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The Culinary Adventures of a

Travelling
Cook
For William, Moira and Graham

Natasha Barnes
Food photography by patrick royal

Thanks
I wish to thank Peta Lamb from Parys, as well as my dear friend Delyse
Fell from Amanzimtoti for their relentless nagging to write this book. My
heartfelt thanks goes to my friend Hettie Saaiman, who so gracefully put
up with me for a whole month in Mauritius, and allowed me to run amok
in her kitchen while I finished this book. Thank you to Joyce who cleaned
up week after week with a smile. I also cannot go without saying thank
you to my parents, Moira and William Barnes, who have always supported me in everything I have ever wanted to do, and for never saying theres
no money in Art, get a degree.
And a huge thank you to Graham for supporting me in every step of
this journey called life dankie Boet.

Thank you, too, to Anne McLeod, my advanced cake-decorating


teacher, for her proofreading, guidance and assistance with my fruitcake
recipes. Her vast experience was invaluable.
I wish to thank the following people for contributing some of the
photographs: Leonie ODonelle, Richard Heeps, Nadine Oliver, Alida
Coetzee, Barry Lawson, Graham Barnes and Sue Wiper.
To the publishing team Linda de Villiers (publisher), Joy Clack (editor),
Beverley Dodd (designer) thank you from the bottom of my heart. This
book would never have become a reality without your assistance and
professional guidance. It really is a dream come true for me and I could
not have done anything as spectacular or visual without your input.

Published in 2014 by Struik Lifestyle


(an imprint of Random House Struik (Pty) Ltd)
Company Reg. No 1966/003153/07
Estuaries No 4, Century Avenue (Oxbow Crescent), Century City 7441
PO Box 1144 Cape Town 8000 South Africa
www.randomstruik.co.za

Photographic Credits
Andre Anita/Shutterstock.com (p. 63 third row right); Kenji AZUMA/
Shutterstock.com (p. 86); Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock.com
(p. 136); Jez Bennett/Shutterstock.com (p. 1 right, p.62 fourth row left);
Bikeworldtravel/Shutterstock.com (p. 140 top left and bottom right);
Volodymyr Brudiak/Shutterstock.com (p. 63 first row right and third
row left); Jordi C/Shutterstock.com (p. 62 first row centre); curioso/
Shutterstock.com (p. 92 bottom left); Endless Travellers/Shutterstock.
com (p. 85 first row centre); Filmlandscape/Shutterstock.com (main
cover image); Marco Govel/Shutterstock.com (p. 140 top right);
Anjelika Gr/Shutterstock.com (p. 18 second row centre); Richard Heeps
(pp. 1617, p. 18 third row right, p. 101 top left and bottom right);
Anton Ivanov/Shutterstock.com (p. 62 third row left, p. 85 second row
right); Javarman/Shutterstock.com (p. 210); Juancat/Shutterstock.com
(p. 125 top left); Kjetil Kolbjomsrund/Shutterstock.com (p. 176 top left);
Korpithas/Shutterstock.com (p. 125 top right); Andrzej Kubik/Shutterstock.com (p. 3); Nadezhda Kulikova/Shutterstock.com (p. 200 top left);
Barry Lawson (endpapers, p. 1 centre left, p. 162); Leungchopan/Shutterstock.com (p. 176 bottom right); Edmund Lowe/Shutterstock.com
(p. 4); Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock.com (p. 85 third row centre); Martchan/
Shutterstock.com (p. 85 first row left); Andrey Maximov/Shutterstock.
com (p. 92 top right); Megapixel.org/Shutterstock.com (p. 93 bottom
left); Maggy Meyer/Shutterstock.com (p. 56); Milosz_M/Shutterstock.
com (p. 176 bottom left); Kruglov Orda/Shutterstock.com (p. 18 first
row left); Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock.com (p. 62 fourth row right);
Pincasso/Shutterstock.com (p. 85 fourth row left); PokkO/Shutterstock.
com (p. 172); PzAxe/Shutterstock.com (p. 176 top right); Segoya/Shutterstock.com (p. 125 bottom right); Sematadesigns/Shutterstock.com
(p. 140 bottom left); Andrej Sevkovskij/Shutterstock.com (p. 63 fourth
row centre) Mircea Simu/Shutterstock.com (p. 125 bottom left); Villiers
Steyn/Shutterstock.com (p. 26); Ian Woolcock/Shutterstock.com (p. 122).

Copyright in published edition:


Random House Struik (Pty) Ltd 2014
Copyright in text: Natasha Barnes 2014
Copyright in photographs: Natasha Barnes 2014,
except as credited alongside
ISBN 978-1-43230-183-5
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means,
electronic, digital, mechanical, photo-copying, recording or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of the publishers and the
copyright owner(s).
Publisher: Linda de Villiers
Managing editor: Cecilia Barfield
Designer: Beverley Dodd
Editor & indexer: Joy Clack (Bushbaby Editorial Services)
Food Photographer: Patrick Royal
Food Stylist: Natasha Barnes
Proofreader: Samantha Fick (Bushbaby Editorial Services)
Reproduction by Hirt & Carter Cape (Pty) Ltd
Printing and binding by 1010 Printing International Ltd, China

Contents
Introduction 5

England Pussycat, pussycat,


where have you been? 137

Parys A river runs through it 7


China and Hong Kong No English needed 153
The Bushveld Oupa se kind 27
Thailand and Burma A thousand little Buddhas 163
Silwood School of Cookery and Your Family
magazine An artist in the making 45

Singapore, Malaysia and Bali


Songbirds and satays 173

Out of Africa Overland by any means 57


Sri Lanka Tea for two 183
Ethiopia No mountain too high 75
Argentina and Paraguay Old friends 87

Cambodia and Vietnam ... I took the one less


travelled by 197

United States of America Living the dream 99

India and Nepal A passage to India 211

Russia Christmas in Siberia 111

Recipe index 222

The Mediterranean Food for the gods 123

Introduction
Life takes its own turns, makes its own demands, writes its own story;
and along the way, we start to realize we are not the author.
George W. Bush
The journey of this book began with an aerogram. A simple, folded sheet of paper from Sri Lanka that ultimately
shaped a chapter of my life. At the time I did not realise the significance. I was, in all respects, happily employed
as a cookery editor, and had a life plan mapped out. But, as John Lennon said: Life is what happens while youre
busy making other plans and I soon found myself in a completely different direction in a short space of time.
I unintentionally swapped my apron for a paintbrush and rapidly became one of South Africas most published
international artists. A journey as long and hard as the gold with which it is paved. My talent has taken me all
over the world, affording me a whirlwind of success, and notability in my field. While nothing prepared me for
this experience, I soon found myself reliving my adventures through food, instinctively collecting recipes and
information along the way, knowing that, someday, I would share this knowledge.
During my numerous trips abroad, I have not remained idle. To complement my Grande Diplome from Silwood
School of Cookery, I attended cooking schools in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, undertook an
advanced cake decorating course, obtained a National Qualification in Training and Development from the
hospitality industry, and opened two cooking schools at a maximum security prison in KwaZulu-Natal where
I trained prisoners in conjunction with the Department of Labour. This enabled me to uplift the skills of the
often forgotten and downtrodden souls from our society. In the early days of my career, it was not unheard of
to cook with the prisoners in the mornings, paint in the afternoons and fly to New York over the weekends!
One afternoon not that long ago, I found a little tin box with all sorts of bits and pieces, the type of stuff we keep
for no reason at all. Amongst all that junk I found my blue aerogram, with a recipe lovingly scribbled in ink and
post marked Senkada Gala Sri Lanka 1997. The aerogram sparked my memory and brought back the promise
I had made to myself to one day write my story. At the time, of course, I was not sure of how it would play out.
The aerogram was the first correspondence I had received from abroad and the first of many I had collected. The
letter included a recipe and also the story behind it, and came from the Sri Lankan Minister of Defence.
Instinctively I knew the time had come to tell my story. This book is the canvas of how it all played out.

INTRODUCTION 5

PARYS

A river runs through it


My brother and I had the most wonderful childhood in the Free State town of Parys. When I
think of our early years, I see us riding our bikes through the streets of the old, sleepy town,
in tune with the rhythm of the mighty Vaal River. We spent a great deal of time swimming
in its cool waters, catching tadpoles and playing along its banks.
Life was slow and easy, and mostly revolved around food. Before the days of television or
video, we had to entertain ourselves. Weekends were filled with parties, drinking, Sunday
luncheons, church bazaars and school sports events.
My mother was always involved somehow. If it was not the sports day or police club dance,
then the local high school would ask her to help out with the desserts for the matric dance.
She would spend all week making ice creams and fridge tarts and then on the morning of
the dance she would get a couple of strong men to load the chest freezer and generator onto
the back of the bakkie. Mita, our domestic worker, would spend the morning running from
the kitchen to the garage to fill the freezer as the ice creams came off the production line.
As evening approached, my mom and dad would sit on the stoep, sipping on a few whiskeys, waiting for the school to call. When the last roast beef and Yorkshire pudding was
served, the telephone would ring, signalling that it was time for my mom to depart. The
blue Nissan bakkie would make its way up to the school and then pull up beside the school
hall where throngs of waiting standard nines would line up to collect their tables desserts.
I believe that life remains largely unchanged for the inhabitants of this town, founded in
1870 and named after Paris, a city on the banks of the Seine, along whose waters I have
strolled many times. Who would have thought?

Marmite tart
In summer, the willow trees on the banks of the Vaal would bow to the mighty river, their branches hanging over the waters.
I played for hours amongst those trees, slipping into the cool water and watching the barn swallows nesting under the bridge.
My most treasured memory from my childhood is sitting in my Ouma Engelas kitchen with a cup of tea and a slice of warm,
salty Marmite tart, our feet still muddy from the river. I have all my grandmothers cookery books, which is where I found this
treasure written in her familiar handwriting.
200 g salted butter
80 ml (1 3 C) castor sugar
1 egg
1
375 ml (1 2 C) cake flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 C) milk
45 ml (3 Tbsp) Marmite

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease a 22 cm square ovenproof dish.


Cream 100 g of the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beating well
to incorporate. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the
creamed mixture, alternating with the milk until everything has been combined. Turn the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 2530 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre
comes out clean.
Melt the remaining butter and the Marmite together in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the tart from the oven and pour over the melted butter and Marmite mixture.
This tart can be served hot or cold.
Makes 1 small tart.

Tips

Make sure you use castor sugar, not regular sugar because the secret of this tart is the fine texture.
Use only salted butter and not margarine. It makes all the difference.

PARYS 9

Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb


with rosemary, garlic and aoli
Sunday lunch in Parys was always a big event, especially in winter. We lived on a farm, aptly named Lazy River Sheep Farm.
I am not sure how my father came to choose this name, but it seemed oddly fitting as Sunday was always a day for
lying around, reading newspapers and eating!
Cooking times for lamb
Roasting: 1015 minutes at 230 C, then 15 minutes for every 500 g
Slow-roasting: 25 minutes at 160 C, then 25 minutes for every 500 g

5 sprigs fresh rosemary


75 ml (5 Tbsp) good quality
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
10 ml (2 tsp) whole black
peppercorns
5 ml (1 tsp) sea salt
1.5 kg shoulder of lamb, trimmed
1 large white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh bay leaf
5 large potatoes, peeled
and sliced 1 cm thick
500 ml (2 C) hot chicken stock
made from a stock cube

Aoli
2 cloves garlic, crushed
30 ml (2 Tbsp) good quality
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper
250 ml (1 C) finely chopped
fresh parsley

10 PARYS

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease a roasting pan large enough to hold the shoulder of lamb
and all the potatoes.
Roughly crush two sprigs of rosemary with 45 ml (3 Tbsp) of the olive oil, the cloves of garlic, peppercorns and salt using a mortar and pestle to release all the oils in the herbs. Use your
hands to rub the mixture all over the lamb.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saut the onion
and crushed garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf and potato slices and cook for a few
minutes to release the starch. The potatoes should still be raw. Season well and transfer to the
prepared roasting pan.
Pour the hot stock over the potatoes. Place the remaining sprigs of rosemary on top of the
potatoes. Place the lamb directly on top of the rosemary. Cover with baking paper first, then
with foil. Seal tightly to prevent steam from escaping. Place in the oven for 21 2 hours or until
the meat is tender. Remove the foil and baking paper. Increase the oven temperature to 190 C
and roast for an extra 15 minutes or until the lamb is golden brown. Leave to rest for 10 minutes
before carving.
To make the aoli, place the garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil in a steady
stream until emulsified. Season to taste and stir in the parsley.
Serves 4.

Chocolate profiteroles
Profiteroles are sometimes known by their American name, cream puffs. These delicate choux buns are filled with whipped cream
and dipped in chocolate. South Africans have the habit of calling anything made from choux pastry an clair, which is actually
a cigar-shaped choux pastry filled with custard and coated in fondant icing.
When I was growing up we had a big yellow dog named Cilla. She was somewhat of a legend in town, where she was better known
as the dustbin dief. There was always a function my mother was roped into catering for and one such Sunday morning Cilla
managed to polish off 100 cream-filled pastries before church. I cant describe here what happened next, but I can tell you that
Emile Mandelstam had no dessert at his christening!
250 ml (1 C) water
100 g unsalted butter
250 ml (1 C) cake flour
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
4 extra-large eggs, at room
temperature

To finish
375500 ml (11 22 C) fresh
cream, depending on the
size of the puffs
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) castor sugar
100 g dark or milk
chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease two large baking trays very well with butter.
Bring the water and butter to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add all the flour and salt in one
go. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan and does not stick to the bottom. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the eggs to the flour mixture, one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon to
incorporate the egg after each addition. The final mixture should hold small peaks and be firm
and glossy. Leave to cool.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays, spacing them evenly apart.
Remember they will puff up so make sure you leave at least 4 cm in between. You can also pipe
long cigar shapes from a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
Sprinkle the baking trays with a little water to create steam and help the choux pastry rise.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cut a tiny slit near the base of each puff
to release the steam. Switch off the oven, return the trays to the oven and leave for 510minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To finish, whip the cream and then add the vanilla essence and sugar. Spoon the cream into
a large piping bag fitted with a plain or open star nozzle. Insert the nozzle into the slit in the
puffs that you made earlier to release the steam. Fill the choux puffs or buns. Dip into melted
chocolate and leave to set and harden on a wire rack.
Makes about 25 medium profiteroles.

Tips
Unfilled choux puffs or clair buns can be frozen for up to four weeks. Bring frozen buns to room temperature before
crisping up in the oven at 180 C for 5 minutes. Cool and fill. Alternatively, unfilled buns keep well in an airtight container
for up to two weeks.
When assembling choux pastry buns, always fill the pastry with the cream or custard first and then dip the pastry into the
melted chocolate, not the other way around.
It is important to make a little slit in the cooked choux pastry as soon as it comes out of the oven to release the steam, then
return the pastry to the oven to dry it out for 510 minutes. Many recipes do not give instructions for this, leaving the choux
pastry to become soft and almost soggy as it cools down. Switch off the oven before returning the pastry to the oven to dry.
Ideally, when making the pastry, all four eggs should be added. However, at times the mixture becomes saturated and cannot absorb all the egg. This depends on the moisture content of the flour and the size of the eggs.
If the buns fall flat during baking it is because the mixture was too slack or you did not beat the eggs vigorously enough.

PARYS 13

Chicken liver pt with


whiskey and green peppercorns
I first started making this pt recipe when I was attending Silwood Kitchen School of Cookery. For a time during my studies
I cooked at the Laborie restaurant in Paarl and it may have been there that I came across this pt. Over the years the recipe has
changed somewhat and today I use whiskey to flavour the liver and also add green peppercorns. It is truly a wonderful pt, but very
rich. It is excellent for functions because you can make the pt ahead of time and freeze it.
500 g chicken livers
250 g salted butter
1 large white onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt to taste
5 ml (1 tsp) crushed dried green
peppercorns
60 ml (1 4 C) whiskey,
port or brandy
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard powder
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) ground allspice

Wash and clean the chicken livers, removing the membranes and any hard bits. Heat 50 g of the
butter in a large saucepan, then saut the onion, garlic and chicken livers until cooked but the
livers are still pink inside. Do not overcook the livers at this stage because they will become bitter. Remove from the heat and season well with salt and green peppercorns. Stir in the whiskey,
mustard powder and allspice.
Place the chicken liver mixture in a food processor or use a hand-held blender and blend
with the remaining butter until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a medium-sized pt dish or
individual ceramic ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
Serve with the farmhouse seed loaf (see page 19) or Melba toast.
Makes 1 medium pt dish.

Tips
This pt freezes beautifully. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to three months.

This recipe can be doubled up if you need larger quantities. Make ahead of time and freeze. Do not be tempted to use
margarine; butter is the only way to go!

14 PARYS

Farmhouse seed loaf


I fell in love with Cape seed loaf while studying for my Cordon Bleu qualification in Rondebosch in the late 1980s. Rarely did you go
for a meal in the Cape and not get a basket of warm seed bread on the table. Here is my version.
750 ml (3 C) brown bread flour,
sifted
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
1 x 10 g packet instant dry yeast
250 ml (1 C) digestive bran
125 ml (1 2 C) wheat germ
125 ml (1 2 C) linseed
125 ml (1 2 C) sesame seeds
125 ml (1 2 C) sunflower seeds
125 ml (1 2 C) canola oil
60 ml (1 4 C) honey
500 ml (2 C) warm water
Poppy seeds to sprinkle
(optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease a 12 x 23 cm loaf tin.


Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Combine the oil,
honey and warm water. Pour the liquid into the centre of the dry mixture and mix well. The
dough should be a little sticky.
Place the dough into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle a few poppy seeds on top, if using, and
press down slightly so that they stick to the dough. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour to
prove and double in size.
Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 180 C and continue baking for another
30 minutes or until done. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire
rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 medium loaf or 2 small loaves.

TipS
Make two loaves at a time and freeze one. Never double up on recipes when baking, rather make the recipe twice.
Baking is a science and can easily flop if you take short cuts.

Bread is done when it produces a hollow sound when rapped on the top with your knuckles.

PARYS 19

Chilli jam
My mother is the longest running supporter of the Sunday Times newspaper and I think it was one Sunday when I found this
recipe amongst all those pages littered with scandal. My love of chilli started with this recipe. I was still at school and fascinated that
you could make jam out of chillies. Over the years I have made it hundreds of times with both green and red chillies.
How to sterilise a glass jar
Wash the jar with hot, soapy water. Dry with a clean tea towel and immediately place the jar on the bottom
shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes at 110 C. Alternatively, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil,
add your jars and lids, and sterilise for about 15 minutes. Use kitchen tongs to remove the jars and lids from
the boiling water. Place the empty jars upside down on a clean tea towel to drain further. Fill with hot jam
and seal with the lid.

400 g large red or green chillies


400 g onions, quartered
500 ml (2 C) white sugar
250 ml (1 C) water
Salt to taste
10 ml (2 tsp) cayenne pepper
1 small lemon, quartered

Place the chillies and onions in a food processor and pulse the blade until the chilli and onions
are chopped. Do not process the chillies too much; they should be roughly chopped.
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook, uncovered, for
1015 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat, discard the lemon and pour
the jam into warm sterilised jars. Seal immediately. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating. The jam will keep for up to a month in the fridge.
Makes 1 medium jar.

Tips
The heat of any chilli is in the membrane and seeds, which can be discarded for milder dishes. Wear rubber gloves when
working with large quantities of chillies and dont rub your eyes.

Its best to weigh the onions for this recipe as you need equal amounts of chilli and onion.
The recipe can easily be doubled or halved.

20 PARYS

Witblits marmalade
My parents owned a grapefruit farm for many years in Limpopo. Every season we exported large quantities of Star Ruby pink grapefruit to Japan. When the last crates were finally packed my father would turn his talents to making witblits, a homemade alcoholic
brew strong enough to refuel a space shuttle. One year I found myself making grapefruit marmalade and ran out of whiskey on the
farm. The witblits larder was raided and thus witblits marmalade was born. Now I cant make marmalade without it!
Did you know? Witblits and mampoer are two different things. Witblits is made only from grapes
whereas mampoer can be distilled from all other fruits. The closest thing to witblits that is available commercially is the Italian equivalent of grappa. For this recipe you can substitute whiskey, grappa or mampoer
for witblits.

3 Star Ruby pink grapefruit


1 litre (4 C) water
1.5 kg (71 2 C) sugar
60 ml (1 4 C) witblits or mampoer

Roughly chop the whole unpeeled grapefruit, including the pips, into large chunks. Use the
food processor to process the grapefruit until finely chopped. It may be necessary to do this in
two batches. Remove and combine the chopped fruit and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the
boil and cook for 3040 minutes or until soft.
Remove from heat and leave to stand for 5 hours or preferably overnight. Transfer the fruit to
a large, clean saucepan. Add the sugar and heat gently while slowly stirring until the sugar has
dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring for 20 minutes or until the sugar thermo
meter has reached 105 C.
Alternatively, drop a teaspoonful of the mixture onto a cold saucer with a little water on it
that has been in the fridge. If you press the mixture with your finger it should gel slightly and
wrinkle up. The marmalade is then ready. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for about
10minutes, then stir in the alcohol and pour into warm sterilised jars. Seal immediately. Store
in a cool, dark place.
Makes 31 2 large jars.

Tips
This is a much easier way of making marmalade than spending hours slicing peel. Simply chop the fruit roughly and
process the whole grapefruit in your food processor until fine. The mixture is then cooked to soften the skin and release the
pectin before adding sugar and turning the whole lot into marmalade. Use any variety of grapefruit.
Pectin content determines how well jam sets. Pectin is found in the pith and pips of grapefruit. Usually if the content is low
it helps to add fruit such as chopped apple or quince that has been tied up in a muslin cloth. Discard once the jam is cooked.
To make marmalade the traditional way, separate the peel from the pith, slice finely and then cook it until soft. This is then
added to the sugar and fruit. The pith is responsible for the bitterness, so the more you leave on the peel, the more bitter your
marmalade will be. Leave the marmalade to stand for 10 minutes before bottling to allow the peel to settle and be evenly
distributed. Give it a good stir before you bottle, but never while it is cooking as it will cause the mixture to turn dark.

PARYS 21

Jam squares
My mother baked these for us on a regular basis. She would faithfully fill a five-litre bucket with an assortment of biscuits each
holiday and take it with us wherever we went. The bucket regularly fell over on the beach, but my mother would just calmly scoop the
biscuits back up and put the lid on. One Christmas Cilla, our dog, knocked the lid off the barrel of biscuits in the back of the 4 x 4
and reduced the mother lode by half. I was secretly relieved not to have to eat all those sandy biscuits.
125 g salted butter, at room
temperature
125 ml (1 2 C) castor sugar
1 extra-large egg
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
smooth apricot jam to spread

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 2022 cm square baking dish.


Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift the
flour, baking powder and salt together. Combine the dry ingredients with the creamed mixture
until a soft dough is formed. Shape into a ball and cut in half.
Cover one half with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Take the remaining dough and press into the prepared baking dish. Spread with jam. Remove the semi-frozen
dough from the freezer and grate it over the jam to cover.
Bake for 2530 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a
few minutes then cut it into equal squares. Remove the squares from the dish and leave to cool
completely on a wire rack.
Makes about 24 squares.

TipS
This recipe can easily be doubled to make 48 squares.

Never take short cuts when baking, always have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start and set the oven to
the correct temperature before you mix the cake. Never put a cake into an oven that is only heating up.
Invest in good quality bakeware because using inferior products will produce inferior results.
Measure the ingredients for baking with military precision! Dont guess. Invest in a good scale, set of stainless steel
measuring cups, spoons and a timer.

22 PARYS

Black mamba cake


Gordon Howard (from Ladysmith) married my childhood friend Tracey Lamb on the banks of theVaalRiverone sleepy Saturday afternoon in October. Usually a man of few words, upon walking into the kitchen, he took one look at this cakeand said it looked like
a big black mamba. Years later this cake still does the rounds in Ladysmith. It was his mothers recipe and with the familys blessing
I have adapted it from a simple white sponge into a chocolate masterpiece, a little more fitting of a mighty black mamba!
Did you know? Never grease the cake tin for sponge and chiffon cakes because the batter needs to cling
to the side of the tin in order to rise. Greasing the tin will also cause the egg white base to deflate. Also dont
use a nonstick tin for these cakes because the sides are too slippery for the foam batter.

60 ml (1 4 C) cocoa powder
80 ml (1 3 C) boiling water
215 ml (3 4 C + 11 2 Tbsp) cake
flour
125 ml (1 2 C) sugar
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
1
7.5 ml (1 2 tsp) baking powder
60 ml (1 4 C) canola oil
4 eggs, separated, at room
temperature
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
80 ml (1 3 C) castor sugar

To assemble
60 ml ( C) brandy, Old Brown
sherry or Kirsch liqueur
(optional)
1 x 425 g can pitted black
cherries, drained (or the same
weight fresh cherries) or
250 g fresh strawberries
250 ml (1 C) fresh cream
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
10 ml (2 tsp) castor sugar
14

Topping
2 x 100 g Bar One chocolate
60 ml (1 4 C) fresh cream, at room
temperature

24 PARYS

Preheat the oven to 180 C.


Mix the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool. Sift the flour, sugar,
salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the cooled cocoa,
oil, egg yolks and vanilla essence. Beat well until smooth. Whisk the eggs whites and castor
sugar until thick. Gradually pour the cocoa batter over the egg whites, fold in gently but do not
stir. Turn the mixture into an ungreased 25 cm diameter cake ring tin, or chiffon cake tin, and
bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, immediately turn the cake tin upside down and leave it to cool completely in the upside down position on a wire rack.
Carefully pry the cake from the tin and sprinkle with the alcohol.
In the meantime, make the topping. Gently heat the chocolates and cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat
and set aside to cool completely.
To assemble, slice the cooled cake in half horizontally. Cover the bottom layer with cherries.
Whip the cream, vanilla essence and sugar until thick. Spoon the cream over the top of the
cherries and replace the top layer of the cake. Pour the cooled topping over thetop of the cake
and decorate with cherries or strawberries and mint. This cake is best eaten the day it is made
as it does not keep well.
Makes 1 large cake.

How to make your own baking powder


Using a ratio of 2:1, mix 10 ml (2 tsp) cream of tartar and 5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of
soda to give you the same power as 15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder. Use immediately.

Milky bar ice cream


Milky bar ice cream is my absolute favourite. It has a soft texture and, unlike regular homemade ice creams, you only freeze it once,
making it more like a frozen chocolate mousse. My mother has been making this ice cream for years and her now-famous frozen
desserts have graced more than one buffet in Parys.
250 g white chocolate
60 ml (1 4 C) milk
1
3 ml ( 2 tsp) vanilla essence
4 large eggs, separated
60 ml (1 4 C) sugar
250 ml (1 C) fresh cream

Place the white chocolate and milk together in a double boiler or heatproof bowl suspended
over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not allow any steam to escape and come into contact with the chocolate and cream mixture. Melt and stir until smooth. Alternatively, melt the
chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the vanilla essence. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until very pale and thick and at ribbon stage (see page 52). Slowly
add 15 ml (1Tbsp) of the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix well. This is done to
prevent the mixture from splitting when you add the chocolate. Slowly add the remainder of
the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff
but not dry, then fold them into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture.
Whisk the cream lightly, not too stiff, making sure it has the same consistency as the egg,
chocolate and egg white mixture. Fold the cream into the mixture.
Spoon mixture into a freezerproof dish or empty ice-cream container, cover with plastic
wrap and freeze overnight.
Serves 68.
Variations

 se milk or dark chocolate instead of white chocolate, and add 15 ml (1 Tbsp) orange liqueur
U
to the egg mixture, not the melted chocolate, or it will harden instantly. Proceed as per the
recipe.
T o make a frozen chocolate mousse cake, set the mixture in a loose-bottomed springform tin
lined with a circle of baking paper at the bottom to allow for easy removal. Serve with fresh
fruit and cream.

