The main item on any Kenyan’s diet is maize or corn, as you may know it.
Driving along country roads you will see corn growing everywhere.
In the townships, the night comes alive with the numerous charcoal fires of the street vendors roasting corn. Hardworking city folk often have long waits at bus stops before catching a ride to the suburbs. Munching on a freshly roasted ear of corn passes the time and keeps the wolf away.
Because of the absence of winter, 2 or three harvests of corn a year are not unusual.
Any Kenyan’s dream is to have a small “shamba” (garden/farm) and the first thing he will plant is corn (mili) for the family. Any surplus can be sold to the mills which grind it and market it as “maize meal”, more common on the Kenyan table than potatoes.
There are many ways of preparing this delicious and nutritious “flour”.
“Uji” for breakfast is a sweet maize porridge that keeps most children well nourished through the day until a bigger meal can be prepared. Baked or cooked maize cakes or dumplings often accompany meat dishes for the main meal.
As you will notice on your travels, breakfast is a big affair in Kenya. The traditional Kenyan offerings of Fruit, milk, honey, Tea and Toast are usually complimented by a full English breakfast, eggs cooked to order before you, followed by pastries and homemade jams.
Recently, at a friend’s house, we were served some corn-bacon muffins that were delicious with fruit and rich Kenyan Coffee. They are simple to prepare ahead of time and can be warmed up for breakfast in minutes. Here’s how to make them:
You will need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup maize meal (yellow cornmeal)
- 1 cup real bacon chips
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 3 tablesp. rough (or brown) sugar
- ½ cup of fresh or frozen Corn
- ½ teasp. Salt (or substitute)
- 1 tablesp. Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Preheat oven to approx. 400 F
- Mix together all the “wet” ingredients: milk, egg, corn and butter
- Slowly add the above to the mixed “dry” ingredients of flour, corn meal, sugar,
- baking powder, salt and bacon chips.
- Spoon the mixture into some greased (Teflon) muffin trays, two thirds full for each cup.
- Bake in a hot oven (400) approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until done, let cool
Remove the muffins and enjoy another perfect day in Paradise!!