Many ingredients are shared by both African and Asian cuisine. Two examples are finger millet and cowpeas. Try the recipes below for a healthy, tasty meal.

Finger millet roti

Roti is a type of Indian flat bread. It contains no yeast. Finger millet rotis are gluten-free. They make a tasty snack or accompaniment to a main meal and should be served with curry or dahl.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finger millet flour
  • 1½ cups water

Instructions

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile mix 1 cup of millet flour with about ½ cup or less water.
  3. Pour the mixture into the boiling water stirring continuously and allow it to cook.
  4. Then pour a cup of finger millet flour onto the cooking mixture in the pan and combine.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool down then place onto a wooden board and kneed the dough. Add more millet flour if necessary to get the correct constituency. Once the dough is well kneaded divide it into several small pieces and roll into balls.
  6. Cover the board liberally with more finger millet flour and roll each ball with a rolling pin until it is less than 0.5cm thick.
  7. Pre-heat a heavy based pan or skillet and cook each roti. As the first side is cooking dampen the upper surface with a wet cloth to prevent the roti from drying out. Flip the roti over and dampen the other side. After some time you will see the roti fluffing up with air. This shows that it is cooked. Serve with cowpea curry.

This recipe was adapted from https://millets.wordpress.com/recipes/finger-millet-recipes/ragi-roti/

Cowpea curry

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions or 2 cups shallots (chopped)
  • 1 medium tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Green chilli
  • 5 big cloves garlic
  • Oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1 ½ cups cowpeas
  • 2 ½ teaspoons chilli powder
  • 3½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak the cow peas in a bowl of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain.
  2. Sauté onions, green chilli, garlic and salt in a little oil until the onions are transparent.
  3. Add tomatoes and sauté until they are soft.
  4. Allow to cool then grind the mixture to fine paste.
  5. In a large, heavy based pan or pressure cooker sauté the chilli, coriander powders and little salt.
  6. Add soaked cowpeas with 2 ¼ cups water.
  7. Cook until the cowpeas are soft.
  8. Serve with finger millet roti and a green vegetable relish such as kale (covo) cooked with onions and tomatoes.

Adapted from http://dishingwithdivya.blogspot.com/2013/07/cowpeas-curry-black-eyed-peas-curry.html

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Anna Brazier

Anna Brazier is the editor of Naturally Zimbabwean. She was born in Zambia but has lived most of her life in Zimbabwe. She has a BSc in Ecology and an MSc in Sustainable Development and works as a consultant promoting sustainable agriculture, nutrition, traditional foods and community resilience in Africa and beyond. She lives in Harare with her husband and three children.

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