PARYS 25

THE

BUSHVELD

Oupa se kind
When I was a little girl, my dad owned an orange and blue aeroplane. It always reminded
me of the old South African flag and I thought to myself he must be very patriotic. Every
winter holiday we would decamp to the farm in the Timbavati Game Reserve. My father
would load the plane to the hilt with enough food and ammunition for three weeks in
the bush. Bags of oranges, loaves of bread and enough rifles to kick-start a rebellion were
stuffed between the seats. Our domestic worker Paullina was strapped in behind the pilots
seat, with my brother on her lap; I was seated next to her and, in the very back, was Hendry
the African grey and Tootie Poo our Siamese cat.
My favourite part of the journey was the landing. My father always had to do several flybys
to scare the animals from the runway. Once safely on the ground, the adventure truly
began. The tyres were covered with wet hessian sacks to prevent the hyenas chewing on
them, which was a frequent occurrence.
Shortly after our arrival, my father would gather a hunting party and we would all set off
in search of something large. My heart always sank at the prospect because everyone had
to chip in and help butcher the meat and make biltong regardless of your age. Inevitably
Graham and I had to stand on the crumbling old cement table in the vleiskamer (meat room)
and hang the wet biltong onto the rows and rows of wire crisscrossing the room. A thankless job. The vinegar brine always dripped down onto our jerseys and we stank like biltong
for the rest of the holiday.
There was no electricity or real kitchen to speak of and all meals were taken in the open
boma around a fire. The area was never fenced and predators regularly walked into camp.
We even had a hyena visit us in the house once. No one was that worried about it, except
my mother, because it chewed up her Tupperware lid and ate the lentil salad she had made
for my birthday!

Moiras all-bran rusks


My mother Moira always had a barrel of these homemade rusks on the farm. The old kitchen had no electricity and the bucket stood
near the door. First one up in the morning would grab the barrel and head straight for the stoep. There we would all congregate and
drink coffee from tea cups.
1 kg (4 C) self-raising flour, sifted
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
500 ml (2 C) brown sugar
500 ml (2 C) rolled oats
750 ml (3 C) All-Bran Flakes
500 ml (2 C) sunflower seeds
60 ml ( C) linseed
500 g salted butter
500 ml (2 C) buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a large roasting pan.


Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter, then stir in the
buttermilk and eggs and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Use your hands to mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared roasting pan and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour or until
golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven,
leave to cool for 10 minutes in the roasting pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave to
cool for a further 1012 minutes.
Use a serrated or bread knife to cut the rusks into squares. Place the rusks onto baking trays
and return to the oven at 90 C for 34 hours or until completely dry. Keep checking from time
to time to see if they are done. Once cool, store rusks in airtight containers.
Makes 3540 rusks.

28 THE BUSHVELD

Engelas moist chocolate cake


My grandfather was one of the most eccentric people you could ever wish to meet. A highly educated man with a doctorate in
languages, he was a legend in Parys. Once a month he travelled to his farm in the Timbavati Game Reserve to write and my
grandmother diligently baked her famous chocolate cake for the trip. The cake, which always lasted him two weeks, was placed in
an old tin on the front seat of his Chev truck. Occasionally he would receive a visitor. Tea would be made from second-hand teabags
yet no one complained and later they would just stare in disbelief as he calmly cut away the mould and served his favourite cake.
He thought nothing of this, and those who knew him well loved him for his eccentricity and total devotion to a life less ordinary.
I guess I have his genes.
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
10 ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
190 ml (3 4 C) cocoa powder
500 ml (2 C) white sugar
225 ml (3 4 C + 21 2 Tbsp) oil
225 ml (3 4 C + 21 2 Tbsp) strong
hot coffee
3
225 ml ( 4 C + 21 2 Tbsp)
buttermilk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

Chocolate icing
60 g dark chocolate, at least
70% cocoa
125 g butter, at room
temperature
750 ml (3 C) sifted icing sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) milk
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
1 ml (1 4 tsp) salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease two 20 cm diameter cake tins.


To make the cakes, sift all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the
centre and add the oil, hot coffee and buttermilk. Stir well to combine, ensuring there are no
lumps, but do not over beat. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and combine well. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 3540 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the
centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins. Later, remove the cakes from
tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl suspended over
a saucepan of simmering water. Alternatively, melt it in the microwave oven. Stir until smooth
and then leave to cool slightly. Add the butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla essence and salt. Beat
until smooth and well combined. Sandwich the cakes with a thin layer of icing, and then ice the
rest of the cake.
Makes 1 double-layer cake.

Tips
When beating eggs into a creamed mixture, add 15 ml (1 Tbsp) of the sifted
flour with the addition of each egg. This will prevent the mixture from separating
or curdling.
When melting chocolate for domestic baking, always do so in a double boiler or
small heatproof bowl firmly placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not allow
any water or steam to come into contact with the chocolate or it will harden and you
wont be able to use it, no matter what you add.
Chocolate can be melted in a microwave oven on high for 1 minute. Stir frequently
to prevent burning.
Always ensure the eggs are at room temperature before you start baking.
This cake can be baked in a ring or Bundt pan. Add 1015 minutes to the cooking
time, baking it for 4055 minutes depending on the depth of the pan. Double-check
and return to the oven if a skewer inserted in the centre does not come out clean.

THE BUSHVELD 31

Chicken coq au vin potjie (aka Bromvol bredie)


I have been cooking this dish on the farm every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember. My brother casually strolled past
the large simmering pot one afternoon and commented, Hey Sissie, hows that bromvol bredie of yours? I guess the term stuck
and now it has become a Barnes classic. The trick was always to get this dish cooked before we set off for the last game drive of the
day. We never really knew how many sundowners it would take to see the sun actually set and my mother would have to step in
often and cook at the last minute or no one would eat.
90 ml (6 Tbsp) olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
500 g button mushrooms,
left whole
1 x 250 g packet streaky bacon,
roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1.52 kg chicken thighs
250 ml (1 C) cake flour, to dust
1 litre (4 C) red wine
750 ml (3 C) chicken stock,
homemade is best
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
5 dried bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or
parsley
15 ml (1 Tbsp) brandy

Heat half the oil in a large cast-iron pot over a fire or on top of the stove, whichever you prefer.
Saut the onions, mushrooms, bacon and garlic until lightly browned. Remove from the pot
and set aside. Give the pot a good wipe and add the remaining oil. Dust the chicken with flour
and give it a good shake to remove any excess. Cook the chicken in batches in the hot oil, for
56 minutes or until well browned. Return the onion mixture to the pot, add the remaining ingredients, except brandy, and cook, covered, for 111 2 hours. Its ready when the meat is tender
and almost falling off the bones.
Remove the chicken from the sauce, set aside and keep warm. Increase the heat, add the
brandy and boil the sauce rapidly for 15 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Return the
chicken to the pot and serve with rice.
Serves 810.

Tips
I have modified this recipe from the classic version. However, if you prefer or have the patience to peel 20 baby onions, then
use them instead of sliced onion.

This recipe makes a good-sized pot. Use box wine if you have to sometimes it is the only wine we have on the farm as
long as it is dry. Although with so much red wine in this dish you really should be using the very best. If you cant find fresh
chicken, then 1.5 kg of frozen chicken pieces will do. Leftover chicken can be flaked and turned into a pie.
Cook this dish either over the fire in a large cast-iron pot or on top of the stove. If you cook over the fire, the chicken may
take a little longer, just keep checking. If you feel the fire is not hot enough to reduce the sauce, then simply thicken it with a
little flour or cornflour and water paste. It wont look the same but it will taste fine.

32 THE BUSHVELD

AWB braai sauce


There are literally hundreds of different versions of this famous braai marinade in circulation, but none more aptly named than this
one. Neighbours of ours, who were staunch AWB supporters, made this sauce in bulk and always sent over a couple of bottles.
Eventually it became a Barnes staple, although the recipe has evolved somewhat over the years.
375 ml (11 2 C) brown vinegar
250 ml (1 C) water
125 ml (1 2 C) salt
2 large onions, grated
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
60 ml (1 4 C) brown sugar
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) Worcestershire
sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) sweet or hot smoked
Spanish paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) white pepper
10 dried cloves
8 black peppercorns
3 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) cayenne pepper
3 dried bay leaves, crumbled

Combine the vinegar and water in a medium-sized saucepan, and then stir in the salt. Bring to
the boil while stirring continuously to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and add all the
remaining ingredients. Transfer to a large bowl or jar. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and leave
to stand for at least 10 days in a cool, dark place. Strain to remove onion and spices, and then
pour into a sterilised 1-litre glass bottle.
Use as a basting sauce for all braaied meats or lamb on the spit. Shake well before basting.
Do not salt the meat if you are using this marinade. Store in the fridge for up to three months.
Makes 1 litre.

Tips
Make ahead of time and store for weeks in a cool, dark place. The best way to go about this is to clean out and sterilise
a 1-litre glass cold drink bottle or an old brandy bottle. Use a skewer or any sharp object and punch holes into the cap.
If preferred, you can slice the onions and try to push them through the neck of the bottle. This way you dont need to strain
the marinade after it has matured.
This sauce has a lovely smoky flavour and goes particularly well with lamb.
Double up on ingredients for very large quantities. Never spice the meat before grilling as this sauce provides enough salt.
Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if necessary.

34 THE BUSHVELD

Roast leg of warthog with dried pears,


hanepoot and cinnamon
A trip to the Bushveld is synonymous with a joint of venison on the kettle braai. My father would usually shoot something very large
for the pot early on in the trip and we would cook venison and make biltong for weeks after that.
1.52 kg leg of venison on the
bone, preferably warthog
1 x 250 g packet rindless streaky
bacon, roughly chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled
10 dried cloves
1 x 500 g carton buttermilk
500 g dried pears
500 ml (2 C) pear juice
500 ml (2 C) sweet white dessert
wine, such as hanepoot or
white muscadel
5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies
60 ml ( C) olive oil
2 onions, sliced
extra 5 cloves garlic, peeled
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1 large stick cinnamon
2 star anise
2 fresh bay leaves
500 ml (2 C) warm beef stock
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper

Make small incisions in the venison and stuff each hole with a piece of fatty bacon and 1 clove
garlic. Push them in as deep as you can. Insert a dried clove into the same hole. Reserve the
remaining bacon. Transfer the venison to a large glass dish or plastic container. Add the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2448 hours, turning
the meat every now and again so that the whole joint is well covered. For a larger joint, use 2 x
500 g cartons buttermilk, ensuring the whole joint is covered at all times with the buttermilk.
Soak the pears in the pear juice, 250 ml (1 C) of the sweet wine and the chillies for 3 hours
or preferably overnight while you marinate the joint. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saut the
onions, garlic and reserved bacon until soft. Add the ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, star
anise, bay leaves, and the soaked pears with the juice. Stir in the warm beef stock. Cook for a few
minutes to combine and reduce the liquid slightly. Transfer the venison to a large roasting pan
and season very well. Add the pear mixture.
Preheat the oven to 160 C. Cover the roasting pan with a layer of baking paper (this is done
to trap the moisture) followed by two layers of foil. Secure tightly. Place the roasting pan on
the bottom shelf of the oven for 221 2 hours or until the meat is soft. The juices should run
clear when a sharp knife is inserted into the centre of the meat near the bone; if the juices are
still pink, cook for a few minutes longer. Remove from oven and uncover. Turn the heat up to
190C, move the roasting pan to the middle of the oven and continue to roast for a further
1520 minutes or until the meat is nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and leave to
rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Add the remaining wine to the juices in the pan, adjust seasoning and cook rapidly on top of
the stove in the roasting dish, scraping together all the onions and pears until thickened. Discard the whole spices. Its best to carve up the joint completely and then spoon lashings of the
sauce over the meat. Serve with roast potatoes.
Serves 810.

Tips
If you dont have access to warthog, use any other medium-sized joint of venison. Warthog is a slightly sweeter meat than
venison from an antelope, and is comparable to pork, only drier. Its my favourite venison.

Any of the fortified wines, such as muscadel, hanepoot or port, are excellent with venison. Game meat has no fat and can
be very dry if cooked incorrectly, so it should be larded with bacon or pork fat before cooking. It is highly recommended to
marinate all venison in buttermilk for 2448 hours before proceeding with cooking.
Average roasting time for venison is 1520 minutes per 500 g, and 2 hours of slow cooking for 11.5 kg of meat.
The best fruit juice for this recipe is the long-life variety that comes in a carton. Apple or mango can be substituted for pear.
Raw venison can be frozen for 12 months.

THE BUSHVELD 35

Venison and honey boerewors


My father has been making venison boerewors according to our familys recipe for almost 40 years.
Smaller quantities
15 kg venison, 7 kg pork, 625 ml (21 2 C) spice, 7.5 ml (11 2 tsp) salt, 2 x 500 g jars honey.
7 kg venison, 3.5 kg pork, 500 ml (2 C) spice, 5 ml (1 tsp) salt, 11 2 x 500 g jars honey.
5 kg venison, 2.5 kg pork, 375 ml (11 2 C) spice, 5 ml (1 tsp) salt, 1 x 500 g jar honey.

30 kg venison, off the bone


15 kg pork, with some fat,
off the bone
5 x 250 ml (5 C) Crown National
drowors or boerewors spice
15 ml (1 Tbsp) salt
3 x 500 g jars honey
1 pack of sausage casings

Cut up the meat into more manageable pieces. Mix the meat with the spice, salt and honey in
a large plastic container or an enamel basin. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 2448 hours.
Mince the meat using an electric mincer and stuff the boerewors using sausage casings and
the attachment on your food processor. Alternatively, ask your butcher to do it for you.
Freeze the boerewors in 1 kg individual freezer bags so its easy to store.
Makes 45 kg.

Tips
Halve or quarter the recipe to make less at home. Go easy on the salt, even if it acts as a preservative. Crown National make
the best spice preparations for large quantities. Visit them online, www.crownnational.co.za, or ask your local butcher for the
ingredients. When pressed for time, I usually cut up and marinate the meat at home and then ask my butcher to process the
boerewors. I use drowors spice for this recipe and not boerewors spice, but you can use either.
Honey is really the secret here: I use one jar for 5 kg of venison, 2 jars for 15 kg and 3 jars or more for 30 kg.
Venison boerewors can be frozen for three to six months.

THE BUSHVELD 39

Bean salad
When we lived on the farm my mother had to be creative with her salads as popping into town to purchase anything remotely
unusual was never an option. The drive took an hour. During the summer months, Sundays were often spent next to the Vaal
River, where we would braai and water-ski while my mother devoured the Sunday Times and my father cooked lamb chops by the
bakkie load. Nearby stood an enormous willow tree with a crumbling concrete table underneath. Numerous Tupperware containers
occupied the shade and one of them inevitably contained this bean salad. This is my version of the old Free State classic. We never
travelled to the Bushveld without it as this salad could keep for a week.
80 ml (1 3 C) apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
250 ml (1 C) extra virgin olive oil
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard powder
10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
5 ml (1 tsp) brown sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) sweet smoked
Spanish paprika
1 x 400 g can red kidney
beans, drained
1 x 400 g can butter
beans, drained
1 x 400 g can mixed
beans, drained
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
60 ml ( C) finely chopped
fresh coriander
1
25 ml (1 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

40 THE BUSHVELD

Mix everything together and season well. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to
a week.
Serves 68.
Variation

Add cubes of feta cheese just before serving.

African roasted veg and couscous salad


What is couscous? It is North African semolina made from durum wheat and is actually a cousin to pasta. Nowadays the couscous
available in supermarkets has been pre-steamed, making it easy to just rehydrate at a ratio of 1:1.5, using either chicken stock or hot
water. The rehydration is instant and the couscous needs no further cooking. Simply fluff the mixture with a fork and add a dollop of
butter to prevent the grains from sticking together. If in doubt, always follow the instructions on the packet. Use only 500 ml (2 C)
dried couscous for this recipe.
500 ml (2 C) dried couscous
60 ml ( C) good quality extra
virgin olive oil
1 large red onion,
roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 500 g packet assorted root
vegetables, off the shelf
10 ml (2 tsp) dried
crushed chillies
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
60 ml (1 4 C) harissa paste
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped fresh
Italian parsley
extra 60 ml ( C) extra virgin
olive oil
45 ml (3 Tbsp) red wine vinegar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) honey
125 ml ( C) flaked almonds
1 small tub Danish-style
feta cheese
250 ml (1 C) fresh
coriander leaves

Preheat the oven to 180 C.


Rehydrate the couscous according to the instructions on the box and set aside. Pour the olive
oil into a large roasting tray. Add the onion, garlic, vegetables, chillies, seasoning, harissa paste
and parsley. Use your hands to combine everything until well coated.
Place the roasting tray in the oven and roast for 4550 minutes or until the vegetables are
soft. Keep checking to see if they are okay and give the dish a good shake every now and again.
Remove from the oven, stir in the extra olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey. Scrape the
juices together and ensure everything is well combined. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add this mixture to the couscous.
Combine well to ensure everything is coated. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle flaked
almonds and feta over and top with fresh coriander. Keeps well in a large plastic container with
a tight-fitting lid for up to three days in the fridge.
Serves 1012.

Tips
The spicy North African harissa paste that we have come to love in South Africa
can be purchased at any large supermarket or speciality food store. Once opened, it
will keep for weeks in the fridge. Use it as a rub for chicken or potatoes, mixed with a
little olive oil, salt and thyme.
Rehydrated couscous freezes well.

THE BUSHVELD 41

Apricot pot pudding


No trip to the farm was ever complete without apricot pot pudding. I regularly made this dessert in a very large cast-iron pot over a
couple of hardekool (leadwood) coals in the boma. This classic South African favourite is well known, but one year the local petrol
station was handing out free recipe booklets and it was amongst those now worn pages that this pudding first entered our lives.
Syrup
1 x 410 g can apricots in syrup
160 ml (2 3 C) sugar
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger

Batter
125 g butter, at room
temperature
1
125 ml ( 2 C) smooth apricot jam
10 ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
375 ml (11 2 C) sifted cake flour
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt

42 THE BUSHVELD

To make the syrup, drain the apricots and reserve the syrup. Add enough water to the syrup
to make up 500 ml (2 C) of liquid. Place the syrup, sugar, salt and ginger in a heavy-bottomed
saucepan over medium heat or in a cast-iron pot over the fire and bring to the boil, stirring
from time to time until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the apricots. Leave to simmer while you
prepare the batter.
To make the batter, melt the butter in a separate saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the
apricot jam and bicarbonate of soda. Add the flour and salt, and stir until the mixture no longer
sticks to the sides of the saucepan. Drop tablespoons of the batter into the boiling syrup. Cover
tightly with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.
Serve warm with custard or cream.
Serves 68.

THE BUSHVELD 43

SILWOOD

KITCHENS

AND YOUR FAMILY

M AG A Z I N E

An artist in the making


I studied at the prestigious Silwood Kitchens Cordon Bleu Cookery School in Rondebosch
in the late 1980s. It was a great adventure. The school was smaller in those days, with space
for only 34 students, some from as far afield as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Silwood
was a fantastic foundation, encouraging me to specialise in food styling and writing and
Isoon found myself working for one of the leading cookery magazines in South Africa at
the time.
At Silwood, we had a wonderful cake decorating teacher called Mrs Henderson. She taught
me how to bake the most amazing wedding cake. I always called it Mrs Hendersons fruitcake, but the recipe was actually passed down to the legendary Mrs Faull, from her Irish
mother. Such a legend is this cake that Silwood students have been baking it at the school
and beyond for some 35 years now. Me included.
A few years ago my brothers and cousins weddings took place a mere two weeks apart
and I rolled out the famous cake well in advance and slowly nurtured it to life with brandy
a tedious process. Eventually the time came to decorate. Late for an art exhibition out of
town, I left the six layers of cake wrapped in foil on the kitchen counter and rushed out.
Slight panic set in on Monday when I returned and could not find the cakes. Running out
of places to look for it, I eventually called Primrose, my domestic helper. She had only been
working for me for a week. Primrose, have you seen those silver things that were on the
counter? Yes Maam, she replied, I thought you said I could take them home.
She had mistakenly taken the cakes instead of apples I had given her, and was too shy to ask
to make sure. There were tears all round, but eventually everything ended well. Emergency
chocolate wedding cakes were ordered from local bakeries and Primrose sent a telegram to
the reception that read: Graham and Dorei Barnes, Congratulations on your Wedding Day.
Sorry I ate your cake. Primrose Mthembu.
A true story. Sadly Primrose passed away not long afterwards. But I never bake fruitcake
without thinking about her.

Howards apple pie


This is my favourite Silwood recipe, named after Captain Howard Owen, who was the public relations officer for the city of
Cape Town in 1964, the year Silwood started. He was a frequent visitor at the school and adored the apple pie so much it was
eventually named after him as a sign of appreciation for his love and support of the school.
Pastry
40 ml (8 tsp) butter
45 ml (3 Tbsp) castor sugar
1 egg yolk
250 ml (1 C) self-raising
flour, sifted

Filling
5 large Golden Delicious apples
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
15 ml (1 Tbsp) butter
160 ml (2 3 C) medium-dry white
wine or a Stein

Topping
250 ml (1 C) desiccated coconut
250 ml (1 C) castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 22 cm pie dish.


To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg
yolk and flour. Mix until well combined. Press pastry into the prepared pie dish. Set aside.
To make the filling, core and peel the apples and cut into quarters. Place the apples in a
medium-sized saucepan and add the sugar, vanilla essence, salt and butter. Stir over low heat,
gradually adding the wine. Cook until the apples are soft, around 10 minutes.
While the filling is cooking, mix all the topping ingredients together. Pour the hot filling over
the uncooked pastry base, spoon the topping over the filling and lightly press down to cover.
Bake for 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
Serve hot or cold with cream or ice cream.
Serves 6.

Tip
This filling works best with Golden Delicious apples. It is not advisable to use canned
apple pieces because this pastry requires a hot filling and canned apples will cook
down to mush.

46 SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE

Mrs Hendersons boiled fruitcake


This fruitcake has formed the basis of all celebration cakes baked at Silwood Kitchens for the past 35 years. The recipe originates
from Ballinrobe in County Mayo, Ireland and came to South Africa with Lesely Faulls mother. The recipe has changed very little
over the years and the only difference nowadays is that the fruit is plumped with water and not ale!
Preparing the tin You will need foil, brown paper or newspaper, and cotton string. Take the string
and place it around the circumference of the cake tin to determine the length of foil that needs to be cut.
Cut the string at the mark and measure against the foil. Cut the foil. Fold the sheet of foil in half horizontally. Smooth it out. Then fold the bottom half up by one-third to form a collar. Cut the collar at the bottom
diagonally, creating 5 cm long slits all along the collar at intervals. Ease the collar into the tin like a fan,
smoothing out any wrinkles. Prepare the base. Place the cake tin on top of a second piece of foil and draw
around the tin on the foil with a pen. Cut out the shape neatly, then fit it into the tin and smooth out.
Fold double sheets of brown paper in half horizontally. Fold a collar that is one-third of the paper, and place
around the tin. Secure with string. Trim the foil and paper together the foil should not extend more than
5 cm above the rim of the tin.

250 ml (1 C) water
125 g salted butter
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
250 ml (1 C) sugar
250 ml (1 C) currants
250 ml (1 C) raisins
250 ml (1 C) sultanas
125 ml ( C) candied peel,
chopped
125 ml (1 2 C) chopped nuts
125 ml (1 2 C) chopped fresh or
dried dates
1
125 ml ( 2 C) crystallised fruit
125 ml (1 2 C) glac cherries,
washed and dusted with flour
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs
500 ml (2 C) cake flour, sifted
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) ground mixed spice
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
60 ml (1 4 C) brandy

Bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the currants, raisins
and sultanas and cook for 20 minutes. Three minutes before the end of the cooking time, add
the chopped peel, nuts, dates, crystallised fruit and cherries. Stir well to incorporate. Remove
from the heat, stir in the bicarbonate of soda while still warm and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 150 C. Line a 20 cm round cake tin as described above.
Stir in the eggs, but be careful at this stage not to over beat the mixture as this causes the fruitcake to crumble when cut. Add the sifted flour, baking powder and spices. Stir in the brandy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. (If using a square tin, ensure that you smooth the
mixture into the corners.) Bake for 1 hour, then lower the oven temperature to 120 C and bake
for a further 11 hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Some larger cakes may take longer.

Tips
For a more economical cake, use 5 x 250 ml (5 C) of fruit cake mix and 125 ml (1 2 C)
chopped dates instead of the individual fruit and glac fruits specified in the recipe.
Never leave a fruitcake in the tin in the oven to cool overnight. It will become bone dry.
Always remove from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire cooling rack overnight.
Wash glac cherries and dust them with flour before adding to any cake mixture.
This prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
If you are maturing the cake with brandy, dont be tempted to pour more than 50 ml
at a time over the cake, or this will cause it to crumble when cut. It is best to do a little
each week for between six weeks and three months.
Store the cake for up to three months wrapped in foil inside a metal or plastic cake
container. Keep in a cool, dry place; never store in the fridge.

SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE 49

Brandy snaps
I seem to remember that I became very good at baking brandy snaps while at Silwood. We often catered for outside functions and
I was usually a part of the brandy snap team. After 500 or so you become a pro. This is the famous Silwood recipe.
125 g butter
125 g sugar
125 g golden syrup
250 ml (1 C) cake flour, sifted
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt

To serve
250375 ml (111 2 C) fresh cream
15 ml (1 Tbsp) castor sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) brandy

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease two large baking trays well.
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour, ginger and salt.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Place teaspoonful-sized balls of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays, pressing down
lightly with your fingertips to flatten them. Do only four at a time, allowing enough room for
them to spread.
Bake for 810 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 12 minutes before using
a spatula to lift a brandy snap from the tray. Work quickly while the mixture is still hot and
wrap the warm circle around the handle of a wooden spoon. It will set almost immediately.
Leave to cool and harden around the handle. Remove the brandy snap as soon as it is hard.
Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
To serve, whip the cream, and then stir in the sugar and brandy. Pipe the cream into the ends
of each brandy snap.
Makes 2430.

Tips
I find it easiest if you have two trays, placing the second tray into the oven as you are removing the first. This way you can
get a production linegoing. It also helps to have more than one wooden spoon to wrap the brandy snaps around while
setting. The final result should be a cigar-shaped tube no thicker than your index finger.
To make brandy snap baskets, simply remove the circle from the baking tray and place it over an upside down ramekin or
small teacup. Gently nudge the circle into shape. Leave to cool.
Store unfilled brandy snaps in an airtight container with layers of baking paper in between. Keep them in a cool, dry place
away from light. They will stay crisp for up to three days.

50 SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE

Big bake cake


I worked at Your Family magazine for many years as a cookery editor. In those days there were three of us: Wendy Silver, Kim
Wessels and myself. We had an enormous test kitchen and worked very hard, but we laughed a lot and had great fun writing, testing
and styling food all day long. I wanted to include a recipe from the test kitchen in my book. This big bake cake was one of mine.
800 ml (31 4 C) self-raising flour
500 ml (2 C) castor sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
250 g salted butter
250 ml (1 C) water
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
125 ml (1 2 C) buttermilk
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla or caramel
essence
80 ml (1 3 C) cocoa powder, sifted

Mocha icing
110 g butter
310 ml (11 4 C) icing sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) instant coffee,
dissolved in 15 ml (1 Tbsp)
boiling water, cooled
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cocoa powder,
sifted

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a large ovenproof dish or roasting pan well.
Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. Make a well in the centre. In a small saucepan, melt the
butter and water together over low heat. Pour the butter mixture into the well. Stir in the eggs
and mix thoroughly, but do not over beat.
Mix the buttermilk, bicarbonate of soda and essence together. Stir this into the flour mixture
and mix well. Divide the batter in two and add the cocoa powder to one portion. Pour the two
batters in alternate rows into the prepared dish. Draw a metal skewer across the batter to form
a marbled pattern. Bake for 3040 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out
clean.
To make the icing, cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the coffee and
cocoa powder. Mix well.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the dish. Once completely cooled, spread
the icing over the top.
Makes 1 large marbled cake.

SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE 51

Rich almond fudge cake


This fantastic, rich chocolate fudge cake recipe was my winning entry for a competition in Womens Value magazine.
I won a Kenwood Chef for being creative with the whisk! Womens Value has long since been rebranded to Ideas magazine,
but with their blessing I am able to share this recipe with you.
What is ribbon stage? Ribbon stage is a term in cookery we use to describe the consistency required
to whisk egg yolks and sugar until very pale and extremely thick. The term ribbon is from the test you need
to do to see if the mixture is thick enough. Simply dip the whisk into the mixture, and then trail it across the
mixture in the bowl in slow motion. The ribbon should be consistent and run down from the whisk onto
the surface of the mixture in a steady stream without breaking, forming a ribbon-like pattern that sinks
back into the mixture.

