The holiday season is here, time to get in the kitchen and whip up a storm for friends and family as you spend time together. While here in Kenya we may have our common dishes that never miss in any gathering, such as chapati, grilled meat, pilau and other gravies, should you be considering making an Indian or Chinese dish this festive season, here are some pointers that will make your guests keep coming back for more.
“Simple Chinese dishes you can try are the either vegetable fried rice, vegetable spring rolls or noodles. The only ingredients you need are a packet of Chinese noodles, or rice, fresh vegetables, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
These you then just toss these together in a pan,” said Chef Rana Rahul of Mr Yao Chinese Restaurant, during last weekend's Indo-Chinese food expo at Westgate Shopping Mall. The expo was organised by Pishi, Nation Media Group's interactive meal ‘solution’ portal.
Hot garlic chicken, dry chilli beef are some of the meat dishes Chef Rahul suggested can be made at home during this festive season.
“You just need slices of chicken and beef, chilli sauce, soy sauce, onions, garlic and a little sesame oil to toss it,” he adds.
With Mr Yao having been open for four months, Chef Rahul is keen to mention that the uptake of this new Chinese restaurant among locals has been positive with popular dishes being ribs, wings, beef, crispy fish and the handmade noodles.
Should you be looking to serve an Indian meal, ensure you have some garlic, ginger and coriander. These are the must-have ingredients for any Indian meal, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
“For coriander, it is recommended that you grind the seeds and add the ground coriander to the meal. Vegetables that you must not miss when making any vegetarian dish are carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini,” said Nilabh Sumaa, Haandi group manager.
An ideal vegetarian dish you can make over the holidays is yellow lentils.
“Boil the lentils and toss onions, green chilli, garlic, ginger, green coriander and then let it cook. Serve with plain rice and you will have a healthy vegetarian dish,” he adds.
“Palak Paneer is also a simple Indian vegetarian dish that can be made at home. All that is required is a spinach puree, you can add cheese, vegetables or meat of your choice, toss it and it’s ready,” he adds.
For Indian dishes, garlic and ginger are first sautéed separately then they are added to the dish being prepared. In some dishes, the ginger-garlic paste is also used to enhance the flavour of the meal.
Should you have any leftovers, you can spruce them up by tossing some fresh vegetables with a little oil and similar spices used in the leftover meal.