Roasted vegetables get a delicious flavor boost with wonderful East African spices. Carrots, potatoes, eggplant and cauliflower are first roasted in the oven and then simmered with exotic African spices. They are so irresistibly good.
I came up with this recipe while researching Tanzanian food for an earlier post. Immersed for a week in East African history, culture and cuisine, poring over recipes and cooking up different dishes every day, I finally came up with the this recipe, inspired by the Spices Islands of Zanzibar. It's is so good it has to be shared.
Zanzabar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of mainland Tanzania, often referred to as The Spice Islands because of the high quality spices grown there. Swahili is the principal language of Zanzabar. You may know the Swahili phrase 'Hakuna matata!' 'No problem!'
HOW TO MAKE ROASTED VEGETABLES FROM THE SPICE ISLANDS
The recipe is cooked in two stages. First roast the veggies in the oven. Then simmer them with toasted spices in a pot on the stove.
Africa has more countries that any other continent - 54 of them. When I launched Panning The Globe, with a mission to find incredibly delicious recipes from every single country in the world, I wondered if Africa would pose a particularly difficult challenge. Would the ingredients be hard to find? Would the dishes all be too similar? So far I've been very happy with the results.
OTHER FAVORITE AFRICAN RECIPES:
- Jollof Rice with Chicken from Ghana
- Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine
- Senegalese Chicken Yassa
- Boboti: South African Meatloaf
- West African Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
In case you're wondering if it is easy to find the great recipes from far away places, the answer is, sometimes. It hasn't been smooth sailing the whole way through.
My very first attempt at cooking something exotic for the blog was an intriguing Ethiopian dish called Doro Wot, a chicken stew made with a complex spice blend called Berbere. It's supposed to be served with a special flat bread called injera made from flour that is comprised of the ground up seeds from a "teff" plant.
With the help of my husband Eddie (he's the bread baker in the family) we attempted to make injera to accompany the Doro Wot. Let's just say that we will have to revisit that whole project.
These roasted vegetables from the Spice Islands takes traditional roasted vegetables and amps up the flavor with exotic East African spices. Use the vegetables I suggest or an equal amount of your favorite seasonal vegetables.
Here's the recipe for Roasted Vegetables from the Spice Islands. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Roasted Vegetables from The Spice Islands
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
Roasted vegetables get a delicious flavor boost with wonderful East African spices. This is an exceptional side dish.
EQUIPMENT: Two rimmed baking sheets, paper towels
FOR THE VEGETABLES:
- 1 medium eggplant with skin, cut into ¾ inch cubes)
- 3 tablespoons salt plus 1 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small head cauliflower separated into bite-sized florets.
- 9 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
FOR THE SPICES
- Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds (black or yellow)
- 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground fenugreek
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Arrange shelves in the top and bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lay eggplant cubes in a single layer on a long sheet of paper towels. Sprinkle and toss with 2 tablespoons of salt and let them sweat for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl toss potatoes and carrots with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
- Rinse eggplant in a colander to remove salt. Pat dry. In a large bowl, toss eggplant and cauliflower with 3 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Spread them out on a sheet pan in a single layer.
- Roast vegetables for 25-35 minutes, flipping the veggies over with a spatula and switching the position of the trays, after 15 minutes. Veggies are done when potatoes are tender and browned in spots.
- In a large heavy pot or dutch oven heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the 2 teaspoon mustard seeds and cook, stirring until you hear the seeds start to pop. Add 1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 ½ teaspoon fenugreek, and 1 teaspoon cumin, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Toss the roasted vegetables into the pot along with the peas, ½ cup of water, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoon salt. Cook uncovered, tossing gently for 2-3 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until hot. Serve and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Vegetarian Side Dish
- Method: Roast
- Cuisine: Tanzanian
Keywords: Roasted vegetables with African spices
This dish is so delicious! What a fun, spicy way to eat veggies!
I made these, and they were wonderful. Since I didn't have mustard seed or fenugreek I added a what I estimated to be a comparable amount of ground mustard instead and the crowd went wild...I love roasted vegetables and this was such a new, interesting and tasty version of them! Thanks Lisa!
Lisa I turned my trainer Eugene onto your blog and he says he loves it! Trying to eat healthy and get my twin boys to follow suit I am definitely going to try this vegi recipe.
I'm not a cook but this looks easy.
Oh my God, these look fantastic, Lisa! I'll move back to Newtton if you make these for us! You were always the Vegetable Queen!
Any time, Sara 🙂