During my research for future countries to make for an African and Caribbean nation, I came across dishes from both nations that would have resulted in me having half a plantain left over. So, I figure why not cover both of them in a weekend if time allows – so here I am writing up some Rwandan food.
Usually I try and very the geography as I eat my way around a continent, but this time I’ve ended up picking a country that is nearly equidistant to the last two I cooked (Malawi and South Sudan). It’s one of those really weird co-incidences, but it probably goes a long way to explain why the food I found during my research sat in pretty much the same wheelhouse. In fact, the dish that I ended up cooking is like a mix between the two, although I was careful to find something that didn’t repeat the major protein.
This recipe is one of those I have had since I did my initial rush of research when I first started on this project. It came from a document that I found on Dining for Women, a charity that helps fight gender inequality around the world. The whole document contains a number of recipes that they linked to Rwanda, so I ended up cooking the beef stew and the ugali. Their main website now contains a really nice looking chicken and plantain stew, which I might have to make in the future.
I won’t say much about the ugali as I had before for Malawi, but under the name of nsima. It’s the same thing with a different name and is going to be one of those side dishes that I’ll be happy to keep making as I cook my way around the Great Lakes region of Africa and end up using a lot of the different names as I write these meals up as blog posts.
The stew itself was great, then again I haven’t often been disappointed by the African one pot meals I have made so far. What really set this apart for me was the addition of the sliced plantain as well as the more subtle spicing. I still have no idea why the recipe called for me to coat the plantain in lemon juice prior to adding it, but it worked out well so I’m not really going to knock it.
Next time on the world cooking challenge will, finally, be my next Caribbean nation crossed off: St Kitts and Nevis. With half a plantain in the fridge next to soaking saltfish, I just know that the next meal is going to be a good one. Also, it means I get to make dumplings… which I hope turn out well as I have been missing starch heavy foods on this current diet of mine.