The sanshi was invented by Mnki. It takes the form of a toasted sandwich filled with curried vegetables, or, if you prefer, a samosa jaffle. In our twenties, we'd go on group trips and a huge quantity of them would be produced by Mnki whenever the situation required, and consequently wolfed down in minutes. Accordingly, for that group of friends, they have been comfort food ever since.
In 2019, Mnki wrote:
I must admit, I haven't invented it. Its just something we eat/ate in Kenya. You can buy a large 'spoon with a lid which clips' which can be held over a naked flame to cook it. So can be done over an open fire too. My mum used one of these until quite recently. Imagine the time and effort to cook sanshi's for seven as they need to be done one by one and can't be left! I tend to have ketchup with it.
Here is one recipe for SanShi Filling:
- one small onion (if desired);
- the juice of one medium sized lemon or more if you like the tanginess
- some oil, vegetable or olive;
- mustard seeds (optional);
- garam masala;
- chilli powder (optional);
- two cloves (optional);
- one medium cinnamon stick.
The end result is a dry mixed vegetable filling.
It doesn't matter what proportion of the vegetables you use, as long as they make a pretty colour. I tend to go with whatever I have in the cupboard.
All condiments to suit, however, i do think that the garam masala is key to the taste.
Chop all the vegetables into small cubes. I like them quite small so that they go quite mushy. But not too mushy. Leave them in a bowl immersed in water.
Put some oil in a pan big enough to hold all the vegetables. It doesn't really matter how much you put on, but not too little.
When the oil has heated, put in mustard seeds (they should pop), cinammon and cloves. Give them a chance to release some flavour.
Drain most of the water from the vegetables. Put all vegetables in hot pan. Caution! Try to do this in one sweep and move away from the pan - things might spit out of the pan.
Let this cook for a couple of minutes.
Then add water. Again, I have no idea of proportions. You basically want the vegetables to cook and not burn, but you don't want them to boil and turn into complete mush. Also there is no option of draining excess water like with rice. If you put too much in, you would simply have to wait for it to boil off. I would suggest putting about a small glass and monitoring it.
When the vegetables are almost cooked, and there is no extra water in the pan, add the finely chopped onion and lemon juice. Cover pan, reduce heat to mimimum and let it cook for a few more minutes.
That's it. Go ahead and make your toasted sandwiches now.
Cumin and lentils: a sanchi for the 20s
Quoted above is the original recipe from Mnki herself, but when we make sanchis these days we sometimes make them slightly differently owing to how Rick cooked them in 2019. In summary, he cooked the onion first as well as adding it raw at the end, he added a bit of cumin on top of the garam masala, and stirred a handful of red lentils into the mixture.