May 14, 2009

Maharage na coco, wali, na mchicha

Thanks to the amazing mini share of CSA food from Elmwood Stock Farm, Ben and I ate the tastiest asparagus last night. It was fresh picked from < 20 miles away, less than 24 hrs before, and was organic. I'm attributing its unusually sweet, buttery taste to those factors.

Then this morning, I made a Tanzanian lunch. This filling, fresh, delicious lunch, in Arusha, Tanzania, would cost me ~30 cents in 2001 when I was studying abroad there. If I got a soda (Fanta Passion flavor) with it and returned the bottle when I was done, the price was upped to a whopping 70 cents. There was usually a piece of fresh fruit or avocado ("parachichi" in swahili, possibly my favorite word) with with it, but I didn't have those things at home today.

Simple Recipes:

Maharage na coco (Beans & coconut):
3/4 c fresh hulled beans (black works well, but pinto or red beans do okay too)
1 can coconut milk (lite for less calories, the taste is pretty much equivalent)
1 c water
1 palm of salt (guessing that's ~1.5 tsp?)

Simmer for an hour.

Wali (cooked rice):
cook with water as usual (o:

Mchicha (greens mix sauteed):
Generous dollop 'vegetable oil' (corn oil is closest to what they use in Tanzania, I've found) in large pan.
Add 1 small onion or garlic (we used the fresh baby garlic today)
Saute several minutes
Add 2 peeled tomatoes (I blanch them first to make the peels easy to peel off), and squish them in the pan.
Add a bag or two of spinach (spinach is the closest I've come to whatever green it is they use there. Theirs is more flavorful, but tender like spinach. Not quite as limp as chard gets though). It 'melts' down more than you'd think in the oil and tomato juices. I add a little at a time so the pan is not overwhelmed. Continue to saute just until the spinach looks cooked instead of fresh.



Stephanie said...

oh that looks familiar! I still whip up a good ole maharage na wali myself. good times!

Anonymous said...


I'm looking for english word for mchicha. I have searched and searched found none.

Anonymous said...

mchicha is spinach.