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September 2014

Edition 1


Leila Ally

Editors Note:

Eshana Suleman

We have such a diverse culture, and with all of these

cultures, this is what has made South Africans so unique.
The rich History of the flavours, the evocative spicery of the East, the Indian Sub Continent, Malay and the French/Mauritian, just to name a few, has had a considerable influence on the South
African cullinary skills
Combining these cultures, we have made it our own.

Useful Hints & Tips:

1. Save vegetable water to use as stock for soup. Freeze for later use.
2. To make butter easier to spread, add a few drops of boiling
water and beat with a fork. The butter will cream immediately.
3. When crumbing chicken or cutlets, add 2 teaspoons of oil to the egg. This
makes the crumbs stick firmly.
4. Slice cheese with a potato peeler to garnish salads. This looks attractive and is economical.
5. To double the amount of juice from lemons or oranges,
immerse them in boiling water, or a few seconds in a microwave.
6. To quickly chill jellies,etc, make a freezing mixture of ice cubes and salt. Use this to
surround the jelly container.
7. Rub chickens with oil before baking to make a golden shiny skin.
8. To chop nuts, place them in a paper bag and roll with a rolling pin.
9. A lump of sugar in the cheese dish, will prevent the cheese from turning mouldy.
10. Cover custard or sauce with damp wax paper to prevent a skin from forming on the

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Basic Herbs/Bhaji (Vegetarian)

This recipe can be used to cook green herbs, red herbs, sugar cane herbs, Chansoor herbs,
pumpkin herbs, Bathwa herbs, Watercress or Spinach.
I like using a mixture of green, red, chansoor and sugar cane herbs together.

2 bunches herbs (cleaned, washed and chopped)
I large onion (finely sliced)
4 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 large tomato (chopped into tiny cubes or grated)
1 large potato (optional cut into small cubes)
teaspoon whole jeera seeds
3 4 fresh red chillies (slit)
4 -5 whole dried chillies (split in two)
Cooking oil

Again, this recipe has been passed down through the generations and is a family favourite!
Braise the onion and the whole jeera seeds until golden brown, then add the crushed garlic.
Fry for 1 minute. Add washed and drained herbs, tomato and cubes of potatoes and all the
chillies. Toss well and allow to simmer on low heat until dry and potatoes cooked through.

NOTE: Not everyone likes potatoes in herbs, but I love it as long as the potatoes are in little


For those who like an extra hot kick add more fresh red chillies.
Some prefer to add slivered garlic rather than crushed garlic.

Basic Lamb/Chicken Curry

1 kg lamb or chicken cut into curry sized pieces
1 large onion (chopped)
2 tomatoes chopped into small cubes or grated
cup cooking oil
3 4 medium sized curry (UTD) potatoes
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
1 teaspoons rough salt or salt to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dhunia/jeera powder
teaspoon turmeric powder
2 green chillies slit
1 sprig curry leaves
bunch chopped dhunia (to garnish)

Braise onion in oil until golden brown. Add ginger/garlic paste. Stir and then add washed and
drained meat. Add masalas (chilli powder, curry powder, dhunia/jeera powder and turmeric
powder). Toss until meat well coated. Add salt and allow masalas to fry on a low heat for at least
10 - 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and allow to cook until tomatoes are softened. Then add potatoes
and a bit of water (1/2 cup or more) and allow to cook on medium heat until potatoes cooked and
starting to crack up in curry. DO NOT STIR during cooking process as the potatoes will break
up. Rather lift the pot and gently shake. Garnish with curry leaves and chopped dhunia. If too
thick, add a little water and gently shake the pot. Serve with roti or rice.

Use meat on the bone, rather than boneless meat as the taste of meat on the bone far outdoes that
of boneless meat.
Use UTD (up to date or gravy soakers) potatoes. Best for any curry.
I usually grind my own dhunia/jeera powder as it tastes much nicer than the ready ground store
bought pack. I roast 2 parts dhunia to 1 part jeera in a frying pan (separately). Leave to cool and
then grind in a coffee/masala grinder. You can grind enough for a week or a month and keep in a
dry, sealed container.
The same applies to ginger/garlic paste. I grind 2 parts ginger to 1 part garlic. My recipe: 2kgs
ginger to 1kg garlic, 5 - 6 green chillies, 3 - 4 sprigs curry leaves. Grind in a food processor or
liquidiser (with a little water). Keep refrigerated in a sealed container (2 months). Keeps up to 6
months in a freezer.
I prefer using Osmans Chilli powder and Curry powder.
To get a really nice, thick gravy use a sachet of tomato paste instead of the chopped fresh tomatoes.
It is especially nice if you use a sachet of tomato paste together with 1 fresh chopped tomato.

