The Proven Platter – February 2020

This month we are celebrating Malawi which is in southeastern Africa. Although Malawi is landlocked, a third of its territory is covered by Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi National park is a UNESCO World Heritage site for being of “global importance for biodiversity conservation due particularly to its fish diversity.” The cuisine of Malawi is reflective of the abundance of fish in the area as well as the fruit and vegetables grown there.

Sweet bread served warm straight out of the oven is enjoyed by most cultures around the world. In Malawi, it is in the form of Nthochi bread, a dense and lightly sweet style of banana bread. This bread uses the spices common in this area of Africa and is delicious hot out of the oven or at room temperature after the flavors have had time to blend. My son loves to toast it on a hot buttery griddle.

Nthochi Bread

8 Tbsp butter, melted
½ c sugar
3 c flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
8 oz milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c mashed banana

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter, sugar, and egg. Stir the baking powder, salt, vanilla, and spices stirring after each addition. Mix in the milk and flour.

Pour batter into a large (4×8) greased loaf pan and bake for 80-90 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen bread before tipping onto a cooling rack.

Recipe and photo credit: Georgia Reader