Delectable delights from the African kitchen

What’s Cooking in Simba’s Jiko in 2018?


This December has given me time to really think about food. Well, I think about food a lot, I mean, it’s my job but…I thought about it more, it was my food for thought! *wink*wink*

I came to one profound conclusion.



Let that sink in for a minute!

Food is a wonderful thing. Think about all the nyama choma (roasted meat) you had this holiday. Mmmh…all that flame-grilled, smokey-flavoured, juicy goodness dripping with some rosemary marinade coupled with bubbling, rich malt goodness.

Now I’m hungry.

Anyway, at its most basic, food is healthy nourishment for our body’s survival. Now good food is glorious. It’s a form of culture, entertainment, celebration and a source of social engagement. The uniqueness of different foods varying from ingredients, cooking methods or even personal preference is what brings people together. For some, food is considered a hobby, career, passion or form of art however it simply boils down to how good you can cook. So regardless of what food is for you, [aside from the obvious], I’m here to help you and hopefully challenge you to pursue your #foodgoals2018 at the same time saving you from overcooking your mum in-law’s njahi (black turtle beans).

Are you a victim of Ugali Rice? or maybe Chapo Kuni? How about that bland dry chicken you made last time and perhaps occasionally that collapsed cake?  Well, don’t you worry! Chef Mondo and the team at Simba’s Jiko have got your back! This year we have an array of easy-make recipes and DIY segments to help bring your cooking skills to par, boost your confidence in the kitchen and even have you preparing the softest Mandazi, perfectly round Chapatis and even complex meals such as Lasagne or even a Creme Brulee. Well, we’ve got your back!

Kibanda Diaries For all of you working or studying in Nairobi, we know how you appreciate a steaming plate from your local ‘Kibanda’ (local kiosk). The food is affordable and it tastes great! Because of that, every now and then, we’ll be having Kibanda Diaries! Here, we’ll be sampling a new kibanda showcasing the best of ‘chapo-madondo’ or ‘ugali-nyama-sukuma-shikilia’. From 10 bob chapo’s to 30 bob rice, we’ll take a look at it all!

The Single’s Guide – Moving out is an exciting adventure. For most of you, it’s the first time to really have a sample of life on your own. More often than not, it also comes with the added responsibility of campus or a new job, and what does that mean? You are no longer in Hotel Mama and neither do you have time to spend whipping up a 4-course meal. This year, we fight the urge to resort to the everyday Indomie bowl, supermarket food or even that greasy take away chips and chicken.  We’ll work on coming up with nutritious meals. I’ll use simple ingredients that you can find on your way home from work and together, we’ll whip up some tasty treats that will leave you packed and powered ready for the next day.

Mama Nani? – Have you ever wondered why your grandmother’s chapatis are the best thing to have happened to our generation? Or why your mother’s ‘mince and minjii (peas)’ stew has you up all night wondering whatever did you do to deserve such love?  A visit to Cucu’s, Mum’s, or even  Auntie’s  kitchen to see how they craft those finger-licking meals will soon put that mystery to rest . We don’t want to divulge too much so…see you here every Tuesday.

Simba’s Jiko is all about inclusivity and every now and then, we’ll also be featuring guest chefs.

Simba’s Cocky Cocktails – You are not ready for this!

In all fair warning, this post (and the series that follows it) will feature alcohol to varying levels. On some days, you’ll have as little as 5%; on good days, anywhere between 10-30% will suffice; and on those extremely difficult days, ladies and gentlemen, please arm yourself with anything 40% and above. Calling all my Jack Daniels fans, what’s up? #MoreLife

Brathes and Mathes [read: brath-AY and math-AY], watunguyaz and warembo, welcome to the beautiful world of COCKTAILS! Your ever-faithful companions to good, bad, and terrible days. Your perfect buddy to life. Your sip of freshness.

Your….fill in the blanks!

We’ll dive tongue-deep into the ever evolving, highly artistic and liberal world of cocktails commonly referred to as “the devils drinks” that have the power to loosen even the tightest of lips. What makes a cocktail tick? What transforms an otherwise ‘basic’ looking drink and gives it a ‘wow’ factor? And the best part, how can YOU whip one up from the comfort of your own kitchen?

But one of the most exciting things that we’re doing this time round is . . .

The weekend Cookout – This will be BIG!

Life is too short to do the things we don’t love doing. If there is one thing we love doing is parting! Once a month on a selected weekend Chef Mondo will call his friends, friends friends, and top followers for a crazy weekend cookout! We’ll head to the rooftop,  pull out the BBQ, turn up the volume and toast to ice cold beers as we get crazy and cook up a storm!.

Don’t miss to catch as live on Instagram @sjimbasjiko

Jikoni 101 – What’s the difference between black and white peppers? How much milk is enough for your tea? How much water is just right for ugali? And just how do they manage to chop up onions so fast on TV? #Jikoni-101 is for those who have committed to learning the ins and outs of their kitchen this year either because they are curious or just because they are tired of cutting themselves when peeling potatoes. From the basics of cutlery to the science of baking, I’ll get you from no to pro in record time!

Restaurant Reviews – As said, we’ve been around this beautiful country over our break and we’ve gotten to encounter some of the most exciting hidden and not-so-hidden gems, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it; from the good to the bad and to the straight up ugly. We’ll keep it affordable (you Kenyan, you!) and we’ll keep it exclusive enough so you definitely don’t want to miss out on that.

In addition to that, the Simbas Jiko team will be on the prowl every now and then talking to you, finding out what you love about Kenyan food, your face dishes, how you make them, etc. We are the spice of life, each of us unique in our own ways. If you’d like to be on the prowl with us, leave us a message below!

It’s going to be a great year I believe where we’ll light up, cook up, mess up, make up and keep trying until we get it right. This is your year to be the ultimate Master Chef or the thing closest to it in the kitchen.

So ladies and gents, fire up those jikos!

Lets  get cooking! 

– Chef Mondo!



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