Branjol and Potato Curry (Vegetarian)

This is my grannys recipe, which was passed down from her mum. One of my favourites!
2 large branjols/eggplant (cut into eighths lengthwise)
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 - 2 large tomatoes (grated)
Salt to taste
teaspoon sugar
Cooking oil
3 green chillies (slit)
teaspoon chilli powder
Pinch turmeric powder
1 large potato (UTD cut lengthwise into eighths)
1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies
Curry leaves
Chopped dhunia

NOTE: This is a chutney based dish.
Braise onion in pot until golden brown. Add crushed garlic. Then add tomatoes, sugar, salt and
spices. Allow to simmer on a low heat +- 10 minutes, then add potatoes, green chillies and branjol.
Coat well with spices and tomato chutney. Allow to simmer on low heat until potatoes cooked. If it
starts to catch and the potatoes are not done, add a little water until potatoes are cooked through.
Garnish with curry leaves and chopped dhunia. Serve with roti.

TIPS: Add parboiled fresh double beans or rahari when adding tomato

Curried Chicken Livers

500g Chicken livers
1 large onion (finely sliced)
1 tsp ginger / garlic paste
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Curry powder
teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 or 3 pinches of fresh crushed pepper
3 green chillies (slit)
Cooking oil
Dhunia chopped
Curry leaves


Braise onion in a little oil until golden brown. This is an onion based curry so I use extra
onions. Add ginger garlic and then the washed and drained chicken livers. Add all the
spices, toss well until well coated, then add the green chillies and allow to simmer until
almost dry. Garnish with curry leaves and chopped dhunia. Serve with roti.
TIPS: If you prefer it extra hot (as I do), add fresh crushed red chillies to the livers together with the other spices.

Jardo (Sweet Rice)

3 tablespoons ghee
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice (any rice will do)
cup water
2 pieces cinnamon sticks
teaspoon elachi powder
teaspoon saffron (optional)
6 sultanas or 4 prunes
Slivered badam (almonds)

Boil rice with a pinch of Turmeric powder until well done but separate grains (not
mushy). Drain in colander.
Make the syrup by adding the water, sugar and saffron to a small pot. NOTE: if not using saffron, use a little egg yellow to colour.
In a small flat pot, add the ghee, cinnamon sticks and sultanas/prunes. Braise until the
dried fruit start to swell.
Now add the syrup and then the cooked rice. Toss well until nicely coated. Leave to
cook on low heat until all the moisture dries up and the rice is nice and shiny.

This can be done in the oven as well. Once you add the rice to the syrup, toss well and
place in 160 oven for 15- 20 minutes.
Garnish with chopped almonds (badam) or chopped pistachios (pista).
Variation: It is delicious with fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut. Can be added
as a garnish but tastes much nicer if stirred in with the rice.

Dry Chicken Curry

with Boiled Eggs
This is a very quick and easy recipe but is delicious and a firm favourite in my home. It is not
tomato based, no braising and is a fairly dry curry.

1 kg chicken chopped
2 medium to large onions sliced thinly
cup cooking oil
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
3 4 green chillies sliced in halves
3 to 4 UTD potatoes peeled and cut
into quarters lengthwise
2 3 teaspoons chilli powder
teaspoon turmeric powder
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
4 hard boiled eggs
Dhunia chopped
Curry leaves

Add the oil to a preferably low, flat based pot (fish pot). Throw in the chopped onion (I use
extra onion as this forms the base of the gravy as there is no tomato), ginger/garlic paste,
chicken, potatoes, chilli powder, crushed pepper and salt. Toss well and leave to cook on a low
heat until potatoes cooked through. Avoid stirring whilst cooking as the potatoes will break
up. If the potatoes are not cooked and the curry starts to catch, put in a little water to allow
the potatoes to cook through. The curry is ready when it is dry, the potatoes cooked through
and it starts to catch at the bottom. Slice the hard boiled eggs in halves and place over the
curry. Garnish with curry leaves and dhunia. Serve with roti or rice. Please note, the curry
must start to catch at the bottom of the pot. It is that which makes it really delicious!
NOTE: there is no braising. Everything is literally thrown into the pot and left to cook.
QUICK AND EASY but delicious!


You can use lamb or steak in place of the chicken. Equally delicious!
You can also add 1 cup of par boiled fresh double beans/gadra beans or button mushrooms
(mushrooms need not be par boiled) to the pot before cooking. Or for those who love peas,
throw some in before cooking.
I prefer using Osmans Chilli powder.

Steak Chutney
1 kg tenderised steak (cut into strips)
2 large onions (sliced thinly)
1 teaspoon ginger/garlic paste
3 large tomatoes (grated or roughly ground in a food processor)
2 -3 cloves garlic (crushed or added to food processor with tomatoes)
2-3 green chillies (slit)
teaspoon sugar
1 - 2 teaspoons chilli powder
teaspoon turmeric powder
teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
Salt to taste
Cooking oil
1 sprig curry leaves
Chopped dhunia

In a separate frying pan, add a little cooking oil, when hot, throw in the strips of
steak with a tablespoon of flour. Toss and coat the steak pieces with the flour, allow
the meat to brown on a high heat. Remove from stove and set aside.
In a separate pot, braise your onion in a little cooking oil and when golden brown,
add ginger/garlic paste. Remove pot from stove and add the spices and salt. Allow
to fry on a low heat, then add the tomatoes, sugar and green chillies. Allow to simmer until thick and almost dry. Then add the browned steak toss well and allow to
simmer until the chutney is thick and coats the meat well. Garnish with curry leaves
and dhunia and serve with roti or rice.

