October 2008


Seems like everyone else has had a chance to share one of their favourite recipes, so I’ve decided to share one of mine! I call it Archer’s cold revenge. This is because it is a cold rice salad served with hot spicy mince and when the two meet in your mouth…mmm…mmm.mmm! My housemates and I stumbled upon it late one Saturday night in 2005 under serious intoxication. We were really hungry and the month had chapad kona mbaya so we had to make do with whatever we had. So we boiled some rice and threw anything we could find into the mix. It came out so well that later, under sobriety, we perfected it!

Ingredients

1. Rice (depends on the number of people you’re cooking for. 1 cup serves two)
2. One large white onion
3. Two or three large tomatoes
4. One large green pepper
5. Mrs H.S Ball’s chilli chutney (it’s hard to find it in Nairobi, you may be lucky to find the ordinary flavour chutney at Nakumatt Prestige and Village Market)
6. One tub of mayonnaise

For the mince, I’m sure you all know how to prepare that so I don’t have to write down the instructions here. Just make sure it’s spicy kiasi.

Directions

1. Wash and boil the rice as you normally do.

2. Slice the tomatoes horizontally, comme ca

3. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut out the insides of the tomato, like zees.

The insides may be kept separately and used to prepare the mince.

4. Chop the remaining part of the tomato slices into tiny pieces, about half a centimeter thick.

After you’ve chopped all the tomatoes, place then in a container.

6. Slice the green pepper vertically into very thin slices, about half a centimeter thick.

7. Finely chop the slices into half-centimeter thick pieces.

8. Peel the white onion and wash it thoroughly.

9. Chop the onion horizontally into very fine slices, namna hii.

10. Chop the onion slices into very fine pieces, just as you did for the tomatoes and the green pepper.

11. Throw the finely diced onions into the same container as the tomatoes and the green pepper. Mix them up just for fun.

Relax with some vodka and lime as you wait for the rice to cook (and for your eyes to recover from the onion assault!)

12. After the rice is done, allow it to cool for a few minutes. This is important so as not to cook the tomato slices. This can be done by pouring the rice into a large plastic container and breaking up the lumps.

13. After the rice has cooled down, add the chopped onions, tomatoes and green pepper.

14. Pour in two thirds of Mrs H.S. Ball’s chutney into this mix.

Don’t try to read the rest, it’s in Afrikaans. You know, that slowly dying language that’s found in Southern Africa among those people who I don’t like very much?

15. Mix it all up until it turns into a nice red mixture.

16. Add in three to four tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Mix that all up very nicely. Add salt to taste.

At this stage, you may decide to eat this as a snack or dessert and you may wish to add finely diced sandwich ham. But if the rice salad is going to be part of a main meal, the ham and mince combination may not go down well. And it would be a good idea to ask before you do, since some people may not eat ham.

And voila!

C’est magnifique, no?

Note:

This is a very very filling dish!

What’s on my Playlist?

Together – Bob Sinclar feat Steve Edwards

If you live in Kenya and you haven’t yet heard of Just a Band, then you probably live under a rock. In Moyale. Surrounded by cacti and scorpions. Just a Band is a Kenyan musical trio comprised of Dan Muli, Bill “Blinky” Sellanga and Jim Chuchu.


From left: Dan, Blinky and Jim.

Wikipedia describes them as “a Kenyan house/funk/disco band…whose musical taste has directions such as, but not limited to, jazz, hip-hop, disco and electronica.” Neo-soul should have been thrown into that mix too.

(Afromusing did an excellent interview with the band on her blog. Another profile can be found here.)

The band released their first studio album “Scratch to Reveal” in May 2008.

Scratch to Reveal provides a refreshing change from the regular garbage that batters our ear drums in form of kapuka and genge. (with the exception of Jua Cali and one or two others) It is rich in creativity and experimentation and is a break from the ordinary. In fact, local media houses were initially reluctant to play the band’s music and their videos for fear of “alienating their audience.” Though Capital FM regularly gives their neo-soul single “Hey” airtime on Neo-Soul Thursday and the neo-soul show on Sunday afternoons, and I have recently spied the “Fly” video on NTV.

I have to say that Scratch to Reveal is undoubtedly one of (if not) the best Kenyan albums released this year. I got my autographed copy from Blinky about three months ago, and I love it love it love it! (Kipepeo, 2006) My favourite tracks include “Have You Seen Her” featuring Sarah Mitaru and Diana “Dee” Nduba (who claims to have had a sore throat on recording day. If so, she did a good job disguising it!) and “Yamo pa More” a track done in Dholuo by Liz Ogumbo, “Iwinyo Piny” and “Hey!”

A review by WAPI Times.

The “Iwinyo Piny” animated video has been nominated for a KORA Award for Best African Video Clip, alongside Eric Wainaina’s “Twende Twende” and others.

You can watch the video here…then rush here and vote!

Scratch to Reveal is now available at Nu Metro music stores at Nakumatt Westgate and Junction for only Ksh 950. Go out and buy it now! For those of you who are in the diaspora, you can now listen and buy their music on iTunes, PayPlay, Tradebit and Last FM. (follow the links)

I’m impressed by the high quality of music that Kenyan artistes are churning out lately. There’s Atemi Oyungu’s album “Hatimaye” which I must get hold of, Eric Wainaina’s “Twende Twende” which is a must have in one’s collection, Kaz’s album “Somin” (ok, the jury’s still out on that one, I haven’t heard many rave reviews), Scratch to Reveal, among others. There is so much potential out there just waiting to be discovered. If this is the future of solid, creative Kenyan music that will stand the test of time, then I must say that the future is bright.

More information and links:

Just a Band official website.

Just a Blog:

Just a Band on Facebook:

P.S: Please feel free to add your own reviews of this album in the comments page.

What’s on my Playlist?

Have you seen her? – Just a Band feat. Sarah Mitaru & Diana “Dee” Nduba.