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Friday, 25 December 2020

Tantalising foods to treat your family to this festive season

 

Another year, another festive season, the one season millions across the world look forward to.

Christmas time is one of the special times in the year when we get to spend time with family and friends, exchange gifts, eat lots of food, and look back at how the year was.

However, this year it is quite different for everyone. The world is battling a pandemic ever since the first case of Coronavirus was reported December 2019, in Wuhan, China.

It has been a challenging year for many because we have all had to adjust to the new normal; wear a mask whenever you go out, maintain social distancing and always sanitize or wash your hands before you eat or touch your mouth, eyes or ears.

A Cafe Deli branch in Nairobi
A Cafe Deli branch in Nairobi
Image: ENOS TECHE

These are directives we have to live by, instructed by the government to curb the spread of the virus.

Christmas in 2020 is going to be different compared to other years where you would host a large group of family and friends and all this is because of Covid-19.

So many restrictions have been placed and even for concert lovers, it's not an option attending any concert at the moment. 

There are rules we need to follow but at the same time, it does not mean that your festive season should be boring or rather should be like the years that passed.

You can try new things and since food is always involved when it comes to the festive season, why don't you try incorporating different meals in your menu.

Food is always something we all look forward to indulging in, so many trying out different meals might make the festivities a bit lively.

1. Lasagna

This is a meal not many people are familiar with, well unless you are a foodie.

But it is a meal you can surprise your family with this season. If you are a cheese lover, then this meal will be perfect this season.

Lasagna.
Lasagna.
Image: Photo for class.

Lasagna is an Italian dish made of stacked layers of thin flat pasta alternating with fillings such as ragù and other vegetables, cheese, and seasonings and spices such as garlic, oregano and basil. 

If you have an oven, then you can easily prepare this meal. 

2. Pilau

Now, this is one meal we all love in Kenya. Pilau is a coastal cuisine that has spread across different tribes, with many creating different ways of making it.

Consisting of rice, meat and different herbs, this meal is prepped in almost all occasions be it a wedding, birthday party, graduation party, you name; you'll never miss this delicious meal.

Some say it's the icing on the cake in every occasion but some people might differ.

Pilau has always been a go to meal for most households as it is not too much of a hustle to prepare.

During the festive season, pilau is bound to be part of the menu in many households.

Try and make it differently. Add something that your family will find unique like playing around with the ingredients to accommodate everyone.

3. Mahamri

This is another coastal meal that most of us have fallen in love with over the years. Made from flour, mixed with butter or margarine, sugar, some essence and other ingredients, this Mahamri are the go to snack or late night meal you would want to go for this festive season.

Most households cook together during Christmas and Mahamris can be a substitute from the usual mandazis you've had the whole year.

They can also be eaten with mbaazi (pigeon peas) cooked in coconut sauce. Mbaazi wa nazi is a delicious meal mostly eaten with mahamri or rice, depending on your preference.

4. Mukimo

Mukimo is a traditional meal that originated from central Kenya but overtime it found its way to different regions.

It's a mixture of boiled potatoes, soft maize or corn, peas, some seasoning and butter, which is optional.

Mashed together, it brings out this really beautiful meal that can be served with beef/chicken stew with vegetables of your choice.

To add colour and flavour some people add cream spinach and dhania to also give it some unique taste.

5. Beef/Chicken curry

Now we all know a feast is not complete without some stew or curry to go with the chapatis and rice.

Most households just do the usual; boil meat, add onions and tomatoes, then potatoes and all the seasonings one can get.

Beef stew with rice and some accompaniments.
Beef stew with rice and some accompaniments.
Image: Photos for class

But a curry can be exciting to make and also indulge in.

Incooperate different ways to make your curry or stew. Add some flavour and garnishes in the stew and let your have a different experience, surprise their taste buds with something new. Let's say a bit thick, lol (if you know, you know).

6. Chapatis

If you have attended any Kenyan event and chapatis were not in the menu, then you'd probably think the event is a scam. Chapati should be a staple food if it's not considered one yet.

In every occasion yo attend, chapati is always available and these meal has been embraced for years.

There are people who say its quite a hustle to make them bad boys but its actually not that had.

Machakos governor Alfred Mutua sharing a chapati./COURTESY
Machakos governor Alfred Mutua sharing a chapati./COURTESY

You just have to make sure you make your dough a few hours before you start prepping the rolls.

That way, it makes it easier to cook the chapatis and they'll turn out soft and yummy.

For dessert, let's try out some lemon, carrot or fruit cake. We can step away from the usual chocolate and vanilla flavoured cakes for a minute because we have really overdone them.

Also, don't let anyone  stop you from indulging in your favourite flavoured cake, but it would be great if you tried other flavours. Just make sure you are not allergic to any of the new options you'll choose.

Classic 105's presenter Maina Kageni
Classic 105's presenter Maina Kageni
Image: Andrew Kasuku

As for drinks, it's pretty clear that its #drinkcember , something social media fanatics use every December.

If you are a drink lover, try different cocktails, something you've never tried before and see if you like it. If you are a gin and tonic kinda person, try the whisky on the rocks.

Sylvester Otiende a mixologist at Zipang bar dust alcoholic drinks in prepreparation of the reopening of bars on September 29,2020/ MERCY MUMO
Sylvester Otiende a mixologist at Zipang bar dust alcoholic drinks in prepreparation of the reopening of bars on September 29,2020/ MERCY MUMO

Furthermore, its the end of the year and we have survived Covid-19.

Celebrate life this festive season because it has been a hectic year, but at the same time, please stay safe. Exercise all the measures put in place and let's look forward to seeing each other next year.

Happy holidays everyone.

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