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8 dishes the Kenyan woman MUST know how to cook

28 January 2015, 18:30 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - Some feminists are going to be mad at this list but as a woman, an African woman at that you should know how to cook, not like chef, but at least know something. I know for a fact that Beyoncé and Michelle Obama are good cooks (not because they coked for me though) and they are the staunchest supporters of feminism. This means that you cannot use that line about it being the modern times and the microwave can do the work too.

Buying dinner every night can also be expensive, because Nairobi is getting more and more costly everyday day, welcome to the middle income economy; with the 20% being up there and the 80% being down here. As a Kenyan woman, there are just some things that you should be able to make and not get wrong. But still there are some women that can burn water while boiling it, it happens.


I am sure Sarah Hassan, Caroline Mutoko, Julie Gichuru and even the first lady can cook and eat Ugali, and you are not too much of a diva that you cannot do the same. Eat it with your hands too, and I am not talking about the Ugali with stuff like Blue band, and onions in it, the traditional thing.  If you are my host and you make me eat Ugali with Blue band, I will not like you.

There is also the brown Ugali, but that is for the pros.


If you just have the right brand and can do math I have never understood how someone can get boiling rice wrong. One cup of rice=two cups of water, it is that simple. Do not make any soggy stuff that is burnt at the bottom and try to pass it off as risotto or rice pudding.


It is rice again, but with spices, you are excused if you cannot get this right after the first attempt, it takes practice. Otherwise learn it because white rice can get boring.


If you cannot get the edge in this one then it is okay because I am also out of practice. It is also kind of hard to spend half a day making something while you are bent over fire.


Sukuma wiki (kales), spinach, cabbage, and the traditional stuff- it is good to know how to make these as side dishes. Man cannot live on meat alone, at least the healthy man. Do not boil until they turn color or pour a jug of water in it. They are very simple to make just a little bit of fat and onions or tomatoes and you are done, it is a stir-fry not a boil.


Seeing as the Tilapia can be found anywhere, then you really do need to know how to make it. In other instances, they have already fried it, all you need to do is make a stew for it. A story is told of a newly married woman, whom it seems had not been taught everything in kitchen matters, so when the husband brought home a fish that was fresh, she soaked and washed it in Omo to remove the smell. Do not be that woman.


It is not the Luhya alone who enjoy chicken, at least know how to prepare a stew that you can serve at a party.


If all else fails, you can never go wrong with our version of the guacamole. It is just chopped tomatoes and onions, a bit of lemon, dhania and avocado if you like. If you can get this wrong then something is really wrong with you.

Sidenote: none of the ingredients in the Kachumbari are cooked.

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