250 g butter
250 g milk or dark chocolate
8 extra-large eggs, separated
310 ml (11 4 C) castor sugar
250 g ground almonds

To decorate
180 g whole nut chocolate
190 ml (3 4 C) fresh cream, left at
room temperature for 1 hour

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 2325 cm springform tin.


Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks and castor sugar together until ribbon stage and the mixture is thick and
creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Fold the nuts and melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture, and then fold in the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 4555 minutes. Remove from the
oven, even if the cake looks a little undercooked, then cool completely in the tin.
To decorate, melt the whole nut chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl suspended
over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir in the cream. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the
cake and leave to set.
Makes 1 large cake.

TipS
The cake will look slightly undercooked when you remove it from the oven but will set as it cools down.
Use dark chocolate for a richer flavour.

52 SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE

Rose petal jam


This is another great recipe from my Silwood days. Many flowers, such as roses, violets, marigolds, geraniums, lavender, camomile,
calendula and nasturtiums, are edible and make magnificent cake decorations and additions to modern recipes. It is important to
note, however, that commercial flowers are heavily sprayed with insecticide and if the flowers are not washed properly these insecticides can find their way onto your plate. Never stick a flower stem directly into a cake. Rather cut a small circle of clear cellophane to
cover the cake before arranging your posy on top. Do not eat the stems or leaves, only the petals.
Did you know? Roses are used extensively in cooking in Iran. Rose-water, which is used in Turkish
delight and nougat, can be found in the baking section of most large supermarkets or speciality food stores.

500 g red or very dark pink


rose petals
850 g sugar
125 ml ( C) rose-water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice

Combine the rose petals and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the rose-water
and lemon juice and slowly bring to the boil over low heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking. Simmer until the jam has reached
setting point on a sugar thermometer (the reading should be 105 C) or it has passed the set
point test (see tips below). Remove from the heat and give a gentle stir. Pour into warm sterilised
jars and seal at once. Store in a cool, dry place.
Makes about 2 medium jars.
Variations

 ose petal vinegar: 310 ml (11 4 C) white wine vinegar, 250 ml (1 C) rose petals. Pour the vinR
egar over the petals and leave to stand for one week. Strain, discard the petals and bottle the
vinegar. Use in salads.
 ose honey: 250 ml (1 C) rose petals, 1 x 500 g jar honey. Heat honey in a saucepan. Stir in the
R
petals and cook over low heat for 1015 minutes. Strain while still warm. Pour into sterilised
jars. Store in a cool, dark place and refrigerate once opened.

Tips
Freeze rosebuds in ice cubes for display in drinks, or freeze rose petals and buds in an ice bowl to be used as an ice-cream
serving dish. To make one of these, use two plastic bowls where one can fit inside the other. Add a few crushed ice cubes to
the larger bowl. Add rose petals and fresh mint leaves. Place the second bowl on top. Place a heavy object inside to secure
and tape the sides together to form a mould. Pour cold water in the gap between the two bowls. Freeze until solid.
Remove the bowls by briefly holding the container under running hot water. Return the ice mould to the freezer for
15 minutes before using.
Use darker rose petals to give jam colour. Lighter shades cook down to a brown colour and dont look appetising.
You can halve the recipe if preferred: 250 g rose petals is the equivalent of a very large bunch of roses from the supermarket.
Rose petal jam is wonderful stirred into plain yoghurt.
If you dont have a sugar thermometer and want to see if the jam is at setting point, place a saucer with a little water on it in
the fridge until cold. Then remove and place a teaspoon of jam on the saucer. If it forms a single jellied ball that wrinkles up
when you push it gently with your fingertip, the jam is ready.

SILWOOD KITCHENS AND YOUR FAMILY MAGAZINE 55

OUT OF
AFRICA

Overland by any means


One morning in February I met a girl in the Terminal Hotel, a name aptly fitting the crumbling grey building in downtown Nairobi. What seemed like a chance meeting turned into
one of the most significant friendships of my life. You will meet Sue Wiper in almost every
chapter of this book, a friend who has inspired and shared a lifetime of adventure and exploration. When we were still in our twenties we travelled around Lake Victoria on the back
of a Leyland truck. Naturally, we were in the same cooking team. Sue may be a good friend,
but she is a terrible cook. Happy to admit culinary failure, her kitchen duties extended to
peeling potatoes and washing up while I faced the challenge of cooking a gourmet meal
over an open fire in the middle of the bush for no less than 24 people.
Our second course was usually a lemon meringue tart. Nothing beats Sue trying to whisk
eight egg whites in a plastic bowl with a fork with a torch strapped to her head. By the time
we had finished washing the dishes the rest of the motley crew had used up all the rationed
water and consumed every last beer. We had no choice but to shave our legs in dirty dishwater and brush our teeth with gin!
Most of our fellow travellers were from Europe. Somehow everyone always assumed that I
would have the definitive knowledge of all things African. Later that night one of the happy
campers woke me up to see the dogs eating from the rubbish dump. I stumbled from my
sleeping bag with a pretty good idea of what was going on, only to confirm that the pretty
dogs where indeed hyenas. I tried to put my case to the stunned tourists, but to no avail.
Ieventually went to bed and was relieved to see everyone again at breakfast.
I have returned many times to those old stomping grounds: driven from Durban to Nairobi
by car, climbed some of Africas highest peaks and walked along its most remote trails.
I have seen the mountain gorillas of the DRC, stood at the source of the Nile and shared
meals with peasant farmers and drinks with warlords. I have watched the sun rise over the
Serengeti and set in Stone Town in Zanzibar, and danced the night away with an ambassador. And all in the name of exploration.

Zanzibar coffee chicken


I stumbled upon this little gem of a recipe on one of my many trips to the Spice Islands. Zanzibar produces some of the worlds best
cloves and the air is pungent with the sweet smell. The combination of coffee and cloves makes a fantastic marinade for chicken.
1.5 kg whole chicken or
1.5 kg assorted chicken pieces

Marinade
30 ml (2 Tbsp) tomato sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
60 ml ( C) brown sugar
Juice of 2 medium limes or
1 lemon
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground mixed spice
10 ml (2 tsp) strong, aromatic
coffee granules
5 ml (1 tsp) dried green
peppercorns, crushed
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) olive oil
Salt to taste

58 OUT OF AFRICA

Preheat the oven to 180 C.


Mix all the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken for 2 hours. Transfer the
chicken to an oven roasting tray, cover the bird loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour. Discard
the foil, return the chicken to the oven and cook for a further 3045 minutes. Baste frequently
with the leftover marinade.
Alternatively, braai the chicken in a kettle braai following the same method.
Makes enough for 1 chicken.

TipS
Use good quality granular coffee with a strong aroma.

Dried green peppercorns can be purchased at any large speciality food store or your
local supermarket. Dont be tempted to substitute black pepper.

Mombasa chicken curry


Mombasa in Kenya has some of the most amazing little eateries tucked away in crooked alleyways and in rooftop restaurants.
The cuisine is a perfect illustration of how Indian, Arab and African traditions have melted together to form, in my opinion, one
of the best cuisines Africa has to offer. In one such hole-in-the-wall eatery I sampled Kuku Pala, a simple chicken curry cooked in
coconut milk. I observed them making it and today it has to be my favourite chicken curry recipe of all time.
60 g butter, ghee or oil,
preferably canola
1 large red or white onion,
roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
35 red chillies, seeded
and chopped
30 ml (2 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) curry powder,
hot or medium
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies
or chilli powder
2 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 large chicken, portioned or
11.5 kg chicken pieces
2 large red tomatoes, peeled
and chopped
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
Salt to taste
125 ml ( C) chopped
fresh coriander

60 OUT OF AFRICA

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan and saut the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger until soft. Stir
in the curry powder, cumin, crushed chillies and cardamom. Cook for 2 minutes to release the
flavour of the spices and to cook the raw curry powder. Add the chicken and stir until coated
with the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, curry leaves
and coconut milk. Season well. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5060 minutes or
until the chicken is cooked.
Transfer the chicken curry to a large serving dish and sprinkle the chopped coriander over
the top. Serve with chapattis, naan bread or basmati rice.
Serves 46.

Tip
Freeze leftover coconut milk or coconut cream for future use. The easiest way is to fill
an ice tray with the coconut milk, freeze it and simply pop a frozen ice cube into the
saucepan when needed.

Sticky toffee pudding with fresh ginger butterscotch


We ran out of eggs while trying to bake this pudding in a frying pan over a fire in the Serengeti. Tina Scotford, one of my best friends
in the whole world, remembered we could substitute vinegar for eggs and it worked perfectly. She volunteered to stay behind and bake
while we went to buy beer at the local shebeen. She was very pleased with herself that the evening was proving to be a success until a
lioness walked past the tent and she was on the outside.
250 ml (150 g) pitted dates
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
250 ml (1 C) boiling water
5 ml (1 tsp) grated fresh ginger
50 g salted butter, at room
temperature
250 ml (1 C) soft brown sugar
2 large eggs or 30 ml (2 Tbsp)
white vinegar
375 ml (11 2 C) self-raising flour
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 cm square or oval ovenproof baking dish.
Combine the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Stir in the boiling water and ginger and then leave to cool completely.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift
the flour and salt together and then fold into the creamed mixture, followed by the date mixture. Turn the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 4045 minutes, or until a skewer
inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Make the syrup by combining the sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium
heat. Add the fresh ginger. Stir continuously while you bring the mixture to the boil. Cook for
a few minutes to thicken significantly. Add the salt.
As soon as the pudding comes out of the oven, prick holes all over the top with a skewer
and pour the syrup over. Leave to cool and set before serving with ice cream, cream or custard.

Ginger butterscotch syrup


250 ml (1 C) soft brown sugar
125 ml (1 2 C) fresh cream
60 ml ( C) salted butter
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt

Serves 68.

Tip
Go eggless! If you run out of eggs you can substitute by using 15ml (1 Tbsp) white
vinegar for every egg in the recipe. The vinegar will work as long as the recipe has
a leavening agent, such as baking powder, self-raising flour or yeast in the
dry ingredients.

OUT OF AFRICA 61

Prawns in Swahili sauce


Swahili sauce is a tomato and cardamom-based staple that is used predominantly in Swahili cooking, which is commonly found
along the east coast of Africa. My first introduction to authentic Swahili cuisine was on a sailing trip to an old penal colony. I sat
eating amongst strangers, between crumbling stone buildings on a white beach, haunted by giant baobabs and ocean breezes.
Did you know? Indian cardamom is also known as elachi, and green cardamom is stronger than white
cardamom. Go easy on the cardamom as the flavour can be overpowering if you add too much.

Swahili sauce
4 red onions, finely diced
810 cloves garlic, crushed
8 ripe tomatoes, peeled
and chopped
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
60 ml (1 4 C) olive oil
75 g tamarind paste, dissolved in
a little water, pips squeezed out
and discarded
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
45 white cardamom
pods, bruised
1 x 400 ml can coconut cream

Prawns
750g1 kg prawns, peeled, heads
removed and deveined
60100 g salted butter
35 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
125 ml ( C) chopped
fresh coriander

64 OUT OF AFRICA

To make the sauce, place the onions and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth.
With the processor running, add the fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Blend until you have a
thick paste. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the tomato mixture, tamarind juice and spices.
Cook slowly for 5 minutes. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1015 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before stirring in the coconut cream. Heat
through. Reserve 375 ml (11 2 C) of the sauce and keep warm. The remainder of the sauce can be
left to cool and later frozen in individual freezer bags.
To cook the prawns, lightly saut them in butter and garlic until they turn pink. Season well
and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Transfer the prawns to a serving dish, stir in the reserved sauce and sprinkle chopped coriander over the top. Serve at once with rice or couscous.
Serves 4.

Tips
The sauce is wonderful with all seafood, chicken or rice dishes. My recipe makes
enough to cook in bulk and freeze.
Plum or jam tomatoes are best for this recipe. Use 1012 if they are small.
Blend the finished sauce if you prefer a smoother texture.

Ugandan garlic soup


One of the most memorable meals Ive had in Africa was a simple cream of garlic soup in downtown Kampala. My love affair with
this dish was sealed after a business trip to Uganda to decorate a hotel for an African warlord ... no joke. I could never find the
restaurant again but, I can tell you this, my recipe is as close to the original as I could ever find.
2 large heads of fresh garlic
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 Tbsp) butter
1 large white onion,
finely chopped
500 ml (2 C) beef stock
500 ml (2 C) full-cream milk
250 ml (1 C) fresh cream
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) mustard powder
1 fresh bay leaf
1 very large potato, or 2 medium,
peeled and diced
Salt and white pepper to taste
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper

Peel and roughly chop all the garlic. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed
saucepan over medium-low heat. Saut the garlic and onion until soft and lightly browned.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to
a simmer, stir in the milk, cream, mustard, bay leaf and potato. Continue to cook for 1 hour or
until the potato is soft.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and season well. Liquidise the soup, then return
to the stove and heat through.
Serve with a crusty French loaf or herbed croutons.
Serves 46.
Variations

Add 125 g chopped bacon and 15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped fresh parsley to the onions before frying.
Add packet frozen mussels on the half-shell, 15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped fresh parsley, 5 ml
(1 tsp) black pepper and 125 ml (1 2 C) dry white wine to the soup after liquidising. Return to
heat and simmer slowly for 15 minutes to cook the mussels. Serve on the shell.

Tip
Use beef stock cubes for this recipe. For a thicker soup, add an additional potato.

OUT OF AFRICA 67

Livingstones orange chiffon cake


This cake is a tribute to the men who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: the orange sellers in Livingstone. I was
privileged one weekend to cycle through the national park at Victoria Falls in Zambia, dodging elephants. They are clever creatures
and remember that some cyclists carry boxes of oranges to sell at the markets in Livingstone. We had to sit it out behind a baobab
tree for several hours until they let us pass. The only person who was brave enough and seemed oblivious to it all, was the ice-cream
seller. He simply rang his bell and pedalled like hell, flying past the waiting elephants.
7 egg whites, at room
temperature
2.5 ml ( tsp) cream of tartar
375 ml (11 2 C) castor sugar
560 ml (21 4 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
125 ml ( C) oil
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
2.5 ml ( tsp) orange essence
190 ml ( C) freshly squeezed
orange juice (23 large oranges)
30 ml (2 Tbsp) very finely grated
orange or lemon rind

Preheat the oven to 160 C.


Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together until frothy and soft peaks form. Grad
ually whisk in 60 ml (1 4 C) of the sugar until the mixture is stiff. Sift the flour, baking powder and
salt together. Add the remaining castor sugar. Make a well in the centre of the flour and then add
the oil, egg yolks, vanilla essence, orange essence, orange juice and rind. Beat until just smooth
using an electric beater. Be careful to not over beat at this stage.
Pour the batter in a thin stream over the beaten egg whites and fold in with a large metal
spoon. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 25 cm chiffon cake tin. Bake for 1 hour or until the
cake is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool upside down until completely
cold, about 11 2 hours. Gently remove from the tin by running a spatula or knife around the
inside of the cake tin and metal core. Transfer to a cake plate.
To make the icing, mix everything together and beat well with an electric beater. Spread the
icing over the cake.
Makes 1 large cake.

Orange icing
125 g salted butter, at room
temperature
1
875 ml (3 2 C) icing sugar, sifted
60 ml ( C) fresh orange juice
30 ml (2 Tbsp) finely grated
orange rind
Pinch of salt

Tips
Never grease a chiffon or angel cake tin. This allows the batter to cling to the ungreased sides of the cake tin as it rises.

Leave chiffon cakes upside down to cool until they are cold. Do this as soon as the cake comes out of the oven, before it has
time to shrink and lose its volume. Some chiffon cake tins have special little legs that rest on the counter, making it easier.
Invest in a good quality chiffon tin at any speciality cake store or online.
This cake can be frozen for up to three months.

68 OUT OF AFRICA

Wasini-style crab curry


Wasini is a tiny island no larger than 5 kilometres in length off the Kenyan coast. Locals offer an outstanding sailing safari to
the island which usually includes a feast of magnificent seafood in an open-air restaurant. Simple Swahili cookery, enjoyed and eaten
with your hands. Patrons sit between giant baobabs and the deep blue sea. The day we visited, the women had prepared crab.
This recipe is my interpretation of that wonderful meal.
1 kg crab, cleaned and
ready to cook
30 ml (2 Tbsp) oil, butter or ghee
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 large tomatoes, peeled and
chopped (or 1 2 x 400 g can whole
tomatoes with juice)
1 star anise
3 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 large stick cinnamon
15 ml (1 Tbsp) medium
curry powder
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) turmeric
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) tamarind paste
125 ml (1 2 C) water
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
2 limes or 1 large lemon,
quartered

Wash and dry the crab. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, or wok, big enough to take the crab.
Saut the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, spices
and salt. Cook for few minutes, then add the crab and stir-fry until the crab shell changes colour.
Stir in the coconut milk, tamarind paste, water and curry leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce
the heat and cook over medium heat for 1015 minutes or until the crab is cooked and the shell
is a bright red.
Just before serving, squeeze the limes into the crab gravy. Transfer to a large serving platter
and serve with basmati rice.
Serves 24.

Tip
Use any good quality commercial curry powder. Most have a healthy dose of turmeric
included, but if you feel your powder is not yellow enough then add some extra turmeric to the dish. I have included 5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder; omit this for a milder curry.

OUT OF AFRICA 71

Piri-piri oil
This piri-piri oil will keep for weeks in the fridge. Use as a basting sauce for chicken or seafood.
Did you know? Birds-eye chillies are also known as mouse shit peppers in Thailand. Remember the
golden rule: the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is. Use regular red chillies from the supermarket if you cant
find birds-eye or piri-piri peppers. Birds-eye chilli bushes are easy to grow in hot summers and yield a big
crop. Trees are easy to source at your local nursery and grow to about 1 metre in height. Birds ensure that
the seeds are widely dispersed and your garden will never be without a chilli bush.

125 ml (1 2 C) birds-eye chillies,


crushed and bruised
1012 cloves garlic, peeled and
sliced (about 1 large head)
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
5 ml (1 tsp) cayenne pepper or
piri-piri powder
10 ml (2 tsp) Portuguese sweet
paprika (for colour only)
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
3 black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
250 ml (1 C) light olive oil
160 ml (2 3 C) canola oil
160 ml (2 3 C) red wine vinegar

72 OUT OF AFRICA

Rinse an empty 750 ml (3 C) glass cold drink or brandy bottle. Give it a good clean and sterilise
with boiling water. Fill the bottle with the chillies, sliced garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper,
sweet paprika, salt and peppercorns. Crumble up the bay leaves and stuff into the bottle. Mix
the oils and vinegar together and pour into the bottle. Store the sauce in the fridge for two
weeks before using, giving it a good shake every day. The mixture will keep for weeks if you
keep topping up with a little fresh oil.
Makes 750 ml (3 C).

Tip
Marinate a whole spatchcock chicken in piri-piri oil and 25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh parsley overnight. Season well. Oven-roast for 30 minutes at 190 C. Remove
from oven and finish off on the braai, basting frequently with the remaining oil.

Refrigerator tray rolls


East Africa has a penchant for white bread. Regardless of where you purchase the bread or what shape it comes in, you can be
assured of two things: it will taste sweeter than most white bread, and it will be stale in the morning if you get to it before the ants.
I once drove from Durban to Kilimanjaro in six days and seven hours, living off nothing more than white bread, avo and biltong!
250 ml (1 C) warm water
10 ml (2 tsp) active dry yeast
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
125 g butter, melted
125 ml ( C) castor sugar
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
1 kg (5 C) cake flour
Milk to brush before baking
15 ml (1 Tbsp) poppy seeds
Melted butter to glaze

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Leave to froth. Stir in the melted
butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Mix in the flour, gradually adding 250 ml (1 C) at a time, until all the
flour has been absorbed and a stiff dough has formed. You may not need all the flour, just add it
slowly until you have stiff dough. It will depend on how much moisture is in the flour.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for
at least 3 hours before using or for up to four days.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 25 cm ovenproof baking dish.
Turn out the cold dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide the mixture into 24 small
balls. Roll each piece of dough until it is nice and smooth. Place the balls in neat rows in the
prepared dish. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour to prove
and double in size. Remove the plastic wrap, brush the top of the rolls with milk using a pastry
brush and sprinkle poppy seeds over the top. Bake for 1520 minutes.
Remove from the oven and use a pastry brush to lightly brush a little melted butter over the
tops of the rolls. Serve the rolls in the tray.
Makes 24.

Tips
My recipe is not sweet and the dough can be kept in the fridge for four days. Bake as you need.
To bake, use your largest Pyrex dish or the oven roasting pan instead of a baking tray. Use a muffin pan as a mould
for smaller quantities.

For this recipe you will need to use active dry yeast, not instant yeast. Active dry yeast is better for baking, whereas instant
yeast is best suited to breads that need to rise quickly. Dried yeast will last for months and keeps even better if stored in the
fridge. Yeast is a living organism and, like a baby, it needs to be fed and kept warm. Always use warm water and sugar to
activate the yeast until frothy. If in doubt, follow the instructions on the packet.
Golden rule: Knead dough until smooth and elastic 1015 minutes or until it feels like and resembles a babys bottom.

OUT OF AFRICA 73

ET HIOPIA

No mountain too high


Words alone cannot describe Ethiopia, her Semien Mountains or ancient ruins. Its seldom
that I travel to such a destination and find myself in awe of its land and people.
Once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, you get to experience the kindness of others, a random
act of friendship that lingers with you for many years to come. Christmas Day 2010 was one
such day. Sue Wiper and I had just traversed the length and breadth of the Semien National
Park, summited Ethiopias highest mountain, and were making our way down to the lowlands. Our ragtag entourage, consisting of Tadella the guide, Fente the cook, an assistant
cook, a scout with a Kalashnikov rifle, three mules (one with the dining room table on its
back), two mule handlers and a porter, had gone on ahead to set up camp with a local farmer.
Our little blue tent was waiting for us in his cattle kraal beside a magnificent old tree. The
idea of the kraal was more to keep the inquisitive children out than the occasional hyena.
The old scout took his job very seriously. He had enough ammunition wrapped around his
belly to single-handedly liberate Somalia, and insisted on sleeping outside our tent at night
with the barrel of the gun pointing towards us! I never really understood his reasoning.
Christmas morning arrived and we were greeted by the rooster and six of our camping staff
holding a vanilla cake. Fente had baked a treat for us in a frying pan over the fire, the words
Merry Christmas Torists inscribed with Nutella chocolate across the top.
The seventh member of our expedition was a young shepherd boy. He was not in attendance
at the cake cutting ceremony because, as a surprise, he was walking the three and a half
hours it took to the nearest village to buy a bottle of Ethiopian red wine surprisingly
drinkable for us, for Christmas dinner. So there we were, sitting under the stars at the
dining table, feasting on Doro wat chicken, Ethiopian flatbreads and cabbage. Everyone
stood and watched, and once they were satisfied that we had enjoyed our meal, the table
was cleared, our glasses refilled and the shoulder dancing began in earnest.
Much later, after a round of speeches, more dancing ensued, but this time Sue and I were
asked to dance for our hosts. The wine helped, but I can tell you this: I am in no danger of winning Dancing with the Stars This was, in all respects, the best Christmas I have ever had.

Doro wat chicken berbere and hard-boiled egg


Doro wat chicken is considered to be a national dish. As with all recipes, there are many variations, but serving the chicken with hardboiled eggs seems to be a given. The cooked eggs are usually added towards the end of the cooking time to soak up the rich sauce.
30 ml (2 Tbsp) butter or ghee
60 ml ( C) oil
1.5 kg chicken thighs or assorted
chicken pieces
2 large red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
125 ml ( C) berbere paste
(see opposite)
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled
and chopped
2 bay leaves
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
Salt to taste
3 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
Juice of 1 large lime
Fresh coriander to garnish

76 ETHIOPIA

Preheat the oven to 180 C.


Heat some of the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and brown the chicken
in batches. Set aside. Add a little more butter and oil to the pan and saut the onions, garlic and
ginger until soft. Stir in the berbere paste. Add the chicken, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, bay
leaves, black pepper and salt. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat, ensuring the chicken
is coated in the paste. Transfer the chicken to a glass ovenproof dish or casserole, cover with
two layers of foil or a tight-fitting lid and bake for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked. Alternatively, the chicken can be simmered slowly in a potjie over a fire or on top of the stove in a
heavy-bottomed saucepan for 111 2 hours.
Add the hard-boiled eggs to the dish 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time to soak
up the sauce.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a large serving platter. Squeeze over lime juice. Cut the
hard-boiled eggs in half and arrange attractively on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the dish with
fresh coriander. Serve warm with rice or flatbreads, naan or couscous.
Serves 68.

Berbere paste
Berbere paste is a dark, aromatic paste made from a mixture of spices and paprika. It forms the basis of many Ethiopian dishes.
For convenience I have used ground spices.
10 ml (2 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cardamom
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground fenugreek
5 ml (1 tsp) ground nutmeg
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground allspice
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cinnamon
15 ml (1 Tbsp) smoked
hot paprika
10 ml (2 tsp) cayenne pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
60 ml (1 4 C) oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
Water to bind

Dry-roast all the spices in a heavy-bottomed frying pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat
and stir in the oil, onion and garlic. Add enough water to bind the mixture and form a paste.
Store in a sterilised glass jar. The mixture will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
Makes 1 x 250 ml jar.

Tip
Dont use olive oil to mix the paste as it may be too overpowering. Rather stick to
good quality sunflower or canola oil.

ETHIOPIA 77

Fentes boudoir sponge


Fente baked his vanilla sponge in a deep frying pan over a few coals. It was a simple batter and rather dense, so I have taken part of
the recipe and adapted it to make a lighter chiffon. This cake does not need icing, but if you want something grander try the mascarpone and honey topping. The use and production of honey in Ethiopia is as old as the ancient churches themselves. The town of
Lalibela, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famed for the production of Lalibela honey, which has a grainy texture and is the
colour of amber. Our hoteliers son stood in line for me for three hours at the local market to buy just 500 ml of the prized liquid.
560 ml (21 4 C) cake flour
375 ml (11 2 C) sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
125 ml ( C) canola oil
5 extra-large eggs, separated
190 ml (3 4 C) tepid water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) vanilla essence
2.5 ml ( tsp) cream of tartar

Mascarpone and honey icing


(optional)
250 g mascarpone cheese
60 ml (1 4 C) icing sugar, sifted
15 ml (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
15 ml (1 Tbsp) honey

Preheat the oven to 160 C.


Sift the flour, 250 ml (1 C) of the sugar, the baking powder and salt together. Make a well in the
centre. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla essence together. Pour the
liquid into the centre of the well and use an electric beater to mix with the flour until smooth.
Ensure there are no lumps, but do not over beat the mixture.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until firm but not dry. Gradually
add the remaining 125 ml (1 2 C) sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has dissolved
and the egg whites are firm. Pile the egg whites on top of the batter and fold in lightly. Turn the
mixture into two deep, ungreased 22 cm cake tins.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 3035 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre
comes out clean and the cake has pulled away from the sides. Alternatively, this cake can be
baked in an ungreased chiffon cake tin for 50 minutes.
Turn the cake tins upside down on a wire rack and leave to cool completely in the cake tin.
Once cold, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake, and then bang the tin lightly on the
counter to release it. Gently coax the cake out of the tin.
To make the icing, combine all the icing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Use the icing to
sandwich the two smaller cakes and ice the top only, not the sides. If you have baked the large
chiffon cake, spread the icing over the top only. Alternatively, decorate with fresh berries and
serve with pouring cream.
Makes 1 large cake.

Tips
This makes a really large cake and can be baked in two deep sandwich tins or even three if you have them. Alternatively,
use a chiffon or Bundt cake tin. Do not grease the cake tins because the batter needs to cling to the sides to rise. Cool the cake
upside down in the tin.
Always use fresh oil when baking cakes that use oil as shortening, as the flavour permeates the cake and rancid oil can spoil
everything. Canola or olive oil make lovely alternatives; experiment and try different flavours.

