Month: June 2012

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Vitumbua - Tanzanian Doughnuts

Vitumbua – Tanzanian Doughnuts

Jambo! Flicking through rare East African cookbooks fills me with that familiar, comforting feeling of when I cosy up with my favourite Indian ones. Being nourished with a mishmash of Indian, African and British food has all my life, allowed me to connect and experiment with the culinary cultures of all these cuisines. In other words, I’ve been spoilt and have loved every minute of it. Hell, I’ve been rabbiting on about it to you all since 2009. For my generation, it feels like the Indian influence on East African cooking is a hush-hush camp, with recipes hidden away inside the spirits of expat grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles. As sad as it may sound, I’m a 23-year old girl worried that Zanzibar Trail Mix, Malindi Halwa and Ugandan Kasodi will one day be forgotten by my Indo-Chinese-obsessed peers – and that’s deep, bro. In the name of doing my bit to preserve the East African cuisine my family are so proud of, I’d like to introduce you to Vitumbua. These Tanzanian rice flour doughnuts …

Garlic and Coriander Naan Large

Garlic and Coriander Naan

When it comes to guilty pleasures, along with paneer, naan is up there on my list. Brushed with the most flavoursome fresh garlic and coriander butter, these are so perfect for pairing with any Indian curry or daal. They’re soft, slightly chewy and a little charred in places – this balance of textures is so characteristic of good naan. Naan is one of India’s most famous breads, and probably the most well-known in British Asian restaurants. Very rarely do I leave an Indian restaurant without having filled my belly with garlic and coriander naan – lest they just so happen to have garlic, coriander and chilli naan on the menu (in which case, I’ll take two). Whenever I’m making naan, I love to add kalonji (nigella) seeds – they impart that special flavour you definitely know, but somehow can never put your finger on. They’re aromatic, slightly bitter, but have an incredibly delicious flavour which mellows out when baked into the bread. Yeast and plain yoghurt help to leaven the naan whilst keeping them moist …