Get Shorty Smashed: Nyma Choma (Short Ribs) and Irio (Potato Mash)

Get Shorty Smashed:  Nyma Choma (Short Ribs) and Irio (Potato Mash)

Short ribs are one of those things that I always love to order out, but have never made at home. I’m not exactly sure why- maybe it seems to be like an indulgence not appropriate for regular Monday-Friday fare.  Maybe they seem like something hard to make. However, after seeing my mom NOT slave over the stove when making them when I was home this past holiday, I realized I was scared of nothing.  Coming into Eastern Africa, I found a spice rub that seemed like it’d be the perfect first go, so here I present today’s experiment:  Nyma Choma, or roast meat.

I didn’t do this completely authentically.  Rather than preparing this the traditional way, which would be grilling, I did mine in the slow cooker.   Lazy Sundays were made for slow-cooked food, no?  Anyway, the spicing was the same and I served it alongside a traditional dish of the Kikuyu people called Irio, a Kenyan mash of potatoes and vegetables.  It’s usually made with regular potatoes, but I prefer sweet potatoes. Plus, they added some nice color and extra nutrients to the plate.  Looking at the ingredients alone, I expected it to be sorta blah, and Tomato and I were already plotting what to do with the leftovers, but both of us were surprised to find they were good enough to be eaten as planned.  Together with the nyma choma, we had quite the pretty plate, and tasty dinner.


For the Irio:

4-6 servings


2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 cup frozen lima beans

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 onion, sliced

Water to cover

Salt and pepper to taste

Parsley to garnish


1.  In a deep pot, add the potato and fill with water until the potatoes are covered.  Cover and boil until the potatoes are around 90% cooked.

2.  In the meantime, add the sliced onions to a sauté pan coated with olive oil and cook until brown.

3.  When the potatoes are almost done, add all the frozen veggies and let boil until all are thawed and cooked through.

4.  Drain the water out of the pot. Add the onions, seasonings and parley. With a potato masher, smash until combined.


For the Nyma Choma


2-3 lbs beef short ribs

2 garlic cloves, minced

juice of 1 lemons

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp paprika (I used smoked)

salt and black pepper, to taste


1.  In a Ziploc bag, add the spices and lemon juice.  Add the ribs and toss to coat thoroughly.

2.  Turn on the broiler.  Lay out the ribs on a broiling sheet and broil the ribs about 3 minutes on each side, enough to give them some color.

3.  To the slow cooker, add the meat and the marinade, adding about ¼ cup water or broth just to ensure they don’t’ stick to the bottom.  Cook on high for about 5-6 hours until the meat is tender.

short ribs


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