ETHIOPIA 79

Pasta al forno
Although never colonised, Ethiopia had a strong Italian presence for many years and they left behind some real legends, such as the
world famous Ristorante Castelli in Addis Ababa. It opened in 1948 and has survived every coup since then. Our waiter was so old
that he couldnt even see that he had given us the menus upside down. We decided to treat ourselves to a bottle of Awash Crystal, the
finest Ethiopian white wine. It came to the table frozen solid. When we asked about this, he simply answered: Never mind, it still
tastes the same. This recipe is adapted from an old family favourite, given to me by my dear friend Lily Tripepi. Her grandfather was
a captain in Mussolinis army and was stationed at Asmara (in Eritrea) during the Second World War. The recipe travelled down
through Africa as the Tripepi family migrated towards its southern shores.
1 x 500 g packet penne
rigate pasta
60 g salted butter
150 g mozzarella cheese, sliced
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
to sprinkle

Red sauce
1 large carrot, peeled
and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large onions, chopped
160 ml (2 3 C) chopped fresh
flat-leaf Italian parsley
25 ml (5 tsp) sunflower oil
60 ml ( C) dry white wine
500 g extra-lean topside mince
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
2 x 400 g cans whole peeled
tomatoes, with juice
1 x 400 g tomato pure
30 ml (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
5 ml (1 tsp) dried basil
5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

Bchamel sauce
125 g butter
125 ml ( C) cake flour
1 litre (4 C) milk
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

80 ETHIOPIA

Make the red sauce first. Blend or process the carrot, garlic, onions and parsley until very
smooth. If chopping by hand, make sure you dice finely. Heat the oil in a large heavybottomed saucepan and, once hot and almost smoking, stir in the onion mixture and cook for
5 minutes. Add the white wine. Add the mince and brown very well for at least 10 minutes.
Scrape the bottom from time to time with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Blend the whole peeled tomatoes in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add to the
mince. Stir in the tomato pure, sugar and herbs. Season well. Reduce the heat and cook,
covered, for at least 21 2 hours. If you are pressed for time it is possible to use the red sauce after
11 2 hours, but longer cooking will result in better flavours and will add greatly to this dish.
Remove from the heat and set aside while you prepare the bchamel sauce.
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour until you have a thick paste.
Cook for a few minutes until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Remove
from the heat. Gradually whisk in the milk and nutmeg until the flour has dissolved and the
mixture is lump free. Return to the heat and continue to stir continuously until the mixture is
thick and smooth. Season to taste. The bchamel should have the consistency of a thick cream.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water as per instructions on the packet until al dente.
Drain in a colander and stir through the 60 g butter to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
To assemble, spoon a ladle of red sauce over the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Spoon
a layer of pasta over the sauce, followed by more red sauce. Top with bchamel sauce. Spread
slices of mozzarella on top of the bchamel sauce. Repeat the layers, starting with the pasta and
ending with bchamel sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Give it a good sprinkling
of freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 1520 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the grill
onto high and grill until the bchamel bubbles and the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 68.

Tips
Make sure the garlic and onion paste is smoothly blended in a liquidiser before
you start.

Brown the mince for a prolonged time to prevent the meat sticking to the bottom of
the saucepan. The mince is ready once you see a thin layer of oil float to the top.
Use sunflower and not olive oil as it overpowers the taste.

Lamb burgers with cumin, sweet paprika and mint


On the way from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport into town there is a giant aeroplane stuck to a building. It looks like
someone cut a plane in half and mounted it to the wall like an almighty trophy. I know this because one afternoon I sat across from
it in a restaurant while munching my way through the largest burger I could find, pondering how the hell they got it up there (turns
out it wasnt a real plane, but a homemade life-size replica of one!). My burger was absolutely delicious and of such superior quality
that I eventually asked for the recipe. No one had any idea what I was talking about so I just wrote my own. I later discovered that
the restaurants owner had once worked as a taxi driver in New York.
Mint tzatziki sauce
medium English cucumber,
peeled and grated
250 ml (1 C) thick Greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped
fresh mint
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1 small lemon
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

To make the tzatziki, squeeze the grated cucumber to remove all the liquid. The cucumber must
not be watery. Mix the cucumber with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and
season well. Refrigerate until needed.
To make the patties, combine the mince, onion, garlic, herbs, sweet paprika, chilli flakes, salt,
black pepper, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and egg. Mix well, working the mixture through your fingers. Shape into 46 equal-sized patties. Transfer to a plate and
refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat and fry the patties for
57 minutes, turning once. Remove from the frying pan and keep warm while you assemble
the buns.
Cut the buns in half, press cut-side down into the hot frying pan and toast lightly.
Remove pan from heat. Place the toasted buns on serving plates and top with baby spinach and
a lamb patty. Spoon 15 ml (1 Tbsp) tzatziki on top of the patty and serve with potato wedges.

Lamb burger patties


400 g lamb or mutton mince
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
90 ml (6 Tbsp) chopped fresh
mint leaves
90 ml (6 Tbsp) chopped fresh
coriander leaves
5 ml (1 tsp) smoked sweet
Spanish paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli flakes
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
250 ml (1 C) fresh breadcrumbs,
lightly toasted
1 egg, lightly beaten
Oil to fry
46 burger buns
Baby spinach to serve

Makes 46.
Variations

This recipe also works well with venison. Use 250 g minced venison mixed with 250 g minced,
slightly fatty pork. Add 15 ml (1 Tbsp) honey. Proceed with the rest of the ingredients as for
lamb patties. Make in bulk and freeze. This is a good way to use up all the scraps of meat from
a carcass once you have cut the biltong and other prime cuts from the bone.

These burgers can be served with red onion or black olive marmalade. Both are now available
in supermarkets countrywide.

Tip
Instead of using burger buns, try making roosterkoek (griddle cake) buns. The texture
is amazing with the lamb patties and its very convenient if you are going to braai the
patties. If using roosterkoek, cut the dough into large squares instead of trying to shape
it into a round. It will make your life easier.

ETHIOPIA 83

Butterflied leg of lamb with


aromatic coffee and smoked paprika
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and vast areas of countryside are littered with hectares of beautiful Arabica coffee, growing in
the wild. I wanted to create a recipe that reflected the strong flavours and unique tastes found along the Horn of Africa.
1.21.5 kg deboned leg of lamb,
butterflied
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) smoked hot
Spanish paprika
10 ml (2 tsp) instant
coffee granules
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) red wine vinegar
56 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves
finely chopped
30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

Place the lamb in a large oven roasting pan. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and
spread the mixture over the lamb. Rub well. Leave to stand for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Season the lamb well on both sides. Heat a large skillet or heavybottomed saucepan and briefly seal the lamb on both sides. Return the meat to the roasting
pan and roast for 1520 minutes, or until still pink in the centre. Alternatively, once the lamb
has been sealed over a hot fire, cook it in a kettle braai for 1520 minutes. Leave to stand for
10minutes before carving.
Serves 68.

Tips
I consider smoked Spanish paprika my secret ingredient. It is widely used in Mediterranean cooking and nowadays can be
found at any large supermarket or speciality food store. Smoked Spanish paprika should not be confused with its cousins,
the altogether milder Hungarian version or the sweet paprika of Portugal, which are used only for colour. If a recipe specifies
paprika then it most likely refers to the Hungarian version, but always double-check. Spanish paprika has a very deep, intense
smoky flavour and comes in sweet or hot variations.
Add 810 minutes to the cooking time if your cut of meat is 1.52 kg in weight.

84 ETHIOPIA

ARGENTINA
AND

PARAGUAY

Old friends
My great friend Helga Marie Winkler moved to Paraguay after school, and I am thrilled she
did. Their empanadas are amongst the finest in the world. One Easter we took a road trip
from Asuncin to the Foz do Iguau falls, a breathtaking waterfall of epic proportions occupying a triangle of land between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. At the junction of the
mighty Iguau River lies the infamous city of Ciudad del Este, said to be the source of all
counterfeit goods, drug deals and money laundering in South America. It seems life is so
laid-back in this part of the world that you dont even need a passport to cross the border.
We were stuck in the car for a good three hours while waiting for our turn to run the bridge.
I watched with amusement as a father and son wheeled 17 television sets to the middle of
the bridge in a wheelbarrow, and then dropped them to a friend waiting in a boat below.
Customs officials just lay back, slouching in their modified deck chairs, swatting flies while
they watched.
It did not take long for the hawkers to realise that the passenger in the silver Golf had long
blonde hair. In Paraguay that means only one thing: tourist. They swarmed around the car,
trying to sell us everything from ladies underwear to coat hangers and drugs. Eventually
I was so fed up with the lot I bought a few empanadas from an old lady to make her go
away. What a culinary surprise it turned out to be palm hearts in bchamel with Gruyre
cheese. They were the best empanadas I have ever tasted.
Eventually, realising that the hawkers would not leave us in peace, Helga Marie asked me
to put a paper packet over my head. We crossed the border without incident and drove the
last 200 kilometres to Foz incognito.

Little Paraguay pies (Empanadas)


I simply fell in love with empanadas and decided that South America is worth the trip if only to eat these little pies. We braved a riot
in downtown Asuncin to get to the local caf renowned for the best empanadas in town. The police, in full riot gear, simply stared
in disbelief as Helga Marie, my mom and I strolled amongst them in search of our perfect pie.
Pastry
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
80 g cold white lard
(Holsum), cubed
190 ml (3 4 C) lukewarm milk
1 egg, beaten

Filling
250 ml (1 C) thick and creamy
bchamel (white) sauce, cooled
190 ml (3 4 C) grated
mozzarella cheese
Pinch of mustard powder
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper
200 g sandwich ham, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped
fresh chives
1 egg, beaten
Oil to fry

To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and baking powder directly into the bowl of your food
processor. Add the lard and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the
lukewarm milk and mix until the dough just comes together. Remove and gently press into a
smooth ball. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured
surface. Cut out round shapes using a large scone cutter or small saucer as a guide. The size is a
matter of preference. The pastry is sufficient to cut 10 rounds about 12 cm in diameter.
To make the filling, mix the bchamel sauce, mozzarella, seasonings, ham, eggs and chives
together. Place a large tablespoon of mixture onto the centre of each pastry circle. Brush the rim
with beaten egg. Fold the pastry circle in half to form a crescent shape. Press the edges firmly
together with a fork. Brush with more beaten egg. Continue until you have used up all the filling
and pastry.
To bake, preheat the oven to 230 C or 240 C. Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg and
bake for 1012 minutes or until golden brown. Otherwise deep-fry in moderately hot oil for
23 minutes in total or until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper towel.
Makes 10 small empanadas.
Variations

Use 250 ml (1 C) thick bchamel made from 50 g butter, 60 ml (1 4 C) cake flour,


125 ml ( C) fresh cream and 125 ml ( C) milk as a base. Add any of the following
combinations:
Cooked mushrooms, ham and mozzarella cheese;
Cooked prawns, feta cheese and chopped fresh parsley;
Palm hearts and mozzarella cheese;
Artichoke hearts, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, black olives and black pepper;
Cooked chicken, mushrooms and thyme.

Tips
Empanada pastry should not be overworked. The pastry is mixed only until it comes together and requires minimal
kneading. Empanadas from Argentina and Paraguay can be baked or fried. The pastry on the outside should be golden brown
and crisp and the inside soft.
Canned palm hearts may be a little challenging to find, but try any good speciality delicatessen. They are produced en
masse in South America and do from time to time land up on our shelves. Drain and rinse under cold running water to get rid
of the metallic taste or brine. Alternatively, use artichoke hearts, which are readily available and can be purchased in cans or
marinated in olive oil.
Remember to make the white sauce as thick and creamy as possible.

88 ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY

Chimichurri sauce
The best steak Ive ever eaten was in Asuncin in a little restaurant that shared its premises with a scrapyard. The proprietor had
been at it for more than 30 years and the place was a legend in town. Patrons were seated outside at rickety tables, with candles flickering inside old oil tins. The setting was more like a second-hand car boot sale than an eatery. Broken bits of cutlery and crockery
hung from every available space and several three-legged dogs lay sleeping in the moonlight while the barman, with that smile and
gold tooth look of drug dealer fame, mixed drinks.
10 cloves garlic, crushed
(about 1 head)
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
125 ml (1 2 C) finely chopped fresh
parsley
60 ml ( C) finely chopped
fresh coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
2.5 ml ( tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
125 ml ( C) olive oil
60 ml ( C) red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
60 ml (1 4 C) boiling water

Mix all the ingredients together and liquidise. Spoon the mixture into a sterilised glass jar and
store for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Makes 1 small jar.

Tip
Traditionally this sauce is served with almost all steak dishes in Argentina and
Paraguay, but it goes just as well with chicken or pork. Dont be shy with the garlic and
even a little chopped chilli. There are as many variations and family recipes as there
are secrets and this is mine, hastily scribbled on a serviette by candlelight.
For a thinner sauce, add 80 ml (1 3 C) water.

ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY 91

Caramelised onion, olive and goats cheese quiche


I once stayed in a magnificent old hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Breakfasts were an absolute treat, with a buffet table laden with
cakes, sweet tasting breads and quiches. I am not one for cake in the morning so I was happy to find this quiche, which has since
become a firm favourite. The caramel is sweet, complementing the sharp goats cheese and salty olives.
How do I bake blind? Preheat the oven to 190 C. Put a large baking tray into the oven to heat up. Roll
out the chilled pastry and line the tart tin. Prick well with a fork so that the pastry does not rise up and bubble while baking, and at the same time it will ensure that it cooks evenly. Use a circle of baking paper, not
wax paper, slightly larger than the base, scrunch it up into a ball and then smooth out to fit the pan snugly.
Fill with raw rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature
to 180 C. Remove the paper and rice or beans. Return the pastry base to the oven and bake for a further
10minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. It should be thoroughly cooked before removing it from the
oven and continuing with your chosen recipe. Check to see that there are no damp places left uncooked.
If so, return the dish to the oven for a few minutes. Store used rice or beans in a glass jar for another day.

Pastry
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
150 g ice-cold butter
7.5 ml (11 2 tsp) white vinegar
about 80 ml (1 3 C) ice-cold water

Filling
15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
2 large onions, sliced into rings
15 ml (1 Tbsp) soft brown sugar
100 g pitted black olives, sliced
150 g soft goats cheese,
crumbled
50 g feta cheese, crumbled
1 sprig fresh sage leaves, torn or
5ml (1 tsp) dried sage
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
250 ml (1 C) fresh cream
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, sift the flour and salt directly into the bowl of your
food processor, add the cold butter and use the chopping blade to process the mixture into fine
breadcrumbs. Add the vinegar and ice-cold water with the blade running and process until the
mixture just comes together. Remove the mixture from the processor or bowl and press everything into a neat ball without overworking the dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Grease a 25 cm diameter fluted, loose-bottomed tin or quiche
dish. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the
pastry to the tin and bake blind (see above). Set aside to cool.
To make the filling, set the oven to 180 C. Place a large baking tray in the oven to preheat.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Saut the onions and sugar very gently for 810 minutes or until the onions are golden and caramelised. Transfer to a mixing bowl
and cool for 10 minutes. Add the olives, goats cheese, feta and sage. Mix until well combined.
Stir in the eggs and cream and season well. Pour the filling into the prepared pastry base.
Bake for 3540 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven to cool and set completely.
Serve with a green salad.
Serves 68.

Tip
This short crust pastry is excellent for sweet or savoury dishes. The recipe can be
doubled to make two large or 12 medium tartlets and may be frozen for up to three
months. Bake blind and freeze the pastry in the same tins you baked them in. Cover
with foil and plastic wrap. To thaw, remove from the freezer and leave to stand in the
wrapping on the counter overnight.

94 ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY

Star anise and cinnamon plum preserve


This versatile plum preserve recipe is an absolute must-have for any pantry. It is ideal for serving with cheese platters, cold meats or
even as a topping for a grand dessert.
1 kg ripe but firm red plums,
with stones
500 ml (2 C) sugar
125 ml ( C) apple cider vinegar
500 ml (2 C) water
2 large sticks cinnamon
6 dried cloves
6 star anise
3 bay leaves, dried or fresh
10 black peppercorns

Prick the plum skins all over with a fork to prevent them from bursting. Combine the sugar, apple cider vinegar and water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil while stirring
to dissolve the sugar, then cover and boil rapidly for 58 minutes or until the syrup shows signs
of thickening slightly. Add the plums and spices. Reduce the heat and continue to boil gently for
1015 minutes, uncovered, or until the plums are soft and the syrup is thick and glossy. Spoon
into hot sterilised jars and seal at once.
Remove the stones from the plums before serving with baked desserts, cheesecakes or ice
cream, or even with roast pork, turkey and cheese platters.
Makes 2 medium bottles or 1 very large bottle.

Tips
Make sure you prick the skins of the plums very well with a fork before cooking to prevent them from bursting while
stewing. Use firm fruit for this preserve, or the skins will disintegrate during prolonged cooking.

This preserve calls for plums that still have the stones intact. Ensure you use good quality, dark purple plums no other
variety and remove the stones before you serve.

96 ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY

Pears in red wine with bay leaves,


cinnamon and orange
Argentina produces some of the finest oranges and red wines in the world so what better tribute than to combine the
two ingredients in one magnificent dish?
750 ml (3 C) red wine
190 ml (3 4 C) sugar
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 large stick cinnamon
2 star anise
Rind of 1 large orange
46 firm green pears, peeled but
with stalks intact
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) port
Fresh cream, mascarpone cheese
or vanilla ice cream to serve

Combine the red wine, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise and orange rind in a mediumsized saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and carefully add the pears so that they stand upright in the saucepan. Cover and simmer gently for
5060minutes or until the pears are tender when pierced with a skewer. Turn the pears occasionally to allow the entire pear to come into contact with the red wine. Remove from the heat
and transfer the pears from the syrup to a deep serving dish.
Return the syrup to the heat and reduce by boiling until slightly thickened. Remove the
whole spices and bay leaves. Add the port and pour the mixture over the pears. Cover and leave
to stand for 35 hours before serving.
Serve hot or cold with cream, mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.
Serves 46.

Tips
Use only the best red
wine when cooking.
I know we all have a bottle
of cooking wine in the
pantry, but rule of thumb
is this: always cook with
the same wine you intend
to serve with the meal.
Leftover syrup can be
kept in the fridge for a
few days and used to stew
other fruits such as stoned
peaches, figs or plums.
This dessert can be made
up to four days in advance
and kept covered in
the fridge.

ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY 97

United

States of
America
98 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Living the dream


I have stood in Times Square more times than I have in Sandton City. And every occasion
was different. Unless you have lived that American Dream, no Hollywood blockbuster can
ever reproduce the energy of New York. In a city that never sleeps, I have come to know and
love the avenues, crisscrossed by countless roads that are traversed everyday by ordinary
folk like me in search of a life less ordinary.
My first American art exhibition was at the Javits Center in Manhattan. At the time I was
sure that I would never set foot in such a magical place again, and I would have found it hard
to believe that almost two decades later I would still leave my signature behind every year.
Along the way I have met the most amazing people: artists, art dealers, publishers, movie
stars and friends. My unexpected art career was a blessing in disguise. It afforded me the
opportunity to dine in some of the most exclusive restaurants in New York, eat hot dogs
from street vendors, get sticky with ribs in Harlem, and stuff my face with cheesecake from
Lindys in Times Square.
The art fairs were usually towards the end of the American winter and afterwards I would
fly to Hawaii to visit my great friend and fellow artist Hettie Saaiman. Together we would
paint bucket loads of palm trees, pineapples and hibiscuses and sell them to Japanese
tourists. I usually made enough money to fund my trip and kick back in Maui, enjoying some
of the best cuisine in America. The most famous eatery on the island is the Cheeseburger
in Paradise. We regularly went there for a burger and inevitably found Willie Nelson, of
country music fame, nursing a beer at the bar. Apparently he loved the burgers too.

Custard powder cheesecake


No visit to New York is complete without a slice of cheesecake from Lindys in Times Square. They have hundreds of cakes lined
up in the window and you simply cant choose so I inevitably end up with the plain cheesecake. The cake is so rich it lasts me
a whole week. I leave it in the bar fridge at the hotel and stuff my face every night before I go to bed. Authentic New York
cheesecakes have biscuit crusts for the base, whereas European cheesecakes have a base made of pastry.
Did you know? Folding 15 ml (1 Tbsp) sifted flour, cornflour or custard powder into an unbaked
cheesecake or milk tart mixture before pouring it into the base will reduce the likelihood of the custard
cracking. Remember that custard powder contains a colorant and may change the appearance of your cake.

Crust
2 x 200 g packets Tennis biscuits
225 g butter

Filling
6 large egg yolks
2 x 385 g cans condensed milk
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
4 x 250 g tubs cream cheese
30 ml (2 Tbsp) custard powder

Grease a 25 cm springform tin.


To make the crust, use a food processor to crush the biscuits until you have fine crumbs.
Alternatively, place the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a heavy object. I find that a
large, heavy-bottomed saucepan works well. Melt the butter, and then stir it into the crumbs.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
To make the filing, lightly beat the egg yolks in a large bowl. Stir in condensed milk, vanilla
essence, lemon juice and cream cheese and mix well. Sift in the custard powder and stir well to
make sure everything is incorporated. Spoon the filling into the base. Bake for 2530minutes.
There is no need to allow this cheesecake to cool in the oven. Remove from the oven as soon as
the cooking time is over and leave to cool completely in the tin.
Makes 1 very large cake.
Variation

Salted caramel cheesecake: Add 5 ml (1 tsp) coffee essence to the cream cheese mixture and
reduce the custard powder to 15 ml (1 Tbsp). To make the topping, melt 125 g butter in a small
saucepan. Add 310 ml (114 C) soft brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 125 ml ( C) fresh
cream and bring to the boil, stirring continuously for 810 minutes or until thickened. Stir in
5ml (1 tsp) Maldon salt flakes. Cool completely. Serve drizzled over slices of cheesecake.

TipS
Freeze the egg whites left over from this recipe for future use. One egg white weighs 30 g,
so weigh the freezer packet before you place it in the freezer and write the weight on the packet.
This cheesecake can be baked in a 25 cm springform tin or a large oven roasting tray with shallow sides.
It fills the tray and makes a large quantity. Alternatively, halve the quantity and bake in a 20 cm springform tin.
The cake will keep in the fridge for up to five days if well covered with plastic wrap.

100 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

102 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Poppy seed and coconut chiffon


with white marshmallow topping
America is the land of chiffon cakes. It was invented in 1946, just after the Second World War when ingredients were hard to come
by, and has since become synonymous with American baking. I wanted to create an American super cake for my book, and so the
Poppy Seed and Coconut Chiffon with White Marshmallow Topping was born. Its bigger, better and funkier than ever before.
Did you know? Chiffon cakes differ from angel cakes in that the latter does not contain baking powder
or oil. The appearance is often the same, although chiffon cakes have a slightly moister, crumbly texture.

Cake
250 ml (1 C) poppy seeds
250 ml (1 C) sour cream
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
250 ml (1 C) sugar
250 ml (1 C) desiccated coconut
7 extra-large eggs, separated
125 ml ( C) canola oil
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
2.5 ml ( tsp) cream of tartar

Topping
150 g marshmallows (white only)
2 x 90 g slabs white chocolate,
broken into equal pieces
60 ml ( C) fresh cream

Preheat the oven to 160 C.


To make the cake, soak the poppy seeds in the sour cream for 30 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the coconut.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, oil and vanilla essence. Add the poppy seeds
soaked in sour cream and whisk everything together until smooth. Pour this mixture over the
flour and coconut, and use an electric mixer to whisk everything together until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until firm. Drizzle the poppy
seed batter over the egg whites and fold in. Turn the batter into an ungreased chiffon cake tin
and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool upside down in the tin until the cake is completely
cold. If you try to pry the cake out of the tin while it is still warm, it will cause the cake to break up.
Make the topping by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat,
stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.
Spread the topping over the top of the cake only, allowing the chocolate to run and drip down
the sides. Decorate as desired.
Makes 1 large cake.
Variation

Rose petal topping: Use a mixed bag of marshmallows and white chocolate to make a light
pink topping. Add 1 ml (a tiny drop) red food colouring and 2 ml (a few drops) rose-water to the
melted marshmallows. Sprinkle with edible glitter.

Tip
The marshmallow topping can be made with white or dark chocolate. When using a 150 g packet mixed pink
and white marshmallows with white chocolate, the icing may turn out a pale creamy pink. In order for the icing
to remain white, select only the white marshmallows. This will not matter when using milk or dark chocolate,
so feel free to use a mixed bag. Never use flavoured marshmallows.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 103

Linguini with white clam sauce


Whenever my art publishers took me out to dinner in New York, I would order linguini with clams.
You can order either the red or white clam sauce, which refers to the wine its cooked in. One of my favourite places
to eat clams is at Carmines, off Broadway, a large family-style Italian eatery with one of the best menus in town.
90 ml (6 Tbsp) olive oil
34 cloves garlic, crushed
3 anchovy fillets
2.55 ml (12 1 tsp) dried
crushed chillies
15 ml (1 Tbsp) finely chopped
fresh parsley
160 ml (23 C) dry white wine
800 g frozen clams, thawed
and rinsed
250 g (12 packet) linguini or
spaghetti, cooked and drained
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat 30 ml (2 Tbsp) of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the garlic, anchovy
fillets, chillies and parsley. Saut for 2 minutes without browning the garlic. Turn the heat up
to medium-high and add the wine and clams. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the
clams open. Give the saucepan a good shake every now and again to distribute the liquid and
prevent anything from sticking. Discard any clams that have not opened. Reduce the heat, add
the cooked linguini and simmer until the linguini has absorbed a little of the liquid and the
sauce starts to thicken slightly. Taste and add a little salt if needed. Immediately transfer to serving bowls and grind over some black pepper.
Serves 24.

TipS
It is highly likely that clams purchased in South Africa will be frozen. This is absolutely fine, but remember
to thaw before using. The clams would already have been cleaned, but give them a good rinse in cold water
and drain well before you start. Discard any that dont open during cooking and never force any open either!
Use only linguini or spaghetti for this dish. Go easy on the salt as the dish contains anchovy, which dissolves
in the sauce and gives the dish a salty taste. Clams can also be a little salty. The clams are served cooked
in the shell so remember to provide a dish for the empty clam shells at the table.
This recipe can easily be doubled.

104 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

106 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Cynthias sirloin au poivre


with soy and green peppercorns
Cynthia Shinn is my American art dealer, travelling companion and friend, and we have been working together for almost two
decades now. She lives in the heart of Americas most prestigious naval academy and plays host to numerous naval personnel from
around the world. One of her cadets was a Korean American, and it was his mother who first introduced Cynthia to kalbi, the mar
inade usually prepared for Korean beef short ribs. Cynthia uses the marinade for steak and always cooks this dish for me when I visit.
1 kg sirloin steak
Freshly ground black pepper

Marinade
30 ml (2 Tbsp) light soy sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) rice wine vinegar
45 large cloves garlic, crushed
10 ml (2 tsp) sesame oil

Soy and green peppercorn sauce


100 g salted butter
30 ml (2 Tbsp) soy sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) Dijon mustard
3045 ml (23 Tbsp) sour cream
15 ml (1 Tbsp) freshly crushed
green peppercorns
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Slip the steaks into a large zip-seal bag. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl
and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the marinade into the bag, seal and refrigerate for a
few hours.
To make the sauce, melt the butter very slowly over low heat without letting it bubble and
separate. Gradually whisk in the soy sauce and mustard. Continue to whisk while gradually
adding the sour cream. The mixture will start to bind and thicken slightly. Do this very slowly
so that the sauce doesnt separate. Stir in the peppercorns at the end.
To cook the steak, heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Season the steak well with ground
black pepper only, no salt. Sear the steak quickly and cook to your preference. Rest the steak
for 5 minutes, covered with foil to keep warm, and allow the juices time to settle. Slice thinly
and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve at once with plenty
of chopped parsley.
Serves 4.
Variation

In Mauritius they make a vanilla and black pepper rub. Mix together 80 ml (13 C) sea salt, 80 ml
(13 C) crushed black pepper, 5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies and 34 dried vanilla pods. Grind
finely in a spice grinder and store in a glass jar with a vanilla pod in a cool, dry place. Use as a
seasoning for steak. Omit the chillies if preferred.

TipS
The best way to marinate steaks is to combine all the ingredients in a large zip-seal bag
and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Give it a good shake every now and again.

