Saturday, 9 May 2009

Zimbabwe Banana Peanut Cake

Delicious and nutritious this cake will go from the tea table to the lunch box - children really like it - and it also can be buttered and sandwiched together. 1/4 cups butter or margarine - softened 2 cups sugar 4 eggs - beaten 4 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 8 ripe bananas - mashed 1/2 cup peanuts - coarsely chopped (roasted but not salted) 1/2 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and bicarb. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the bananas and peanuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top of the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven. Makes 1 - 9x13 cake

Friday, 8 May 2009

Jollof Rice

This is not a Zimbabwe dish but is easily cooked in Zimbabwe - it is tasty and filling and the ingredients are readily available. The dish comes from West Africa. I lived in Ghana and find adapting the Ghanaian dishes to Zimbabwe conditions works well for me.
This is a good party dish served with salad. 3 cups Uncooked long-grain rice ----------- 2 tbsp oil 1 tsp Salt 1 can Beef consommé (10 1/2 oz.) or a made up stock cube 3 cups Water (about) ----------- 1/4 cup oil 1 1/2 cups Onion -- chopped 3 cups Cooked ham -- diced 1 can Whole tomatoes (1 lb. 12 oz. can) -- diced & undrained 1/2 can Tomato paste (6 oz. can) ----------- 2 Hot dried red peppers (soaked in water) -- then squeezed - or use fresh ----------- 3 Hard-cooked eggs -- halved 1/4 cup Parsley -- chopped Wash rice in warm water, changing water until it is clear. Drain well. In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. oil and salt. Add 3/4 cup rice. Brown lightly, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining rice, consommé and water to cover rice about 1 inch. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil. Add onion and sauté until transparent. Stir in ham, tomatoes and juice, and tomato paste. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Drain off 1 cup liquid and reserve. Add tomato-ham mixture and juice from peppers to rice, blending well. Cover and cook until tomato mixture is absorbed, about 3 minutes. (If rice is too dry, add a bit of reserved liquid.) TO ASSEMBLE: Butter a 6- to 8-cup round mixing bowl. Arrange hard-cooked eggs, cut side down, in bottom of bowl. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add rice mixture, packing firmly. Wait a few minutes to unmold. Turn out onto serving plate.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Easy Chapatis

This is an easy, no fuss recipe for chapatis. they can be served with a cury or stew and make a good alternative to rice or potatoes. They are so easy you can make them in the bush over your campfire! 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup vegetable oil -- plus 1-3 TBSP 3/4 cup water (3/4 to 1) In a large bowl, combine salt and 2-1/2 cups flour. Add 1/4 cup oil and mix well. Add water little by little, stirring after each addition, until dough is soft. Knead dough in bowl for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup flour on a flat surface. Take a 2-inch ball of dough and, with a floured rolling pin, roll out into a 1/8-inch-thick circle the size of a saucer. Repeat with remaining dough, sprinkling flat surface with flour if dough sticks. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Fry chapati 3 to 5 minutes per side or until brown. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels. Fry remaining chapatis, adding more oil if necessary. Serve immediately or place in a covered container until ready to serve.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Spicy Polenta

Try this for a change - mealie meal will never seem the same again!
3 cups Water 2 tablespoons Butter or margarine -- divided 3/4 teaspoon Salt 1 cup Yellow cornmeal 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce 1 tablespoon Olive oil
SPICY TOMATO SALSA 1 cup Finely-diced ripe fresh tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes 3 tablespoons Minced onion 1 tablespoon Minced fresh coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1/2 Garlic clove -- minced 1/4 teaspoon Ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce Grease large flat pan, and set aside. Ina saucepan over high heat, bring water, 1 tablespoon butter, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low; slowly add cornmeal in thin stream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and Tabasco pepper sauce. Spread cooked cornmeal mixture in pan to thickness of 1/2-inch. Refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. With 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter or any shape cutter you like , cut cooled polenta mixture into shapes. In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and remaining tablespoon butter. Add polenta shapes, cook 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned, flipping carefully. Repeat with remaining shapes, adding oil and butter if necessary. Serve polenta with Spicy Tomato Salsa.
Prepare Spicy Tomato Salsa: Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors. Serve cold over hot polenta. This recipe yields 18 large shapes.