I just adore the #EattheWorld project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz. Here's her challenge. It's always fun to travel to a country vicariously through their cuisine.
In February we kicked off the project with Cuba; in March we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a tabletop trip to Ireland! Thailand was our April destination. And this month has us headed to Kenya.
The Kenyan Feast
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm: Kenyan Pilau
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Kuku Paka + Irio
- Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table: Chapati Za Ngozi (Kenyan Soft-Layered Chapati)
- Margaret of Kitchen Frau: Maharagwe & Ugali (Red Beans in Creamy Coconut Sauce with Cornmeal Slices)
- Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures: Crunchy N’Dizi
- Heather of Based on a True Story: Irio
- Juli of Pandemonium Noshery: Nyama Choma
- Loreto and Nicoletta of Sugar Loves Spices: Mango Ice Cream with Pineapple Rum Sauce (Coupe Mount Kenya)
- Evelyne of CulturEatz: Uji, a Kenyan Fermented Porridge
Typically, this dish has a coconut milk sauce that sounds amazing. But I opened the can of coconut milk and promptly spilled it on the floor...and, given our crazy schedule, I had waited until the last possible night to make the dish. So, we went without. Next time!
Ingredients serves 4 to 6
- 2 pounds chicken thighs (I used boneless and skinless)
- 3 small tomatoes
- 1 organic white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1" knob ginger, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 hot chile or pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 t salt
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground coriander
In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, chile, salt, cumin, and coriander. Process until a rough paste forms. Rub 1 cup of the mixture all over the chicken, and let chicken marinate, in the refrigerator, for at least one hour.
Prepare and light a charcoal grill or heat a grill pan. Grill the marinated chicken, until the outside is browned and the meat is cooked through. Serve with rice or flatbread. I opted to serve it with Irio.
Irio [eer-ee-o], noun: In the Kenyan tribal language Kikuyu, irio just means food. But it usually refers to a simple dish of mashed potatoes with maize, peas, or greens.
Originally a dish of the Kikuyu people, irio is a hearty, nutritious accompaniment. It has many variations, but potatoes and peas are the staple ingredients with corn being the most common addition. Irio is often paired with grilled steak in a dish known as as nyama na irio. Other variations include using lima beans or sauteed greens. Sometimes dried peas are used instead of fresh.
- 2 C fresh shelled peas
- 1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
- water, to cover
- pinch of salt + more for serving
- 2 to 3 T butter
- freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Place the peas and potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Stir in the salt and place over a medium-high flame. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
Mash the potatoes and peas together with a potato masher. Add in the butter and continue to mash until you have the texture you want. Add in a little of the reserved cooking liquid if the mixture gets too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.