Recipes for Kenyan Kale and Spinach for the Hotel – Recommendations?

Freshly picked kale and spinach being delivered to the Hotel kitchen

Through the contract farming project that I am helping to organize between the local villagers and the Hotel Lac Tanganyika, we now have great quantities of Kenyan kale (sukuma wiki) and spinach coming to the hotel’s kitchen.  What is needed, now, are a variety of recipes that can be used for the Sunday International Buffet as well as special buffets during the week.

For example, I remember in Egypt a lovely spinach recipe – but cannot find it…  Kale is just not one of ‘my’ vegetables – and in Kenya it is really the most popular vegetable, usually made into a kind of sauce or mixed with beans or meat and eaten with a pate.  But both Richard and I are against the wall, in coming up with new ideas.

Spinach being prepared in the hotel kitchen

So – friends, colleagues, and Silent Ones – please come out of the electronic woodwork and suggest some recipes  that Chef Richard can feature in the Sunday Buffets!

He thanks you – and so do the hungry clients at the Buffet as well as farmers who are selling these vegetables to the hotel!

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Contract-Farming, Cuisine, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Recipes for Kenyan Kale and Spinach for the Hotel – Recommendations?

  1. Diana: here are a few Indian style spinach and kale recipes.

    Spinach Pakoda (appetizer)
    Chickpea flour – 3/4 cup
    Rice flour – 2 tablespoons
    Spinach leaves – 3 cups
    Onion – 1
    Red Chili Powder – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (adjust to heat preference)
    Salt – to taste
    Water
    6 to 8 cups Canola or peanut oil for deep frying
    Chop Spinach and Onion into long thin strips. Mix all the ingredients except oil in a bowl. Add just enough water to just bind all the ingredients. Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot enough around 365 F, pinch a small ball of spinach mixture and press it with hands to bind all the ingredients. Deep fry until golden brown, remove from oil and drain. Serve hot.
    Chick pea flour is a good binding agent. If it is not available use a mix of all purpose flour combined with rice flour.
    Baked spinach and kale appetizer
    You can use both spinach and kale leaves for this recipe. Either separately or in combination

    Pre- heat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale. If spinach leaves are large, tear them also into bite size pieces, wash and dry thoroughly. Drizzle the leaves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cumin powder. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. Makes a good snack.
    Spinach curry in Coconut and Cumin Sauce

    1 cup mung dal
    3 teaspoons of oil
    8 cups of spinach leaves finely chopped
    ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    ½ teaspoon red chili powder
    Salt to taste
    2 cups freshly grated coconut
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds

    For seasoning and garnish:
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
    1 dried red chili pepper halved
    12 to 15 fresh curry leaves

    Wash and clean the mung dal in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. Drain well and panfry it over medium heat along with a teaspoon of oil until it turns golden brown. Remove from the heat. Add two cups of water to the dal and boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the dal is tender. In a frying pan heat two teaspoons of oil and pan fry the spinach leaves for three to four minutes. Stir the spinach into the cooked mung dal.

    Grind the grated coconut and cumin seeds along with half a cup of water to a smooth, thick puree. Mix the ground coconut with spinach dal mixture and cook for another three to four minutes, and remove from the stove.

    Heat the oil in a skillet, and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the halved red chili pepper and the curry leaves. Remove from the stove, and pour over the curry. Cover and set aside for ten minutes, to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot. Tastes great with plain cooked rice.

    Spicy Mashed Spinach

    2 large bunches of fresh spinach leaves
    ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    Salt to taste

    For seasoning and garnish:
    1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1 teaspoon urad dal (if available. Urad dal adds a crunchy texture to the finished dish)
    2 dried red chili pepper, halved
    12 to 15 fresh curry leaves

    Wash the spinach leaves, and cut them into fine strips. Bring one-quarter cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat, and add the spinach to the pan. Sprinkle it with salt and turmeric, and cook over medium heat. Spinach leaves contain plenty of water. When cooked, it should be a thick mass. Drain the excess water, and let the spinach cool, then run it through a food processor to make a thick, smooth puree.
    In a skillet, toast the fenugreek seeds over medium heat. (Dry roasting enhances the flavor and reduces the bitterness of fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek needs close attention while toasting; it turns reddish brown and tastes very bitter when over-roasted.) Using a mortar and pestle, crush it into a coarse powder.
    Heat the oil in a skillet, and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the urad dal, the halved red chili pepper, and the curry leaves, and fry until the dal turns golden. Transfer the mashed spinach to the skillet. Sprinkle the toasted fenugreek powder on top, mix well, and cook for another minute or two. Cover and set aside for ten minutes, to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot as a vegetable side dish.

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    • dianabuja says:

      Ammini – thank you so much! I am printing this out for Richard; we can make our own soja and rice flower if not available in the Asian Quarter. Will let you know what Richard decides to make, and how it turns out. Many, many thanks again!

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  2. yolanda says:

    in dutch-canadian community i grew up in kale is often mashed together with potatoes, and served with sausage – sometimes mixed in pieces, sometimes served on the side – often mashed with the sausage drippings. my mother always added onions and garlic, but i don’t know whether that is canon.

    i always liked grated nutmeg on cooked spinach or kale.

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  3. Mariana Kavroulaki says:

    In Greece spinach appeals as a filling in pies but it is also baked or cooked. There is a variety of dishes such as spinach baked with beans, onions and chopped fresh tomatoes, spinach cooked with chickpeas, dill, olive oil and lemon juice, spinach cooked with lamb and tomatoes or egg-lemon sauce, spinach with fish and aromatic herbs, spinach with rice, chopped onion, lemon juice. It is also used in omelettes or baked with feta cheese,dill and eggs.

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  4. Melly says:

    I love spinach or kale sauteed with olive oil and garlic, mixed with cooked couscous or rice..and then a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice…

    beans could be added as well..

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