery shops – (You can also substitute semolina)
Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Gradually pour ½ the corn flour into boiling water stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
Stir continuously and mash any lumps that do form until boiling. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Now for the hard work: Add more corn flour gradually, stirring continuously until it is thicker and drier than mashed potatoes – it should pull away from the sides of the pan Cook for three or four minutes, continue to stir. (Continuing to stir as the ugali thickens is the secret to success, i.e., lump-free ugali.)
To serve, wet the inside of a bowl and tip the ugali into the bowl. For a really authentic look, immediately gently ‘flip’ the ugali so the bottom side is now up and it looks smooth.
Cover and keep warm.
Serve immediately with any meat, or vegetable stew, or any dish with a sauce or gravy. It is often eaten with your right hand – break off a piece, roll it into a ball, make an indentation and scoop up the stew or sauce.
Ugali (Cornmeal Porridge) 2nd recipe Ingredients:
1 cup cold water
1 cup yellow cornmeal (the Mexican flour ‘Mozerapa’ is a close substitute to the Kenyan flour) – or substitute semolina
1 teaspoon salt (optional) 3 cups boiling water Serves 4 to 6
Put cold water in a medium-size saucepan, add cornmeal and salt, mixing continually. Bring to a boil over high heat, gradually stirring and slowly add 3 cups of boiling water to prevent lumps.
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 8 minutes, mixing frequently to prevent sticking. The ugali will be done when it pulls from the sides of the pan easily and does not stick. It should look like stiff grits.
You can serve ugali with everything from meat stew to sugar and cream. Your choice!
Servings: 4 Preparation Time: 1 hour Recipe Ingredients:
1 lb. beef cut into cubes or chicken pieces
2 green peppers
4 tomatoes/ tinned tomatoes 2 onions chopped
sprinkle Ground Coriander
½ tspn mild Curry powder Black pepper and salt Beef or chicken stock Cooking Instructions:
Season meat to taste and fry until brown. Remove from the frying pan.
Fry the onions until they are soft. Add tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Add carrots, black pepper, coriander and curry powder. When the carrots have become slightly soft add the meat and stock. When meat is almost cooking add some curry powder and salt to taste. Alternatively, once all the vegetables and meat have been fried, you could transfer it to a casserole dish and cook in the oven. Beef particularly will benefit from a low, slow cooking.
Githeri is a basic maize (corn) and beans stew, traditional among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. Not only are these two eaten together, they are often intercropped (grown together) in the same fields. At its simplest, githeri is just maize and beans. Sometimes potatoes, greens (kale or similar), or meat are added.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Dried whole kernel corn (maize); rinsed in cold water
Dried beans (kidney beans or similar); soaked in cold water for a few hours, rinsed
In a large pot, combine equal amount dried corn and beans. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for ten minutes.
Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for two hours or until corn and beans are tender. In the finished dish, most of the water should be absorbed, and the corn and beans should be tender yet still intact, not mushy. Season with salt, oil, or fat.
Serve hot, alone as a main dish, or as a side to any other dish.
2 large onions, finely chopped 2 tblsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds (the black kind, if possible) 8 medium potatoes, quartered
1 and 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, crushed
1 large garlic clove, minced and crushed 1 tblsp. ground cumin
1 tblsp. whole coriander, crushed
2 chili peppers or 1 tsp. cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
4 cinnamon sticks
4 oz. tomato paste 1/2 lb. green beans
1/2 of a small cauliflower 1 medium eggplant
1/2 lb. fresh green peas, shelled, or 1 small package of frozen green peas
1 bunch of fresh leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc.), or 1 small package of frozen greens
1/2 cup dry chickpeas, cooked (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy skillet or pot, brown the onions in moderately hot oil along with the cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
Add the potato pieces (peeling is optional), and stir to coat each piece with the spices. Now add the remaining spices and continue to stir for several minutes.
Thin the tomato paste with about 2/3 cup of water. Stir into the pot. Add vegetables, one at a time, cooking for a minute or so between each addition, and put in the cooked chickpeas last. If your pot is not oven proof, transfer mixture to one that is.
Cover with a lid or seal with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, checking after the first 20 minutes.
The consistency should be rather thick, but add liquid if necessary to prevent burning. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Serve over rice or with Indian bread.
The Swahili phrase Sukuma Wiki means push the week — what’s really being pushed is the family food budget. This is a great way to use up leftover meat by combining it with greens and a few other ingredients to make a savory dish. In Africa this dish might be made with greens similar to kale or collards, but it can also be made with cassava leaves, sweet potato leaves, or pumpkin leaves. It
is also tasty without any meat.
