Southern Africa

Muamba de Galinha (Seitan) and Funge {Angola}

You may have noticed the African kick I’m on.  Chad, South Africa, Tunisia, and São Tomé and Príncipe.  I’m sticking with it.  Today’s post is Angola, and tomorrow’s is Cameroon.  If you’re worried I’ll exhaust all of the African countries too quickly, put your mind at ease.  There are 54 countries on the continent.

Muamba de Galinha is actually chicken stew.  I’ve really been enjoying seitan as a protein replacement lately, and think it works best in the place of stewed meats.  Thus, Muamba de Seitan.

Stews typically don’t thrill me, to be honest.  So I was surprised by how much I liked this one.

It comes full of garlic, chili peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, and okra.  There’s also a bit of lemon juice, palm oil, and and chili powder.  Typically, this would be made with a palm soup base, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on any in time.  Maybe it would have added more to the dish, but since I’ve never had it before, I didn’t notice it missing.

Curious about the cloud of cornmeal floating in the soup?  That’s my lazy version of funge (it usually has a much better shape than mine).  Funge is the Angolan version of the thick porridge African staple.  Depending upon the country, this porridge might be made of millet, cornmeal, or manioc.  Remember the baton de manioc I made?  That’s another version of the staple porridge.  You’ll see more versions in the upcoming months.  Often, the porridge is used as a scoop for a stew or dish, but as you can see, I’m a creature of habit and have spoons handy.

I preferred the taste of the funge to the baton de manioc, but I have a hunch that I’ll prefer the yam-based fufu even better.

Happy Monday to you.  Meet the work week head on.

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Categories: African Food, Food, Soups, Southern Africa, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

A Borrowed Bobotie Recipe {South Africa}

two slices of vegetarian bobotie

Ignore all typos that may follow.  I’m blogging from my favorite Knoxville coffee shop (don’t be alarmed by their stub of a website).  Their lattes are potent.  And I am weak and very susceptible to the side effects of coffee.  I’m jittery, overly excited about everything, and typing faster than I can actually read it.  My thoughts are absolutely everywhere and refusing to coalesce.  And I’m only halfway through the iced soy vanilla latte bliss.  Beware.

Moving on, I am certainly not alone in my plot to try vegetarian recipes from around the world.    For something like 24 hours, I thought the concept of The Pearl Project was my own.  But when researching content, recipes, ideas for my blog, I quickly stumbled upon the many foodies with similar goals that have come before me.  There are oodles of cookbooks, hundreds of bloggers doing a very similar thing.  Some are great; some mediocre; some very, um, lack luster (the best of intentions).  I do not know that anyone else forced the all countries in one year time crunch onto themselves, however…they were smarter than me.

My point is that while I often feel the need to reinvent the wheel (making my own recipes), when I find a really great-looking wheel, I just smooth it out to my own liking.  Enter: One World Vegetarian Cookbook.

(Source)

Usually, I find great recipes from a country and have to figure out how to make them vegetarian. While this book does not have a recipe from every single country, it does cover a good bit of territory.

For today’s post, I found an already vegetarian South African bobotie recipe in this book.  Since the recipe is not my own and I don’t want be a copyright jerk (although, frankly, Disney and the Mickey Mouse copyright extension drive me nuts as a little librarian lady), I will not post it for the world.  But you should check this book out from your local public library!  (If you use the same public library as me, you’re going to have to reserve it to force me to not renew it).

Bobotie is traditionally a meatloaf with curry flavor and other Indian spices.  What a representation of the mixing pot that is South African cuisine.  Hello, combination of English and Indian food cultures.  Troth Wells’ version is a lentil/bean loaf with the same flavors.

My only substitutions for his recipe were swapping milk with almond milk (I eat cheese like crazy, but don’t ever have cow’s milk in the fridge…go figure), and pinto beans for black-eyed peas.  It worked.  Good going on this recipe, Troth Wells.

We had a lot of other things going on in this meal, besides the bobotie.  Plain yogurt, saffron rice with raisins, mango (my first golden mango back there), mango chutney (courtesy of Trader Joe’s–wish Kville had a TJ), and tomatoes, barely-dressed (that’s right, boys, they are the tomatoes you’re parents warned you about when you went to college as an innocent freshman; when tomatoes dress like that, they are just asking to be eaten) with vinegar, salt, and pepper.

This meal snapped me back out of easy meal mode, as it took a bit more effort.  The ingredient list was long; the seasoning more complex than the salt, pepper, and peanuts of the last post.  But it was worth making to experience the combination of cuisines.  And if you’re really dying for this recipe and cannot find a recipe you like online, send me an e-mail–I’ll share with you off-blog to avoid that pesky copyright infringement.

Latte is almost gone.

Categories: African Food, Cookbooks, Food, Recommended Recipe Sources, Rice, Southern Africa, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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