Sunday, November 9, 2008

Challenge: Let's Escape to Africa!

I'm angling to get some brownie points with my little cousins (and secretly need an excuse to go watch a kiddie cartoon & keep my street cred...) which is why Mach wants those free tickets to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa that the All-Malaysian Bloggers Project is giving away!

Unfortunate update 10/11: By the time I got around to solving some "technical" issues bugging me this past week and finally posting this, it was past the deadline! Sob! Oh well, the recipes still turned out delicious and I'm watching the movie anyways...

For you guys not in the know, this movie sequel sees talking New York Zoo animals (Alex the lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo), who had been transplanted to the "I want to move it, move it" lemur filled land of Madagascar, plotting to leave the island and end up in the wilds of Africa. Alex meets up with his long lost family but has problems communicating with them (hmm... sound familiar?). Plus with an all star comedic voice cast like Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha "Borat" Cohen reprising their roles - I'm expectating of a stellar second outing.

To get in the mood, figured I'd try out some simple African-inspired bread toppings as I had some chapati bread on hand.

Dukkah (Spiced Hazelnut spread)
(Adapted from Rosiechops of Allrecipes)
2/3 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

1. Bake hazelnuts in an oven (175 degrees celcius) for about five minutes or until fragrant. While the nuts are still hot, pour them onto a tea towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Leave to cool.
2. In a frying pan, toast the sesame seeds until light golden brown. Chuck it into a bowl then continue with toasting the coriander and cumin seeds until they begin to pop.
3. Grind coriander and cumin seeds until finely ground and chuck it into the bowl with sesame seeds.
4. Grind the cooled hazelnuts until finely ground and stir into the bowl with spices.
5. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
6. Serve spread atop toasted bread that has been dipped in olive oil.

Madagascar's Lasary Voatabia (Tomato & Spring Onions salad)
A large handful of chopped tomatoes
A handful of chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons water
A few dashes of tabasco or hot sauce
Salt to taste

Toss everything together.

Senegalese Chicken Yassa
Chicken pieces - chopped
1 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup oil
3 onions - sliced
2 sprigs of thyme
red pepper - largely chopped
1 cup water
Bay leaves

1. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, vinegar, half the oil and onions for a couple of hours.
2. Heat remaining oil in a pot and brown chicken with onions. Add in the marinade sauce and thyme, peppers, water and bay leaves.
3. Simmer until chicken is cooked.

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