Beans are my primary source of protein. They contain fiber, minerals, vitamins antioxidants and other good stuff that you should be eating almost everyday as opposed to the factory farmed meat and chicken that feature in many Kenyan menus. And, my experience as a chef has led me into simpler recipes because that is what works, using superior ingredients of course.

SAM_0083

Vegetable Broth Recipe

To keep it vegan you can skip this step but if you want the best flavor, you gotta use bacon. First cut it into squares and then on a cold pan start cooking it until brown, on medium heat. When the fat renders from the bacon and it has browned somewhat now you start adding the crushed garlic, crushed ginger, chopped onions, cherry tomatoes, leeks, carrots and dania/cilantro stalks. Then I add a tablespoon of butter not only to help caramelize the aromatics faster, it also helps thicken the stew. There is no butter substitute. not olive oil, not margarine it has to be butter or you will have a watery stew, unless of course you thicken it with a roux, which also contain butter.

Next you add the spices. I prefer using a little cumin as well as curry powder. Make sure they come into contact with the floor of the pan so that it can toast and release the wonderful aromas and flavors. Add water, twice the amount you want to cook with as it is going to simmer and reduce by half.

Season with Himalayan salt, freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika or chilli flakes for a kick. Bring heat to high and simmer hard until half the liquid reduces. Taste again and correct seasoning if need be then add your beans.

Personally I prefer buying boiled beans at the market for almost Ksh 30 then problem solved but sometimes I soak my own grains overnight. The pre-boiled beans take 15 minutes to cook and mingle with the flavors but the soaked ones take like 30 minutes to 45 depending on the type and how long you have soaked them. When you put out the fire that is when you add the chopped dania/cilantro leaves. Herbs are very delicate and require to be used mostly as a garnish. You see, very freaking simple but very freaking delicious, you will thank me later. Enjoy with sauteed kale and maybe a brown chapati

 

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