In the home kitchen, most mothers reign supreme. While women still spend more time preparing meals than men, in some homes, it is a father who plays the role of cooking cherished family meals.
Frank Amariati Osale, a dad of one cooks for his family most of the time.
His prowess in the kitchen began at the age of 14. He learned how to cook from his mother but adapted and changed some recipes along the way.
“I started cooking in 2008, I was barely 14 then, could watch mom do her cooking then try it out after she leaves the kitchen. I later on enrolled for a Bachelor's degree in Hotels and Hospitality Management,” he says.
After he married and had a baby girl, Frank's interest in cooking grew and he became the main cook in the family. He continues to relish it even while holding down a full-time job as a sales executive in a Mombasa-based hotel.
He says he knows he is a bit different from other dads as most of his male friends do not cook at all. But to him, cooking is all about family anyway, which is why he loves doing it.
“Cooking for my family is therapy on its own. It’s a way of showing love especially when I see them licking their fingers and smiling. It is a romantic gesture,” he says.
Most times, he hands his four-year-old daughter advice and life lessons when they are kneading dough for chapati or seasoning fresh fish.
“She loves eggs, fish, and fries. I treat her like we are in a five-star restaurant. I set up the table for her and treat her like a queen. I want to give her the five-star hotel experience from a young age,” he says.
Some of Frank’s favourite dishes include fish wet fry, served with brown ugali, and fresh farm green vegetables. He cooks with fresh herbs such as garlic, ginger, coriander, and rosemary rather than processed spices.
He enjoys traditional Kenyan food.
“I once set off for Nyeri to have a bite of the famous dish of central Kenya, mukimo. I know how to make it but it never hits the taste buds the same way it did when I was in Nyeri,” he says.
According to the home chef, cooking for self-actualisation is better than doing it as a career. He says it allows one to have all the space to be creative, come up and develop your cuisine, not restricted to production constraints.
“For us who love mentoring and passing on knowledge and skills, this stay at a home time has given us a platform to reach out to many people using social media sites, especially YouTube ( Cook with Frankie25), where you can post an already-shot video or even go live as you show how to make a certain dish,” he says.
One of his mother's recipes that Frank continues to make to this day is her white chapati.
From Frank's Kitchen to Yours
1. Fluffy pancakes (preparation time 25 minutes)
• 1 lemon (grated rind)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour(sieved)
• 1 egg
• 200ml milk
• 1 level teaspoon baking powder
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•In a bowl, mix the milk, egg, sugar, lemon rind and oil using a wire whisk or fork.
•Mix the flour and baking powder evenly.
•Add the flour to the mixture in step one and whisk evenly until you obtain a smooth mixture.
•Scoop using a soup ladle and cook on a nonstick pan for two minutes on both sides.
2. White chapati
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• Sugar (optional)
• Sunflower oil or vegetable oil
• Sift 4 cups of all-purpose flour.
• Season with salt, and a sugar (optional).
•Add 3 tablespoons of oil and then the hot water.
• Knead for about seven minutes adjusting the flour or water as you are looking for a moderately soft dough, not too soft though.
•Cover and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes but ideally 4-5 hours for the best flavour and texture.
• Flour the surface and roll them thin while heating your pan medium heat with oil.
•Cook each side without touching, for four minutes.
• Put in a brown paper bag and leave inside the hot pot to finish cooking with the steam which makes them taste great, about 20 minutes more.