I recently read The Dhow House by Jean McNeil, which is set in an unnamed and probably fictitious African country. (Click through to read my review.) There was a foodie reference that had me running to google to see what it was, and I decided it would be perfect for the #readcookeat linky.
p207 They had a mojito at the bar then crossed the single dozy street and sat in white plastic chairs as a hard-working man brought them kuku choma, grilled chicken, with chapattis and kachumbari, a salad of tomato and red onion , from his kiosk. Storm told her about the food of the coast - ugali, a polenta-like grain that sat like a truck in the stomach, sukuma wiki, spinach, whose local name meant 'to push the week' because Africans ate it at the end of the week, when money for meat had run out.
Kuku choma with kachumbari sounds like a really exotic dish but it's actually very quick and simple, perfect for a Friday night after a long week at work.
Kuku choma with kachumbari
1 red onion
a drizzle of lemon infused olive oil
5 chicken breasts
drizzle of lemon infused olive oil
1tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of salt
3tsp South African curry powder
1tsp smoked paprika
1/2tsp chilli powder (optional)
to serve : chapattis or tortillas
Put the chicken breasts in a dish and drizzle over some lemon-infused olive oil if you have it, or regular olive oil and lemon juice if you haven't.
Toss in the herbs and spices of your choice - I used garlic powder, salt, curry powder, smoked paprika and a tiny bit of chilli powder, but use whatever is in your spice rack.
I had some South African Curry Powder, for a more authentic African flavour, but regular mild (or hot if you prefer) curry powder would be just fine too. Toss the meat in the spices and oil until covered on all sides and leave to marinate while you prepare the kachumbari.
Chop the tomatoes into fine cubes.
Finely chop the red onion. Some recipes say to put it in boiling salty water for a few minutes to reduce the harshness, but I gently fried mine in a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes until just barely cooked. Add the red onions to the tomatoes, pour over a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil and give it a stir. Set aside.
Back to the chicken. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the frying pan that you just used for the onions and fry the chicken on both sides.
Kuku choma is usually grilled chicken so I cooked it over a high heat to get the slightly blackened spicy crust that grilling would have given it.
You could chop the chicken into chunks and use it to stuff a tortilla wrap with some of the kachumbari, or serve it with rice (or polenta) with kachumbari and a tortilla or chapatti on the side.
The tender, juicy chicken is beautifully flavoured and the tomato salad balances out the spiciness of the meat. This could be eaten cold in a packed lunch too.
Fancy cooking the books?! Head over to the #readcookeat linky at Chez Maximka.
This used up some squishy tomatoes and the last of the tortilla wraps, so I'm adding it to the #KitchenClearout linky.
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