One of the oldest foods in our country is githeri simply because it is filling, nutritious, low cost and with a little preparation, can be ready within minutes.
First of all the combination of two grains here makes the dish a full protein and if you can add an avocado, the better. Serve it with sauteed kunde and you have a nutritional powerhouse on a plate. Not only do you get the protein that repairs used up tissue, but you also get minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper and molybdenum ( All good stuff, trust us J ). Furthermore, you get a great dosage of fibre which is key to maintain good digestive health. The Father of Greek medicine said, “Disease begins in the gut’, fibre takes care of the gut.
The maize is loaded with complex carbohydrates which also give you sustained energy for long periods. It is also a decent source for B3 and B6 vitamins, as well as antioxidants.
|INGREDIENT||AMOUNT||COST AT MBOGA MASTERS|
|Red beans||1kg||180/- per kg|
|Maize||2 Cups||150/- per cup|
|Kunde||1 bunch||30 per bunch|
|Garlic||2 cloves||20/- per piece|
|Ginger||Small piece||40/- per piece|
|Red onions||1 piece||120/- per kg|
|Red and Yellow Capsicum||1 piece each||45/-|
|Carrots||1 small||70/- per kg|
|Baby Potatoes||1/4kg||100/- per kg|
|Courgette||1 piece||120/- per kg|
|Dhania||1 bunch||10/- per bunch|
|Mint||1 bunch||30/- per bunch|
|Curry Powder||1 tsp||90/- per jar|
|Tumeric Powder||1 tsp||85/- per jar|
|Sea Salt||1/3 tsp||90/- per 500g Jar|
|Black Pepper||A few grinds||N/A|
|Unsalted Butter||1 tsp||N/A|
|Extra Virgin Coconut Oil|
*N/A= Not YET available at Mboga Masters
- Soak your dried beans overnight
- Heat sufuria over medium low heat, add some extra virgin coconut oil and a little unsalted butter to help browning and add flavor.
- Add your crushed garlic and ginger, red onions, finely diced carrots, mixed colored peppers, baby potatoes, courgette/zucchini, dania/cilantro, mint and let them sweat slowly, about 7 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Then add the curry powder and turmeric powder, toast for about 1 minute or until you can smell the aromas from the spices.
- Add 3 cups of water and scrape the bits that stick on the bottom of the pan, we call this fond, as in foundation of flavor, very important to deglaze.
- Add the soaked beans and fresh maize now and bring to a boil over high heat. If you would like more heat in your githeri you can now add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cover leaving a little space for the steam to escape.
- Cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are almost soft.
- Remove from heat and then add some fresh dania/cilantro and mint leaves for garnish, leave to rest for about 10 minutes
- Now Heat your frying pan, add some extra virgin coconut oil, brown some onions there and then add your roughly chopped kunde, cook for only about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of broth/soup from the githeri onto the greens to add a little bit of moisture.
- Serve immediately
Watermelon, a great way to refresh yourself in the heat. Did you know that it is about 90% water? And the other 10% nutrients that help you to keep fresh and energetic all day long. If you can JUICE IT, even better and it also works great in a SMOOTHIE. Watermelons are also awesome because they have very few calories yet so many vitamins (vitamins C, B1 & A), minerals (potassium, magnesium and calcium) antioxidants and fibre.
Oh, and EAT THE SEEDS too, they contain a lot of nutrition as well and can be dried, roasted on a pan or in the oven and consumed as a snack – they are loaded with protein and ‘good fats’ too so no need for using any cooking oil, just a little bit of natural Himalayan salt.
You could also dice the watermelon and freeze them using some skewers to make watermelon popsicles, there are so many endless possibilities with this nutrient dense fruit.
Here’s another idea, you can MAKE A SALAD using watermelon, which goes really well with mint, maybe a little crispy prosciutto, some red onion, dress it up with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, serve with nyama choma, or anything grilled, the freshness works well with meats and also helps to digest it.
Another tip is to EAT PART OF THE RIND itself which also contains plenty of nutrition and fibre.
An Elevated Kachumbari Recipe
Kachumbari or red relish is one of the most popular sides in Kenyan cuisine. Not only is it nutritious, it is also delicious and goes with so many things, pilau, nyama choma (roast/grilled meats) and when you add a little avocado, it becomes guacamole, which is another versatile side that can make your party go wild on the food platter. Guacamole or elevated kachumbari can go with anything too, bread, pasta, pizza, guacamole is so good that you can have guacamole with guacamole haha.
Cherry tomatoes are more preferable in this recipe because they are sweeter and less acidic. Loaded with lycopene, vitamin C and fibre, this fruit is really what you want to have with your mbuzi choma as the acidity cuts through the fat in the roast bringing balance in flavor. Red onions are also a great source of minerals like zinc, potassium which help in maintaining blood pressure. Dania/cilantro/coriander is a herb and many herbs are very nutrient dense, rich I vitamin K which is associated with impeccable cardiovascular health.
The seasonings also play a big part in your health even in their relatively minute amounts in food. Sea or Natural Himalayan salts contain many minerals like calcium and magnesium which are important for maintaining good health.
Black pepper is also good for digestion.
*Amounts for 4 generous servings
|Red Onion||1 large||120/- per KG|
|Fresh Dhania||2 healthy bunches||10/- each|
|Avacado||1 piece||30/- each|
|Sea Salt||145/- per jar|
|Black Pepper in Grinder||N/A|
*N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters
1. Finely chop the cherry tomatoes, red onions and fresh dania/cilantro/coriander as fine as possible except the avocado and lime/lemon juice
2. Mash the avocado into the mixture with a fork or pestle. Season with the salt and pepper.
3. Add very little lime/lemon juice, about ½ a teaspoon for 1 cup of kachumbari, taste and adjust if necessary, you do not want the citrus to overpower everything else.
4. Serve with nyama choma/grilled/roast meat or with pilau
Local pears are now in season and bursting with flavor and nutrition. Plus, they are cheap – only 15/- each at Mboga Masters. Don’t peel your pears, when cleaned nicely, the skin adds flavor, texture and nutrients. Not peeling also means less work for you 🙂 and less chance of cutting yourself – peeling fruit is tricky business.
Here are some benefits of pears:
Pears contain a good amount of the water-soluble fibre called pectin which is linked to good health and longevity in their skin. Fruit skin/ rind in general contains a lot of fibre – which is great for digestion, controlling blood sugar and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The pectin fibre is also attributed to help with constipation, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many other digestion-related ailments.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Pears contain a good number of vitamins; Vitamins B2 (helps prevent migraines, treats anaemia among others) C (boosts immunity) & E (cancer and heart disease prevention) can all be obtained from this amazing seasonal fruit. Pears are also a great source of the dietary mineral Potassium whose deficiency is usually associated with risk of high blood pressure.
Naturally the fruit contains fructose and glucose which are complex carbohydrates that boost your energy and are also used in cell structure formation. This burst of natural sugars gives you high amounts of sustained energy which is great for people who work out and do not want to consume calorie-heavy foods that will use up some of their working-out energy.
This fruit is one of the easiest foods to digest – being one of the first few foods recommended when weaning infants. For this reason it is also recommended for people with food allergies as they often don’t react to them.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Studies have shown pears to be very helpful in cancer prevention, immune boosting and anti inflammatory. They contain folate, which is recommended to pregnant ladies or those of child-bearing age because it helps to avoid birth defects. In traditional Chinese medicine, they simmer the pears and add honey and lemon juice to the mixture and use it to treat throat ailments.
There are indeed many reasons to be excited about pears this season.