• The book outlines the nutritional benefits of each of these meals with the aim of encouraging people to eat indigenous foods.
• The book features 16 food recipes popularly prepared by natives of Western Kenya.
The first cookbook for traditional cuisines from Western Kenya has been launched in Kakamega.
The book titled ‘Chakula Chetu’ was launched by the Nabongo of Wanga His Royal Highness Maurice Wambani during the closing ceremony of the annual Bukura Trade and Culture Fair that was themed “Show, Connect, Trade and Grow,” on Monday.
The book features 16 food recipes popularly prepared by natives of Western Kenya.
The cuisines include mushroom stew (obwoba), green grams and sweet potatoes (omushenye), dried termites (tsiswa), boiled black nightshade (esufuwa), beans and sweet potatoes composite (omushenye), smoked beef (shihango), jute and cowpeas leaves mix (omurere and likhubi), free-range chicken (ingokho) and sorghum porridge (obusera).
Others are spider plant (chisaka), boiled narrow leaf (emiroo), pumpkin leaf vegetables (lisebebe), dried fish (eshibambala), bamboo shoots (kamalea), millet ugali (obusuma) and smoked fish (eshibambala).
The book also outlines the nutritional benefits of each of these meals with an aim of unlocking the potential of the region’s food culture by encouraging people to embrace the growing and eating of indigenous foods as a way of promoting food security.
The book was developed by the Inter-Regional Economic Network (IREN) in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Wambani said the content of the book is vital for the preservation of Western Kenya’s food culture, which will be passed on from generation to generation.
“Today people who visit hospitals with lifestyle diseases get a prescription to revisit and consume indigenous or traditional food ideal for a healthy body. The contents of this cookbook should not be treated as a primitive undertaking. The book constitutes a wide range of foods consumed by people in Western and Lake Regions of Kenya," Wambani said.
This book is meant to activate a conversation between rural producers, experts and urbanites on how to prepare the best cuisines from their produce and eat healthy, Wambani said.
IREN director James Shikwati said rural economies have a lot to offer their constituents and urbanised counterparts.
“The situation of rural economies in rich agricultural zones does not necessarily translate to access to cash. Individuals with cash in urban areas may not necessarily have the knowledge on how to prepare indigenous dishes,” he said.