The things you are familiar with are always top of mind, but it can be fun to break the monotony once in a while. I remember when my mother started to experiment with different kinds of food. We enjoyed the Chinese food season the most. Packed lunch was the highlight of the day! This is probably the time when I started paying more attention to food. I remember getting interested in baking. I made marble cakes, cookies and doughnuts for my siblings to take to school for break-time snacks.
The most important thing is I stopped being afraid of not getting the dish right. I learned that I could just mix the flavours I like. There are some things I like to combine that make my husband shake his head, but that’s OK. I’m enjoying my food. I must say it helps to have friends and relatives who cook! Ask questions, there’s no need to repeat mistakes that have already been made.
So about four months ago I decided to make ndengu. The first round didn’t go so well.This is my second try. Happy to report that the results were significantly better (^_^)
Here’s how it went:
First, the ndengu needs to be pre-cooked (just like beans). I already had a couple of bags in the freezer, I pulled one out in the morning to defrost.
So in a pot with some oil and a little water add:
5 large garlic cloves, grated
3 onions chopped
1 large carrot, grated
When the carrots start to soften add 1 table spoon of dhana jeera powder (a blend of powdered coriander seed and cumin seed). Stir.
Then I added
1 cup of stock
1/2 cup coconut water (from the coconut my husband helped me to crack)
3 tomatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
Let it simmer for about 30 minutes so that the tomatoes soften and the flavours get time to blend.
I served it with rice. I wanted to make coconut rice but I didn’t have time to soak coconut shavings/grates to get the coconut milk. I would have used the coconut water but in my excitement to experiment I put it in the ndengu. So I just put some shavings/grates in the water for the rice.
Rice doesn’t take very long to cook and the ndengu is pre-cooked so this was a nice quick meal.
It was good. I didn’t really taste the coconut in the ndengu or the rice, but now I’m curious, I think I’ll put a heavy dose of coconut milk in the ndengu next time.