Uganda is known as the “fruit basket” of East Africa and is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in Sub-Saharan Africa. Leaning into this abundance, Ugandan desserts rely heavily on fruits. During the hotter months of the year, fruit flavored ice lollies or popsicles, known locally as “barafu,” are sold in the markets. Avocados, known as “ova,” are plentiful in Uganda. A happy confluence of factors – consistent rainfall, tropical temperatures, and fertile soil – have led to avocados being cultivated in Uganda since the 1550s. This recipe derives inspiration from both the barafu and the fruits most commonly available and consumed in Uganda (ova and lemon). Details
Caakiri is a simple but delicious couscous pudding that comes together quickly. It was originally made with native grains such as millet or maize and occasionally beans but now is most commonly made with couscous. It is best served fresh with your favorite fruit. Details
Located in Southeastern Africa, Malawi is known for the warmth and friendliness of her people. Hence, the nickname, the “Warm Heart of Africa.” The cuisine of this country skews traditional African and is dominated by ingredients that are products of two of its major industries: agriculture and fishing. Groundnuts (peanuts) are the most important legume crop in Malawi in volume produced and in the amount of area devoted to their cultivation. The crop also brings in significant revenue. Our dish for the month, in honor of Malawi, is Mtedza, a delightful, easy to make groundnut (peanut) cookie that utilizes ingredients found in most pantries. Mtedza will melt in your mouth, and if one doesn’t pay attention, this recipe that makes 14 cookies might end up serving just two! Details
In October, we announced that the Featured Project for January 2022 would be Afghanistan Libre’s work to support the mental health, wellbeing, and safety of survivors of gender-based violence and contemporary forms of slavery. With a heavy heart, Afghanistan Libre has had to cease operations and is withdrawing all of its activities from Afghanistan due to the ongoing security concerns in Afghanistan. We post this recipe in their honor. Details
Mandazi is delicious breakfast food of lightly fried sweet dough flavored with coconut and warm African spices. It is crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft inside, making it a perfect complement for coffee or tea. It is a common street food in Kenya. Details
Fun fact: a large number of small Indian restaurants in the United States of America are actually run by Nepali immigrant chefs. Several serve Indian food along with (if one were to look at the fine print on the menu) some dishes that are of Nepali or Himalayan origin. But, repeat after me and loudly: Nepali cuisine is not Indian cuisine (our Nepali friends will appreciate us remembering this). Nepal, through its geographical and historical association with India and Tibet, has influences of both in its cuisine. However, the flavor profile is different. Nepali dishes use fewer spices and aromatics and less heat. Also, Nepali cuisine has a preponderance of vegetarian dishes. Second fun fact: “vegetarian” in Nepal can mean different things. It could mean “not meat and eggs” (dairy products such as milk and cheese are consumed, however) but it could also mean “not beef” (but include poultry and mutton). The latter is tied to the sanctity of cows in the Hindu faith. Details
The country of Uganda is where this month’s featured grantee, Brick by Brick Partners, is located. There are lots of fabulous Ugandan recipes on the Dining for Women website. A peek there will yield all kinds of mouthwatering dishes that represent the wonderful cuisine of East Africa. I highly recommend making some of them. Yum! Details
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