This blend is the hottest curry powder we found in Africa, although some pastes like berbere might top it on the heat scale. Traditionally in Malawi, the spices are sun-dried before being ground and are not toasted. Note the large amount of cloves in this recipe, which is a possible influence form nearby Madagascar, a clove-growning island.
Satay are a popular street food in Indonesia, and all of Malaysia, where they are made out of lamb, beef, or chicken. Basically these are small cubes of meat that are marinated in a spicy sauce and grilled over charcoal. They make great appetizers for any party, especially for one held outdoors. The peanut sauce is also good by itself, served with crisp, fresh vegetables.
Here is a dish that Nancy likes to prepare towards the end of the summer when fresh vegetables are in abundance and she doesn’t want to heat up the kitchen with a hot stove. Use the tomatoes as a base sauce and vary the types of vegetables for a different pasta flavor. Begin the meal with a crisp Caesar salad and finish it with a warm apple nut tart.
This recipe, from chili scholar John Thorne, was published in a slightly different format in the Winter, 1989 issue of The Whole Chile Pepper magazine, in the Special Chili con Carne Issue that I edited. John commented: "On the Texas range, firewood meant mesquite. Not only did the trail cook use it for his open pit cooking, but the ranch cook used it to fire his wood stove. Until it was replaced with gas and electric, mesquite-flavored grilling dominated rural Texas cooking with its distinctive sweet savor. The meat for this chili is seared over charcoal where mesquite chips have been set to flame (the taste of mesquite charcoal is indistinguishable from that of any other hardwood), which gives the resulting chili a haunting hint of smoke--and without tasting a bit like barbecue, since there is no onion or tomato in it, none at all."
Each Afican country seems to have its own version of peanut soup, or groundnut soup. It is common all over Africa, but it is especially popular in the in the western part. The soup can be made a day head to blend the flavors, and then carefully reheated.
This makes an unusual dressing for fruit salad because of the spice of the dry mustard and the red chile flakes. It can even be used for basting during the last two or three minutes of grilling vegetables; because of the sugar content, you don't want to use it too soon, or the vegetables will burn.
Anyone who has eaten at my house knows that sooner or later they will have something flavored with two of my favorites--chiles and rosemary. Depending on your preference, the marinade can be strained before reducing. This recipe will also work well with ribs, roasts, or even cubed lamb, which can be made into kebabs.