Chai Ya Mdalasini (Cinnamon) Mix

I recently read an article that was shared by a friend that was titled “Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea”. The article outlines how both these terms originate from China and how the spread of the words depicts how globalization worked before the term “globalization” was a term.

In Swahili, the term chai is used. I grew up drinking chai in Mombasa. I find myself drinking chai now as a way to soothe myself after a long day. Chai is something that I took very much for granted in my childhood, I now approach it with more mindfulness. 

Anyway, there are two ways of drinking chai in Mombasa; either you can drink chai wa rangi (translating literally to chai of colour) which is a blend of fresh crushed ginger, chai spices, black tea leaves and nothing else. The second way is known as chai ya maziwa(chai with milk what is a so-called chai latte here in Europe). Chai is drunk in various ways in Mombasa as there are some recipes that lean more on the Indian influence and use more cinnamon, other recipes use more crushed ginger (chai ya tangawizi). Every household has their own way of preparing chai. I remember that as a child when we would visit my mother’s village in Embu a common breakfast would be margarine spread white toast bread stacks that would be cut diagonally into right triangles, that would be dunked into the chai. I loved this breakfast as I am a sucker for dunking all kinds of things in my tea! This type of breakfast is a staple for a lot of people across Kenya.

In Mombasa, people do also drink their chai with margarine spread toast bread. Yet there is also the traditional Swahili breakfast which is chai na mahamri ( mahamri is a cardamom-spiced doughnut that is not in the shape of a circle but in the shape of a triangle). Sometimes the mahamris are filled with mbaazi wa nasi (which is pigeon peas in coconut milk stew). So delicious!

People in Mombasa add sugar to their chai which in some cases has had not so good health effects on the people. I find that by adding maybe more fennel or more cinnamon, chai can be enjoyed without adding sugar.  Therefore here is my Chai ya mdalasini (chai with cinnamon) mix.  I made a video that shows the whole process:

 

One small disclaimer this is not your Nyanya’s way of making chai. This is my way which is very much inspired by how I am feeling, where I am, what I see, read and taste. If you want your Nyanya’s Chai mix then please just ask her.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Brownies

As i write this post i am nibbling on one of these brownies. In my last post i suggested that as a meal prep you should prepare something sweet for the week. This recipe is perfect for that. It is simple, cheap, chocolaty gooey, glutenfree, refined sugar free and 100% nourishing.

I made a video that shows the whole process. For the exact measurements scroll down.

 

Equipment:

35×25 cm oven dish (i used this one)

if you want to make a smaller tray just reduce all the recipes by half and use a 27×18 cm tray

food processor

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatos (oven baked or chopped up boiled or steamed)

1 cup date paste or 24 pitted large dates

4 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil

2 cups ground up sunflower seeds (or hazelnuts,almonds or brazil nuts but sunny seeds are cheap and delicious )

2 cups of ground up oats

12 Tablespoons of cacao powder (unsweetend)

6 Tablespoons of sugarbeet molasses ( or whatever natural sweetner you prefer, also feel free to reduce the amount or leave this out completely and add more dates and plant milk)

pinch of salt

dash of plant milk

dash of hot water

 

Method:

– in a food processor add the dates and a dash of hot water and process to a paste

– add in the sweet potatos and coconut oil and process everything

-in a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients; oat flour, sunflower seed flour, salt and cacao powder

– pour the sweetpoato mix into the mixing bowl, add the sugarbeet molasses and stir everything together

– if the mix is too dry add in a dash of plant milk or water and stir. The mixture should be sticky and gooey but not dry and and not runny either

-place some baking paper on a baking tray and pour the mixture in and spread out evenly.

-place tray in the oven and bake for 30 mins

– VERY IMPORTANT! remove from the oven and let the brownie cool completely this is very important. The longer you wait the better the brownie I usually let it rest overnight.

 

 

 

Spicy apple kimchi

Most of the things that i cook have a story and a life behind it. For example, I was introduced  to kimchi when i was around 10 years old by my elementary school best-friend, who happens to also be called Esther. Esther is a Kenyan born Korean, i used to spend a lot of time at Esther’s place as a child. During mealtimes kimchi was always served as a side to the most delicious friedrice or plain rice ever. The rice at Esther’s place was the best rice i have ever had in life (not exaggerating). Anyway, this post is about kimchi not rice! The kimchi was so flavourful as well i immediately loved it, therefore it is no wonder that many years later i have learnt to make kimchi for myself and i eat it regularly as a side with everything and on everything.

This recipe is not traditional at all. If that is what you are after there are a ton of YouTube videos with authentic kimchi recipes. However, this recipe is tangy, spicy and tastes like the real deal! In this recipe i added apple to give it a winter twist.