Do not salt the steak before cooking as the soy sauce contains a lot of salt and this dish has soy in the marinade and sauce.
Black peppercorns could also be used for this sauce, but take whole peppercorns and crush using a mortar and pestle.
This will ensure a rough-textured peppercorn, which is better for making pepper sauce.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 107

Southern pecan pie with Maldon salt


My mom and dad visited America in the late eighties and attended the Kentucky Derby. Before they left, the hostess gave
my mom a postcard with this recipe for pecan pie. I still have the original, now worn at the edges, and it is from
this very script that I first cooked this pie. I have now added my own touch to turn this classic into a modern dessert.
Pastry
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
60 ml (1 4 C) castor sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
170 g ice-cold butter, cubed
1 large egg, separated
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ice-cold water

Filling
3 large eggs
160 ml (2 3 C) sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 C) golden syrup or
maple syrup
80 g salted butter, melted
150 g pecan nuts
Maldon sea salt flakes to sprinkle

TipS
This quick and easy pecan pie can be baked using
a 400 g packet ready-made
short crust pastry. The pie
bakes for almost 1 hour,
which is sufficient time for
the pastry to cook without
having to bake blind. Bake
on a preheated baking tray
for added heat underneath.
Baked pecan pie
freezes well for up to three
months. Alternatively,
double up on the pastry
and freeze half for that
emergency pantry run.

108 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

To make the pastry, sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the
mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, sift the flour, sugar and salt directly into the
bowl of a food processor, add the cold butter and use the chopping blade to process the mixture
into fine crumbs. With the blade running, add the egg yolk and ice-cold water, and process until
the mixture just comes together. Remove the mixture from the processor and press everything
into a neat ball without overworking the pastry. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Grease a shallow 25 cm pie dish or a fluted
2325cm loose-bottomed tin. Line the dish with the pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork.
Lightly whisk the egg white. Use a pastry brush to coat the pastry base thoroughly with the egg
white. Freeze, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the egg white is dry.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
To make the filling, thoroughly beat the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the salt,
syrup and melted butter. Mix well. Stir in the whole pecan nuts. Pour the filling into the unbaked pastry shell. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove and leave to cool completely. Sprinkle sea salt
over the top and serve with vanilla or milky bar ice cream (see page 25) or fresh pouring cream.
Makes 1 medium tart.

Dinosaur sticky ribs


Youve not lived until you have tried these dinosaur ribs. A fireman who assisted at the World Trade Centre on 9/11 was
on duty at one of my art fairs in New York and he told me where to find the best ribs in Manhattan. We took a train
to Harlem and walked a few blocks before arriving at this little eatery, aptly named Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
If you see the portions, youll understand why. This is my take on their ribs.
1.5 kg baby pork loin ribs (about
3 small racks), cut into
manageable portions

Dry spice rub


10 ml (2 tsp) smoked hot sweet
Spanish paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin

Brine marinade
125 ml (1 2 C) brown sugar
500 ml (2 C) red wine vinegar
500 ml (2 C) water
60 ml (14 C) Worcestershire sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) Tabasco sauce
2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Sticky sauce
250 ml (1 C) tomato sauce
125 ml (1 2 C) red wine vinegar
60 ml (1 4 C) honey
90 ml (6 Tbsp) dark brown sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) dark soy sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) hoisin sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) Worcestershire
sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) Tabasco sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) smoked sweet
Spanish paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed

To prepare the ribs, mix together the dry rub ingredients and use your hands to rub the mixture
all over the ribs. Leave to stand for 1 hour.
Combine all the brine marinade ingredients in a large dish or basin, transfer the ribs to the
dish and marinate for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over
low heat and stir until the sugar
has dissolved. Cook gently for
810minutes, stirring continuously or until thick.
Remove the ribs from the brine
and arrange them in a large oven
roasting tray. Pour over the sticky
sauce and use your hands to combine well. Bake, uncovered, for
15minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 C and continue to
bake for 4550 minutes, turning
once or twice or until the ribs are
cooked and the sauce is thick and
sticky. The ribs should be a little
crispy on the outside.
Alternatively, reverse the order
and start off by cooking the ribs at
160 C in the oven for 4550 minutes, then finish them off on the
braai for 15 minutes.
Serves 46.

Tips
Baby pork loin ribs are readily available at your local butcher. Ask him to trim the
ribs into more manageable portions.

The ribs will need to be spiced and marinated for a few hours before you cook them
up in the final sticky sauce.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 109

RUSSIA

Christmas in Siberia
One Christmas I took the great Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia. It had been high on
my bucket list and the 9 700 kilometres of railway track did not disappoint.
Halfway through the journey I found myself in Siberia. Dog sledding on Christmas Day
seemed like an excellent idea and, not wanting to miss out on anything, I opted for the
longer 10-kilometre trail. The outside temperature was 38 C, and for a girl from South
Africa that meant frozen mascara!
I suited up and Jurie, the sled owners son, took the reins while I worked the break. They
gave me a two-minute lesson, but it did not take me long to fall off the back. As the pack
rounded the first corner in the valley, the alpha female decided to go left and the rest went
right. Chaos ensued, with dogs everywhere and poor Jurie screaming for me to stop the
sled. Of course, he spoke only Russian. The Alaskan cross Siberian huskies are rather
aggressive and a massive fight erupted. Eventually we managed to pull the pack together,
get me back on the sleigh and set off for a shortened trip. By that time I was frozen to the
bone. As we limped into camp, Juries sister Natasha came running out with a cup of hot
chocolate laced with a sneaky tot of vodka!
They hustled me into the reception hut where I flopped down in front of the fire, so happy
to be warm. It was only then that I looked up at the space on the mantelpiece and saw
the beautifully framed certificate and medal that read: World Championships Gold Cham
pion, 2006.
The previous year Juries dad had won gold for an event of 200 kilometres raced across the
frozen tundra with the very same pack of dogs I had just entertained, his prize and joy. It
turned out that during the off-season he would let tourists take the dogs for a spin to keep
them fit and help pay for the huge food bill. I simply called for another special hot choc
olate and the DVD of my own world record attempt.

Ritas breakfast slice


I spent the most remarkable Christmas with Rita and her family in her little gingerbread house in the Siberian lakeside village of
Listvyanka. By the time we stumbled out of bed on Christmas morning, Rita had cooked a simple breakfast of baked cheesecake
served with strong black coffee. Her English was limited but I managed to scribble down the recipe as best I could.
400 g flaky or puff pastry, thawed
if frozen
2 x 250 g tubs smooth
cottage cheese
60 ml (1 4 C) sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 230 C. Grease a 20 x 30 cm loose-bottomed, fluted, and rectangular


baking tin or similar size ovenproof dish.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the base and sides of the prepared tin. Prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from
the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C.
Mix the cottage cheese, sugar, salt and eggs together until smooth. Spoon the mixture over
the cooked and cooled pastry base and bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set. Dust with
a little icing sugar before serving as a breakfast dish.
Serves 46.
Variations

Add 50 g Gorgonzola cheese to the egg mixture before baking. Omit the icing sugar dusting
at the end. Serve with fresh figs and bacon or with stewed fruit, whole fig or grape preserve,
or freshly sliced mango.
Omit the icing sugar. Spread the completely cold cheese slice with crme frache. Top liberally with fresh rocket, smoked salmon and a few capers. Season well with freshly ground
black pepper, a pinch of Maldon salt and a sprinkling of lemon juice. Garnish with dollops of
crme frache.

Tips
Use 400 g readymade flaky or puff pastry from the supermarket for this recipe. If using puff pastry as a base, remember to
prick the pastry with a fork to release the steam and to prevent the pastry from rising during baking.
This recipe calls for smooth cottage cheese and not cream cheese.

112 RUSSIA

Trans-Siberian beef stroganoff


I travelled with friends from St Petersburg to Beijing by train. It took three weeks with stops. None of the passengers or staff spoke
any English so we were left largely to our own devices. The last carriage was the opulent dining car, which offered an elaborate menu
in Russian, cooked up by a bored chef who made the bar his headquarters. Stroganoff seemed like a familiar option and we soon fell
into a regular pattern of cheese and salami for breakfast, large quantities of Bloody Mary the rest of the day, and a simple stroganoff
for dinner. If you wanted rice or noodles, you had to order it as an extra. There is no such thing as a free lunch in Russia!
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) butter
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) oil
500750 g beef fillet or sirloin,
sliced into thin strips
250 g button mushrooms,
thinly sliced
Extra 60 g (1 4 C) salted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cake flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) Dijon mustard
2.5 ml ( tsp) smoked
Spanish paprika
125 ml (1 2 C) dry white
wine or water
250 ml (1 C) thick sour cream
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
(optional)

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet, heavy-bottomed saucepan or wok over mediumhigh
heat. Saut the beef strips for 35 minutes until just cooked. Do not overcook the beef. Add the
mushrooms and saut briefly until cooked. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.
Melt the extra butter slowly in the saucepan without letting it separate. Saut the onion gently
for about 5 minutes until caramelised. Stir in the flour, mustard and smoked paprika. Cook for
1 minute to make a thick paste. Slowly whisk in the wine and cream, a little at a time, until fully
incorporated. Simmer gently, stirring continuously for a few minutes or until the sauce has
thickened considerably. Season to taste.
Return the meat and mushrooms to the saucepan, heat through and serve at once with
ribbon noodles. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top.
Serves 4.
Variations

This stroganoff recipe is fantastic made with venison fillet. Use kudu, nyala, impala or springbok. Marinate the fillets for 24 hours in a mixture of 500 ml (2 C) buttermilk, 3 cloves crushed
garlic and 25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) crushed green peppercorns. Slice the fillets thinly before proceeding as for beef stroganoff.

Use black mushrooms instead of button mushrooms.
The wine can be replaced by 125 ml (1 2 C) water for an alcohol-free dish.

RUSSIA 115

Tsar Nicholas chocolate fondant puddings


I wanted to create a decadent dessert to remind me of the opulence and beauty of old Imperial Russia.
This seemed like a fitting tribute to royalty.
300 g dark chocolate (at least
70% cocoa content)
50 g unsalted butter, at room
temperature
190 ml (3 4 C) sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
90 ml (6 Tbsp) cake flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place a large baking tray on the top shelf of the oven to heat up. Butter six dariole moulds or small ceramic ramekins with butter. Make sure they are well greased.
Line the base of each mould with a circle of greaseproof paper, cut to the same size as the base;
you dont want the paper coming up the sides.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave oven for 1 minute on high, taking it out to stir every
20seconds or so. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl
suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Be careful that no steam or water comes into
contact with the chocolate. Stir until smooth, and then leave it to cool slightly.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until
well combined. Add the salt and vanilla essence.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Stir the flour mixture into the
egg mixture until just combined. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate. Spoon the slightly thickened mixture into the prepared moulds.
Remove the preheated baking tray from the oven and evenly space the moulds on the tray.
Bake immediately for 8 minutes. If you are baking the puddings straight from the fridge, bake
for 12 minutes.
Turn out the puddings onto individual dessert plates and remove the greaseproof paper.
Serve immediately with ice cream or cream.
Serves 6.
Variations

Chilli chocolate puds: Use 70% Chilli chocolate, and add a pinch of chilli flakes and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the melted chocolate before adding it to the eggs and flour.

Orange chocolate puds: Use 70% Orange chocolate, and add 5 ml (1 tsp) grated orange rind
to the creamed mixture.

Tips
Prepare everything in advance and leave the mixture in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Then simply remove and bake,
from the fridge to the oven.

Use only the best imported chocolate for these puddings because they need to have a very high cocoa content.
This will make all the difference.

118 RUSSIA

Liquid chocolate vodka mousse


Vodka is the lifeblood of Russia. They say the cheaper brands are so strong that one drink can blind you. Drinking in Russia seems
to be a national pastime and it was not uncommon to see old ladies drinking vodka from juice glasses at breakfast. Charl Marais,
my travelling companion, loved the idea.
180 g (2 slabs) best quality dark
or milk chocolate
350500 ml vodka, in the
original bottle

Tip
Use only the very best
chocolate with a high
cocoa content. The vodka
carries the flavour well and
using a superior choc
olate brand will prevent
the liqueur from tasting
artificial or like melted
Easter eggs! You can, however, use milk chocolate if
desired. The mixture will
thicken upon standing.
Do not store this liqueur in
the fridge.

Grate the chocolate finely. Fill the sink with boiling water as deep as the level of the vodka in
the bottle. Immerse the bottle in the hot water for a few minutes to warm the alcohol. Insert a
plastic funnel into the neck of the bottle. Spoon the grated chocolate into the bottle, and then
remove the funnel. Seal the bottle with the bottle top and shake vigorously until the chocolate
has dissolved. Repeat the process until the vodka cannot absorb any more chocolate.
Store at room temperature. Shake well before serving as a topping for dessert or as a drink
over ice.
Makes 1 large bottle.
Variations

In Russia it is possible to purchase chilli-infused vodka off the shelf. For a delicious variation
of this recipe add 24 whole dried red chillies to the chocolate vodka. Leave to stand for at
least 12hours before serving.
Add 30 ml (2 Tbsp) orange liqueur to the vodka before adding the chocolate. Shake well.

RUSSIA 119

Borscht (beetroot soup)


Russia is the most old-fashioned country I have visited, and touring Moscow in winter is like being in a bad movie from the eighties.
The pavements are frozen, the coats are fur and the smog is real. We ate at simple Russian restaurants where the food is still very
traditional. Beetroot soup may be from another era, but it is still very much alive in Russia and, I have to say, absolutely delicious!
I found this recipe in a magazine at the Hard Rock Caf in central Moscow and have kept it for years.
Beef stock
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower oil
1 kg beef soup bones, with some
meat on them
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly
chopped
1 stick celery
1 large white onion, quartered
2 dried bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
3 litres water

Soup base
60 g salted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
3 medium-sized raw beetroot,
peeled and grated
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
60 ml ( C) apple cider vinegar
medium cabbage, tough outer
leaves removed, very finely sliced
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small green pepper, finely diced
1 x 410 g can tomato pure
2 x 70 g cans tomato paste
5 ml (1 tsp) ground black pepper

Garnish
45 ml (3 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
45 ml (3 Tbsp) chopped fresh dill
45 ml (3 Tbsp) chopped
fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
250 ml (1 C) sour cream
Tabasco sauce

120 RUSSIA

To make the stock, heat the oil in a large stockpot and brown the meat bones well. This is done
to intensify the flavour of the stock. Add the remaining stock ingredients and simmer, covered,
for 21 23hours. Remove any scum that rises to the top of the stock using a large slotted spoon.
Strain and taste the stock. If it lacks flavour, boil rapidly to reduce further so that you are left
with 1litre (4 C). Reserve any bits of meat from the stock bones. Set the meat and stock aside
in a clean bowl.
To make the soup base, melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and sugar and cook until translucent. Stir in the beetroot, carrots and vinegar
and saut for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, potatoes and green pepper and saut for a further
10minutes. Stir in the tomato pure, tomato paste and black pepper. Add any reserved meat
from the stock. Add 1 litre (4 C) stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer very gently for
1hour, stirring occasionally.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual warmed soup bowls. Add freshly squeezed lemon
juice to each bowl and sprinkle chopped dill and parsley over the top. Season well. Drop a large
dollop of sour cream into the soup and give each bowl a good sprinkling of Tabasco. Serve
straight away.

Tips
Its useful to make the stock the day before. Leave it to cool completely before
refrigerating overnight. The fat will then rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to
remove and discard. The stock will keep for up to seven days in the fridge or can be
frozen for up to three months. If you are going to make a pot of stock, it makes sense
to double up and freeze half.
Should you wish to save time and use a stock cube instead, ensure that you make
enough for 1 litre (4 C). Remember that stock cubes are very salty so go easy on the
seasonings when preparing the soup.

THE
MEDITERRANEAN

Food for the gods


Food from the Mediterranean includes some of the most renowned dishes on earth. The
countries bordering this large expanse of water jostle for space, fitting together like giant
puzzle pieces, and each provides a unique insight into a culinary journey that, once undertaken, tantalizes your senses for years to come. To single out one cuisine in particular is to
be unfair, so in this chapter I have opted for a fusion of flavours and memories from some
of my favourite experiences.
In my early twenties I travelled around the Greek Islands and it did not take me long to discover my love of Greek cooking. Phyllo pastry had only just become fashionable in South
Africa and even though baklava featured regularly on my menu, to see it being made, and
to observe patrons sitting at tiny street cafs, sipping wine, and watching the rhythm of the
tides, is truly a Shirley Valentine experience.
My family and I crisscrossed the azure-coloured sea by ferry and finally made our way to
Istanbul. There I sampled the best Sachertorten I have ever tasted outside of Austria. This
simple apricot and chocolate masterpiece deserves, in my opinion, a nomination as one of
the best cakes in the world. Later we found ourselves in the Grand Bazaar, a truly liberating
experience if you have the cash. A very serious punter offered my mom 40 camels for my
hand in marriage; looking back it may have been a good option as a wedding does not seem
to be on the cards for this girl who leads no ordinary life.

Honey lamb moussaka with nutmeg


When I think back to the Greek Islands, I always dream of three things: moussaka, Greek salad and octopus
1 kg large firm brinjals
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
80 ml (1 3 C) olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
750 g mutton or lamb mince
5 ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
5 ml (1 tsp) ground allspice
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
250 ml (1 C) dry white or
red wine
500 ml (2 C) pured tomatoes or
passata sauce
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
30 ml (2 Tbsp) honey
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh parsley
10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano

Sauce
80 g (1 3 C) butter
80 ml (1 3 C) cake flour
500 ml (2 C) milk
5 ml (1 tsp) grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper
200 g ricotta cheese
150 g feta cheese, crumbled
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

Base and topping


125 ml ( C) dried breadcrumbs
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) grated
Parmesan cheese
34 dried bay leaves

124 THE MEDITERRANEAN

Cut the brinjals into 5 mm-thick slices and sprinkle liberally with salt. Set aside to allow the
moisture to drain.
Heat 60 ml ( C) of the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan and saut the onions and garlic
until soft. Add the mince and cook lightly until no longer pink. Add all the spices and season
well with salt and pepper. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and herbs. Bring
to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1520 minutes or until the sauce has
thickened sufficiently. Set aside.
Rinse the brinjal slices under cold running water and pat dry thoroughly. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Shallow-fry the brinjals in batches until golden
brown. Drain on paper towel and set aside. Alternatively, lightly toss the brinjal slices in olive
oil and put the whole lot in an oven roasting tray. Place under a hot grill for 15 minutes or until
golden brown, turning once during the cooking time.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the flour all at once,
stirring for 2 minutes until a thick paste has formed and the mixture comes away from the sides
of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and continue
whisking until the sauce is thick and glossy. Add the nutmeg and season well to taste. Remove
from heat and leave to cool slightly before stirring in the remaining sauce ingredients. Beat until
smooth to break up any of the cheese pieces. If the mixture still looks too lumpy, put it through
the blender for a few minutes. The sauce should be thick and smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 x 30 cm ovenproof dish or four individual ceramic
ovenproof dishes measuring 12 x 18 cm.
To assemble, sprinkle a large handful of breadcrumbs on the bottom of the prepared
ovenproof dish. Arrange a layer of brinjals neatly on top of the breadcrumbs. Top with a liberal
amount of mince followed by another sprinkling of breadcrumbs and a second layer of brinjals.
Repeat the process until you have used up all the brinjals and mince. Spoon the sauce over the
final layer and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. Randomly stick the bay leaves into
the topping so that they stand up in the sauce. Bake for 4560 minutes or until the top is bubbling hot and golden brown.
Serves 4.

Greek coconut cake with cardamom syrup


This is my favourite cake of all time. Bake it in a springform tin and serve as a tea cake or dessert with Crme Chantilly or ice cream.
125 g butter
250 ml (1 C) sugar
3 extra-large eggs
250 ml (1 C) fresh orange juice
Grated rind of 1 orange
250 ml (1 C) cake flour
60 ml (1 4 C) semolina wheat flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
500 ml (2 C) desiccated coconut

Syrup
250 ml (1 C) sugar
250 ml (1 C) water
12 white cardamom
seeds, bruised

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 22 cm springform tin.


To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the orange juice and rind. Sift the flours,
baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture along with the coconut. Mix
well and turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 4550 minutes or until a skewer
inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile make the syrup. Bring the sugar, water and cardamom seeds to the boil in a small
saucepan. Boil rapidly, uncovered, for 58 minutes. Remove the cardamom and discard. As
soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to make a few holes and then pour the
hot syrup over the hot cake. Leave to cool completely before you remove the springform tin.
Transfer to a serving plate. If you like, sprinkle over some extra desiccated coconut and grated
orange rind to decorate. This cake is very dense and keeps well for up to five days.
Makes 1 medium cake.

THE MEDITERRANEAN 127

Spanakopita money bags


I first made these spinach and feta pastries by the bucket load for functions when I was still at Silwood Kitchens. We had to cut the
phyllo into 10 cm-wide strips, add a dollop of filling and fold them up like a samoosa. Nowadays I prefer to bake little money bag
parcels and serve them as a light meal or starter rather than a canap.
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 bunch spinach, stalks removed,
washed and finely chopped
160 ml (2 3 C) chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly grated nutmeg
180 g feta cheese (about 1 small
tub), crumbled
200 g ricotta cheese
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated rind and juice of
1 small lemon
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
Salt to taste
Sprinkling of cayenne pepper
1 x 500 g packet phyllo pastry
(about 12 sheets)
200 g butter or
190 ml (3 4 C) olive oil

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and saut the onion until soft. Add the spinach, mint, garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for about 8 minutes until the spinach is soft.
Remove from the heat, strain to remove any extra liquid and set aside until cool.
When cool, squeeze the spinach and onion mixture to ensure all the liquid has been extracted. Too much liquid will make the mixture too runny. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl
and stir in the feta, ricotta, eggs, lemon rind and juice. Season very well. Add a sprinkling of
cayenne pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Remove the phyllo pastry from the packaging and place directly on top of the kitchen counter. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent the pastry from drying out.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or a glass bowl in the microwave. Alternatively, use olive
oil. Place one sheet of pastry onto a clean surface and brush all over with a little melted butter.
Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush again with the butter. Repeat until you have
a stack of six sheets of phyllo. Work with only one sheet at a time and remember to keep the
remaining pastry covered.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into six equal squares. Use the squares to line a muffin pan
that has been lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray. Drop large spoonfuls of the spinach
mixture into the centre of the pastry, then pull in and squeeze the sides together to make parcels
that look like little money bags. Repeat until you have filled all 12 cups. Alternatively, place the
parcels on a baking tray; they will hold their shape.
Brush the outside of the parcels with a little more melted butter. Bake for 3040minutes or
until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve hot or cold.
The uncooked pastries can be frozen for up to three months. Brush with melted butter and
bake direct from the freezer for 4550 minutes.
Makes 12 individual parcels.

Tips for working with phyllo pastry


Remove the pastry from the freezer and leave to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Always keep the pastry covered with a clean, damp tea towel while you work.
Work with only one sheet at a time.

Olive oil, which is a touch healthier, can be used instead of melted butter to brush between the layers of pastry.
Brush the oil or melted butter to the edge of the pastry to cover the whole surface.
If the pastry breaks, simply patch the holes with any leftover pastry and oil or butter.
Leftover pastry can be re-frozen, so do not discard the box.
Most phyllo pastry recipes can be frozen for up to three months, cooked or raw.
If in doubt, always follow the instructions on the box.

128 THE MEDITERRANEAN

Carrot cake with olive oil, pistachio nuts and cumin


This cake is delicious, moist and unusual. I developed this recipe to encompass everything that is Mediterranean to me.
750 ml (3 C) cake flour
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
10 ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) ground cardamom
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) ground nutmeg
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) ground cloves
225 ml (3 4 C + 21 2 Tbsp) brown
sugar
3
1
225 ml ( 4 C + 2 2 Tbsp) white
sugar
100 g pistachio nuts, shelled
and chopped
100 g chopped walnuts
5 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
250 ml (1 C) olive oil
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
750 ml (3 C) grated carrots (about
3 large carrots)
60 ml ( C) pitted black olives
in brine, sliced

Cream cheese icing


1 x 250 g tub cream cheese
125 g salted butter, at room
temprature
500 ml (2 C) sifted icing sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

130 THE MEDITERRANEAN

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 25 cm deep tube or bundt cake tin very well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices together. Add the sugar and
nuts. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and stir in the eggs, oil, vanilla essence, grated carrots and the olives. Mix well. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre
of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the cake tin on a wire rack until completely cold.
To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together and beat well until smooth. Ice the top of
the cake.
Makes 1 large cake.

Tips
When using olive oil in a cake, ensure it is fresh and not too strong in flavour.
This cake calls for black pitted olives; dont be tempted to use green olives.

Turkish red lentil soup


This recipe was given to me by Fran Bortz, a friend from Toronto, Canada. A colleague of hers came from Turkey and
gave her this family recipe. The secret to this simple yet remarkable soup is the fresh lemon juice added at the end.
Dont be tempted to omit the lemon.
60 g butter
60 ml ( C) olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped fresh
Italian parsley
500 ml (2 C) red lentils
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
1.5 litres (6 C) warm beef stock
2 dried bay leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) dried mint
Salt to taste
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
Garlic croutons to serve
Cayenne pepper to sprinkle
14

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, deep saucepan or stockpot. Add the onions, carrots,
parsley, red lentils and tomato paste. Saut for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Gradually add the warm beef stock to the lentil mixture, stirring continuously until the mixture starts to boil. Add the bay leaves, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until
the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat and liquidise until smooth.
Return the soup to the heat and stir in the lemon juice, paprika and dried mint. Season to
taste. Heat through and serve with garlic croutons and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.
Serves 46.

TipS
Dried mint is best for
this dish as it has a far
more intense flavour than
fresh mint, but if you are
unable to find it on the
shelves then use a good
handful of freshly
chopped mint.
Go easy on the salt if
you are using a stock cube.
Always taste your food
before adding more salt.

THE MEDITERRANEAN 131

Chicken tagine with dates


The combination of sweet aromatic spices, honey and dates gives this tagine a wonderful flavour. I do not follow the traditional
tagine method, but instead cook this dish in my oven, using a cast-iron casserole with a tight-fitting lid.
My brother cooks this dish using venison instead of chicken. It is now so popular its become his Dinner Party Dish.
60 ml ( C) olive oil
1 kg chicken thighs or assorted
chicken pieces
2 large onions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
10 ml (2 tsp) ground ginger
10 ml (2 tsp) turmeric
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) sweet smoked
Spanish paprika
510 ml (12 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground nutmeg
330375 ml (11 311 2 C) chicken
stock
125 ml ( C) chopped fresh dates
or x 250 g packet dried
pitted dates
80 ml (1 3 C) honey
125 ml ( C) whole blanched
almonds
100 g pitted black olives and
60ml ( C) chopped fresh
coriander to garnish

Preheat the oven to 170 C.


Heat the olive oil in a large stovetop-to-oven casserole dish and brown the chicken pieces, a
few at a time, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Give the saucepan a wipe with paper towel and add a little more oil. Saut the onions and
garlic until soft. Return the chicken pieces to the casserole and add the spices. Cook until the
spices are brown and aromatic. Add the chicken stock, but only enough to cover. Do not add
too much liquid at once, rather top up later if needed. Add the dates, honey and almonds. Mix
well. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 11 2 hours or until the chicken is soft. After an
hour, check to see if there is enough liquid in the casserole. You should not have to top up at all,
but it is worth checking on it for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Serve with buttered couscous and garnish with black olives and fresh coriander.
Serves 46.
Variation

Use 1 kg venison or ostrich, cubed, instead of chicken and replace the chicken stock with beef
or mutton stock. Add 30 minutes to the cooking time.

Tip
A tagine is actually a North African cooking vessel consisting of a funnel-shaped terracotta dish in which food is
slow-cooked. The result is a reduced sauce of complex flavours. There are two types of tagines: one for serving food
and one for cooking. The latter is usually placed over a small charcoal fire and left to cook all day. Water droplets
from steam collect in the conical lid and drip down onto the food to steam and cook it.

