One 'delicacy' that you soon get introduced to here in Tanzania is Blue Band.
To describe it as butter or margarine, would be to do a discredit to both butter and margarine. Just as we expect cockroaches to survive a holocaust, it wouldn't surprise me if we would find them feasting on a tub or two of Blue Band post-apocalypse! That's how indestructible it seems to be!
Real butter is available at a price. Real margarine can also be available from time-to-time too. When I lived here before they were even harder to get hold of and way out of my price range on a teachers budget.
Apart from the price, what then is the draw of Blue Band? It sticks to everything and is difficult to wash off cutlery and plates. Goodness only knows how it's coating everyone's insides. But for this climate and population it works. It doesn't need refrigeration and as a high percentage of people who live here are without electricity, it's perfect.
Needless to say, since we moved to Dodoma, the majority of my recipes that once contained butter, now contain Blue Band ... and to be fair, everything still tastes good!
Here is one new recipe that we've discovered since we got here. When given the chance to buy some lamb, I took it, just to vary the menu. I soon realised though that I hadn't actually ever cooked lamb before.
A quick trawl on Pinterest sorted me out and we have now enjoyed mouth watering Mechoui-Style Roasted Lamb on more than one occasion. It truly is divine and those who have enjoyed it with us have asked for the recipe ... even though it is made with Blue Band!!!!
- 1 lamb leg
- 70 grams of butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients (except lamb) together and blend into a fine paste
- Coat the lamb with the mixture and place in a roasting pan
- Allow to marinate for 1-2 hours in the fridge
- Remove from the fridge and allow to return to room temperature.
- Preheat over to 220-240 degrees celsius
- Put lamb in the oven and lower heat to 180 dgrees.
- Roast the lamb, uncovered for 2 hours for a 2kg leg
- Baste lamb every 15-20 minutes until it is browned and evenly covered
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving
Optional extra ... use the juices to make a delicious gravy to accompany it.
I usually make up the paste and coat the lamb when I first get it. Then freeze it all together in the marinade so when I need it, I just have to defrost it and stick in the oven!