Those of you who don’t know me so well would not know that we are a reasonably far-flung family. My sister and her family live in Norway and my youngest brother (the baby, ahhh.) and his family reside in Tanzania. As you could imagine, there is high excitement in our household when youngest brother and family and eldest sister come to visit. It’s not often we have such an international get together. Part of this excitement manifests itself in my cooking for them and us. We try to do it nice and casual and allow the meal act as an excuse for enjoying each other’s company. However, I do like to experiment where I can.
So when youngest brother (YB) suggested that we try a Dar es Salaam favourite of Chicken Sekela, I was hooked. We kept it pretty authentic by having Chicken Sekela with Kachambari and Tamarind Sauce.
YB brought everything we needed for authenticity. Garam Masala, Tanzanian ginger, garlic, turmeric and tamarind. All bought in the souk in Dar es Salaam.
The ingredients list:
- 2 chickens
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of ginger
- 2 lemons
- some salt
- a generous tablespoon of turmeric
- a generous tablespoon of garam masala
- a few twists of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar
- tamarind sauce to accompany
We had Kachambari to accompany too. This is a simple salad of blanched white onion, tomato and lime juice. It is incredibly refreshing. The first thing I did was to make the tamarind sauce. This was a simple matter of reducing the tamarind in water and adding some salt and sugar to taste.
The sauce got strained to remove the seeds, leaves and fibrous branch bits.
For the Chicken Sekela, I chopped the garlic and ginger, mixed it with the garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, soy sauce, honey and juice of the lemons. I chopped the chickens into bite sized pieces.
This gets poured over the chicken.
Nice colour or not, I used plastic gloves while mixing the chicken.
The chicken marinates for a couple of hours before being thrown on the barbecue.
The Chicken Sekela provided a great centrepiece to our family celebration. I served it with the Kachambari and tamarind sauce as well as spinach and naan breads. It was a lovely little piece of Dar came to Dublin.
YB and family have returned to Tanzania. Sister and her other half have gone back to the frozen north. I can’t wait until the next time….