THE MEDITERRANEAN 133

Lamb shank with bacon, smoked chilli and apple


This lamb shank recipe has a deep, smoky flavour with a hint of chilli. To sample the best that shanks have to offer its vital that they
be cooked for a minimum of 21 2 hours. Shanks cant be rushed.
375 ml (11 2 C) apple juice (from a
carton is best)
2 large dried chillies or 5 ml
(1tsp) dried crushed chillies
250 ml (1 C) seedless raisins or
dried cranberries
60 ml ( C) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
46 large lamb shanks
2 large red onions, sliced
68 large cloves garlic, crushed
250 g rindless streaky bacon,
roughly chopped
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sweet smoked
Spanish paprika
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh parsley
1 x 400 g can whole peeled
tomatoes with juice
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
5 whole black peppercorns
750 ml (3 C) Pinotage
30 ml (2 Tbsp) red wine vinegar

Combine the apple juice, chillies and raisins in a small bowl and leave to soak for 3 hours. Blend
or liquidise the mixture until smooth. It does not matter if the raisins are not completely blended as they will add texture to the dish. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Season the lamb well and brown the
shanks, one at a time, until golden brown. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.
Saut the onions, garlic and bacon in the same saucepan until soft. Add the paprika, bay
leaves, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, sugar and peppercorns. Stir in the
raisin mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Preheat the oven to 170 C.
Transfer the lamb to a large ovenproof casserole dish, big enough to hold all the shanks. Add
the red wine and sauce and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Alternatively, use a deep roasting pan
and cover the meat with a layer of baking paper, followed by two layers of foil secured tightly
around the edge.
Cook for 21 23 hours or until the meat comes away from the bone. Check on the liquid halfway through the cooking time. Add a little more apple juice to the cooking liquid if too much
has evaporated during the prolonged cooking. Make sure the casserole is tightly covered again
before returning the dish to the oven.
Once the shanks are tender, remove the casserole from the oven, remove the shanks from the
sauce and set aside to keep warm. Reduce the sauce by bringing the remaining liquid to the boil.
Cook rapidly until the sauce is thick and has reduced by half.
Adjust seasoning and stir in the red wine vinegar. Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and
spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve with couscous or
mashed potato.
Serves 46.
Variation

The recipe is excellent with springbok shanks. Add 2 whole allspice, 5 whole dried cloves and
use a good Shiraz instead of Pinotage. Dried cranberries can be substituted for raisins. Dont
be shy with the garlic. Remember to use only dried chillies, not fresh. Alternatively, use dried
crushed chillies.

134 THE MEDITERRANEAN

ENGLAND

PussyCat, PussyCat
where have you been?
A great portion of my working life has been spent in England, where Ive attended trade
fairs and exhibited at some of the worlds most popular fine art fairs. London is always calling and many special friends have entered my life there. I return regularly, to work and play.
Whenever I travel to England I try to experience the regional cooking, and have many
fond memories of little pubs and inns serving up the most fantastic fare. The gastro-pubs,
currently so trendy, have some of the most amazing foods on offer and the once mundane English pub grub has been transformed into gourmet meals, thanks largely to one of
Englands most famous culinary exports, Jamie Oliver.
When not chasing sheep down country lanes at breakneck speeds with a stack of paintings
in the car, I spend hours trawling the London High Street, scouting kitchen shops and delis.
My highlight is always a good few hours in the food hall at Selfridges where, before I do
anything else, I savour the salted beef and mustard on rye with the large pickle. Afterwards
I move so slowly through the aisles that the security guards follow me to confirm that Im
not a shoplifter! Mores the pity that I seldom make it past the first floor, as I rarely get to
see my paintings that line the walls of the upper levels. I have been supplying London High
Street stores for more than a decade now and it is not unusual to see my works of art in
John Lewis, Selfridges, Laura Ashley and M&S. This has been an amazing journey for a girl
from Parys.

Bakewell tart
This classic British dessert is sometimes known as a frangipane tart. I have given it a makeover using roughly chopped almonds
instead of ground almonds and the result speaks for itself. Serve warm or cold with mascarpone cheese.
take Note This recipe calls for whole raw almonds with the skins on, which need to be roughly ground
in a spice grinder or a food processor before you proceed. The weight is given for the chopped almonds, not
the whole one. Finer ground almonds from the supermarket can be used instead of chopped almonds, but
the texture will be different.

Pastry
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
Pinch of salt
1
60 ml ( 4 C) castor sugar
150 g cold butter, cubed
1 large egg, separated
5 ml (1 tsp) white vinegar
4580 ml (3 Tbsp1 3 C) ice-cold
water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) raspberry jam

Filling
150 g butter, at room
temperature
190 ml (3 4 C) sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
200 g whole raw almonds,
roughly chopped
Grated rind of 11 2 lemons
45 ml (3 Tbsp) flaked almonds

To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and castor sugar together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter
until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, sift the flour and salt directly into
the bowl of your food processor, add the cold butter and use the chopping blade to process the
mixture into fine crumbs. While the machine is running, add the egg yolk, vinegar and water.
Process until the mixture just comes together. Remove the mixture and press everything into a
neat ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Place a baking tray in the oven to preheat. Grease a 2425 cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin. Prepare the baking paper and beans for baking blind (see page 94).
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the pastry to the tin, trim the edges
neatly and prick the base all over with a fork. Place the fluted tin on the preheated baking tray
and bake blind for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C. Remove the pastry from
the oven, discard the baking paper and beans and immediately brush the pastry base with a
little beaten egg white. Return the base to the oven and continue to bake for a further 810minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and completely cooked. Set aside to cool before brushing the inside of the pastry with the raspberry jam.
Now prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 170 C. Cream the butter and sugar
until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla essence. Fold in the almonds and lemon rind. Spoon the mixture into the
prepared pastry shell. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven
and sprinkle the top with the flaked almonds. Return the tart to the oven and continue to bake
for a further 1520 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 1 large tart.
Variation

Drizzle a thin glaze in a crisscross pattern over the top of the cake when it has cooled. Mix
190 ml (3 4 C) sifted icing sugar, 15 ml (1 Tbsp) lemon juice and 15 ml (1 Tbsp) ice-cold water.
Sprinkle extra flaked almonds over the top while the glaze is still wet.

138 ENGLAND

Chicken jalfrezi
England has some magnificent curry houses and I try to have at least one Balti whenever I visit the UK. I usually order the vindaloo,
which is extra hot, but I have also been known to order the phaal, which is off the scale The chef and matre d usually come out to
meet me, as they simply cannot believe that any patron would dare order such a hot dish. I am normally in the company of British
friends who, without fail, order the chicken jalfrezi. It seems fitting to give the recipe.
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
30 ml (2 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 green chillies, sliced
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) turmeric
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
Salt to taste
500 g chicken fillets, cut into bitesized cubes
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled
and chopped
250 ml (1 C) chopped
fresh coriander

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat and saut the garlic, ginger, onion
and chillies until soft. Add the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, chilli powder
and salt. Turn up the heat and stir-fry the chicken for 35 minutes, just until it turns white. Add
the chopped tomatoes and reduce the heat. Simmer for 810 minutes or until the sauce has
reduced and thickened sufficiently. Stir in the chopped fresh coriander and serve immediately
with basmati rice.
Serves 24.

Tips
This recipe uses chopped tomatoes. Ensure that they are very ripe and do not be
tempted to use canned, as it will leave a metallic flavour.

The real secret to this dish is the fresh coriander added at the end.

This recipe is great for anyone who wishes to follow a low-GI eating plan, is diabetic
or is watching his or her weight.

ENGLAND 141

Soda bread with buck rarebit


There is a magnificent little eatery in Leigh-on-Sea that my friend Soo Turner took me to for breakfast one Sunday morning. They
serve all the classic rarebits, delicious cheese and ale sauces on thick slices of homemade soda bread. Buck rarebit (traditionally,
Welsh rarebit topped with an egg) was the special of the day and it instantly found its place in my book. As a child my mother used
to make Welsh rarebit for us on a Sunday, so it seemed fitting that I pay homage to such an old favourite.
Soda bread
500 ml (2 C) nutty wheat (wholewheat) flour
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
7.5 ml (11 2 tsp) salt
1 x 500 g carton buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
10 ml (2 tsp) honey

Buck rarebit
60 g salted butter
60 ml (1 4 C) flour
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
2.5 ml ( tsp) mustard powder
250 ml (1 C) milk
125 ml ( C) beer
5 ml (1 tsp) Worcestershire sauce
250 g strong Cheddar cheese,
grated
5 ml (1 tsp) cayenne pepper
4 poached eggs to serve

To make the bread, preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease a baking tray.
Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Add the sifted husks to the mixture.
Make a well in the centre and stir in the buttermilk, egg and honey. Use your hands to form
a slightly sticky, rough-looking dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and
shape it into a large round ball. Take a butter knife and score the dough with a cross. Dust well
with flour. Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for
35 minutes or until golden brown and the bread has a hollow sound when tapped underneath.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack.
To make the rarebit, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Using a
wooden spoon, stir in the flour, salt and mustard powder. Stir until the mixture pulls away from
the sides of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and beer until
smooth. Ensure there are no lumps. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir continuously until
the mixture has thickened considerably. Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire
sauce and grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside while you poach the eggs.
To serve, preheat the oven grill and cut a few slices of soda bread ready to assemble. Toast
them lightly on both sides, either under the grill or in a toaster. Spoon the rarebit neatly over a
slice of toasted soda bread and place on a large baking tray. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Place
under the grill for a few minutes to allow the rarebit to bubble and brown on top. Transfer to a
serving plate and top with a poached egg. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

Tips
Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is baked.

The beer in this recipe is what makes this rarebit. However, if preferred, omit the
beer and add an extra 125 ml (1 2 C) milk instead.

Cotswolds lavender shortbread


I first tasted lavender shortbread in Stanton, a picturesque English village tucked away in the Cotswolds, when I had the pleasure of
enjoying High Tea with a famous art dealer one sunny afternoon in July. His wife had baked these lovely crisp, buttery shortbreads
infused with lavender and I was so interested in the recipe that the opportunity of promoting my work throughout the United Kingdom was not even discussed that day! True artist to the core, I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day but getting into the
kitchen and trying my hand at this recipe.
250 g salted butter, at room
temperature
125 ml ( C) castor sugar
500 ml (2 C) sifted cake flour
60 ml (1 4 C) cornflour
Pinch of salt
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh lavender

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease a square or oblong ovenproof dish or tray, or two cake tins
of 20 cm in diameter.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and use your
hands to bring the mixture together. Do not overwork the dough. Press the dough into the
prepared dish. Prick the base well with a fork. Bake for 3540 minutes or until the edges start to
colour to golden brown and look a little crispy.
Remove at once and leave to cool for a few minutes in the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut the
shortbread into equal-sized pieces. Remove carefully and leave to cool completely on a wire
cooling rack. Store airtight.
Makes 1520 biscuits.

Tips
A sprig of dried or fresh lavender stored in a jar of castor sugar produces a wonderful aromatic, flavoured sugar that will
enhance your baking. Both the flowers and the leaves can be used in baking.

Place a few dried sprigs of lavender in the grocery or linen cupboard to keep fish moths away for months.

ENGLAND 147

Cornish pasties
The humble Cornish pasty is arguably the most famous little pie on earth, so much so that today it has protected trademark status
in Europe. The pasties from Cornwall spread to the rest of the world with the movement of the copper and tin miners in search of
jobs. Brian and Hugo Trevereau, who are great friends of mine, live in Cornwall and always bring me a pie on setup day at the art
fairs. Over the years I have sampled some of the best the region has to offer. There is a great deal of controversy about the way you
crimp the pasty. Some swear blind that the original and correct method is a seam on the side, while others firmly believe the pasty
gets crimped on the top. I say do whatever is the easiest for you.
Pastry
125 g cold butter, cubed
125 g cold white lard
(Holsum), cubed
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
4 x 250 ml (4 C) cake flour, sifted
90 ml (6 Tbsp) ice-cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling
400 g chuck steak, finely sliced
2 medium potatoes, sliced
paper thin
2 medium Swedes, sliced
paper thin
5 ml (1 tsp) Worcestershire sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped
fresh parsley
1 large white onion, very
finely sliced
15 ml (1 Tbsp) freshly ground
black pepper
Salt to taste

To make the pastry, combine the butter, lard, salt and flour in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and pulse until just combined. Remove the mixture and mix lightly with your hands until you have firm dough. Divide
into 46 equal pieces, wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease a baking tray.
To make the filling, mix all the ingredients together except the onion.
Roll out each pastry ball on a lightly floured surface until it forms a round the size of a small
dinner plate or side plate. This will depend on how large you want the pasties to be. Sparsely
arrange a few slices of onion on the pastry circle. Place a liberal amount of filling on top of the
onion in the centre of each pastry round. Season very well with plenty of salt and black pepper.
Brush the edge all the way round with beaten egg. Carefully fold the pastry over the top and seal
well by pressing the edges together with your fingers. Crimp the pastry into a rope pattern by
folding the pastry seam over and over again on itself to make a rope. Tuck the end of the rope
under the right-hand corner of the pasty to seal. This may seems like a mission, but it certainly
gives the pastry an attractive edge. If you battle with the rope pattern, then simply seal the pastry well with a fork or your fingers to create a fluted pattern.
Alternatively, the pasties may be sealed on top by drawing the sides of the pastry circle
together in the middle. Crimp the pastry into a fluted pattern using your fingers.
Transfer the pasties to the prepared baking tray and brush the pastry with the remaining egg
wash. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180 C and bake for a further
45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 4 large or 6 smaller pasties.

Tips
This recipes filling gets cooked inside the pastry so ensure that all the ingredients are raw and very finely sliced.
Double up on the ingredients for a larger quantity.
The uncooked pastry freezes beautifully for up to three months. Remove from the freezer and thaw overnight
at room temperature before using. Because of the potatoes and root vegetables in the filling, it is not advisable
to freeze uncooked or cooked pasties.
I fully recommend you use chuck steak for this recipe.

148 ENGLAND

Gastro-pub pork belly, fennel seeds and garlic


Pork belly is usually a cut used for stewing or braising, particularly in Asia, but I prefer to roast it. Nowadays butchers and
supermarkets often sell the belly rolled, but I simply unroll it at home and cook it as a flat slow roast. Otherwise fill it with plenty
of garlic and cumin and re-roll tightly. This recipe is particularly good when cooked in a kettle braai.
1.5 kg pork belly, skin on
and scored
6 large cloves garlic, crushed
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fennel seeds,
crushed and ground
5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds, crushed
to release flavour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fine sea salt
160 ml (2 3 C) dry sherry or
red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Tips
Generally, pork is
roasted at 190 C for
30minutes per 500 g, plus
an additional
30 minutes, regardless of
whether it is deboned or
not. Unlike beef or lamb
that can be served underdone, pork needs to be
cooked thoroughly.
Check the weight of the
meat before you cook it
and remember to reduce
the cooking time accordingly. A small rolled belly
may only need to cook for
1 hour in total. If in doubt,
follow the cooking times
as given with this recipe.

150 ENGLAND

Open up the pork belly on a large wooden chopping board; for this roast it must be flat. Mix
the garlic and fennel and cumin seeds together. Add the olive oil and rub this mixture all over
the flesh of the belly. Turn the belly over and generously sprinkle the sea salt all over the top of
the fat or crackling. Leave to stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes. This is done to dry out the skin.
Preheat the oven to 230 C.
Brush off the excess salt. Transfer the meat to a large roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 190 C and continue to roast for 111 2 hours or until the meat is
soft and tender. Test regularly so you dont overcook the pork or it will become dry. Remove the
meat from the oven and transfer to a large chopping board. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, loosely
covering with foil to keep it warm.
In the meantime, prepare the gravy by pouring off any excess fat from the roasting pan. Place
the pan on top of the stove, stir in the sherry and deglaze the pan by stirring and scraping the
cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for couple of minutes to reduce and thicken.
Season to taste. Transfer the pork roast to a serving platter and serve with the gravy, roasted
potatoes and a crisp salad or couscous.
Serves 46.

Banoffee surprise
As American as this sounds, banoffee pie was actually invented in England and quickly travelled the world with the hippies, where
it eventually became somewhat of a classic in India. There is something sickly sweet about this pie that just keeps us coming back for
more. My version is more like a trifle and I made it one year in Mauritius for Christmas. It was pouring with rain outside so I guess
it was a fitting tribute to an English dessert!
160 ml (2 3 C) brandy
160 ml ( C) very strong cold
black coffee
1 x 200 g packet Boudoir
23

biscuits or lady fingers


2 x 395 g cans sweetened
condensed milk
125 ml (1 2 C) soft brown sugar
60 ml (1 4 C) golden syrup
1 x 250 g tub mascarpone cheese
15 ml (1 Tbsp) brandy
30 ml (2 Tbsp) icing sugar, sifted
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
500 ml (2 C) fresh cream
67 large ripe bananas
Juice of 1 lemon

1 Flake chocolate, crumbled

Mix the brandy and cold coffee together. Dip the biscuits into the mixture and line the base of
a large, shallow glass dish. If you wish to use a round glass bowl, break up the biscuits to fit the
base snugly. Refrigerate while you prepare the caramel.
Mix the condensed milk, brown sugar and syrup together in a small saucepan over low heat.
Stir to dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1015 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
The mixture is ready when it is thick and caramel in colour. Set aside to cool before refrigerating
for 11 2 hours until cold and thick. If lumps appear while you are cooking the caramel, blend the
mixture when it is cold using a hand-held blender or whisk.
Beat the mascarpone, brandy, icing sugar and vanilla essence together until smooth. Whip
the cream until stiff and then fold into the mascarpone mixture.
Slice the bananas thinly and sprinkle lemon juice over the slices to prevent the bananas from
going brown.
Spoon the caramel over the chilled base. Arrange the sliced bananas on top of the caramel.
Spread the cream and mascarpone mixture over the bananas. Sprinkle the crumbled chocolate
over the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Serves 68.

Tip
Use 250 ml (1 C) Old Brown sherry or rum if you dont have brandy, and omit the coffee. Add 15 ml (1 Tbsp)
of the sherry or rum to the mascarpone.

ENGLAND 151

CHINA AND
HoNG KonG

No English needed
China has long been a place that has held a great fascination for me and I have visited her
Great Wall many, many times. On one occasion I took my mother along for her 60th birthday. One afternoon we found ourselves in Xian, a city filled with an extraordinary number
of people who co-exist around an excavation pit filled with terracotta soldiers.
Earlier in the day we had been arrested. A vagrant was harassing my mother and me and we
spent the best part of the morning trying to escape his attention and lose ourselves in a city
of 30 million people. By some stroke of luck one alleyway produced a police station. No
one there spoke English. We were distraught. Hours passed. Eventually they decided that
the only safe thing to do was arrest us Put these mamas in a van and drive them to the
central police station. There, surely, someone would be able to speak English and solve this
problem. It did not take me long to work out what was going on. As soon as the young constable drove down the 10-lane freeway, I asked him to stop. Before I could say get out, my
mother opened the car door and an unfortunate farmer on a bicycle rammed slap bang into
it. Bok choi was scattered all over the road and mass hysteria ensued. I had no idea that my
mom could still run so fast, and lucky she did. During our hasty escape we stumbled upon
the Muslim quarter and one of the best food markets I have sampled in Asia. Astonished
by our luck, we tucked into the foods on offer, soon forgetting the stress of our mornings
little adventure.

Li River sweet-and-sour pork


My mom and I stayed in a beautiful family-run hotel on the banks of the tranquil Li River near Guilin in the Guangxi region of
China. Nobody spoke English and the menu had a few regular favourites hastily scribbled in shorthand. Amongst its worn pages
was the promise of Li River sweet-and-sour pork, which turned out to be the single most memorable Chinese dish Ive ever eaten. The
kitchen was hidden from view at the end of the hallway by a red velvet curtain that doubled up as a bedspread. Inside were nothing
more than a few utensils and an enormous wok large enough to cook a whole pig! A tiny girl sat behind the steaming mass of oil and
steel, watching me warily as I jotted down the recipe.
Whats the difference between light and dark soy sauce? The light version is used
with chicken or fish or where the colour of the dish must be preserved; it is also saltier. Dark soy sauce has
the addition of caramel or molasses, resulting in a darker colour and a more intense flavour. Soy sauce will
keep indefinitely and does not need to be refrigerated.

25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) cornflour


15 ml (1 Tbsp) dark soy sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) rice wine or
medium-dry sherry
1 x 440 g can pineapple rings, or
pieces, juice reserved
500 g pork, cut into bitesized pieces

Sweet-and-sour sauce
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) cornflour
30 ml (2 Tbsp) rice wine or
medium-dry sherry
30 ml (2 Tbsp) brown sugar
15 ml (2 Tbsp) light soy sauce
45 ml (3 Tbsp) tomato sauce
1530 ml (12 Tbsp) peanut or
canola oil
1 large red or yellow pepper,
seeded and chopped
125 ml ( C) water
1 egg, lightly beaten

154 CHINA AND HONG KONG

To prepare the pork, mix the cornflour, dark soy sauce and rice wine together. Add 15 ml
(1Tbsp) of the pineapple juice, stir until the cornflour has dissolved and then add the pork.
Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Chop the pineapple rings into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
To make the sauce, mix the cornflour to a smooth paste using a little of the pineapple juice
(this is done to prevent lumps), then add the remaining juice, rice wine, sugar, soy sauce and
tomato sauce. Stir well to combine.
Heat a little of the oil in the wok and stir-fry the pepper until soft. Pour in the cornflour mixture and the water. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until thick and glossy. Reduce the
heat, add the pineapple pieces and heat through. Transfer the sauce to a separate bowl.
Give the wok a good wipe and then heat a little more oil until hot but not smoking. Dip the
marinated pork pieces into the beaten egg, then drop a few pieces at a time into the hot oil. Stirfry the pork in batches for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Return the sauce to the wok
with the pork and heat through until bubbling. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve with rice.
Serves 46.

Chuanr lamb kebabs with cumin and crushed chilli


I first tasted these magnificent little kebabs in the Muslim quarter in Xian, a city with a large Muslim community where the foods
are as famous as the terracotta soldiers.
Did you know? China has several regional cuisines, the most famous being Cantonese, which today
is most often associated with Chinese restaurants and take aways in South Africa. Other regional cuisines
include Pekinese, Naxi, Hunan, Fujian and spicy Szechuan.

750 g1 kg mutton or lamb, cut


into tiny cubes for mini kebabs
125190 ml (3 4 C) sesame oil
Salt to taste
3
190 ml ( 4 C) dried crushed
chillies or chilli powder
190 ml (3 4 C) ground cumin

Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.


Thread the cubed meat onto the skewers. Using a pastry brush, brush the meat with a little
sesame oil and set aside for 30 minutes.
Grill or braai the skewers for 58 minutes over a hot charcoal fire or grill until cooked. The
fat should be translucent and start dripping down onto the fire when done. Transfer to a serving
plate and sprinkle with salt, crushed chillies and cumin.
Serve warm wrapped in flatbreads, rotis or chapatis.
Serves 46.

Tips
Sesame oil is extracted from toasted sesame seeds and used extensively in Chinese cuisine. The oil is used for flavouring and
not as a cooking medium. Omitting or substituting sesame oil is not recommended as the flavour is key to
the end result of the recipes.
Bamboo skewers should be soaked in water to prevent any splinters from breaking off as you thread the meat and also to
stop the skewers from burning during cooking.

CHINA AND HONG KONG 157

Peking duck Natasha style


Although Peking duck is synonymous with Imperial cuisine and is considered one of Chinas national dishes, I came across this
recipe in Hong Kong during the year that it was handed back to China. I remember thinking that the place would never be the same
again. How wrong could I have been after so many trips over so many years it is still my favourite city in the world.
Making Peking duck requires considerable patience and skill something the Chinese have a lot of but dont be discouraged.
I have cooked Peking duck successfully for years using my secret shortcut ingredient vodka!
1 large duck, thawed overnight
if frozen
Sea salt for rubbing
750 ml (3 C) vodka
80 ml (1 3 C) runny honey
15 ml (1 Tbsp) hoisin sauce

Mandarin pancakes
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
190 ml ( C) boiling water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sesame oil

To serve
20 spring onions, trimmed into
12 cm lengths
Hoisin sauce
1 large cucumber, julienned into
thick slices

Remove any of the giblets inside the cavity of the duck and freeze or discard them as you wont
need any for this dish. Wash and dry the duck thoroughly. Using a sterilised needle, prick the
duck all over to release the fat during roasting. Cut away any visible fat inside the cavity.
Rub the duck with sea salt, both inside and out. Place the duck in a glass dish and pour the
vodka over the bird, rubbing the liquor into all the crevices. Leave to marinate for 3 hours, or
overnight, turning frequently so that the whole bird comes into contact with the vodka.
Remove the bird from the vodka and rub the honey and hoisin sauce all over the duck. Ensure
that you cover the bird completely. Place the duck in front of an electric fan for 34 hours, or in
a cool draughty place, to dry out completely.
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Place the duck in a large oven roasting pan, on top of the rack.
Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with warm water, but do not let the duck come into contact
with the water. This is done so that any fat dripping down from the cooking duck will run into
the water and not burn at the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the
oven temperature to 150 C and continue to roast for 1hour. Turn up the heat again to 190 C
and roast for 1015 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
To make the pancakes, add the unsifted flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and
pour in the boiling water in one go. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until
the mixture comes together in the centre of the bowl. As soon as its cool enough to handle,
transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Cover
with plastic wrap and leave to stand for 35 minutes.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape and then cut into 10 equal pieces. Keep the dough
covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Take one piece at a time and cut in
half. Roll each half into a smooth ball, then press down gently to flatten slightly. Roll each piece
into an 8 cm round. Brush one side lightly with sesame oil, making sure you cover the whole
surface, then place the second circle on top of the first. Now roll out as thin as possible. Transfer
to a dinner plate and keep covered with plastic wrap while you make the rest of the pancakes.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle. Cook the pancakes on an ungreased
surface, one at a time, over very low heat, turning frequently until small bubbles appear on the
surface. Remove from the pan and gently pull the two sides apart. The sesame oil painted in
between the layers will make this task easy. The pancakes should be soft and pliable, not brittle.
Carve the skin and flesh from the duck and place on a serving platter. Reheat the pancakes
(although they can be served cold as well). Using a spring onion as a brush, spread hoisin sauce
over a pancake. Place a piece of crispy duck skin on top of the sauce, followed by spring onion
and a piece of cucumber. Finish off with a few pieces of duck, roll up the pancake and enjoy!
Serves 46.

158 CHINA AND HONG KONG

Hong Kong custard tartlets


There is a fundamental difference between the egg custard tartlets from Macao, a former Portuguese colony, and those found on the
menus in Hong Kong. The latter is said to have developed from the British custard tart in the 1940s and is traditionally made without milk, whereas the tartlets from Macao have developed from the Portuguese pasteis de nata and resemble a crme brle tartlet,
sometimes dusted with cinnamon or nutmeg. Both are synonymous with the regions cuisine and are commonplace on all dim sum
menus and even sold at KFC! Residents from Hong Kong will spend a lifetime in search of the perfect tart. The secret is in the pastry;
some prefer crisp puff pastry, while others swear allegiance to the short crust version. There are literally hundreds of variations of this
humble tart. It is rather tricky to make, so here is my simplified recipe. I tested this nine times before I was happy!
Pastry
375 ml (1 C) cake flour
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
140 g salted butter
160 ml (2 3 C) sifted icing sugar
1 egg
12

Filling
160 ml (2 3 C) sugar
300 ml (11 4 C) water
4 eggs, at room temperature
80 ml (1 3 C) evaporated milk
2 ml (a few tiny drops) egg yellow
food colouring

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until
the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sifted icing sugar. Stir in the egg to bind the
mixture then turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead into a smooth dough. Dust your
hands with flour as you work if the mixture is too sticky. Press the pastry into a large, smooth
ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours while preparing the custard.
To make the custard, bring the sugar and water to the boil, without stirring, and boil for
35 minutes or until the syrup has thickened a little. Remove from the heat and leave to cool
completely. Refrigerate until cold. (I sometimes leave the sugar syrup and pastry in the fridge
overnight and bake as needed.)
Mix the sugar syrup, eggs, evaporated milk and food colouring together. Whisk very lightly
with a fork. Do not over whisk the eggs. Strain through a fine sieve this is very important, do
not omit this step. Pour the mixture into a jug and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Set aside a dozen fluted, nonstick tartlet tins (or 24 mini ones).
Bring the pastry to room temperature. Divide the pastry into 12 (or 24) equal pieces and roll
into balls. Press each ball into a tartlet tin and use your fingers to evenly spread the pastry over
the bottom of the tin, then all around the sides and a fraction higher than the rim. The pastry
should not be too thick or thin.
Very carefully pour the custard into the shells. Fill each one only two-thirds full. Evenly space
the tartlets on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 1520 minutes or until the
pastry is golden brown. The custard is set when a toothpick inserted into the centre remains upright and stands on its own. The custard will still be a little runny when you remove it from the
oven, but it will thicken as it cools down. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Makes 12 medium or 24 small tartlets.