- 2lb/1kg of greens (kale, collards, spinach, or similar), well cleaned and chopped in to large pieces; (frozen greens can be used if they are thawed first)
- two tablespoons flour
- juice of one lemon
- oil for frying
- one onion, chopped
- two or three tomatoes, chopped (or canned whole tomatoes, drained)
- one chile pepper, chopped (optional)
- leftover cooked meat: beef, chicken, or similar (optional)
- salt, cayenne pepper or red pepper
What you do
- Bring two cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Put greens in pot. Cover and steam until greens are nearly tender. While greens are cooking: combine flour, lemon juice, and a few spoonfuls of water in a small bowl or cup. Stir vigorously until mixture is smooth. Remove greens from heat and drain.
- Heat oil in a separate pan. Saute the onion, tomatoes, and hot pepper together. Add spices to taste. Add meat. Add flour-lemon juice mixture and stir until smooth.
- Reduce heat. Add drained greens. Cover and simmer over low heat until greens are fully tender and sauce is thickened.
Good served with Ugali
3-4 plantains, sliced in rounds
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cloves
1-2 cups of coconut milk Serves 4 – 6
Combine all ingredients, except the coconut milk, in a heavy saucepan and stir. Pour in 1 cup of coconut milk and simmer over low heat until the plantains absorbed the milk and are very tender. It takes a while for them to get soft; give them about the same time you would need for cooking potatoes.
You can add more coconut milk if you desire. Serve hot and try with fish or curries.
Note: The wonderful thing about plantains is that they truly are a versatile food. As a plantain ripens, its high starch content changes to sugar.
Plantains are good at any stage; it just depends on what you want to make. Plantains are a relative of the banana, but are bigger, less sweet and need to be cooked before they are eaten. Plantains also keep their shape when cooked, unlike bananas, which get mushy.
Green or “unripe” plantains contain a lot of starch and very little sweetness. Their starchy flesh is used more as a vegetable than a fruit. They can be used in soups, stews, boiled and mashed.
A ripe plantain can be used in savory or sweet dishes. You can pan-fry them with some butter, rum, and brown sugar and serve over ice cream. When buying ripe plantains, they should be firm and not mushy or cracked.
When peeling plantains or green bananas, moisten hands and rub with salt to prevent the juices from sticking to your hands.
Cut off about 1 inch from both ends of the plantain.
Using a sharp knife, make 2 lengthwise cuts at opposite ends of the plantain.
While holding the plantain steady with your left hand, use your right hand to slide the tip of the knife under the skin and begin to pull it away, going from top to bottom.
Soak the peeled plantains or bananas in salted water. Drain on a paper towel to use in your recipe.
(Kenyan black-eyed peas & tomatoes) Ingredients:
2 teaspoons Oil
2 cups tomatoes
2 cups black-eyed peas
1/4 cup peanut butter, natural or roughly grounded peanuts ¼ cup water
Salt & Pepper Serves 4-6
Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan.
Mince onions and sauté lightly until translucent. Add diced tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes to cook down.
Cook the black-eyed peas and add with all remaining ingredients and mix well. Lightly mash the peas with a fork.
Simmer about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed to get a stew-like consistency.
Serve with rice.
1 Serrano or Jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly grounded black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh collard, mustard or turnip greens, chopped OR
1 bag / 10 ounces frozen chopped greens, thawed 1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
1 bag / 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
2 tablespoons butter
3 large tomatoes, cubed
1 large yellow onion, peeled & chopped 1 cup canned unsweeten coconut milk
4 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional) Serves 6
Fill a large pot half-full with water. Add the chile pepper, salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the greens and spinach. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the greens and spinach, tomatoes, onions, and milk and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the greens for tenderness and seasoning. Cook for an additional 10 minutes and add more seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle with the peanuts, if desired.
Note: This will go very well with the ugali and it is a true stable in the Kenyan kitchen!
½ pound vermicelli (v. thin pasta type) 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger 1 egg
½ cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour Serves 12
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Prepare the vermicelli according to the package direction and drain.
Heat the coconut milk and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vermicelli and ginger.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture to the beaten egg, and then stir the egg mixture into the pan with the vermicelli. Whisk in the flour and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour or until soft and spongy. You can cut it into squares or whatever way suits you.
Ingredients (4-6 Servings) ½ pound dried red beans
1 pound dried maize (corn) Salt
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
10 pumpkin leaves(or spinach), coarsely chopped
Soak the beans and maize overnight in water to cover. Drain, cover again with water, add salt and boil for 2½ hours. Drain and set aside. Cover the potatoes with water and boil until soft. Add the pumpkin leaves and cook until tender. Drain. Add to the maize and beans and mash all together. The mixture should be thick and firm.
Ingredients (4 Servings)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small green cabbage, chopped
Fry the tomatoes and onions in the oil until the onions are brown. Add the cabbage and stir over low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. The cabbage should be a bit crisp when served. Serve with Rice, Ugali and meat of your choice.
*You can substitute the cabbage with sukuma wiki or spinach
Chapatis are normally used to accompany stews and vegetables.
