A Night of African CookingA few of the women at Amani's Washington, DC office got together to brush up on their African cooking skills. We settled on Samosas and Peanut soup. These recipes allowed us to capture distinctive and use ingredients popular in many African countries.
Try these for a change of pace or to add an exotic flair to your culinary repertoire! Recipes serve 6; adapted from one of the Moosewood cookbooks.
sa·mo·sa: A delicious small fried turnover filled with seasoned vegetables and/or meat. Samosas are typically associated with Indian cooking but are a common kind of street food in East Africa.Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 large onions, chopped 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon red pepper 1 pound egg roll wrappers Method: Brown the meat, then add remaining ingredients. Cook together for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Fold the Samosa (for help, check out this YouTube video). Seal all edges with water. Be sure there are no open corners, or you'll lose the filling during frying.
pea·nut soup: A combination of tomatoes, onion, and peanut butter that make for a surprisingly wonderful, off-beat soup. We drew our inspiration for this soup from West Africa.Ingredients: 2 cups chopped onion 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 1/2 tsp cayenne or other ground chiles 1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger 1 cup chopped carrots 2 medium sized sweet potatoes chopped 4 cups water (or vegetable stock if desired) 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce 1 cup smooth peanut butter 1 Tablespoon sugar chopped scallions, for garnish chopped dry roasted peanuts, for garnish Method: Sauté onion in oil until onion is translucent. Stir in cayenne and ginger. Add carrots and sauté a couple minutes more. Mix in potatoes and stock, bring to a boil, simmer for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree the vegetables with tomato sauce (and some of the cooking liquid if necessary) in a blender or food processor (or with an immersion blender). Return the puree to the pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Check sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Reheat gently. Add more water, stock, or tomato juice to make a thinner soup if desired. Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions and chopped roasted peanuts. This is key! The garnish adds depth to the flavors of the soup. We thoroughly our night of African cooking. It's not every day (in the US, anyway) that you get to enjoy Peanut Soup and Samosas with a movie!