 

What you will need:

1 medium large Napa cabbage
1/2 cup of salt
water

For chili paste: 

2 tbsp sea salt
3/4 cup Gochugaru (korean chilli powder)
2 Tbsp sugar beet molasses
dash of water
3 cloves of crushed garlic (add more if you like)
1 knob of ginger (size depends on your preferences)

Vegetables: 

1 medium sized white radish or daikon (i couldn’t find any daikon so i used radish)
1 small apple
1 leek chopped in circles
some chopped up chives (optional)

Method:

Step 1:

Cut off the bottom part of the napa cabbage, slice lengthwise in half, then cut across into 4 equal parts. Place the 4 pieces into a large bowl and fill with water till the cabbage pieces are well covered, add 1 1/2 cup of salt, cover the bowl and soak up to 24hrs.

Step 2:

The cabbage is well soaked if it no longer snaps when you bend it, it should be elastic.  Once the cabbage is well soaked, drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Make chili paste in a small bowl by adding all the ingredients and combining everything well together.

Step 3:

In a large bowl add all the vegetables and mix well. Then take a zip lock bag and wear it inside out (the zip lock bag will act as your gloves). Add the chili paste to the vegetables mix, now add in the rinsed cabbage bit by bit and place in the zip lock bag. For this amount i used two 1 liter zip lock bags.

Step 4:

Place the zip lock bags in an air tight container, and store in a dark cool place for three days if you like it very tangy and two days to one day if you prefer it less tangy.  The reason i use zip lock bags is so that the flavorful kimchi smell does not seep into the containers that i use as it is hard to get rid of.

zip lock your kimchi before placing it into an airtight container to avoid the smell seeping into your containers and making the whole fridge smell. I live in a flat-share so this is a real lifehack!

 

Step 5:

Once the three days have passed, place in the fridge and leave it for another five days. However, you can also place it in the fridge and eat it one day after.

Remember if it tastes off follow your gut feeling and get rid of it as this is fermentation and you do not want to contaminate yourself!

 

Fizzy Lemonade

 

This is not about Queen B, but trust me it is as good. Summer is finally upon us in Berlin, skirts and shorts are out skin and ice cream licking shaded faces are all over the place….

 

I am going to get right into the recipe, this is possibly the easiest  cooling and soothing lemonade recipe, that will really fulfill that fizzy crave that we all get when the temperatures are up.

Ingredients:

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (in Berlin currently there are no available lemons from Europe so i used lemon concentrate from Alnatura which is also good as it is 100/ lemon juice)

1 liter of Sparkling Water (if you cant stomach the fizz than just use still water)

2 Tbsp of Maple syrup (or any syrup you prefer)

1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (whichever berries  you prefer, i used blueberries and strawberries)

A handful of fresh basil leaves or Mint or both

 

Method:

1.place all the ingredients in a jug stir together and enjoy!

p.s If your water is not cold you can use frozen berries which can act as ice cubes.

p.s.s You can also store it in the fridge to cool and enjoy it later. Drink the lemonade within 24 hours so that everything still tastes fresh!

Enjoy!

 

Kimchi on everything

 

Hello

Have i told you how much i love kimchi. Kimchi and i go way way back. I must admit though that i was very scared of making my own kimchi, as i was scared of contamination and explosions- I know i am a little dramatic.

All things aside my kimchi turned out great and it was delicious. So here is the recipe that i used that i got off the kitchn.

However i did twerk up the recipe and added 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt and 1 cup of water, before letting the kimchi rest for 1 week. After 1 week i placed the kimchi in the fridge and waited 5 days after that i burst that jar open with a POP and then nomnonom.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • Water to soak the Napa Cabbage in

For the Paste

  • 1 Tablespoon of grated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of ginger
  • 1  teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of korean chilli powder ( In Berlin you can get it at Vihn Loi)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Small Daikon radish peeled and cut into match sticks
  • half a leek cut into circles ( you can also use spring onions)

Finishing Touch

  • 1 Cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of water

 

Special Equipment:

Airtight seal able jar -I used this  one

Method:

  1. Cut the Cabbage in half l remove the cores and then chop medium sized strips.
  2. Salt the Cabbage, place the cabbage in a big bowl and pour in the salt massage it in well, you can use gloves here but that is purely optional just make sure your hands and nails are clean. The cabbage should start to soften once it has slightly softened add water the water should be enough to cover all of the cabbage. Cover the bowl with a chopping board and place a heavy book or canned goods on top. Let it stand for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the spicy Paste. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, chilli powder and water. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the Cabbage and wash and drain with cold water 3 times. Give the cabbage a good squeeze and drain out all the water. Towel dry the bowl and place the bowl and place the cabbage back in the bowl.
  5. Add in the paste, leek and daikon raddish. Mix everything well together, again use your hands however this time it is more advisable to wear gloves as the chilli could irritate your skin and the garlic smell may take longer to get rid of off your hands. However this is entirely up to you!  Make sure its all mixed together well.
  6. Place the mix in the jar add in 1 tbsp of salt and one cup of water, shut the jar and let the magic happen. Let it ferment at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. I let it ferment for 1 week and then placed it in the fridge and let it stand for another 5 days after that i popped it open.
  7. Check on your kimchi daily- Avoid opening the lid too often though. If anything looks off just write me or if you think something has gone wrong don’t risk  getting sick, dispose of it! Always trust your gut feeling. Taste the kimchi if it is to your liking you can eat it at an earlier stage as well, however please use a clean fork and do not use the same fork once it has been in your mouth to avoid contamination.

