The younger *cough* generation has been getting into the habit of eating unhealthy food because of the popularity of fast food chains in Kenya like KFC, Chicken Inn, and Pizza Inn and the likes. Years ago, people were forced to eat home-cooked meals, but lately they just eat out or have food delivered to their homes. This is not only more expensive, but risky to their health as well. I am not totally against fast food, since I too succumb to it once in a while, but eating this almost every day is not good for the body.
As I was listening to Smashing Pumpkin’s “Today” and getting distracted playing my favorite games at CheekyBingo, I suddenly remembered a good old traditional dish, Mukimo. Just like the name of the band, this dish consists of smashed vegetables mixed with pumpkin leaves. Pumpkin is often used as a substitute to vegetables like potatoes or cabbage, but this plant is as important as the other veggies because of its nutrients. It is rich in protein, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, beta-carotene, and unsaturated fatty acids.
It is just sad that some people nowadays don’t know what Mukimo is and if you are one of them, then it is about time you try this traditional dish. Just follow this simple recipe I found on African Cook and enjoy eating healthy.
· Pumpkin leaves (nyunyi sya malenge, kahurura) – remember to get the little, freshly sprouted soft ones, not the big, older tougher ones which are stringy.
· Fresh corn (maize)
· Margarine or butter
How to cook
Peel off the corn, then boil them for an hour until cooked. You can boil them whole and then use a knife to get the corn kernels, or chuck them from the cob before boiling, as my mom showed me to.
Peel and dice the potatoes then add them to the corn. Remove the stem of the pumpkin, then wash the leaves. Put the pumpkin leaves on the diced potatoes. Season the vegetables with salt.
Boil the vegetables for about 30 minutes or until they are cooked. Don’t stir and mix the vegetables to avoid messing them up.
Once cooked, drain the excess water of the vegetables then simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Remove from heat then mash and mix the vegetables. Add margarine or butter to make the Mukimo more flavourful.
The vegetables should have a light green color, smooth texture, and the corn kernels are intact. You can serve the Mukimo with beef stew or any soup. Or like we love it all around, with a great side of nyama choma and kachumbari! Enjoy!