Samburu watermelon and avocado salad recipe

Samburu watermelon and avocado salad by Chef:Christopher Lewis, Group Executive Chef, The Good Earth Group Ltd.(Nyama Mama Restaurant, Yaya Centre, Nairobi). PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • I have cooked for His Royal Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Al Nahayan, His Royal Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Governor Jeb Bush, Ciara, Wilmer Valderrama, Usher, Jazze Pha, Janet Jackson, Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Jill Scott, Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White, Bill Cobbs, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Jay Z & Beyoncé and singer Jason Derulo, among others. 

How did you become a chef?

I love food, and there is a deep-rooted joy that I feel from sharing what I love with the world. I have worked for The Cheesecake Factory, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Morton’s Steakhouse and Dolce. 

What would you be doing if you were not a chef? I would be a film director. 

Who is your mentor? My mother. She is my rock. She has always told me to believe in myself and to be passionate about what I love. Without her I would not be who and where I am today. 

Which celebrity have you cooked for?

I have cooked for His Royal Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Al Nahayan, His Royal Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Governor Jeb Bush, Ciara, Wilmer Valderrama, Usher, Jazze Pha, Janet Jackson, Tyler Perry, Malik Yoba, Jill Scott, Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White, Bill Cobbs, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Jay Z & Beyoncé and singer Jason Derulo, among others. 

Describe your signature cuisine style.

New American. It is a style of fusion cuisine that assimilates flavours from traditional American cooking with international components. The musical genre my food would best represent is reggae. 

What is the secret to cooking perfect meatballs?

Using eggs in the meat mixture to help bind the meat. 

What do you love to eat at home?

Fruit. Oranges, pineapple, grapes and apples. 

Which is your most popular dish? My BBQ pork ribs. 

What is an unusual hobby you enjoy?

Skydiving. I have skydived five times in three different countries. 

What is the worst thing you have ever tasted?

Lamb brains. 

Please share suggestions for teaching young children to cook.

Get them involved early, whether that is (picking maize off the cob) or stirring the pot you’re preparing. Allowing them to see and understand is the first step. Cooking classes should be something offered in school as well. 

Which five ingredients are never missing from your kitchen?

Salt, Louisiana hot sauce, cumin powder, tilapia and molasses.

*****

Samburu watermelon and avocado salad

Ingredients

150 g watermelon

60 g avocado

10 g fresh mint

15 g fresh dhania

25 g roasted cashews

5 g red chilli

20 ml Samburu dressing

 

Ingredients for the dressing

150 ml mayonnaise

50 g cream cheese

10 ml white wine vinegar

50 g roasted cashews

40 ml honey

3 g salt

1 g black pepper

2 g chilli powder 

50 ml lemon juice

10 ml water 

Method:

  • Cut the watermelon and avocado into chunks and place in a bowl. Pick the mint and dhania, give both a rough chop and place into the bowl.

  • Place the cashews on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200 degrees, until golden brown.

  • Allow to cool then add to the bowl. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

  • Add the dressing to the bowl and gently toss the salad.

  • Slice the red chilli, place on top of the salad and serve.

-CHRISTOPHER LEWIS

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