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How to Cook Omena

Carol Chanya's omena dish.

Do you know how to cook omena? How do you do so?

For me, the thing with omena is that I’ve never been quite sure about how it’s prepared. I have always wondered – do you boil the omena first? Or do you just wash and cook them? Then, are you supposed to remove the eyes? Do you remove them before or after boiling? Do you cook them with milk? Do you dry-fry them or can you make stew with them? Can you add other stuff like carrots, hoho and dhania to the dish?

Well, my friend Carol Chanya recently shared a photo of how she does her omena dish, and the food really looked appetizing. I quickly asked her for the recipe so that I could get an idea of who to make my own omena dish. This is how Chanya prepares her omena:

  1. Wash the omena and set them aside to ensure they dry completely (you could do that way before the time you actually need to cook them so that they can dry well enough).
  2. Heat enough cooking oil in a pan and throw in chopped onions, then add the omena.
  3. Add salt, tomatoes, tomato paste and whatever other spices you choose. Add a little water to prevent them from sticking onto the pan.
  4. Keep a check on the omena as they fry. When you see them becoming a little hard, that’s when you know they are ready. You will then have your mouth-watering dry-fry omena dish. Serve with ugali and sukuma wiki.

     Chanya’s Preferences:

–         She doesn’t boil the omena because she prefers them crunchy. Boiling them would make them too soft for her liking.

–         She washes the omena in lukewarm water twice before she sets them aside to dry before cooking them later on.

So that’s how Chanya prepares her omena. How do you prepare omena yourself? Any variation from how Chanya prepares hers? 

Also See: How to Cook a Tasty Ndengu Stew

How to Cook a Tasty Ndengu (Green Grams) Stew

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.



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