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TANZANIA: Curried Banana + Fish Soup (Ndizi na Samaki)

TANZANIA: Curried Banana + Fish Soup (Ndizi na Samaki)

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We are BAAAAAACK!  Thank you for your patience as we took a month off to explore South America, get and recover from the flu, and take a week long business trip (a few of those things simultaneously).   I’ll be getting Peru and Swaziland online asap and we have Cyprus cued up for this weekend.

If you haven’t done so already, please follow me on Facebook where I post news, photos, sneak peaks, new friends, updates, and other soupy things.

Okay, without further ado, here’s what we learned about Tanzania :

  •  Since one of our life goals as a family is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, we will be visiting Tanzania some day.
  • As independent countries, Tanzania (and one of its provinces Zanzibar) are both just slightly older than my husband.
  • Tanzania has 2 different capital cities.  Dar Es Salaam is the former capital, but still maintains its place as the capital in the hearts of Tanzanians; Dodoma is the new administrative capital.
  • Here’s a fun website with lots of food info if you’re keen on cooking more Tanzanian fare
  • While “Hakuna Matata” is well known to us westerners, the phrase is uncommon among native speakers of Swahili in Tanzania, who prefer the phrase “hamna shida” in the north and “hamna tabu” in the south.
  • I found this music video out of Tanzania to be a really interesting study of the different classes in the country.  Cheesy/romantic, yes… but it’s fascinating to see how the street scenes and lifestyles are depicted.
  • Finally, Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, has a thriving street food scene which Anthony Bourdain was kind enough to test out for me until I’m able to get there myself.


THE MEAL:

Although it was quite a different flavor profile than we are used to, this was a winner.   It was pretty spicy, which I loved, but I might decrease the spice next time to make it more friendly to sensitive palates.  I’d also love to try this with shrimp next time.

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Hooray! My parents were here for a visit and joined us in Tanzania. Thumbs up from them!
Papi said beer was the perfect thing to wash it down with!

 


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Curried Banana + Fish Soup (Ndizi na Samaki)
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb flaky white fish (I used tilapia)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
  • Cooked white rice and cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. Season tilapia with fresh black pepper and salt.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat oil and saute onions until translucent and tender.2014_12_soop_tanzania-6
  3. Add garlic, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and fry for 2 more minutes.2014_12_soop_tanzania-7
  4. Add the fish, stock, tomatoes and coconut, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes – stirring occasionally to break up fish into large chunks.2014_12_soop_tanzania-8
  5. Add banana and simmer 10 additional minutes.2014_12_soop_tanzania-9
  6. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls over white rice and garnish with cilantro for a bit of color if desired.

Cook’s Notes

This is relatively spicy as prepared with the full 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes.  The boys both said they would have liked it if it hadn’t be so spicy.  If you’re making this for kids, you could just omit the red pepper and allow people to add it to their bowls if they want a bit of a kick.

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