Chillies O’clock


My routine is such that I go to the market every two weeks and do a complete stock of my kitchen from the vegetable market. Yesterday was no different especially since I was getting the different yet scarce varieties of chillies that have been playing hide & seek for the longest while with me. I could get only one type and less than a kilo….I would be distraught most times while others times I wouldn’t not be having my kitchen mojo.

My truth was that I needed to restock my chillies before the only akubanga remaining in my pantry mysteriously disappears coz it seems not to have any fans this season.

As I was saying, yours faithfully, armed with gunny bags, ciondo and reusable bags marched to Kongowea some minutes before 8am and begun my routine. Quarter a pakacha of onions from Mwangi, oranges, pineapples & green maize from the truck, kienyeji veggies from another hidden corner, carrots, capsicum, ginger, garlic, half a crate tomatoes, arrow roots, sweet potatoes, dhania, mint, green beans, mint and of course my treasured chillies.

I got 3 varieties specifically.

After ticking off everything in my shopping list, I dashed back home & prepared for church as though I was being paid to attend church because I was late. Yes, I was late because it was intermittently pouring heavily in Kongowea meaning that I had to stop and let the rain pass. 4 different times.

I arrived in church at 10.50pm whereas service starts at 10.30am.

I ignored the stares and gallantly took my strides and sat at my usual seat. Front row with my army of 5 children. I am a mother……to these and many more.

It must have been fatigue or lack of breakfast but my mind kept wandering during the service but I can remember the sermon. It was a beautiful one. Just the details in between our arrival and the sermon that seem hazy.

Unlike normal, I left early because the army needed to feed, I needed a nap, I wanted to undo and redo my hair and nails.

None of that was achieved :/

The army I was fighting for dumped me, sleep vanished and since it was my domestic manager’s day off, she opted to literally take the day off unlike the past few weeks.

After a lone lunch of boiled green maize, groundnuts with black tea, I stared at my chillies in a purple bowl on the counter. They stared back at me and smiled. I smiled back.

The rest, they say, is history;

Ingredients

Chillies – 2 kilos

Salt to taste

Ginger, size of 2 index fingers

Garlic, 1 bulb

Onion, 1 huge bulb

Lemon juice, 10 medium sized lemons

Vinegar, 1 glass

Cooking oil

Remove edges from the chillies. I had roughly 2 kilos in the bowl.

Cut up your ginger,peel garlic and onion as well as juice the lemons.

In a blender, add salt, chillies, ginger, garlic and lemon juice.

Blend to a paste. Add onions and just zit I.e. pulse the blender for 10 seconds or so.

As you are doing this, place oil in the pan and let or warm up. Do not allow it to burn because the chillies will splatter when they come into contact. That’s an accident in waiting.

Add your blended paste gently as you stir.

Let it cook under medium heat until all the liquid dries up and the oil floats or shines. Keep stirring frequently so that it does not stick to the base of the pan.

Add the vinegar and repeat the same process as above.

Voila!!!!

Homemade chilli paste that will last me over 3 months. This is ready to eat, so serve it with your dishes as you desire.

Be warned, every area of my body that came into contact with the chillies was burning and itching for half the night.

Quick hint on how to clean the blender afterwards; add some water and liquid soap into the blender jig and blend for a minute or so like this.

It does all the wonders since it reaches all the corners that are unreachable.

Why do I have two blender jugs in this photo? Let’s just say, my response requires a mug of porridge to tell you how I ended up with 3 blenders on that day.

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