By Contributor Allison Baltzersen
I received a copy of the new cookbook, Taste of Tanzania by Miriam R. Kinunda and have officially moved “Eat Excessively in Tanzania” to the top of my bucket list. The food of this country is BOMB. Because of its location on Indian trade routes, Tanzania’s cuisine is a really neat-o fusion of mainland African fare (pigeon peas and root veggies) and Eastern flavors (cardamom and coconut milk). Not only are the recipes in this book easy, they are totally approachable for Westerners that don’t know where Tanzania is in Africa (guilty!). In addition to being packed with all sorts of cool recipes, the book offers geographical and historical info so we can get some context to the recipes and learn more about this very cool country.
I was raised by a mother who cooked with the following herbs and spices: salt and pepper [Insert frowny face here]. So I get super excited when I see recipes that call for magical blends of spices like cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The first recipe I whipped up was the Pilau ya Mboga za Majani (page 98 of Taste of Tanzania) and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat plain ol’ rice and veggies again. Adding the dynamic spices transformed the dish into something super exotic but I still pulled it together in thirty minutes.
I also made a big ol’ pot of Pigeon Peas Futari (page 69) last weekend. I added some brown rice and chopped tomatoes to turn it into a more complete meal and it was a crowd-pleaser. Letting the stew simmer on the stove all afternoon made the house smell wonderful. This will be a go-to recipe for future potlucks when I need to wow strangers with a surprising delicious vegan dish.
Taste of Tanzania is the perfect addition to a global cookbook collection, or a great gift for any foodie. Most of the recipes are naturally vegetarian, and easily adaptable to become vegan. There are several meat recipes, but the bulk of the book focuses on legumes, veggies and desserts. There is also a section on drinks, including a chai tea recipe that is tops.
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.
Allison Baltzersen is a mother of two baby girls and blogs about her bumblings through green parenting over at Funny Shade of Green.