A cooking lesson with Salim’s Ma

During my red meat days in Dar es Salaam, kalio with fried onions, garlic and ginger along with a long list of aromatic spices was a favourite dish I could never master.

So when Salim’s Mum paid us a visit after we all left East Africa, I asked if she’d show me how to cook the onion and tomato based wonder. Every step she demonstrated, I carried out but I never duplicated the enchantment she conjured in the pot.

Now she’s left us, but I still cook the dish, only with fish. My most recent attempt hit the mark with flavour, but didn’t look exactly like hers. Perhaps it’s because it’s even harder to make now she’s gone.

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