Githeri is one of my favourite foods, I will not lie.
The dish is normally lampooned by many in this our VEEERYYY corrupt country of Kenya.
Maybe it is the legacy of school lunches that heavily influences our opinions about the glorious dish. This meal has a bad reputation that I believe it shouldn’t have.
Let me explain why. The reason most might not like the meal is that they have not encountered a properly made plate of the delicacy.
Let me take you through a few simple steps to make an enjoyable meal of githeri:
1. Make sure the beans and the maize that you use are clean and without any weevils
This is important as those wadudus normally spoil the taste of the food, yes even if they add much needed protein to many people’s meals.
The best grains for the maize are usually the soft, milky variety; in essence, the ones that have just been harvested.
2. When boiling the grains, make sure you salt them and also add a bouquet garni
This is to avoid the common problem whereby all the salt in ones food is in the stew and not in the grains, despite adding. This will make the food much tastier as the salt is inside the grains. (make sure you don’t oversalt!)
A bouquet garni is an assortment of herbs( thyme, bay leaf and parsley) that are tied together that are put in the boiling pot so as to introduce flavour and variety into the githeri.
3. After the githeri is ready, drain and save the broth, then karanga it
At this stage, prepare your onions, tomatoes, coriander(dhania), capsicum(hoho), garlic and ginger. Put the diced onions in the pot and cook them until browned. Keep stirring so that they do not become char black.
Then add the tomatoes and everything else, adding spices like paprika and chilly to add a spicy element to the meal. Make sure you keep stirring the mixture until the tomatoes have denatured.
It is at this point that one should put the githeri into the pot stirring in the grains in the bubbling tomato. Add the amount of the saved broth as you see fit but please don’t do it like a Kikuyu housewife!
Bring to the boil, then simmer the meal for at least 30 minutes. After that, eat to your hearts delight.