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Food & Drinks

Rose’s quick recipes for busy weeknights

Rose Nzalambi who runs a food blog
Rose Nzalambi who runs a food blog. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Rose Nzalambi is a commerce student, a foodie, and a blogger. While still in school, she has started a couple of online businesses and a blog that focuses on recipes for beginners as well as an expert home cook.

She started the food blog in 2017 to share her culinary exploits. Most of the recipes are quick too and perfect for busy weeknights.

Some are gathered from her stays in Mombasa, many are deciphered from her recipe development sessions while others are learned from her mother and father.

Over the years, she has learned to adapt traditional recipes and international cuisines with the spices and produce that Kenya has to offer.

“I am always discovering new ideas from other food bloggers both locally and worldwide. I love trying out new stuff. Cooking is my therapy. I love how cooking makes me feel,” she says.

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According to the home chef, cooking helps families bond and keeps people occupied.

Cooking, she adds is a way to express your love to your family in an edible manner.

“Staying at home and not because you want to can be depressing, Cooking keeps one from thinking too much about what is currently going on in the world,” she says.

Rose started cooking when she was 12 years old. Then it was not her passion, but children her age upcountry could cook ugali and she wanted to fit in.

Her earliest memory in the kitchen is making half-cooked ugali.

“It was a major fail. The ugali was porridge-like and no one ate it,” she said.

She remembers back when her dad taught her how to prepare ugali.

“My dad also taught me how roll chapati dough without having to turn it repeatedly. I use those skills to date. One thing I picked up from my mother is how to make doughnuts, and mashed mukimo,” she says.

Some of her favourite dishes include pilau, vegan lasagna, triple-decker pizzas and noodles with coconut shrimp curry.

Her last meal would be cheesy pasta, with tomato sauce and stuffed chicken, or pilau served the authentic way with kachumbari and pili ya kukaanga.

She says for one to cook food perfectly, they need the right attitude and fresh ingredients. Her kitchen cabinet must have onions, garlic, cumin, and black pepper.

Stir-fried chicken

If one wants to be a better cook, she adds, they should not be afraid to cut or burn self, all great chefs started from there.

“You can always make restaurant food you love eating at home and the good thing about that is, you can tweak it a bit to suit you,” she says.

If one wants to impress someone, and they are low on time, she says stir-fried foods will do the job.

“They are fast to cook and simple. Try stir-fried chicken with peppers and broccoli then have it with ramen or pasta, even rice it’s too good,” she says.

Her dream is to open a restaurant and be a chef in it.

Italy, France, Mexico, Ethiopia, and India are top on her bucketlist.

“I have always wanted to travel for food. I want to learn other country's cultures and especially their food culture,” she says.

RECIPES

1. Pilau ya Zabibu (Raisin pilau)

(Preparation time - 30 minutes)

Ingredients

• Tomatoes

• Bell pepper

• Onions

• Tomato paste

• Garlic

• Ginger

• Beef and Beef Broth

• Pilau Masala

• Salt

• Rice

• Water

• Raisins

Method

—In low heat, put oil and onions in a sufuria and fry them till soft (not golden brown).

—Add boiled beef and stir fry with the onions for about a minute.

—Add salt, garlic and ginger paste and stir for another minute or two.

—Add pilau masala and stir making sure your contents don’t burn in the sufuria. (Use low heat throughout the cooking process)

—Add blended tomatoes and bell pepper and stir it thoroughly with the other ingredients.

—Then add rice on this mixture and stir up for a minute, making sure it mixes well with the ingredients, before adding the beef broth.

—Add hot water now and stir, let the rice cook in the low heat.

—Add raisins and stir

—Serve with kachumbari.

2. Battered Fish

—Put flour, salt, black pepper, ground cumin, minced garlic, tumeric, and a pinch of baking powder.

—Add water to make a pancake mixture.

—Put fish fillets in the mixture, let marinate for up to 30 minutes then deep fry until golden brown(make sure the fish is coated well with the mixture and the oil is hot).

—This goes well with French Fries and salsa.

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