Dinner in Zanzibar

Maharagwe | Beans in Coconut Milk

Serves 4. Total Time 45 Minutes



Kitchen Supplies:

  • 2 medium frying pans (1 for the main dish & 1 for the protein)
  • 1 small frying pan (for the fried bananas)
  • 2 pots & lids (1 for the veggie side dish & 1 for rice or couscous
  • 2 cutting boards (1 for veggies & 1 for protein)
  • 2 knives (always handle with an adult)
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • 2 stirring spoons
  • 1 colander
  • Salt & pepper

Market List:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 large tomatoes (fresh or canned-enough for 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • Your choice of a fresh veggie for a side dish.
  •  1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, not coconut cream
  • Coconut oil, 3 tbsp
  • 1-2 cups of couscous or your favorite kind of rice
  • Brown sugar, 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 4 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • *Protein (optional)- 1 poundof shrimp, fish, tofu or chicken



1. Always wash your hands first!

2. Wash the cilantro & tomatoes (if you’re using fresh ones).

3. Peel the onion & dice it into small pieces.

4. Chop 2 cups of tomatoes or open the can.

5. Rinse the can of pinto beans in a colander.

6. Pluck the leaves off of the cilantro stems & chop the leaves, just enough for 1/2 cup.

7. Shake then open the can of coconut milk.

8. Cut your choice of protein into bite size pieces (or skip this step if vegan/vegetarian).

9. Prepare your veggie as you would like for the side dish.


1. Prepare rice or couscous as directed on the package.

2. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil & diced onions to the frying pan. Sauté the onions on medium heat until they’re clear (about 5-7 minutes).

3. Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 4 cracked cardamom pods, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 cups of tomatoes, can of coconut milk & rinsed pinto beans to the cooked onions. Add 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper. Stir well.

4. Cook the protein separately, however you prefer to make it (or skip this step). Set aside.

5. Add the protein to the stew (or skip this step).

6. Add the chopped cilantro leaves & simmer (cook on low heat) for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7. Cook your choice of vegetable for a side dish.

8. Serve Maharagwe over rice or couscous.

9. Enjoy your meal, *Furahia Moo Wake!



Persian Eggplant Stew

Khoresh gheimeh (stew) bademjan (Eggplant) has been my favorite Persian dish ever since I was a little kid. It was always my birthday dinner request. I wish I would have learned to make it as a kid, but my mom’s cooking is impossible to beat. 

Over the last few years, I’ve watched different people prepare the dish in their own way. Some use saffron to flavor the stew, others make it a tad bit spicy with red pepper. I love how different the dish turns out every time I have it and make it.

This classic Iranian dish invigorates the tastes buds with sweet, tangy and savory flavors. The combination of spices and ingredients are truly unique and unlike any other cuisine. Tomatoes, dried lime, cinnamon & turmeric are all flavors one would never expect to blend so well together. 

This recipe is versatile for any diet- Make it vegan or with stew beef. This recipe I’ve come up is an adapted vegan version that can be made in less than an hour. If you have more time, you can simmer the stew for a few hours or even prepare on low in a crockpot overnight. 

You can find dried limes in either whole or powder form. I prefer Sadaf brand, but Amazon has other options available. 

Khoresh Gheimeh Bademjan- Eggplant Stew. Serves 4

Market List

  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1-2 cups of French fries or 1 large fry from the closest drive thru 🙂
  • 1 cup of yellow split peas
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 dried lime or 1 tbsp lime powder
  • 1 tbsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 


1. Turn oven to 400. Peel and slice Eggplant into long strips. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until soft.

2. Bake French fries as directed on the package. Set aside. 

3. Rinse yellow split peas and cook in boiling water until tender. Skim off foam on top as it appears in the pot. 

4. On medium heat in a large frying pan, sauté thinly sliced onions with olive oil until translucent. Add tomato paste and water. Stir in spices and mix well. 

5. Once the yellow split peas are tender and eggplant is cooked, add them to the frying pan and simmer stew for 10 minutes. Remove whole lime is applicable.

6. Cook basmati rice as directed on the package.

7. Top the khoresh gheimeh bademjan with crispy french fries and serve over hot basmati rice. 

Nooshe Jaan- Enjoy your meal!