- 1 Cup white flour
- 1 Cup wholewheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- water to make a dough
- 1 Tablespoon softened butter or ghee
Sift flours and salt together in bowl. Add oil and enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Knead for 5-8 minutes until satiny and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let it stand 2-3 hours. Knead again and divide into balls, about 3-4 cm in diameter. Roll into flat pancakes with oil, butter or ghee. Place chapati in pan and cook until it begins to puff up. Press with a spatula to assist the puffing process. This ensures light and fluffy chapatis. Turn over and repeat the process. Remove from the pan and place in foil or cloth, spreading butter on top of each chapati. Serve immediately.
Mandazi (or Maandazi, also called Mahamri or Mamri) are East African fried breads similar to doughnuts. They are eaten with tea or coffee for breakfast, as a snack, or with the main course for lunch or dinner. They are not as sweet as doughnuts and do not have a sugar glaze or icing.
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours
8 fl.oz (250 ml) warm water
2 tsp baking powder — or — one teaspoon dry yeast 2lb (900g) plain flour
4oz (115g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp mixed spice (or any mix of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, ginger) 2 tbs butter, margarine, or vegetable oil
2 fl.oz (60ml) warm milk (optional) 1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt
oil for deep frying
All ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature if they have been in the refrigerator. If using yeast: mix the yeast with a few spoonfuls of the warm water.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder (if not using yeast), sugar, and spice (cardamom is most common in Eastern Africa). Add the yeast. Mix the water, butter (or margarine, or oil), milk, and egg together. Gradually add this mixture to the flour while kneading into dough. (If not using milk and egg use additional water as necessary.) Knead until a smooth and elastic dough is formed — fifteen to twenty minutes. If using yeast: Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or more. If using baking powder, let dough rest for several minutes.
Divide the dough into several hand-sized pieces. Roll or press the pieces into circles about one- half inch thick. Cut circles into halves or quarters (or whatever you like). Some cooks (when using yeast) place the doughs on a cookie sheet and let them rise a second time.
Heat vegetable oil to 150C in a deep pot or deep fat fryer. Fry the doughs in the hot oil, turning a few times, until they are golden brown all over. Fry only as many together as can float in the oil without touching one another. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve warm.
Ingredients (makes about 30 pcs)
1 cup butter (or margarine) 5 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
6 ground cardamom seed 2 tsp baking powder
4 ½ cups all purpose wheat flour
½ cup water
6 cups vegetable oil
Mix and whisk together margarine and sugar. Add the eggs , milk and mix. Add the cardamom and the baking powder. Add the flour and water. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. Knead well until dough is smooth and soft. Cut the dough into 3 balls and roll out each to about 12 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick. Slice into
2-inch strips and cut into squares. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop one mandaazi. If it sinks then floats to the top, the oil is ready. Cook the maandazi a few pieces at a time (do not overcrowd them) in the pan. Turn them often until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan, drain and cool.
Serve with hot milk, coffee or tea (chai).
Ingredients (6 servings)
1 large pawpaw, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 large bananas, sliced 4 passion fruits
Juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon
Scoop the passion fruit into a large bowl. Add the pawpaw, and bananas. Toss together gently. Pour the lemon or lime and toss again. Serve into small fruit bowls.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 cup fresh ground coconut
1 ½ cups sweet potatoes , boiled or mashed
¾ cup sugar ¾ cup milk ½ cup water
4 tbsp melted butter
½ tsp mixed spices ½ tsp cinnamon
Mix sugar, sweet potatoes and coconut together with spoon until smooth. Add butter, milk, water and beat thoroughly. Beat the eggs slightly, then beat the mixture in gradually. Add spices and cinnamon. Continue beating until creamy and very smooth. Pour mixture into a greased dish and bake for 30 minutes in hot oven, until golden brown. You can serve it hot or cold.
Ingredients (4 -6 servings) 2 cups rice
4½ cups water Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon orange food coloring 4 tbsp vegetable oil
8 cardamom pods 1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup currants
Wash and rinse the rice. Bring 4 cups water to a boil and add the rice, salt and food coloring, and turn the heat low. When the water is half done, drain off the water and set rice aside. Heat oil in a saucepan and add cardamom and sugar with remaining ½ cup water. Boil together until a thick syrup forms and add it to the rice in its pan, stirring well to ensure that the rice is well coated with syrup. Cover the rice and simmer the rice another 10 minutes over low heat, until the rice is al dente. Stir in the almonds and currants. Serve hot
1 ½ cup Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup Butter or margarine 4 ripe Bananas
1 tsp Soda
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
Peel the bananas and mash well with a fork. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl.
Fold in the beaten eggs and then the mashed bananas, ensuring that the mixture is well combined.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, soda and salt) together and fold into the creamed banana mixture.