IMG_4336

 

once my kimchi was done i ate it with everything ( as pictured above on top of my lentil pommegranate salad) . Kimchi also tastes great with a simple bowl of rice, quinoa or what have you. Kimchi Good!

 

Here are a few links to a blogpost that i read about the benefits of fermented foods. Sauerkraut i am coming for you next!

 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5711/Why-Im-Krazy-for-Kimchee.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14758/why-fermented-foods-are-good-for-weight-loss-mood-glowing-skin.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24066/the-best-foods-supplements-for-a-healthy-gut-a-doctor-explains.html

 

 

 

 

Cini Mini 1993

 

Ingredients for 3 trays

  • 250g Flour
  • 1 Sachet of Yeast
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 163ml lukewarm water
  • 15g of plant based margarine
  • Cinnamon as much as you prefer
  • Agave as much as you prefer

Method:

Place yeast in a bowl pour in the lukewarm water and add 2 squirts of agave and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, or till visible bubbles form.

Add in the flour and mix it all well together. Knead with your hands for around 6 minutes. The dough should not be too wet and sticky, it should be very elastic and soft but not sticky. Adjust with Flour and water till you get the right consistency, but first mix everything well together and knead it for around 3 minutes before adjusting anything!

Cover the dough with a kitchen cloth and place in a warm place and let it sit for 1 hour.

After an hour has passed preheat oven to 150 degrees. The dough should visibly have risen. cut the dough into three equal parts. Take one part and roll it out on a parchment paper roll it out very very thinly now spread some margarine on the rolled out dough and then add some agave ( however much you prefer) and spread this equally all over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and spread equally as well. Then take a sharp wet knife and cut a plaid pattern all over the rolled out dough. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place the parchment paper with the dough on a baking tray respectively, and bake for 12 minutes or till they are its golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let it cool then separate the cut plaid pattern  into small tiny squares.

Enjoy!

Recipe Inspired by http://www.mycookingloveaffair.de/rezepte/kinder/zimt-und-der-feind-in-meiner-milch/

Carrot Apple Ginger Smoothie

 

 

This  is something that i have been loving especially in the colder months as it really gives me a kick in the morning. I am slightly allergic to raw carrots and some types of apple skin -apart from Elstar apples- due to cross pollination, as i suffer terribly from hay fever as well.

However i do try to consume small amounts of raw carrots and apples in my diet to reap their nutrient benefits as well. This smoothie is a great way for me to that.

Untitled

Method

Put all the ingredients in a mixer and blend till everything is smoothie. Place in a glass or jar sprinkle some chia and hemp shells on top. Enjoy!

Chapatti + Potato Curry or Potato Curry in a Chapatti or Chapadilla

 

So this is a delicious recipe that was inspired by my boyfriend.

I love chapatti’s, my mother taught me at a very young age how to make them, while my friends where eating toast with jam  i was enjoying my chapatti with jam during school break. My sister and i used to make them together, since i was too young to handle the stove, i loved those nights and enjoyed kneading the dough and rolling it out and how the whole house smelled of utter deliciousness.

When i moved to Mombasa, Chapattis where easily available ( My best friends are of Indian decent so yeah lunches where always crazy good chapattis or parathas mmmhh dont get me started)  so i stopped making my own chapattis, instead i missed the German sourdough bread. I tell you its always the thing that you cant have!

So when i moved back to Berlin and i had my fair share of sour dough, to no surprise i started to miss chapattis again and naturally i started to experiment and make my own.

There are two types of chapattis that i am familiar with one is the Indian type that uses almost no oil and is flat and firm. Then there is the Coast Mombasa Chapo which is more oily, soft and is layered in texture. My mother taught me a blend of the two something in between an Indian and a Mombasa Chapo ( a hybrid chapatti)

Its crazy the reaction that you get when you tell people ok lets make bread then, or when you serve it. Its like as if people think that you have some kind of magic power when in reality making chapatti is so easy and cheap. Cheaper than bread and good for you as you can twerk it up and make it nutritious with ingredients such as seeds and wholewheat flour instead of white flour its really very easy, delicious and stores very well -therefore it can be prepared and frozen and enjoyed throughout.

