For Abbas Kalima Emmanuel, cooking is a form of therapy.
“It heals the mind and feeds the soul,” he says.
His most important meal is breakfast because it determines how his day will be like. A reason he has perfected the art of making an English omelette.
He does not add milk to his omelette.
“Adding milk to omelette turns it into a scrambled egg. I prefer my omelette without milk,” says Abbas who has been in the US for two years, studying journalism at the Louisiana State University.
When he is not in the kitchen cooking, he hosts a bi-weekly podcast called the ‘Kalish Talk Show,’ together with a friend.
The home chef of the week talks on the Kenyan food he misses, how to make a perfect omelette and his love for tacos.
Is he a foodie?
“I am not a foodie which people find strange because I'm big,” he says, adding that he would however travel for food in South America and India.
One meal he loves most is Mac n Cheese. He has already learned how to cook macaroni and cheese, tacos, and pasta.
Which Kenyan dish does he miss most?
“I miss chapatis so much even thinking about it makes me hungry. Sadly I haven’t found any Kenyan restaurants in Louisiana,” says Abbas who started cooking rice and omelette when he was in primary school.
The must-have ingredients in his kitchen include chili powder, curry powder, beef or fish masala, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.
“They form the base to nearly all my meals,” he says.
Can he take it up as a career or become a chef for self-actualisation?
“Cooking is therapeutic to me. I put on my favourite music playlist as I cook and I’m at peace. So I wouldn’t necessarily take it on as a career but one can never be certain in this life,” he says.
RECIPES FROM ABBAS
1. Omelette Recipe
• Dice one red onion and half of green pepper and let them sauté for about two minutes till the onions are golden.
• Break two eggs into a bowl. Add pinch-size chili powder, garlic salt, and fish masala. Beat your eggs to a light past consistency.
• Pour the egg into the sautéed onion and green peppers.
• Add mozzarella and cheddar cheese onto the omelette.
• Let it fry on both sides on medium heat while turning the omelette.
• Serve hot with two cinnamon bread slices and a cup of Kenyan tea.
2. Conchiglie Pasta Recipe
• Dice one red onion then proceed to sauté it in medium heat.
• Dice two Roman tomatoes then add to the onions.
• Add a pinch of fish masala into the mixture and stir to distribute evenly.
• Cut half sizes of green, yellow, and red peppers then proceed to add to the mixture.
• Sauté the mixture for two and three minutes then add a spoonful of tomato paste.
• Add assorted vegetables to the mixture and stir while adding pinch sizes of Italian seasoning, beef cube, black pepper, and garlic salt.
• Add about 150 ml of hot water to the mixture and put your sauce in low medium heat.
• Pour about 700 ml of water into a pot with a spoon full of oil and a pinch size of garlic salt into the water and heat to a high then place conchiglie.
• After cooking, drain the water and add your pasta and mix.
• Add some cheddar cheese for a tangy taste and a nice texture for the pasta.
• Serve hot and wash down with any cold drink.