Lightly grease a loaf tin and dust the greased surface with flour.
Pour the banana bread mixture into the loaf tin and place in the preheated oven.
Allow to cool.
Bake for 60 minutes
Remove the Banana Bread from loaf tin
Serve the banana bread sliced as is or buttered.
Can obviously be eaten cold, but is absolutely delicious eaten slightly warm
This banana pudding recipe makes for a different but rather interesting banana dessert. Which is light and easy to do
Ripe bananas 2 eggs
½ cup granulated white sugar 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 pkt lemon, orange or apricot jelly powder. Water as required
Peel and mash the bananas with a fork and immediately add the lemon juice Separate the eggs
Boil the quantity of water specified in the instructions on the jelly packet Prepare the jelly according to these instructions.
Add the bananas to the jelly mixture
Add the egg yolks to the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
Slowly add the egg/sugar mixture to the jelly mixture heating in a double boiler over boiling water. Stir continuously while adding the mixture.
Continue heating until the egg sugar mixture dissolves completely in the jelly mixture Remove the jelly mixture from the heat and cool
Meanwhile beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
When the banana jelly mixture begins to set fold in the beaten egg whites Pour into a mould and chill until set.
This banana pudding is delicious with lashings of whipped cream
(Mango Ice Cream with zing!) Ingredients:
4 to 5 ripe Mangos
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoon lemon peel, cut in tiny ribbons
½ cup condensed milk
½ teaspoon salt
Peel, pit and mash the mangos. You should end up with about 2 cups. Whip the heavy cream with the sugar until stiff.
In a 2-quart bowl combine the 2 cups of mashed mangos, the lemon peel ribbons, condensed milk and salt. Fold in the whipped cream.
Pour into freezer trays or a 6-cup mold and freeze.
(the zing!) Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple juice, canned
1 cup sugar
½ cup cooled white rum
3 cups fresh pineapple, cut in ½ inch dices 1 tablespoon pistachio nuts
In a 1-quart sauce pan simmer the pineapple juice and the sugar, until it dissolves and forms into a syrup.
Add the white rum and cool.
Place the cut fresh pineapple pieces in a 2-quart bowl and pour the pineapple rum sauce over them. Marinate for several hours.
Place 1 scoop Mango Ice Cream in a 6 oz wine glass. Top with 3 to 4 oz of Pineapple Rum Mixture.
Garnish with pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped. The rest is history! 😉
Note: Any fruit ice cream will serve for the Coupe Mount Kenya, especially peach ice cream. Fruit sherbet may also be used. Canned pineapple may be substituted for the fresh, but it is just not quiet the same.
8 Bananas, peeled
125 g/4 oz butter, melted
125 g/4 oz groundnuts/peanuts, chopped Serves 4
Steam the bananas in a large saucepan until heated through; that will only take a few seconds. Be careful that they do not become too soft.
Drain and roll in the melted butter and after that roll each one separately in the chopped groundnuts/peanuts.
Ingredients: (Egg Custard) 250 ml/8 oz milk
30 g/2 tbl spoons caster sugar 2 – 3 drops vanilla essence
Heat the milk almost to the boiling point, but do not actually let it boil. Break the eggs into the hot milk, add the sugar and vanilla essence, and blend or whisk to a creamy mixture. Simmer slowly on very low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a smooth custard. Remove from the heat and put aside.
Ingredients: (Banana Cream) Egg Custard
2 very ripe bananas, mashed thoroughly 15 g/1 tbl spoon sugar, optional
250 ml/8 oz whipped cream
3 – 4 drops food coloring, optional
Mix the egg custard, mashed bananas and extra sugar. Blend in the whipped cream and the food coloring. Transfer into a serving dish and freeze. Decorate and serve with fresh banana cut into nice shapes. – Serves 4
4 oz Butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ tablespoon ground ginger 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brandy 1 pint whipped cream
Makes 25 brandy snaps
Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and ground ginger in a pan and stir over heat until well mixed. Cool for 10 minutes.
Add the flour and blend into mixture. Pour mixture by spoonfuls into flat greased pan, 3 to 4 inches apart.
Bake at 350F until snaps flatten. Remove carefully with spatula and , when slightly cooled, roll up into a tube.
Combine the brandy with the whipped cream. Stuff tubes with brandy mixture using a pastry bag.
Note: Brandy Snaps were originally introduced by the British and they are indeed sensational cookies. Careful, you might get hooked on those!!
Chai (Kenyan Tea)
1 cup water
1½ tsp tea leaves (or 1 tea bag)
1 cup milk
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
Heat the water and tea leaves together in a 3 to 4 quart saucepan, until it boils. Stir in the milk and sugar and cook until the boiling point of the milk. Remove and strain the Chai into a tea jug or kettle. Serve with bread, mandazi or chapati.
Other Drinks – Fruit Juice