Lydia Wangui, or Kui as she’s known, is a big fan of the West.
“I have been in the western suburbs for a year. The homes have better and bigger spaces and there is a larger African community in the west, so this helped me settle in faster as they were supportive and walked me through the settling journey”.
A regular at Welcome Dinners, Kui loves making new friends and learning more about Melbourne. A big believer in food bringing people together, she proudly shares her Kenyan wet fry recipe
“My children love it so much and so this makes me enjoy making it more. I love this simple meal so much because anyone can have it at home for breakfast or dinner, at parties or at school or work for lunch. The meal is a delicacy in my country and so, culturally, it is often made when you have visitors or when special people come to your house. Visitors are seen as blessings in my culture and so it is only obvious that you are expected to offer them the best”.
Kui encourages new Australians to join The Welcome Dinner Project, as she feels it’s the best way to bond new and established Australians, while nurturing talents and strengths in many fields.
Learn to make Kui’s Wet fry for your loved ones
Kenyan Wet Fry (for 10 people)
1 kg of goats meat
1 kg of beef
2 large onions
1 green pepper
3 beef cubes
1 bunch parsley
2 large tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh coriander (Dhania) leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp of curry powder
3 cloves of garlic (fresh grated or finely diced)
1½ tsp fresh ginger (grated fresh ginger root)
¼ tsp of white pepper
¼ tsp of black pepper
2 cups hot water
1 tsp Roiko
Spices of your choice
Cut one of the onions. Heat oil in a cooking pot and fry the onion until it starts to turn brown. Pick your ginger and garlic and add to the cooking onion. Cook for a minute. At this point the scent in your house will be delicious.
Next, add in the curry powder and salt and cook for around 2 minutes, add spices. Add the meat to the cooking pot plus the beef cubes and mix thoroughly. Make sure that your meat is well coated. Cover the meat and cook on low-medium heat.
After 10 minutes of slow cooking, uncover the dish and stir. Add the eggplant and tomatoes. Cover and continue slow cooking. (Slow cooking is essential because it makes the curry powder and spices stick to the meat even after adding water later on).
After 8 more minutes, uncover the pot and stir your meat. At this point, the meat should be tender and wet. Cover and continue slow cooking.
After 7 more minutes, uncover the pot and stir the meat. At this point, the water in your stew should have dried up and the meat should be browned.
Next add hot water and Roiko to the meat and cook for 15 minutes on low heat. After this time, the water should have reduced and all the flavours will be deeply concentrated.
Remember the other onion we didn’t use? This is the right time to cut it and add to the cooking meat, add the capsicum, green pepper, coriander and parsley as well. Cover to simmer for 2 mins.
Taste your meat to check if the salt is enough to your liking, stir and switch off the heat.
Your long awaited Kenyan wet fry is finally done.
Chapati (to make 10)
3 cups wheat flour
Salt to taste
1 tbs sugar
250ml warm water
Whole wheat flour for rolling
Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water.
Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll out each portion of the dough into a 150 mm (6”) diameter thin circle using a little whole wheat flour for rolling.
Roll out each portion and fold it into a layered ball with oil. Let it sit for a few minutes then roll it out into a round thin circle.
Heat a non-stick griddle or pan on a high flame and when hot, place the chapati gently over it. Cook until small blisters appear on the surface. Turn over the chapati and press all over lightly using a muslin cloth until it puffs up. Apply oil on both the sides and cook for few more seconds.
Samosa (to make 20)
Ingredients - Dough:
500gm plain flour (approx. 3 cups heaped)
240ml water (1 cup)
1 large pinch salt
In a large mixing bowl, put the flour and salt together and make a well at the centre, then add the water and a little oil at the centre. Mix until all the water is absorbed, the surface of the bowl is dry, and the dough doesn’t stick.
Work the dough for about 3 minutes (or until it has a smooth surface). It should at this stage be smooth and a little firm when you poke your finger in it. Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap and make sure no part of the dough is exposed to air.
Leave to rest for at least 30 min at room temperature. This is to allow the gluten to rest, failure to which the dough will be elastic and can’t be rolled. The longer the better.
Preheat a thick bottomed pan and leave the heat on medium.
After the rest period divide the dough into small equal balls roughly the size of a golf ball. Roll the balls to round shape until they’re thin (take care they don't tear). Put oil on each and then layer them on each other. Then roll them out together. Dust the surface with flour as you roll the dough to avoid it from sticking on the surface.
Cook the rolled up dough on the preheated pan for a few seconds on each sides until it gets firm but not fully cooked. Pull the layers apart and set aside. Repeat this process until all the dough is cooked.
Neatly arrange the prepared wraps and cut into four equal triangles awaiting their transformation into samosas.
Ingredients - Meat:
1/2 kg lean minced beef
3 bunches finely diced spring onions
2 thinly chopped cloves of garlic
Small piece ginger, grated
2 tsp cumin seeds
Small bunch coriander, chopped
Salt & pepper
*Spices of your choice
Method - Cooking:
Cook the meat in a hot pan with very little oil. Stir and break the lumps of the meat after the meat is slightly cooked.
Allow the water from the meat to evaporate while cooking uncovered, constantly stirring the meat to ensure all the lumps are broken.
Add the cumin, garlic and ginger according to taste and stir into the meat. Add the salt & pepper and any spices of your choice.
Lastly, add the chopped coriander and spring onion and turn off the heat. Make sure the meat is dry.
Taste the meat. The salt level should be slightly higher than usual because when you wrap the meat, it will reduce the salt level to the required taste.
Allow to cool completely before wrapping.
Method - Assembly:
I suggest you first fold all the necessary pockets first then fill them with the cooled meat.
Seal the pockets with a water and flour batter paste and arrange them neatly in preparation for frying. (Note: You can freeze them at this stage and deep-fry them as desired).
When frying, heat oil in a suitable deep pan/pot and allow the oil to heat up. To test the heat of the oil, sprinkle with a few drops of water and the sound produced should be not too loud and the bubbling effect with the water reacting with oil should be medium fast.
If the oil starts to smoke, its too hot and you would want to let it cool down by reducing the heat. Oil too hot will cook the outside and the inside will be uncooked, especially when cooking from frozen.
When cooking, don’t over fill the pan with too many samosas as it will cool the oil to a temperature that will be too low to cook them well.
When cooked to golden brown, remove from the oil and allow to cool and then drain off any excess oil over a paper towel. A good samosa should have a crispy thin pastry and with very minimal oil.