Tips
This buttery pastry is wonderful to work with and easy to press into the moulds.
The recipe can be doubled to make larger quantities and the custard and pastry can
be kept in the fridge for up to three days. The pastry also freezes beautifully.

Its very important when mixing the custard ingredients together to not over whisk
the eggs. Use a fork rather than an electric whisk or eggbeater. All the custard ingredients should be at room temperature.

160 CHINA AND HONG KONG

Chairman Maos chicken


You cant be a revolutionary if you dont eat chillies. Chairman Mao
Love him or hate him, Chairman Mao changed the face of China. This eccentric personality denied his committed comrades access to
the finer things in life, especially food. Yet all the while he kicked back and enjoyed the trappings of capitalism. His fondness for hot
and spicy food was well known, so much so that this dish was eventually named after him.
Marinade
15 ml (1 Tbsp) light soy sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sesame oil
15 ml (1 Tbsp) rice wine or
medium-dry sherry
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cornflour

Chicken
500 g chicken fillets, cut into bitesized pieces or strips
Peanut oil for shallow-frying
5 spring onions, sliced diagonally
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 large red fresh chillies, seeded
and sliced
5 ml (1 tsp) Szechuan peppercorns
125 ml ( C) water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chilli sauce or
chilli paste (optional)
15 ml (1 Tbsp) rice wine or
medium-dry sherry
5 ml (1 tsp) brown sugar
Pinch of salt
60 ml ( C) unsalted peanuts,
finely chopped

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and leave
to stand for 30 minutes.
Heat a little peanut oil in a wok. Stir-fry the spring onions, ginger, garlic, chillies and Szechuan peppercorns over moderate heat. Remove the onions from the wok and set aside. Turn up
the heat slightly, add another splash of peanut oil and stir-fry the chicken, returning the onions
to the wok as soon as the chicken starts to turn white. Add water, chilli sauce, rice wine, sugar
and salt. Cook for 23 minutes on high or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Taste and
adjust seasoning. Stir in the peanuts. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve at once.
Serves 46.

Tips
Do not use sweet Thai
chilli sauce in this dish.

Szechuan peppercorns
are not hot like black pepper
but rather sweet and spicy.
They can be purchased at
any speciality food store or
large supermarket.

CHINA AND HONG KONG 161

T HAI LAND
AND BURMA

A thousand little Buddhas


Thailand could be my second home. I would say it has to be the country I have visited most.
When I first set foot amidst all that chaos in Bangkok, I could never have imagined that I
would return again and again to sell paintings, design jewellery, write recipes, travel and
explore the length and breadth of this amazing country. Bangkok, the lifeblood of the Thai
nation, is a city so magical that it takes years to fully understand her rhythm, ebbing to the
flow of the Chao Phraya River a source of energy cutting through the heart of the city and
spilling its magic into nearly every rice paddy in Thailand.
Tina Scotford and I arrived in Bangkok the day after the 2004 tsunami hit. We were en route
from Cambodia to Hong Kong and needed a nights accommodation. There are no words
to describe the chaos that met us at the airport, nor the planes that littered the runway with
thousands of stranded souls, awaiting rescue.
We were tired and hungry and needed a bed for the night. Being an old hand at this, I had
convinced Tina that we did not need to book. We landed to find the roads congested and
buses as far as the eye could see, choking the expressway. We found a Pink Taxi with a driver
who spoke no English. It took him a minute to sum up our needs and off we sped with
military precision. He drove around the city for almost two hours trying to find us a bed.
Bangkok had reached her limit; there was no room at the inn. Eventually he turned around
and smiled, and I knew something was up. A little while later Tina and I were safely camped
in the reception of a very friendly brothel. As the saying goes: One night in Bangkok makes
a hard man humble.

Chiang Mai red curry noodle soup


This incredible noodle soup is a signature dish of the famous northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. The soup has its origins
in Burma, but it is to Thailand what laksa is to Malaysia. The basis of this famous soup is coconut milk and turmeric,
but what actually sets this dish apart is the presentation.
Traditionally, noodle nests are assembled by deep-frying dried noodles in bundles. Once cooked, they take on the
appearance of birds nests. This unique touch is practised nowhere else in Thailand and this
is what makes the Chiang Mai red curry noodle soup so famous.
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
30 ml (2 Tbsp) red curry paste
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
450 g chicken thighs, skin on, cut
into bite-sized chunks
625 ml (21 2 C) coconut milk
330 ml (11 3 C) chicken stock
60 ml ( C) fish sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) dark soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
5 ml (1 tsp) palm sugar or
brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
450 g cooked egg noodles,
prepared according to the
instructions on the packet

To serve
4 large spring onions, chopped
4 large red chillies, seeded and
chopped
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sliced pickled
garlic or deep-fried garlic slices
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli flakes
Fresh coriander leaves
1 portion per person of dried egg
noodles in a round nest shape,
about the size of your fist,
or 1 x 75 g packet instant
noodles, seasonings discarded,
deep-fried

164 THAILAND

Heat the 25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) oil in a large saucepan and add the curry paste, turmeric and chicken
pieces. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned and coated with the paste. Add the coconut
milk and cook over low heat for 1520 minutes. Gradually add the stock, fish sauce, soy sauce,
seasoning and sugar. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Remove
from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Pour the boiling water over the cooked egg noodles to reheat, and then strain immediately.
Divide the noodles amongst 46 deep soup bowls. Divide the chicken equally amongst the
bowls and ladle the hot soup over the top. Garnish each dish with spring onions, chillies, garlic,
chilli flakes and coriander. Top with the noodle nests and serve at once.
Serves 46.

Tips
Its best to use chicken pieces for the soup. I like to use chicken on the bone as it
adds more flavour, but you can also use chicken breast fillets.
If you dont have lime juice use lemon juice instead, although its the lime in this
dish that really adds the tang. Ensure you purchase coconut milk for this dish and not
coconut cream.
Pickled garlic can be purchased at any of the large supermarkets or speciality Asian
food stores. Alternatively, slice up a few fat garlic cloves and deep-fry the slices quickly
as the perfect garnish.
If youve run out of dried noodles to fry then instant noodles will do the trick.
Simply deep-fry, drain and break up to sprinkle. They wont look like a nest but they
will taste the same.

Coconut and sesame fried bananas


Fried bananas are sold at just about every bus and train station in Thailand. My cousin Sanchia had a profound dislike for the
humble banana until one steamy December morning when she had the pleasure of sampling crispy fried bananas for breakfast.
Quickly succumbing to the charms of Thai street food, she would later consume buckets of bananas, wolfed down with cheap coffee.
Did you know? Soaking peeled bananas in a little salted water before use will prevent them from
discolouring during cooking. A handy tip if youre making a tart, trifle or salad.

250 ml (1 C) rice flour


250 ml (1 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cornflour
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
60 ml ( C) sugar
80 ml (1 3 C) coconut milk or
fresh cows milk
375 ml (11 2 C) water
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
190 ml (3 4 C) sesame seeds
125 ml ( C) desiccated coconut
Sunflower or canola oil for
deep-frying
45 bananas

Sift the rice flour, cake flour, bicarbonate of soda, cornflour


and salt together. Add the sugar.
Make a well in the centre and
add the coconut milk, water and
vanilla essence. Whisk until you
have a smooth batter. Stir in the
sesame seeds and desiccated coconut. Leave to stand for 1 hour
before using. The batter will
thicken upon standing. Thin it
down with water if you feel it is
too thick.
Heat the oil for deep-frying.
Peel the bananas, cut them in half
crossways and then slice lengthways into thin strips. Dip into the
batter and deep-fry until golden
brown, turning once. Remove
and drain on paper towel. Serve
hot or cold for breakfast or with
homemade vanilla ice cream as a
dessert.
Serves 46.

Tips
Thailand produces several banana varieties that are not available in South Africa. If you can lay your hands on the little lady
finger bananas they would be ideal for this recipe. If you use any of the larger varieties ensure that you cut them in half before
slicing lengthways otherwise they will be too big. Dont use bananas that are overripe.
Leftover coconut milk or coconut cream can be frozen in ice trays for future use. This batter can be made with coconut
milk or fresh cows milk, but the coconut milk will greatly enhance the flavour.

THAILAND 165

Thai beef salad


Every weekend in Bangkok the whole city seems to congregate at the Chatuchak Market, one of the largest undercover flea markets
in the world. I love this place, firstly because I love shopping, and secondly because it is home to one of my favourite Thai food stalls.
The family who own the little eatery they have been at it for almost 15 years now do not speak a word of English but they are
always happy to see me. They make the best Thai beef salad in Bangkok, for which they are renowned, and although alcohol is not
permitted at the market, they managed to sneak a cold beer disguised in a paper packet to my table.
350450 g sirloin steak
5 spring onions, roughly chopped
125 ml ( C) fresh mint leaves
125 ml ( C) fresh coriander
leaves
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lime or
lemon juice
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower oil
30 ml (2 Tbsp) Thai fish sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) light soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch of dried crushed chillies
2 fresh red chillies, seeded and
sliced or a few birds-eye chillies
Freshly ground black pepper
1 x 500 g packet mixed
salad leaves

Pan-fry the sirloin steak for 34 minutes per side for medium-rare. Leave to rest for 5 minutes
before slicing the meat into thin strips.
Combine the sliced steak in a small bowl with the spring onions, mint, coriander, lime juice,
sunflower oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, crushed chillies and fresh chillies. Use your hands to
mix through and ensure the meat is well coated with the marinade. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Add a sprinkling of black pepper to the steak mixture. Arrange the salad leaves on a platter
and top with the steak. Give the salad a good toss, clean the platter of any marinade stains and
serve with crusty French bread and a glass of crisp white wine.
Serves 24.

Tips
This salad is ideal for entertaining so double up for large quantities. Prepare the
steak and marinade up to two days in advance and refrigerate until needed.

Pork, venison or ostrich fillets may be used instead of beef. This salad is great for
using up leftover meat from the Sunday roast.

THAILAND 167

Ohn no khao sw (Burmese chicken noodle soup)


In 2002, while on a trip to Thailand with my cousin Sanchia, we extended our travels to include neighbouring Burma (now called
Myanmar). It was a country that had long held a great fascination for me, a mysterious and ancient land almost forgotten. One
afternoon while cycling near Mandalay we stumbled upon an old woman making ohn no khao sw. I watched her for a few
minutes before sitting down on what must have been a pavement during a previous regime. I remember that her fingernails were so
dirty I couldnt look at her hands, yet from those old weathered tools came the most remarkable soup I have ever tasted. As with most
of Asia, the best food is not to be had in restaurants but is found in places you would least expect.
800 g chicken thighs, chopped
into bite-sized pieces or
500 g chicken fillets
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) fish sauce
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) light soy sauce
2 large onions
5 cloves garlic
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
2 large red chillies, seeded
5 ml (1 tsp) mild curry powder
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
30 ml (2 Tbsp) peanut oil
750 ml (3 C) warm chicken stock
(homemade is best)
45 ml (3 Tbsp) cornflour
10 ml (2 tsp) brown sugar

To serve
200 g cooked vermicelli
rice noodles
400 g cooked egg noodles
1 large onion, halved and sliced
Peanut oil for frying
250 ml (1 C) chopped
fresh coriander
45 ml (3 Tbsp) dried
crushed chillies
23 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1 large lime or lemon, quartered

168 THAILAND

Combine the chicken, fish sauce and soy sauce in a bowl. Leave to stand.
Use your food processor to blend together the onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chillies to
a smooth paste. Add the curry powder and 60 ml ( C) of the coconut milk. Blend until it forms
a smooth paste.
Heat the peanut oil in a deep saucepan and saut the paste for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the chicken and cook until it starts to brown slightly. Add 375 ml (11 2 C) of the chicken
stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2030 minutes, stirring from time
to time. The broth should start to reduce and thicken slightly.
Mix the cornflour, brown sugar and a little water to a smooth paste. Stir this mixture into
the remaining chicken stock, ensuring there are no lumps, and then slowly pour this warm
stock into the broth, followed by the remaining coconut milk. Bring to the boil and cook until
the broth thickens significantly, stirring continuously to prevent the broth from sticking to the
bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning and adjust the saltiness using fish sauce or soy sauce.
To serve, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. (If you like, you can
do this ahead. It doesnt matter if they become cold as the broth will reheat the noodles when
you are ready to serve.) Fry the sliced onion in a little peanut oil until dark caramel in colour.
This not only releases the flavour but also gives colour to the dish and is a very important part of
the garnish. Divide the cooked noodles equally amongst a few deep soup bowls. Arrange pieces
of chicken on top of the noodles and ladle the hot broth over the top. Do not add too much but
rather just enough to cover the noodles halfway up the side of the bowl. Sprinkle chopped coriander over the top, followed by a healthy sprinkling of crushed chilli. Top with a few deep-fried
onion rings. Arrange an egg slice or two on top of the onion rings and serve with a slice of lime.
Serves 46.

Tips
Its best to use chicken thighs on the bone, as it has more flavour. However, you can
use 500 g skinless chicken fillets or a few drumsticks instead.

The use of good fresh stock will really make all the difference to this dish. For
convenience, however, you can use a stock cube, but remember to taste the soup
before adding any additional salt or fish sauce as stock cubes tend to be very salty.
As with all Asian soups, the garnishes are as important as the ingredients themselves. The broth can taste bland until the final touches are added with the garnish.
Ohn no khao sw calls for two types of noodles: vermicelli rice noodles and egg
noodles. Take note, I have given the gram measurement for cooked noodles not raw.

Massaman beef curry


Massaman curry can be made with chicken, beef or lamb. It is a predominantly southern Thai dish that is heavily influenced by
Muslim cooking, and is thought to have originated with the Indian and Arab traders during the previous century. I learnt to cook
this dish at the Boathouse cooking school in Phuket and have been making it ever since.
Massaman curry paste
1520 dried red chillies
30 ml (2 Tbsp) coriander seeds
15 ml (1 Tbsp) cumin seeds
6 white cardamom pods
15 dried cloves
1 large stick cinnamon
60 ml ( C) sunflower or canola
oil (not olive oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) shrimp paste
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh ginger
125 ml ( C) desiccated coconut,
soaked in 125 ml (1 2 C) water

Curry
15 ml (1 Tbsp) vegetable oil
90 ml (6 Tbsp) homemade Massaman curry paste (see above)
500750 g beef cubes
375 ml (11 2 C) coconut cream
160 ml (2 3 C) water
1 large stick cinnamon or cassia
10 ml (2 tsp) fresh ginger, peeled
and julienned
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
6 baby new potatoes, peeled or
1large potato, peeled and cubed
30 ml (2 Tbsp) Thai fish sauce
60 ml (1 4 C) tamarind water
1015 ml (13 tsp) palm sugar or
brown sugar
160 ml (2 3 C) roasted peanuts,
roughly chopped
Fresh Thai basil or coriander
leaves to garnish

To make the curry paste, dry-roast the chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves
and cinnamon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Tip the whole lot into a blender and add all the
remaining ingredients. Process until you have a very smooth paste. You may have to repeat this
process a few times, adding a little extra water if you feel the paste is still too thick and granular.
The end result must be a smooth, fibre-free paste.
To make the curry, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saut the curry paste
over low heat for 5 minutes to release the flavour. Add the beef and brown for a few minutes.
Add the coconut cream, water, cinnamon, ginger and lemon grass. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 11 2 hours or until the beef is tender. Add the baby
potatoes, fish sauce, tamarind water, sugar (a little more if you prefer a sweeter curry) and half
the peanuts. Continue to simmer gently for a further 30 minutes. The secret to this dish is really
long and slow cooking. Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the
remaining peanuts and fresh Thai basil. Serve with jasmine rice.
Serves 46.

Tips
Massaman curry paste is readily available at Asian speciality food stores and large
supermarkets. However, its always better to make your own. The secret to any good
curry paste is to pure the ingredients as finely as possible. There should be no fibrous
strands of ingredients left in your paste.
Homemade curry paste will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge if stored in a
sterilised glass jar with a little oil poured over the top.
You can double up on ingredients if you want to make a bigger quantity, but never
freeze homemade curry pastes as the garlic and onions become bitter.
Purchase Kashmiri dried red chillies from Asian speciality stores or supermarkets.
They are deep red to almost burgundy in colour and have more flavour than fresh
chillies. Kashmiri chillies are not necessarily very spicy.
Cassia bark is related to cinnamon, but has much larger quills and is far more
flavoursome. It is readily available at large supermarkets and speciality food stores.
The cardamom used in Thai cooking is not the same as the green Indian version we
are so familiar with in South Africa. Thai cardamom is a small, off-white, pea-shaped
pod and has far less punch than its Indian cousin. If you are unsure, always opt for
less as cardamom can be extremely overpowering. Similarly, Thai coriander seeds are
not the same as Indian coriander. The Thai variety has a much sharper flavour and is
smaller in size. However, use regular Indian coriander if you are unable to find Thai.

THAILAND 171

SINGAPORE,

MALAYSIA
AND BALI

Songbirds and satays


In recent years I have visited Southeast Asia regularly to attend art fairs. Dressed to the
nines in cocktail wear, we swarm around Singapore after dark sampling some of the best
street food that the city has to offer. The hawker stalls are in magnificent old buildings, preserved from Colonial times and a tribute to this regions rich heritage, a marriage of Muslim,
Indian, Chinese and Western cultures, living side by side, all blended into one. S ingapore
is famed for Nyonya cuisine, which heralded my introduction to Southeast Asian food as
early as 1994. I have since travelled extensively throughout the region, attending cookery
schools and writing up recipes while waiting for my paint to dry!
One of the first meals I have once the jet lag has lifted is chilli crab. Its not as spicy as
the name suggests, but its definitely the most famous culinary export in Singapore. One
year my mom and I discovered that Clarke Quay served up the finest of these crabs and
seemed like the place to go. We proceeded to take a taxi to the bus stop, then the underground to Clarke Quay and then made the short walk to the restaurant, a journey that took
45minutes door to door. This soon became a pattern and we ate there almost every night.
I watched in amazement how the chefs unwrapped the live crabs, so artfully tied up with
coloured raffia, and then unceremoniously dumped them into cauldrons of boiling salted
water. A smoking wok and a little tomato sauce produced the final result, which was astonishingly tasty.
On the day we were due to leave, I looked out of the hotel window and recognised a sign.
Could it be true? Was our hotel really next to that bridge in Clark Quay, a mere two-minute
walk away? There could be some truth to that blonde legend.

Singapore laksa with chicken and prawns


I attend a large international art fair in Singapore each year and en route to the show is a little outdoor food centre
where I stop and grab a bite to eat before I head off into the confines of air-conditioned space. Although I have been cooking
laksa since my first trip to Singapore in 1994, this gem of a recipe was the result of my daily visit to that food market.
Did you know? Laksa is an integral part of Nyonya cuisine, which is the marriage of Southeast Asian
and Chinese food. Today Nyonya cuisine is considered a culinary legacy amongst the Straits Chinese
communities of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Nyonya food has its roots in the fifteenth century when
male Chinese immigrants married local Malay woman, blending the two cultures.

450 g cooked rice noodles


15 ml (1 Tbsp) peanut or canola oil
375 g chicken fillets, cubed
6 headless prawns, peeled
and deveined
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
375500 ml (11 22 C) water

Curry paste
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
45 large cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground almonds
or brazil nuts
15 ml (1 Tbsp) coriander seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
15 ml (1 Tbsp) tomato paste
5 ml (1 tsp) shrimp paste
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) ground black pepper
510 ml (12 tsp) chilli powder
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) peanut or canola oil

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet and set aside. You need about
450g cooked rice noodles.
Next you need to make the curry paste. Combine the onion, lemon grass, garlic, ground nuts,
coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tomato paste, shrimp paste, salt, pepper, chilli powder, sugar and
the oil in your spice grinder or blender. Grind the mixture until very smooth. Add a little extra
oil if you need to facilitate the process. The mixture should be fine with no fibrous strands. Repeat until you are absolutely sure your paste has no fibres. At this stage the curry paste can be
stored in a glass jar and kept for up to a week in the fridge.
To make the laksa, Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or wok and saut the curry paste for
5 minutes. Turn up the heat slightly, add the chicken and prawns and stir-fry until the chicken
is just starting to turn white. Reduce the heat and slowly add the coconut milk and water. Leave
to simmer for 1215 minutes or until the sauce is aromatic and reduced. I like my broth to be
thick and creamy, more like a thin curry sauce, but if preferred add as much water as you need
to get the consistency you desire. You can add up to 500 ml (2 C) of additional liquid. Adjust
seasoning to taste.
Pour boiling water over the noodles to reheat. Drain immediately and divide the noodles
equally amongst a few serving bowls. Ladle the hot laksa broth over the noodles and top with
pieces of chicken and prawns. Attractively arrange spring onions, bean sprouts, chillies and
coriander on top. Serve with a slice of lemon or lime, squeezed over the dish just before eating.
Serves 46.

Garnish
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 x 150 g packet bean sprouts
45 fresh red chillies, seeded
and sliced
125 ml ( C) fresh coriander leaves
1 large lemon or lime, sliced

174 SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND BALI

Beef rendang with roti jala (lacy pancakes)


Beef rendang commands pride of place on an Indonesian rijsttafel. Its worth noting that this curry is considered to be a dry curry
with very little sauce, traditionally prepared in this way to preserve the meat for up to a week in the very hot and humid Indonesian
climate. If you prefer the rendang a little saucier reduce the cooking time, but only once the meat is tender.
Curry paste
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground coriander
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground fennel
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground cumin
15 ml (1 Tbsp) dried
crushed chillies
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 2 small red onion, chopped
125 ml (1 2 C) toasted desiccated
coconut
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
125 ml ( C) water

Curry
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower oil
1 kg beef cubes
1 large stick cinnamon
6 dried cloves
1 star anise
1 stalk lemon grass, peeled
and bruised
15 ml (1 Tbsp) brown sugar or
palm sugar
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
125 ml ( C) thick tamarind juice
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
125 ml ( C) water

Lacy pancakes
375 ml (11 2 C) cake flour, sifted
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
375 ml (11 2 C) coconut milk or
fresh cows milk
125 ml ( C) water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil

To make the curry paste, combine all the ingredients and process or blend until smooth.
To make the curry, heat the oil in a large saucepan and stir in the curry paste. Cook for
12minutes to release the flavour, and then add the beef. Brown for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for
11 22hours or until the meat is very tender. Stir from time to time to prevent the meat from
burning or sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, especially towards the end of the cooking
time when almost all the liquid has evaporated.
To make the pancakes, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the
centre. Add the egg, milk and water. Lightly whisk until smooth. Ensure there are no lumps
and then strain through a fine sieve. Add the oil and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the
mixture to the improvised container (see tips below) and then pour the batter into a nonstick
frying pan, moving your hand in circles to spread the mixture to form a lacy pancake. The lines
must connect. Cook for 1 minute or until it starts to turn golden brown underneath. Cook the
pancake on one side only. Remove from the pan, stack on a serving plate and cover with a clean
tea towel. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up.
Serve the pancakes with the curry.
Serves 4.

Tips
Tamarind is the acidic fruit of a large tropical tree and is shaped like a broad bean.
Its usually dried and sold in packets. To use, soak the tamarind in hot water and then
strain. Discard the pips and use the liquid. When recipes call for tamarind, the given
quantity refers to the rehydrated tamarind.
As with all homemade curry pastes, ensure that the ingredients are blended to a
pulp before proceeding. There should be no fibrous strands left once the paste has
been blended.
Use 60 ml ( C) white vinegar instead of tamarind juice if preferred. They do the
same job.
Improvised container: Punch a few holes into the metal lid of a clean glass jar or
plastic juice bottle. The object is to turn the container into a showerhead for pouring
the pancake batter into the saucepan.
The batter must be strained and should be thin. Once poured into the pan, the thin
lines must connect to resemble a spiders web. These pancakes seem to work best
when you use a nonstick frying pan. The pancakes are cooked on one side only.

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND BALI 177

Singapore chilli crab


My favourite place to eat crab is at the world famous Clarke Quay in Singapore. Restaurants line the waters edge and
live crabs of every size are for sale. The menu is simple: choose your crab, weigh your crab, and then decide if it is
going to be pepper or chilli for dinner.
2 medium-sized uncooked crabs
125 ml ( C) peanut or canola oil
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
34 cloves garlic, crushed
24 red chillies, seeded
and finely chopped
90 ml (6 Tbsp) tomato sauce
90 ml (6 Tbsp) chilli sauce
60 ml (1 4 C) water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) soft brown sugar
or palm sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) light soy sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fish sauce
3 spring onions to garnish
(optional)

Wash the crabs, remove the hardtop shell and clean out any stomach bag or tissue. Use a meat
cleaver or very large kitchen knife to chop each crab into four or more pieces. Heat the oil in
a wok until hot but not smoking. Fry the crab until the shells start to change colour, turning
frequently so that they are evenly cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Reduce the heat to low and add the ginger, garlic and chillies. Saut until soft but not browned.
Add the tomato sauce, chilli sauce, water, sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. Return the cooked
crab to the wok and simmer gently for a few minutes or until the sauce reduces and coats the
crab. It should be tangy and thick. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped spring
onion. Serve at once.
Serves 4.

Tips
Most large supermarkets
sell frozen crab cleaned and
ready for the pot. However,
should you be using fresh
crab, remember to follow
the instructions in the
recipe above for cleaning.
Use any Asian chilli or
sweet Thai chilli sauce for
the chilli sauce called for in
this recipe.

178 SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND BALI

Nasi goreng
Nasi goreng is the staple of just about every Balinese. I think I ate this humble rice dish at least once a day
while patrolling the emerald hills on my bike in search of the perfect rice paddy to paint.
30 ml (2 Tbsp) peanut or
canola oil
4 large eggs
250 g chicken fillets, cubed
150 g baby shrimps, defrosted if
frozen, or a small can, drained
3 large fresh chillies, seeded
and chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
60 ml ( C) chopped chives
1 bunch spring onions,
sliced diagonally
750 ml (3 C) cooked cold rice
30 ml (2 Tbsp) dark soy sauce
60 ml ( C) tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
500 ml (2 C) baby spinach leaves

Heat 15 ml (1 Tbsp) of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the eggs. They should be sunnyside
up and still a little runny. Set aside and keep warm.
Heat the remaining oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed frying pan. When hot but not smoking, add
the chicken, shrimps, chillies, garlic, chives and spring onions. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the
chicken is cooked and has turned white. Add the cold cooked rice, followed by the soy sauce, tomato
sauce and seasonings. Stir fry, combining everything quickly and stirring continuously to prevent
the mixture from sticking together. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Fold in the raw baby spinach
leaves. Transfer to a serving platter and arrange the eggs on top. Serve with prawn crackers.
Serves 4.

Tips
This is a great way to
use up leftover rice. You
can also substitute sliced
beef or pork for chicken.
Many restaurants in Bali
serve nasi goreng with a
soft fried or poached egg
on top instead of the traditional omelette.
The shrimps used in
Asian cooking are the type
we would use for shrimp
cocktail. However, in some
recipes, when they call
for shrimps they actually mean prawns. Use
your discretion. Canned
shrimps are widely available at supermarkets.

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND BALI 179

Satay with peanut sauce


Although satays originated in Java and are considered a national dish, these humble little food sticks are now enjoyed all across
Southeast Asia. Traditionally, satay is served with a peanut dipping sauce. Some recipes are rather involved so I opted for a shortcut
version made with peanut butter. The last time I ordered these in Singapore, I was sitting in a hawker food centre in my cocktail
dress. They brought a platter of 60 skewers to the table and a bucket of beer. Not a bad idea after putting in 10 hours at an art fair!
1 kg chicken fillets
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sesame oil
30 ml (2 Tbsp) light soy sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon or
lime juice
Extra sesame oil to baste

Peanut sauce
90 ml (6 Tbsp) crunchy
peanut butter
125 ml (1 2 C) lukewarm water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped
salted peanuts
1 clove garlic, crushed
10 ml (2 tsp) brown sugar or
palm sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies
2.5 ml ( tsp) chilli powder
30 ml (2 Tbsp) dark soy sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
15 ml (1 Tbsp) Thai fish sauce
80 ml (1 3 C) coconut milk or
water
Pinch of salt

Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for 1 hour.