I experiment a lot with chapattis and my boyfriend does too now, he recently made a quesadilla chapatti which inspired me to make one as well with a potato green pea curry filling which was delicious and then one with wilmersburger vegan cheese alternative and it turned out so delicious as well.

Hope you enjoy it too and  get crazy creative with filling !!

Ingredients:

makes 6 chapatti this depends though on how big you make them

Chapatti Dough

2 cups of flour ( of your choice i used organic wholewheat feel free to use spelt or wheat)

1 cup of room temp water

pinch of salt

1 tbsp of oil ( again your choice or feel free to omit)

Potato ‘Aloo’ filing/curry (Option 2)

4 diced potatoes the ones that get mashy in german we say nicht festkochend sondern mehlig

1 diced carrot

1 cup of frozen, canned or precooked green peas

1 diced red onion

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 crushed garlic clove

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds (optional)

1tsp garam masala

1tsp of madras curry ( or whatever curry powder you prefer)

1tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

dash of chilli flakes

1 cup of water

salt to taste

 

Cheesy version ( Option 2)

Vegan cheese alternative i used Wilmersburger Classic 

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Chapatti mix:

In a bowl mix the flour and salt add in the water and mix first with a spoon. Once everything is mixed together it is time to get your hands dirty. Flour a flat surface and get kneading, punch, slap, throw and pinch that dough do this workout a minimum of 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic not sticky and not dry and hard either, it should be soft and elastic. once you are done kneading roll it into a log and cut into 6 even pieces. Roll all six pieces into balls brush some oil on the pieces and let them rest on the floured surface. ( if you only want to make chapattis without the filling let them rest for up to 30 minutes before you roll them out and cook them)

Potato curry

While the chapatti dough is resting you can start making the aloo mix.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add in the onions and mustard seeds. Stir constantly once the onions are glassy add in the garlic and all the spices. stir everything well together once the spices are fragrant add in the potatoes and carrots mix well and then add in 1/2 cup of water, reduce the heat to a simmer. let it simmer for 16 minutes make sure to check on it in so that once the water has evaporated add in the other 1/2 cup. Once the potatoes are soft and mashy add in the peas and salt to taste stir well and turn off the stove.

This potato curry can also be enjoyed as a side to chapattis or with rice.

Chapatti

Place a pan on a medium high heat stove. While the pan is heating up on a floured surface get a rolling pin ( if you do not have one, a wine bottle works perfectly well for this) and roll out one ball into a thin flat disc shape ‘think chapatti’. The thickness of the chapatti depends on you however i like mine thin. Place the rolled out chapatti on the hot pan, if you are adding the filing take one spoon of the filling and spread evenly on one side of the chapatti. Close the chapatti with the other half ( that has no filling) and flip over now cook till both sides are brown ( usually 3 minutes that’s 1,5 minutes on both sides depends on your stove top) you can spread some coconut oil or whatever kind of oil you prefer on both sides before taking it off the pan ( Important if you are adding oil do this at the end that is once the chapatti is about to get off the pan). REPEAT FOR THE REST.

Cheeeeeeesee Variation

For the cheesy variation cut up your cheese and place on one half of the chapatti add salt and pepper and then close with the other half. Then its the same procedure as above- cook till both sides are brown.

IMG_4018

 

 

Simple vanilla Chia Pud

 

So i am one of those people that get very very very happy when i have prepped all my food a night before for the next  day. As this means that i can sleep longer in the mornings and that i do not have to make so called “convenient” not so nutritious food choices at university or on the go.

This recipe is super easy and so delicious and can be made a up-to 3 nights ahead. It is delicious and tastes so good and can easily be transported in a small glass jar. For this chia pudding i usually use tomato paste jar that is empty and clean, i find that reusing jars is such a nice way to store your spices and make your pantry look nice. At the same time you can use your jars to store your food like a lunch box or in my case like a “break jar” or “lunch jar”.

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp of Chia seeds

1 Tbsp of Oats

1/2 Vanilla bean

10 Tbsp almond milk

half a frozen banana cut up in chunks ( if you do not have frozen bananas in the fridge on standby at all times for nicecream emergencies, just use a regular banana)

handful of cacao nibs

pinch of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)

handful of hemp seeds (Optional)

Method:

Mix all the ingredien
ts together thoroughly. Really stir it all together or else the pudding won’t be pudding like but instead will be dry and not so great. Once you have mixed everything well together seal well and store in the fridge overnight.

Yum in the Tum!

P.s if you like it on the sweet side feel free to add in some agave or maple. Use berries instead of banana or use both. As always this should serve as an idea take it and make it to your liking.

I enjoyed the pictured chia pudding on a beautiful  wooden bench enjoying the last rays of light for that day.