Cooking up kabichi seems like the right thing to do – our guests are expecting a taste of Malawi this evening.
Kabichi (cabbage) was served daily during our trip to Malawi, as a vegetable side dish (relish) to accompany the star of tonight’s food demo (can’t spill the beans…). My ndiwo may not be authentic, but I am doing what our hosts did, and using whatever I have to hand. Here goes…
Yes, you can see red splashes of La Dalia’s pimentón (always to hand) – but I felt I had to spice up my Northern Hemisphere ndiwo, just in case it doesn’t match up to these beautifully warm dishes that we were treated to …
Greens of any kind might be used to make ndiwo – cassava leaves , sweet potato leaves, the leaves of pumpkins, kale and any type of cabbage. Nothing is ever wasted.
Since I haven’t any pumpkins growing in my garden, I’ve cheated by stealing into town to buy some pumpkin seeds (not to magically speed-grow for leaves, obviously). These and some peanuts will add a little Malawian something to whatever it is that our multi award-winning baker will present to the assembled guests later.
Tonight isn’t just about food. A flavour of Malawi will be shared through film, photos, brief presentations and informal chat.
Our teenaged travellers will add their younger perspectives too.
My only problem is that I now have some washing up to do, and my luffa plants are not inclined to help. I planted these four seeds a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve watered and watched, and been dismayed by our cool climate. Nothing to do but wait and watch some more.
I know it takes a little more than watching (and forgetting to water), and sowing these small seeds earlier in the season would have given them half a chance … but Bettie told me it was easy … and now all I have it this.
However, today we find ourselves in the midst of a mini-heatwave. Not only does that bode well for a Warm Heart of African atmosphere this evening, but my still small seeds might feel temporarily at home.
Wish us all luck 😉
For more on traditional Malawian cooking (including a ndiwo recipe), click here.