Week 19 – Kenya
Kuku wa Kupaka (Coconut Chicken)
The more recipes I find for eastern Africa, the more I discover how influenced the cuisine is by India and the Middle East. This curry reflects the vibrancy of many Indian counterparts, benefitting from the marinated meat and richness of the coconut milk. Provided you can prep the night before (for only a few minutes), this is a great mid-week meal.
- 6 chicken pieces (combo of breast and thigh)
- 4 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 3 green chillies, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 4 tomatoes, chopped in large pieces
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 400 ml can of coconut milk
- Hard boiled eggs, to serve
- Marinate chicken in a combination of the ginger, garlic, rosemary, 2 chillies, lime juice and half the oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180C and roast tomatoes with a little salt, pepper and oil for 25 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat a grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric and cumin seeds and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and then pour in coconut milk and any remaining marinade. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Top with remaining green chilli and serve with rice and hard boiled eggs.
Week 20 – Senegal
This is a marinated chicken dish from the south of Senegal, which in Africa can be made from any number of fowl. It uses a marinade with loads of zing thanks to lemon, vinegar and star ingredient – mustard. It’s also a sign that in Senegal, onions are in abundance. This recipe doesn’t use nearly as much as a traditional one might (up to ten!). I figured I’d let it be a chicken dish with onions rather than the expected other way around…
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- ½ cup peanut oil
- 8 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon vegetable stock powder
- 1 chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 500 gr chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
- 4 brown onions, chopped
- ½ small cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- Steamed broccoli, to serve
- To create the marinade, combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, mustard, stock powder, chilli, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over chicken and onions, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Remove chicken and onions from marinate and place in frying pan. Turn chicken to sear on all sides, then remove chicken from heat and set aside. Add cabbage and carrot and cook for 1 minute, then add remaining marinade and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Return chicken to sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve chicken and vegetables on white rice with steamed broccoli. Top with sauce.
Week 21 – Ethiopia
Berbere spice mix is easily the best thing about Ethiopian cooking. African grocers stock it here and it’s vital to any number of curries and stews. But if you can’t get your hands on the real deal – or just want an idea of its flavour profile – you can pull one together using the mighty list below. For the African nation this time around, I’ve pulled out two recipes that are packed with Ethiopian flare – one meaty and one vegetarian. Once you have your spices in check, there’s little more to it (except a little time).
Berbere spice mix – combine all ingredients
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 4 tablespoons dried chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ teaspoon cardamom seed
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Key Wat (Spicy Beef Stew)
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 600 gr chuck steak, cut into 3 cm pieces
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons berbere
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups beef stock
- Heat oil and ghee in a heavy based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches to sear each side. Remove and set aside.
- Add onions to saucepan and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add garlic, berbere, tomato paste and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Return beef to saucepan and cover with beef stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover with aluminium foil, then cover tightly. Cook for 2 ½ hours, or until beef falls apart when pressed.
- Serve stew with injera (Ethiopian flat bread) or cous cous and currents.
Ethiopian-style lentils with sweet potato
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 small sweet potato, chopped into 2 cm pieces
- ½ red capsicum, diced
- 3 teaspoons berbere
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons split red lentils
- 1 cup water
- Soy sauce, to service
- Black pepper
- Heat oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add capsicum, berbere and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add lentils and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and the water has absorbed (you can add more if needed along the way).
- Serve with a little soy sauce and pepper.
Week 22 – Ghana
Got some bananas that are looking a little old? That’s generally a good excuse to make banana bread, because let’s face it – what else is mushy nana good for? Next time the opportunity presents itself (or perhaps you should just make it happen), give an Accra banana cake a go. This is Ghana’s take on a baking classic where banana is paired with a Northern African staple, peanuts. But what really makes this recipe great (and takes away any “healthy” façade that banana bread might attempt normally) is the fact it is injected with caramel prior to baking. What you’re left with is a gooey based, yet perfectly servable cake, packed with banana and crunchy peanuts.
Accra banana cake
- 150 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
- 170 gr caster sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 210 gr plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 4 large, ripe bananas, mashed
- 100 gr peanuts, roughly chopped
Salted caramel sauce
- 150 gr caster sugar
- 150 ml double cream, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- To make the caramel sauce, place sugar in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until it begins to liquefy around the edges. At this stage, gently shake the pan or give it a few gentle stirs (don’t disturb it too much, just make sure all the granules are part of the melt down). Keep a close eye on the sugar once it’s all melted, as it can go from golden to burnt quite quickly. When golden, remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will spit). Return to a high heat until the sauce becomes liquid again. Add the salt, pour the sauce into a heatproof dish and set aside to cool completely.
- Line and grease a 20cm x 10cm baking tin (or as close to that size as possible). Preheat the oven to 170C. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time, beating continuously.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and pinch of salt. Fold half of this dry mixture into the wet mixture from step 2. Fold mashed banana into wet mixture until well combined. Fold remaining dry mixture through wet mixture. Fold through peanuts, keeping a handful for the top of the cake. Transfer mixture to baking tin and top with remaining peanuts.
- Place caramel into a piping bag and press into the cake in several places, squeezing generous amounts through the cake, gently releasing as you remove the piping bag from the cake each time, until you run out. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.