TIP: Always add a little sugar to any tomato chutney based dish as it cuts the acidity and also gives a lovely flavour.
I prefer using jam tomatoes for any chutney as they have a sweeter flavour.
I prefer to use Osmans Extra Special Chilli Powder.

Butter Chicken
1 chicken (1 - 1 1/2kg) disjointed or chicken fillets
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon red chillie powder
2 teaspoons ginger/garlic
1 teaspoon dhunia powder
1 teaspoon jeera powder
1 cinnamon stick, 2 elachi, 2 cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
Salt to taste

4 tablespoons butter
Good pinch of saffron (steeped in boiling water)
1 cup fresh cream
1 teaspoon red chillie powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree or yoghurt

1. Mix all spices into a paste with lemon juice, smear over chicken and marinate for
an hour.
2. Heat oil and braise chicken, stirring slowly till it begins to dry, then add sauce.
3. Heat butter, cream, chillie and saffron and either the tomato puree or yoghurt..
4. Pour this sauce over chicken.

Tomato puree will give a reddish sauce, while the yoghurt a lovely creamy buttery
Ground almonds or cashews can be added to the sauce.

Burfee Soji
3/4 cup Tasty Wheat
1 egg
2 cups milk
100 g butter
4 tablespoons Klim (make a paste with milk)
2 tablespoons almonds
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons fresh cream
1/2 teaspoon elachi powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron.

Beat together egg, milk, sugar elachi, cream and saffron.
Melt the butter in a heavy based pot, add the milk mixture and simmer till it thickens
slightly. Add almonds, tasty wheat and klim and mix with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes.
Steam on a low heat with the lid closed for another 10 minutes. Decorate with pistas and
coconut (optional).

Pineapple Cottage Cheese Tart

(This is a family recipe that has been passed down)

1 can (440g) Koo crushed pineapple
1 packet Boudoir biscuits
1 can (385g) Nestle condensed milk
50 ml lemon juice
1 tub (250g) smooth cottage cheese
12,5 ml gelatine
125 ml whipped cream

1. Drain pineapple & reserve syrup.
2. Dip biscuits in syrup & line in a rectangular pie dish
3. Beat together condensed milk and lemon juice till well blended.
4. Add cottage cheese and beat well. Add crushed pineapple & stir
5. Soak gelatine in remaining syrup & melt over hot water.
6. Add to pineapple mixture and stir.
7. Pour mixture over biscuits & refrigerate.
8. Top with whipped cream and decorate with grated chocolate (flake chocolate
can be used).

Instant Milk Tart

(A Family Favourite)

Crumbed crust made with 1 packet Tennis biscuits and 125g melted butter.
500 ml (2 cups ) milk
1 piece of cinnamon stick
60 - 100ml sugar, depending on personal taste
2 eggs
45ml (3tablespoons) cornflour
45ml (3tablespoons) flour
3ml (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla essence
30ml (2ctablespoons) butter
Cinnamon & sugar for sprinkling.


1. Combine the crushed Tennis biscuits and melted butter, and press into a pie


1. Heat the milk with the cinnamon stick to just under boiling point.
2. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, then add the cornflour and flour.
3. Pour the milk onto this mixture, and stir rapidly. Return the mixture to the heat
and cook, stirring till the mixture becomes very thick. Through stirring it is
important to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottm of the pan, and to
prevent lumps.
4. Turn the heat off, add the vanilla essence and add the butter. Stir well till the
butter is melted.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bread Pudding
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
600 ml milk
15 ml custard powder
50 ml sugar
4 eggs
5 ml vanilla essence
2 pieces cinnamon sticks
3 cardamon seeds
50 ml butter

Cut bread into quarters and soak in 200 ml milk.
Mix a little milk with custard powder and 5 ml sugar
To form a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk to boiling point.
Add hot milk to custard paste, return to stove and stir to form a thin
runny custard. Beat eggs with remaining sugar and vanilla essence.
Combine with custard and the remaining ingredients, and including
the bread, pour into a greased 23 cm ovenproof dish.
Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until set.


Serve with hot apricot sauce.


50 ml boiling water
60 ml apricot jam
Combine water and jam to form a thin sauce.

1 1/2 litres milk (8cups)
1/3 cups rice
2 tablespoons coconut
1 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
1 tablespoon pistas (sliced)
1 teaspoon elachi
1 teaspoon rose water
A few strands saffron
1 small tin Nestle dessert cream
1 375 ml condensed milk.

Soak rice in cold water for about 30 minutes.
Bring milk to boiling point and add rice.
Lower heat and simmer very slowly till rice is cooked and milk is a consistency of
thin porridge, add coconut, nuts, cream, condensed milk and saffron.

After adding sweetner, care must be taken that the kheer does not
scorch. Serve hot.