sidedish

31. Burundi: Curried Spinach with peanut butter

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Burundi, well this one is pretty special to me, since my nephew is a quarter Burundi, I invited him and my sister over for this special dinner. Not my dad, but his other grandfather is from Burundi. Let’s get started! At the beating heart of Africa lies a small country called Burundi. Although Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world it has many attractions worth visiting: it’s legendary lake Tanganyika with a wild variety a birds, it’s mountains and valley’s, large savannah’s and enchanting forests. The people of Burundi have suffered a lot and are still suffering under de consequences of years civil war and hunger.

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Here are some fun facts about Burundi:

  • Drumming is an important part of the Burundian cultural heritage.
  • Kirundi and French are the official languages of Burundi. The country’s motto “Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, Iterambere” in Kirundi means “Unity, Work, Progress”. The motto of the country is also expressed in French – “Unité, Travail, Progrès”
  • Soon after Burundi gained independence from Belgium, the mountainous country enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first black republics in the world.

This recipe is served as a side dish, with rice. It’s deliciously creamy

Burundi

Ingredients: 200 gr chopped spinach, 1 tablespoon peanutbutter, 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 peeled and diced tomato, 1/2 dried chili pepper

Wash the spinach, roll leaves together and chop. Pop the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, peel and chop. Peel and chop the onion. Mix the peanut butter with the coconut milk. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion, tomato, salt and curry powder and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk mixture.  Simmer, for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The curried spinach and peanut butter may be served as a side dish or as a full meal with rice

10. Armenia: Taboulleh Salad

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Armenia, a country with a history like no other. In the golden age Armenia was powerful ally or if you had them against you a feared enemy. Being on the paths of trade and war gave Armenia a unique position, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a not so good way. They were under a constant thread of attack. but neither Alexander the Great nor any of the other great conquerers could fully suppress the brave inhabitants of Armenia. Later in history Armenia got caught between Rome and it’s enemy Persia, each would use as a buffer against it’s rival. Great cities were laid waste. Like the Greek and the Romans the Armenians had their own ancient gods but merchants traveling to the great centers of trade in the Middle East came in to contact with a new idea, a faith that would shape the identity of their country. By 301 AD Armenia had been the first to adopt Christianity as it’s official religion. A century later they were forced by the Persian empire to adopt their old religion  Zoroastrianism. The rich elite were furious and they started a riot which became a civil war and Armenia’s first challenge as a Christian country. Eventually they made a truce and allowed freedom the Armenians freedom of religion. But yet another invasion was lurking around the corner the Ottoman Empire. In the beginning they kept the freedom of religion, a few years later they started treating minorities like Christian and jews differently. Christians and Jews were not allowed to join the army or even own a weapon, they raised taxes, and their word was not admissible in court which basically ended in a massacre where the minorities where prohibited from using arms. And don’t even get me started on the Second World War. At some point in history Yerevan the capital of Armenia changed hands 14 times in 2 centuries. The official language is Armenian. Because of all the moving around, changing borders and empires a lot of Armenian moved out of the country which is why there are only 3 million in Armenia but in total there are more then 11 million Armenians. There is of course  a lot more to tell about Armenia but I think  this is enough for now! Let’s get cookin’!

Taboulleh Salad

I made a taboulleh salad! I wanted to make something healthy which would accompany the BBQ my mom prepared and to be honest it was perfect! And it’s really really really simple! But it does require some prep-time.

Ingredients: 2 cups of bulgur, 4 diced tomatoes, 1 cucumber diced, 2 cups of fresh chopped mint, 3 cups of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, 4 sliced spring onions, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt, 3 cups of water. 

Let the bulgur well in the water for about 1 1/2 hour. In the meanwhile you can chop everything and put it all in a bowl. Make sure the bulgur is soft, and add to the bowl.

While preparing I listened to a really relaxing armenian playlist I found on 8tracks! http://8tracks.com/kiranb_84/armenians, seriously it’s really relaxing oh yeah and did I forget to mention that one of the best musicians of all time is from Armenia! Charles Aznavour, for the people who don’t know who this is he is the singer of the song at the beginning of  the Nottinghill movie and for the people who still don’t know! You should be ashamed of yourself and listen to it right now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxaZMreym88