Good Indian restaurants is something Antwerp is really missing. So when we’re in the mood, we tend to dedicate an entire Sunday preparing dinner. This time we chose to recreate the delicious dahl we had at Dishoom in London’s King’s Cross. Although rather than cooking for 24 hours, I only had the afternoon and let it simmer for 5 hours (the next day it was even more delicious!).
This summer I’ve been taking classes in Brussels, so I took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring. I had already been to Brussels a few times, but always to the Historic Center and other touristy places. I had heard about Matongé from a colleague and was curious to check it out! Luckily a classmate, Samy, was free after class to show me around – and thought it was funny I wanted to go and take photos. I especially wanted to get plantains, okra, and habanero peppers, because they’re difficult to find in Antwerp. Fresh produce was available in abundance with little markets located throughout Matongé! I bought some Congolese food to-go to try the next day.
With my plantains, okra, and peppers I made Quimbombó con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Plátano – okra stew with pork and plantain dumplings. It’s a Cuban dish with a heavy African influence. It’s a bit like gumbo. If you say “King Gumbo” really quickly you get the idea. Everything turned out really well except for my plantain dumplings. They didn’t stay in their form. If I make this again, I will just fry them rather than mashing them and making balls.
I have fond memories of my Grandpa’s fried okra, and as a Southern girl, the only way I wanted to prepare my okra was to fry it! So tonight I made a Southern dinner for Koen and me: BBQ porkchops, fried okra, and mashed potatoes. I also feel it’s worth noting that I used American barbeque sauce (Sticky Fingers’ Habanero Hot, my favorite, that my mother brought me in April). If you buy barbeque sauce here, whether as a sauce or even as a chip flavor, it tastes completely different – and to me, not nearly as delicious!