So What's This All About?

My family is traveling the world one forkful, or kuĂ izi ful, or handful at a time. Follow our blog to see what interesting facts we learn, which country's food becomes our favorite, and which cuisine makes us feel healthiest. There will also be postings of some projects/arts and crafts/activities for preschoolers that we do in our home preschool. Grab your appetite and let's go!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Irio and Githeri - Simple, Supple, and Satisfying

So now that you have perfected ugali - Ha! Don't worry. I've read on some sites that it can takes months to do such, so don't fret. You will need a Kenyan dish or two to accompany it! What I've found about these few Kenyan/East African recipes I've been trying is that they are usually quick to make and quite filling.

(My unabashed side note: With poverty levels high in many of these countries,"filling" would be of great importance. Here's an idea: with the money saved making these inexpensive dishes, make a donation to help an impoverished East African family. Some sites to check out: World Vision Gift Catalog or Special Hope Network. Share below in the comments an organization or missionary you support!)

A truly simple, protein dish you can make up in just a few minutes is Githeri. Here's how:

Place 2 cups corn (fresh off cob or frozen) and 2 cups canned or cooked beans (kidney, pinto, black, etc) into a saute dish with enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 - 10 minutes or till warmed through. Toss in salt and pepper.

That's it! Serve it with Ugali.

But... if you are like me and can't resist adding more flavors, you can toss in some chopped fresh herbs (like cilantro or basil), a tablespoon of curry powder or paste, and a handful of chopped greens (like spinach or chard). Another idea is to saute a small, chopped onion before adding the corn and beans into the pan.

A sister to Githeri is Irio. The concept is very similar. Here's how:

Boil 4 potatoes (peeled and quartered) in salted water until soft. Drain (reserve water, though) and set aside.

In a saute pan, add 2 cups fresh or frozen corn, 2 cups cooked beans (kidney, pinto, cranberry, etc), 2 cups chopped spinach or other green. Cook on low for about 10 minutes or till the vegetables are very soft. Add potatoes and salt and pepper to taste to the vegetables, continuing to simmer and smashing the mixture with back of fork. You may need to add some of the potato water if it gets too thick. It doesn't have to be pureed, just mashed enough to create thickness while preserving chunks of vegetables.

This can be served alone, with rice, or with Ugali.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Christine,
    Good to hear you're still posting. I need a kick in the pants myself. God bless!