Kenyan food expresses the confluence of cultures present in the country, largely stemming from centuries of imperialism and trade. Traditional Kenyan foods are usually filling and inexpensive to make, incorporating high-energy ingredients for a sustaining and satiating meal. This vegetarian coconut curry highlights the British and Indian influence in Kenya, and utilizing vegetables as the main ingredient allows for a lighter and healthier dish. Chickpeas provide quality vegetarian protein, and the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices help to bolster your immune system. Low-fat coconut milk provides the same creamy flavor as the regular version, without all the added fat and calories. You can always serve some traditional beef or goat alongside this curry to appease any carnivores at the table.
Serves about 4 as a main course
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 2 red or green chili peppers, deseeded
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
- 1 cup chopped potatoes
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped eggplant
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can low fat unsweetened coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 tablespoons shredded coconut
- Chopped parsley or cilantro, to garnish
- Add the onion, chilies, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Heat the olive or coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion puree and sauté, for 5-10 minutes, until much of the liquid cooks off, and the onions brown a bit. Add the ground spices, and stir until well combined.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until some of the liquid cooks off. Then add the potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring everything well to combine.
- Bring it up to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until the potatoes are cooked through and tender, roughly 15 minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas, and heat for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
- Heat the brown rice, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the shredded coconut. Stir everything together to combine.
- Serve the curry over the brown rice, garnishing with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or cilantro.