Week 35 – Sudan – 11 October 2015
In Africa, peanut production exceeds that of all other grain legumes put together. It’s a popular ingredient, and it’s high time I got to using it. In Sudan this week, my recipe initially looked quite similar to that of Morocco a few weeks back. But while the bulk reflected that dish – beef and sweet potato – the flavours were wildly different, with Sudan’s contribution drawing on tomato and peanut flavours rather than spices.
Saying its name is almost as fun as eating it: pasipasi kpedekpede na passio.
The recipe basically worked in two phases. First, like the African stews before it, this one required a long haul cooking of beef to make it nice and tender. Onions, garlic, tomato paste and stock – quite simple. Once ready, stage two came in with sweet potato, tomatoes, peanut paste and loads of spinach. The simple broth thickened and took on a character independent of any of the Northern dishes before it.
Packing loads of beef, spinach and peanuts, this was an iron heavy meal, packed with flavour and various textures. The taste of peanuts was most prominent – it’s surprising how far a small amount goes. And to make the most of the stew, I used a ladle full of its boiling form to cook the cous cous. It was all the tastier for it.
The recipe is available here.
Week 36 – Ethiopia – 18 October 2015
Following an abundance of stews featuring root vegetables in North Africa, Ethiopia served up something completely different and incredibly tasty via its national dish: doro wat. A slow cooked chicken curry, this is one meal that is seriously packed with flavours. The spice list is lengthy, yet surprisingly, everything comes through in its own way.
I read a couple of recipes for this dish, which varied considerably. First of all I didn’t have a slow cooker, so I knew I’d have to wing the method. As for the ingredients, I followed this recipe the closest, making changes to quantity.
Likewise, I used what appears to be the cheat’s injera recipe, as I wasn’t (a) confident and (b) time rich to follow the proper fermenting process. This dish packed spice in the sense of both flavour and heat! The chicken pulled apart beautifully, and the injera were tasty, too – the perfect vessel for the curry.
My recipe follows (enough for 2 people – it’s quite a full on flavour)
• 1 tbs olive oil
• 2 regular sized chicken breast, each cut in eight pieces
• 60 grams butter
• 1 brown onion, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 long red chilli, chopped finely
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tbs garam masala
• 1 ½ tbs smoked paprika
• ¼ tsp fenugreek seeks
• ½ tsp thyme
• 1 tbs tomato paste
• 1 tsp sugar
• ¼ cup red wine
• ½ – 1 cup water (as needed to cover)
• Juice of one lemon
1. Preheat oven to 120C
2. Using a heavy based saucepan that can be transferred to the oven, heat oil and brown chicken, remove from pan.
3. Add butter
4. When melted, add onion and cook until soft
5. Add garlic and chilli, cook for a minute
6. Add salt, all spices, tomato paste and sugar and mix through
7. Return chicken and juices
8. Cover everything with red wine and water
9. Place tin foil over top surface of curry, cover tightly and transfer to the oven for 2 ½ hours.
10. Remove from oven, pull chicken apart with forks and stir through lemon juice.
Serve with Injera
• ¾ cup plain flour
• ¼ cup buckwheat flour (I didn’t have this but did have raw buckwheat, which I simply ground to a powder and used)
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tbs bicarb soda
• 1 cup soda water
• ½ cup white wine vinegar
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well.
2. Whisk soda water into mix well.
3. Which vinegar into mix.
4. Heat pan on high, pour a ladel of mix, swirl the pan slowly to spread it thin.
5. When the injera looks dry on top, carefully flip it over and cook for a further minute.
6. Stack, cut in half, roll into logs and serve with doro wat.
Week 37 – Zanzibar – 25 October 2015
Where on earth is Zanzibar, you ask as you swirl your finger over the African continent. It’s the small island off the coast of Tanzania and, yes, it’s hard to find. Eat the World brought me here of all places, because I got excited when I found a recipe for a Zanzibar Biriani – bringing India and the middle east to Africa.
While the choice of recipe was easy, when I got down to making the thing, it became a little trickier. My recipe was taken here, although I pretty much rewrote the thing following immense confusion over the method. I also tweaked some questionable volumes. For example, when you have 2 cups of buttermilk and 200 ml of lime juice, why on earth would you need 300 ml of red wine vinegar!? (Keep in mind, I had cut the recipe to one third… But still).
The dish came together in the end, albeit with plenty of hesitation and adjustments along the way. The number of things going on was kind of crazy, but in the end it was pretty tasty. I think.
• 500 gr lamb, chopped into pieces
• 3 red onions, sliced fine
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3 medium sized potatoes cut in cubes
• 2 tbs ghee
• 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
• ¼ tsp cardamon grains
• 6 cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
• ½ tsp coriander seeds
• ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
• ½ tbs garam masala mix
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 100 ml lime juice
• 3 ripe peeled tomatoes, chopped
• ¼ cup tomato paste
• 50 ml red wine vinegar
• 2 generous pinches of saffron
• 1 cup of basmati rice
• 4 hard boiled eggs
• Handful of almonds
• Handful of sultanas
1. Heat a little oil in a heavy based pot, brown the lamb in batches and set aside.
2. Cook one of the onions for 3-4 minutes, add half your garlic for 1 minute.
3. Return lamb to pot, add just enough water to cover, bring to boil then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1.5 hours until lamb is tender and you also have a stock.
4. Meanwhile, fry remaining onion until golden. Set aside.
5. Par-boil or fry your potatoes (until they are half cooked).
6. Preheat oven to 180C.
7. Heat ghee in heavy based pot that can be transferred to oven.
8. Cook ginger, remaining garlic and all spices for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
9. Add buttermilk and lime juice, continue to cook on low for 4-5 minutes, stirring.
10. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
11. Add red wine vinegar and stir through.
12. Stir through saffron.
13. Boil rice until almost cooked through, strain well.
14. Place rice on top of mixture.
15. Create four holes big enough for the eggs and insert those as deep down as possible.
16. Scatter almonds and sultanas on top.
17. Poke holes in the rice in random places using the handle of a wooden spoon.
18. Cover and place in oven for 20 minutes.
Week 38 – South Africa – 1 November 2015
I’m quickly running out of weeks in 2015 and my Eat the World run in Africa is drawing to a close. This week, it was all the way down the bottom to South Africa, which presented quite a few interesting options. My choice was bobotie, which seems to take on influences from Asia and Europe, but is a favourite in South Africa.
After a couple of weeks boggling at weirdly constructed recipes, this one made things quite easy despite the lengthy ingredients roll call. Spices, ginger, turmeric, garlic and chilli made the initial base which flavoured the mincemeat and onions, before apple, raisons, lemon, Mrs H.S. Ball’s chutney (of South African fame) and soggy bread (yep!) were added to amplify and sweeten the dish.
Once prepared, the meat was transferred to a baking dish and covered in a savoury egg custard before being baked. Served with yellow rice and more chutney, what resulted was something entirely new to my kitchen – super interesting with excellent flavour and texture mix between meat and custard!