Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mbaazi (Pigeon Peas in coconut curry sauce)

The following dish is yet another popular food in the Kenyan and Tanzanian coast. It is mainly eaten for breakfast as an accompaniment to either chapati (a type of flat bread), or mahamri (a type of coconut and cardamom doughnut). It is both nutritious and delicious. This legume is protein-packed. It is a very simple dish that is easy to prepare. Here's how to do it:

-1 Lb of canned chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans or pigeon peas, drained (you can also use these legumes in dry form sold in a packet).
-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use canola).
-1 small onion, finely diced.
-1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
-1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder (can be found in Indian grocery stores or online).
-1 teaspoon curry powder (can be found in International aisle of the grocery store or Indian grocery store).
-1/2 teaspoon garam masala (can be found in international aisle of grocery store).
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
-1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher).
-13.5 OZ canned heavy coconut milk.

***If you opt to buy the chickpeas/pigeon peas in a pack as opposed to canned, completely submerge them in water and soak them overnight. The following day, rinse out that water you used to soak them in and put in fresh water and add a pinch of salt then boil the beans for about 20-30mins until they are soft and give when pressed between your fingers. Do not let them get mushy. Drain the water and proceed to the next steps.***

-In a medium sized pot, add the cooking oil and let it heat for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the onions and saute until golden brown. Stir constantly.
-Add the garlic and let it cook until they slightly turn brown.
-Add the turmeric first and let it cook for a few minutes. Then add the curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper and salt.Stir.
-Add the chickpeas into the pan and stir until they are completely coated in the spice/onion mixture.
-Gradually add the coconut milk and stir.
-Cover the pot and let it simmer on medium heat for 15-20mins.
-Taste for salt and if it is to your liking, serve hot. Enjoy!

I ate mine with some mahamris (pictured below). Yum!!