Cut the chicken into small cubes. Thread the meat onto the skewers.
Mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice together. Brush the skewers with the marinade
and refrigerate overnight or while you make the peanut sauce.
Combine the peanut butter and lukewarm water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until
well combined. Add the peanuts, garlic, sugar, crushed chillies, chilli powder, soy sauce, lemon
juice and fish sauce. Cook, stirring continuously, until smooth. Gradually incorporate the
coconut milk and mix until the sauce has a pouring consistency. Adjust seasoning. Add more
crushed chillies if you want a little more spice. Set aside. (This sauce keeps well for a few days
in the fridge.)
Brush the skewers with a little sesame oil. Grill the skewers under a preheated oven grill for
35 minutes, turning once. Alternatively, braai the satays over a hot charcoal fire, turning once.
Arrange on a large platter and serve with the peanut dipping sauce.
Serves 4.

180 SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND BALI

Tips
Satay can be made with any of the following: pork, beef, prawn, chicken, lamb or
even tofu. Whichever you choose, remember to cube the meat into very small pieces,
as a satay is dainty and not like a sosatie or kebab which requires larger pieces of meat.
Omit the lemon juice in the marinade when using red meat as it prevents the meat
from absorbing the other ingredients. If lemon is added to red meat, it should only be
done just before cooking.

SRI LANKA

Tea for two


I first travelled to Sri Lanka during the early 1990s and soon discovered that this magical
isle has some of the best scenery and cuisine that Asia has to offer. Nothing could have pre
pared me for the welcome. The beautiful countryside extending to the waters edge, fringed
by coral reefs and some of the best beaches in the world, would welcome me back to her
shores again and again, and it remains my favourite country of all to this day.
One year I found myself at a guesthouse in Kandy, a magical hillside town in the centre of
Sri Lanka. We were late in arriving and dinner had already been served. Ravi the cook took
charge and seated us in the kitchen with a pot of the finest Ceylon tea. The owner was en
tertaining in the adjoining dining room and it did not take him long to appear. He was a tall,
very graceful gentleman with movie star good looks, and we sat around the kitchen table
chatting into the early hours of the morning. Long after Ravi had served his Sri Lankan
egg curry and our host had poured the last drop of Arrak, the latter suddenly announced
that he had some very good friends in the South African government. It was only the next
morning at breakfast that we discovered our new friend was indeed the Sri Lankan Minister
of Defence and his shopping list extended to South African military hardware!
I never forgot that curry. I simply could not get the dish out of my mind. A year later, names
long forgotten, I wrote to: The Minister of Defence, c/o the Sri Lankan Government. Six
weeks later an aerogram with the recipe found its way across the ocean and into my kit
chen, ultimately shaping the first concept of this book (see page 5) although it would be
almost 17years before I finally wrote it all down.

Sri Lankan egg curry


This is the recipe that started it all and remains the single most memorable meal I have ever tasted while travelling.
68 eggs
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
Sunflower or canola oil
for deep-frying

Sauce
25 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
1 large white onion, sliced
5 large cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
1 large stalk lemon grass, bruised
20 curry leaves
1 large stick cinnamon
10 ml (2 tsp) chilli powder
10 ml (2 tsp) dried
crushed chillies
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
2.5 ml ( tsp) turmeric
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
2.5 ml ( tsp) fenugreek seeds
1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
15 ml (1 Tbsp) Thai fish sauce
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) lime or
lemon juice
12

Boil the eggs until hard-boiled, then leave to cool before removing the shells. Mix the salt and
turmeric together in a small bowl. Prick the eggs all over with a sterilised needle or a small fork.
Do not break the eggs. Dont be tempted to skip this step or the eggs will explode when you
deep-fry them. Roll the eggs in the salt mixture until coated evenly. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat or in a deep-fryer. Deep-fry the eggs,
one at a time, for 3040 seconds until the egg white layer puffs up and is golden brown. Remove
with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towel. Set the eggs aside while you make
the sauce.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and saut the onion, garlic, ginger, lemon
grass, curry leaves and cinnamon until the onion is soft. Stir in the chilli powder, crushed
chillies, salt, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Add the coconut milk
and cook for 15 minutes or until the coconut milk is a little thicker and the flavours have been
absorbed. Stir in the fish sauce. Add the whole eggs and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the
flavours and to heat through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Serve with basmati rice.
Serves 46.

Tips
Have a sterilised needle on hand for pricking the shelled hard-boiled eggs. If you dont prick the hard-boiled eggs they will
explode when you deep-fry them.

I have added 15 ml (1 Tbsp) Thai fish sauce instead of the traditional dried fish flakes known as Maldive fish, which may be
difficult to find in South Africa.

This curry, including the eggs, can be made the day before and reheated just before serving.

184 SRI LANKA

Aromatic beef curry


I learned to cook this magnificent curry in Unawatuna, one of the seaside villages worst affected by the Boxing Day
Tsunami in 2004. Traces of that fateful day are evident in the many new buildings and monuments, amongst them
Karunas cooking school a place where she has rebuilt her life, curry by curry.
Did you know? If you have added too much salt to a curry, try adding an extra peeled potato to the
saucepan. Leave to cook and absorb some of the salt and liquid, then discard the potato. It wont take all the
salt away, but it will help.

25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower or


canola oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) grated
fresh ginger
750 g beef cubes
20 curry leaves
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised
68 fresh green chillies, sliced, or
three large dried red chillies
with seeds
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
2.5 ml ( tsp) turmeric
15 ml (1 Tbsp) roasted curry
powder (see opposite)
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground coriander
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chilli powder
10 ml (2 tsp) dried
crushed chillies
2 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 large, thick stick cinnamon
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
15 ml (1 Tbsp) white vinegar
125 ml ( C) water
250330 ml (111 3 C) coconut
milk

186 SRI LANKA

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saut the garlic, onions and ginger until soft and the mois
ture has cooked out of the onions. Add the beef and brown well. Stir in the remaining ingredi
ents, except the water and coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes to brown the spices and then add
the water and coconut milk. Cover and leave to simmer for 221 2 hours or until the meat is soft
and tender. Stir occasionally and check that there is enough liquid in the saucepan. If necessary,
add a little more water.
This curry is even better when left to stand overnight!
Serves 46.

Tips
Watch the liquid as you cook you may want to add a little more as you go along.
This curry needs to cook long and slow, at least 221 2 hours. If you dont have a
thick cinnamon stick, then use a few smaller sticks to make up for it. Cinnamon is
really important in Sri Lankan cookery.
This curry can be frozen for up to three months.

Roasted curry powder


Roasted curry powder is the signature flavour of all Sri Lankan meat, fish and vegetable dishes. As in other Asian countries,
every family has their own version of the national flavours. In many cases fenugreek or mustard seeds are part of the combination.
The spices are roasted, at times individually, then ground to a fine, dark powder. The abundance of black pepper and coriander is
what gives this curry powder such a dark colour and unique flavour. Kanti, our trekking guide in the Knuckles mountain range,
said Black pepper is the most important ingredient in roasted curry powder and gives depth and aroma to meat curries.
I have not seen many other recipes with such large quantities of black pepper as Kanti suggests, but this is her family recipe.
45 ml (3 Tbsp) coriander seeds
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) cumin seeds
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) fennel seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) fenugreek seeds
1 large stick cinnamon
8 dried cloves
Seeds from 10 green
cardamom pods
20 curry leaves
15 ml (1 Tbsp) black peppercorns
15 ml (1 Tbsp) uncooked longgrain rice

Dry-roast each ingredient separately over medium heat for a few minutes in a heavybottomed cast-iron pan, shaking the pan from time to time to prevent the spices from burning.
Tip them into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a smooth powder. You may
have to do this individually to ensure you have a smooth powder. Store in a sterilised glass jar.
Makes about 125 ml (1 2 C).

Tip
Double up and make the curry powder ahead of time and store in an airtight
container for up to three months. I like to store my spices in the fridge.

Vegetable curry powder


Vegetable curry powder, otherwise known as unroasted curry powder, includes turmeric in the mixture.
This curry powder is mainly used for vegetable and eggs.
45 ml (3 Tbsp) coriander seeds
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) fennel seeds
30 ml (2 Tbsp) cumin seeds
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fenugreek seeds
20 curry leaves
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric

Dry-roast all the ingredients, except the turmeric, together over medium heat for a few minutes
in a heavy-bottomed cast-iron pan. Shake the pan from time to time to prevent the spices from
burning. Remove the pan from the heat and add the turmeric. Leave to cool. Tip the spices into
a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a smooth powder. Store in a sterilised glass jar.
Makes about 125 ml (1 2 C).

SRI LANKA 187

Beetroot curry
My most memorable meal in Sri Lanka, apart from the infamous egg curry, was this magnificent beetroot curry,
which was served with the very British devilled beef, rice and sambals. Our taxi driver stopped for us to have lunch
at a roadside shack made of a few sheets of corrugated iron nailed together and situated on the edge of a rice paddy. It must have
been 40 C inside that shack. I remember sitting around a small table eating curry off banana leaves while sipping on a cold beer.
What is the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream? Coconut
cream is the first extract after squeezing freshly grated coconut flesh. The pure liquid is known as the
cream. Water is then added to the same grated flesh and squeezed a second time to produce coconut milk.
Unfortunately, both have a very high fat content and there is no substitute for the flavour or end result.
Some recipes call for coconut cream and others for coconut milk. Do not substitute or swap them around.
Coconut water is the liquid inside a young coconut and is often mistaken for the milk. It is most commonly
used in drinks, but rarely for cooking.

25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower or


canola oil
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
20 curry leaves
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) turmeric
2 large fresh green chillies, sliced
into thin strips
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
15 ml (1 Tbsp) vegetable curry
powder (see page 187)
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds,
crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies
6 raw medium beetroot, cut into
julienne strips
250 ml (1 C) coconut cream

188 SRI LANKA

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saut the onion, garlic, curry leaves, turmeric and green
chillies until soft. Stir in the pepper, curry powder, salt, mustard seeds, crushed chillies and
beetroot. Cook for 5 minutes or until the spices have cooked and coated the beetroot. Stir in the
coconut cream. Cover and cook for 1520 minutes, stirring from time to time until done. The
beetroot will still be a little firm and crisp; it does not cook completely soft.
Serve warm as a curry or cold as a salad. It keeps well for up to seven days in the fridge.
Serves 46.

Tips
I always have a large container of this curry in my fridge. It tastes amazing as a salad
and will last, covered, for up to a week. It is worth noting that you can curry almost
any vegetable or fruit sweet potato, snake beans, green beans, okra, pumpkin, baby
marrow, brinjal, pineapple, butter beans, green banana or potato using the same
recipe and the Sri Lankan vegetable curry powder on page 187.
Dont cut the beetroot pieces too large or the beetroot will not cook properly.
Coconut cream and milk are widely available at supermarkets; some stores keep the
product amongst the baking goods and others with the Asian section. If you cannot
find the canned product, use 500 g desiccated coconut, add enough warm water to
cover and leave to soak for 1 hour. Squeeze the water from the coconut (reserve the
water) and pure the rehydrated flesh in a blender. Once smooth, return to the water
and use as directed. Make it as thick or thin as you wish.

Mutton rolls
Short eats are a variety of snacks made and sold in the hundreds of little short eat shops and bakeries around Sri Lanka. It is not uncommon to eat these for a late breakfast. On Christmas Day we stumbled into the now-famous Risara bakery in Haputale. Trays of
short eats filled the glass counters as throngs of people jostled for position. The bakery assistant filled a tray with around 24 different
eats and we sat down at a crowded table with cups of sweet tea and stuffed our faces. A short while later a waiter appeared. He took
the pencil from behind his ear, counted the remaining short eats and presented us with a bill. That was Christmas lunch. As we left
the bakery to great fanfare, he unceremoniously dumped the remaining snacks back onto trays for the next customer.
During my quest to find the perfect short eat, I discovered many family recipes using spring roll pastry, plain roti or mashed potato
for the pastry outer. I still prefer the pancake batter; it stays moist and spongy and blends well with the crumbed texture.
Curried mince
1 medium potato
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500 g mutton mince
2 green chillies, finely chopped
10 curry leaves
15 ml (1 Tbsp) roasted curry
powder (see page 187)
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
15 ml (1 Tbsp) white vinegar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) light soy sauce

Pancake batter
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
2 eggs
500 ml (2 C) milk

Coating
2 eggs, lightly beaten
560 ml (21 4 C) dried breadcrumbs

To make the curry mince, peel and boil the potato and then set aside to cool.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and saut the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mince and
brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, giving it a
good stir from time to time to prevent the mixture from burning and sticking to the bottom of
the saucepan. Set aside to cool. Finely dice the cooked potato and add it to the mince mixture.
Next, make the pancakes. Mix together all the batter ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Ensure there are no lumps. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. It is important that you assemble this
recipe one roll at a time. Remember, the pancake has to be warm when you roll it up.
Heat a 15 cm diameter nonstick pan. Pour a ladle of batter into the centre and give it a swirl to
form a 1215 cm circle. Cook the pancake over medium heat for about 1 minute until bubbles
appear on the surface, then remove to the counter top, placing the cooked side on the counter
with the uncooked side facing upwards.
Spoon a little mince onto the pancake at the bottom of the circle, fold it up by one-third to
cover the mince, then fold in the sides and roll up the pancake from the bottom to form a spring
roll. If needed, secure the top edge with a little flour and water paste. This is not always needed
as the warm pancake batter sticks to itself when rolled.
Place the spring roll onto a wooden board or greaseproof paper-lined tray. Continue until
you have used up all the batter and mince. Dip the rolls into the beaten egg and then into the
breadcrumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Deep-fry until golden brown, 23 minutes if not
frozen. Alternatively, freeze in a large freezer container with greaseproof paper separating the
layers of rolls for up to eight weeks. Cook from frozen for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Makes 12 large or 24 small rolls.

Tips
The pancakes must be just a little thicker than a crpe. If the batter thickens too much
upon standing, add a little water to thin the mixture to the consistency of pouring cream.
To make a flour and water paste, add 15 ml (1 Tbsp) cake flour to 15 ml (1 Tbsp) water
and stir until smooth. Use as glue to seal the pancake rolls after they have
been rolled up.

SRI LANKA 191

Pineapple chutney
Words cannot describe this chutney. I found the recipe in a little community cookbook first published when Sri Lanka
was still known as Ceylon. Over the years I have added mustard seeds to give the pineapple extra kick.
Serve it with cold meats and salads, roast pork, cheese platters or any meat curry.
Note Pineapples differ in size and you will have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. The chutney
should be firm like a good chutney and not too runny.

1 large pineapple
15 ml (1 Tbsp) dried
crushed chillies
2 large cloves garlic
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds
Pinch of salt
190 ml ( C) white grape vinegar
1 large stick cinnamon
250 ml (1 C) sugar

192 SRI LANKA

Peel and chop the pineapple into small cubes. I prefer a chunky mixture. Mix the chillies, garlic,
ginger, mustard seeds and salt together. Stir in the vinegar. Place this mixture in a large saucepan
with the pineapple, cinnamon stick and sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 2535 minutes,
stirring from time to time until the mixture is thick and has the consistency of good chutney.
Bottle at once in a sterilised jar. This chutney will keep for seven days in the fridge.
Makes 1 x 500 g jar.

Black pork curry


The first time I tasted pork curry I was at the Hilton Hotel in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo. The head chef Rohan Fernandopulle
cooked one of the most outstanding curries I have ever eaten. When I returned home I wrote to him and, with his blessing,
I can now include the recipe in my book. Rohan made his curry without the garam masala paste added at the end, but I have
included it as I like a little extra spice. I have found that the potency of the spices and chillies in Africa are not the same as those of
Sri Lanka, so we need to add extra spice for flavour. I remember his curry was very dark in colour, almost black. Hence the name.
Masala paste
15 ml (1 Tbsp) uncooked rice
15 ml (1 Tbsp) desiccated
coconut
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) white vinegar

Black pork curry


25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
1 large stick cinnamon
6 cardamom pods
5 dried cloves
10 cloves garlic, crushed
5 fresh green chillies, sliced
10 curry leaves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chilli powder
10 ml (2 tsp) roasted curry
powder (see page 187)
750 g pork cubes
x 70 g can tomato paste
250 ml (1 C) water
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt

Prepare the paste first by heating a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add the rice,
coconut, mustard and cumin seeds. Shake the pan gently to prevent the spices from burning.
Cook for a few minutes until the rice starts to brown. Remove from the heat and tip the spices
into a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind until you have a smooth powder. Stir in the
vinegar to make a paste. Set aside.
To make the curry, heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and saut the cinnamon, carda
mom, cloves, garlic, chillies, curry leaves and onion. Cook for a few minutes or until the onion
starts to turn golden brown. Stir in the chilli and curry powders and cook until the mixture
turns black. Be careful not to burn the mixture at this stage. Add the pork, tomato paste and
water, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. About 1015 minutes before
the end of cooking time, add the masala paste and stir to prevent the curry from sticking to the
bottom of the saucepan and burning. Leave to simmer gently until thick and aromatic. Season
with salt to taste. This curry goes very well with pineapple chutney (see page 192) and roti.
Serves 4.

SRI LANKA 195

CAMBODIA
AND VIETNAM

and I took the one


less travelled by
No guidebook can prepare you for Phnom Penh. This Cambodian city is small enough to
navigate on foot, but energetic enough to lose yourself in amongst the throngs of people all
trying to regain some sort of normality and to rebuild their lives after years of neglect, wars
with Vietnam and the murderous regime of Pol Pot, better known as Brother No. 1.
It was amongst this chaos that Cambodia first entered my life in the early 1990s a country morbidly fascinated by death, dedicating monuments made from human skulls to the
memory of fallen comrades. One year Tina Scotford and I had decided to travel across
Cambodia by any means possible, and our trip included a stint on the back of an ex-Khmer
Rouge soldiers motorbike, a nine-hour canal journey on a long tail boat designed for three,
and the world famous bamboo train.
With regular trains falling victim to years of neglect and war, locals had come up with a
solution: a simple bamboo platform randomly placed on top of narrow-gauge train wheels,
propelled to 65 kilometres per hour by a lawnmower engine. Passengers sit in rows with
legs crossed in the lotus position, while motorbikes and bicycles get loaded behind for the
30-kilometre trip down the neglected track. The train heads off down the single track at
an alarming speed and with the real possibility of meeting an oncoming train. The rule
of thumb is that whoever has the smaller load has to unload everything and remove the
bamboo and wheels from the track to let the heavier load pass. Then everything gets re
assembled and the journey continues.
Flying through the jungle, wind in my hair, with three motorbikes and all our luggage loaded randomly onto the platform behind me seemed like a good idea at the time but, looking
back, I realise that some years we may have needed more than just one guardian angel to
watch over us.

Lok lak chicken with Kampot pepper


Lok lak is as close to a national dish as you can get in Cambodia. The secret of this aromatic dish is the Kampot pepper,
widely regarded as the finest black pepper in the world. Generations of French colonialists farmed black pepper, exporting
it to restaurants in Europe while reserving only the very best for the chefs in Paris. The industry witnessed some turbulent
years with the arrival of the Khmer Rouge, but today Kampot pepper is again widely available throughout Cambodia,
packaged beautifully in hand woven baskets and sold by the kilogram to cooks and tourists alike.
Pepper sauce
60 ml (1 4 C) fish sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper (preferably Kampot)
23 cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) lime or
lemon juice

Lok lak
500 g chicken fillets (or beef cubes)
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
3 red, hot chillies, seeded and
chopped
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
30 ml (2 Tbsp) soy sauce
60 ml (1 4 C) oyster sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fish sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1015 ml (23 tsp) fresh black
peppercorns (preferably Kampot)
Extra 15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced

To serve
Cooked rice noodles
Lettuce leaves
Slices of tomato
Slices of onion

198 CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM

To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients together, except for the lime juice, and stir until the
sugar has dissolved. Add as much garlic and black pepper as you like. The lime juice gets added
shortly before serving. Set aside
To make the lok lak, combine the chicken with the sugar, salt, chillies, oil, soy sauce, oyster
sauce, fish sauce, tomato sauce and crushed garlic. Mix well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and tip in the peppercorns. Give the
saucepan a good shake and leave the peppercorns to brown and to release their flavour. Push
the peppercorns to one side, add the extra oil and the onion. Saut the onion until golden, incorporating the black peppercorns. Add the chicken and stir-fry for a few minutes or until the
meat is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Just before serving, squeeze the lime juice into the pepper sauce. Arrange the cooked rice
noodles and lettuce leaves attractively on a platter with the slices of tomato and raw onion.
To eat, wrap the meat in a lettuce leaf along with a slice of tomato and onion and dip into the
pepper sauce.
Serves 46.

Tips
If you ever get to Cambodia, stock up on black pepper as it will keep in an airtight
container for many years. However, it is possible to find small quantities of Kampot
pepper in Europe and the United Kingdom or through online purchases. Alternatively,
use any good black pepper found in South Africa. The worlds largest pepper producer
today is Vietnam.
Lok lak can be made with chicken or beef. Add a little chilli powder to the marinade
for added punch. Sirloin or rump steak is excellent for this dish.
Use a wok if you own one.

Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)


Pho noodle soup is the ultimate advertisement for Vietnamese street food. This humble broth has claimed its spot in
world cuisine and is very popular today. There are as many versions of this famous soup as there are noodle bars in Ho Chi Minh
City. Toothless old women cook up family treasures passed down through the generations and serve them to tourists and locals alike.
It was at one of these little plastic eateries that I first fell in love with star anise, the secret ingredient of pho.
450 g cooked flat rice noodles
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
2 large onions, quartered
10 cm knob fresh ginger,
thinly sliced
2 kg beef soup bones
800 g1 kg beef brisket, or any
other inexpensive cut
3.5 litres water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) brown sugar or
palm sugar
1
60 ml ( 4 C) Vietnamese fish sauce
(nuoc mam) or Thai fish sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
23 large sticks cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) coriander seeds,
lightly crushed
1215 pieces star anise
1012 dried cloves

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet and set aside. It doesnt matter if
they become cold as the warm broth will instantly reheat the noodles when served.
Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or stockpot and saut the onions and ginger until a dark
caramel colour. Add the soup bones and brisket and continue to brown gently for 810minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
Add the water, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Using a large slotted spoon, remove any
scum as it rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and add the sugar, fish sauce, salt, black pepper,
cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, star anise and cloves. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.
Remove the brisket from the saucepan and slice the meat from the bone into very thin
strips. Set aside. Return the brisket bones to the saucepan and continue to cook for a further
4560minutes or until the stock is flavoursome. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a little
more fish sauce or salt if needed. Remove from the heat and strain to get rid of any whole spices,
scum and bones. Return the stock and reserved brisket to the saucepan and heat through. Remember, a good soup takes time to cook so take it slow and stir from time to time.
To serve, line up a few serving bowls and place a large dollop of the cooked noodles in the
bottom of each. Top with baby spinach, bean sprouts, spring onions and sliced fried onion.
Divide the sliced meat equally between the serving bowls and ladle the hot broth over the noodles. Top with fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, sliced chillies and black pepper. Serve with a
quarter of fresh lime to be squeezed over the dish just before eating. Dont leave this step out as
it is the most important flavour of this dish.
Serves 46.

To serve
1 x 80 g packet baby spinach
1 x 150 g punnet bean sprouts
5 spring onions, sliced diagonally
small onion, thinly sliced
and fried until golden brown
125 ml ( C) fresh
coriander leaves
125 ml ( C) fresh mint leaves
45 large red chillies or birdseye chillies, seeded and julienned
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small limes or 1 large lemon,
quartered and pips removed

Tips
Pho is best served using large, flat, white rice noodles, but it can be enjoyed with
any regular rice or egg noodle. For this recipe the quantity I have given is for cooked
noodles, not dried.
This soup is all about the beef: choose an inexpensive cut to add to the stockpot and
that can be sliced up later into thin strips. Some recipes still call for fillet of beef, but
thats a little extravagant in todays terms and obviously a very French touch from an
altogether bygone era.
Baby spinach is not traditional by any means, but I add it to my pho just before
serving to give the soup an added dimension.

CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM 203

Ch gi (Vietnamese crab,
pork and mushroom spring rolls)
Vietnamese spring rolls are synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine but, unlike their Chinese cousins, they are made
from rice paper and can be prepared either fresh or deep-fried. The pastry is far lighter and crispier than Chinese spring
roll pastry. Commercially prepared rice paper wrappers will keep for up to a year. Purchase these at any good speciality
Asian food store and selected supermarkets. Phyllo pastry can be substituted for rice paper wrappers or use frozen
Chinese spring roll pastry. Remember to roll the wrappers tightly, like mini cigars.
Dipping sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fish sauce
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 large red chillies, chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper

Spring rolls
25 g dried rice noodles
15 ml (1 Tbsp) canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
5 large spring onions, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled
and julienned
175 g pork mince
100 g flaked white crab or whole
peeled baby shrimps
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fish sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli flakes (optional)
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) white pepper
100 g finely chopped
button mushrooms
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped fresh mint
1215 dried rice papers, 20 cm
in diameter or frozen Chinese
spring roll wrappers, thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Sunflower or canola oil
for deep-frying
Butter lettuce, salad leaves,
fresh mint, Thai basil and
coriander to serve

204 CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM

Make the dipping sauce first. Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until
the sugar has dissolved completely. Add the fish sauce, garlic and chillies, stir well and add the
pepper. Leave to stand and infuse for 30 minutes before using.
To make the spring rolls, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, reduce the heat, add the
rice noodles and simmer for 68 minutes. Drain and cut the noodles into finger-length pieces
using kitchen scissors. Set aside.
Heat the 15 ml (1 Tbsp) oil in a large frying pan or wok and saut the garlic, spring onions,
carrot, pork mince and crab for 68 minutes or until the pork is cooked and no longer pink.
Remove from the heat and add the fish sauce, chilli flakes and white pepper. Stir in the mushrooms, mint and the prepared noodles. Set aside to cool.
Fill a bowl with a little warm water. Take one sheet of rice paper at a time, dip it into the water
and place it on a clean work surface to soften, leaving it for about 20 seconds. Place a generous
tablespoon of filling near the bottom of the wrapper. Fold up the side nearest you by one-third,
then fold the remaining three sides into the centre to cover the filling, like an envelope. Carefully start rolling the wrapper from the bottom up to form a tight cigar. Secure the edge with a
little brushed egg white. Repeat until you have used up all the filling. Place the prepared rolls on
a dinner plate and leave to rest, uncovered, in the fridge for 1 hour or until they are dry. This is
done to prevent the rolls from spattering when you add them to the hot oil.
If using the thicker Chinese spring roll wrappers, keep the pastry covered with a damp tea
towel to prevent it from drying out while working. Using one sheet at a time, place a tablespoon
of filling at the bottom. Fold the sides in and roll up to make a tight cigar. Secure the edges with
a little egg white or cornflour paste.
Deep-fry the spring rolls in moderately hot oil until golden brown. Ensure the oil is not too
hot as the pastry is very thin and will burn easily. Drain on absorbent paper towel.
To serve, arrange the spring rolls on a plate and garnish with butter lettuce, salad leaves, fresh
mint, Thai basil and coriander. Wrap the spring rolls and herbs inside a lettuce leaf and dip into
the fish dipping sauce.
The filling makes enough for 1215 spring rolls.

Tip
This dipping sauce is fantastic as a dressing for salads, fresh and fried spring rolls or as
a dip for braaied pork or shrimps. It will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Cambodian caramel pork with rice noodles and mint


Everywhere you walk in Phnom Penh, the sweet smell of grilled pork fills the air. Food stalls line the wide avenues and riverbanks
and you can be forgiven for wanting to eat all day. The pork is usually grilled and served with a plate of noodles and a variety
of garnishes and dipping sauces, which are as important as the meat itself. If time permits I prefer to braai or grill the pork
as the marinade produces a lovely caramel flavour. Here I have simplified the recipe using a heavy-bottomed skillet.
500 g pork neck, sliced (no bones)
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil

Marinade
3 spring onions, chopped
small onion, grated
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fish sauce
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) brown sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) soy sauce
10 ml (2 tsp) oyster sauce
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper

Sweet dipping sauce


small carrot, julienned
30 ml (2 Tbsp) rice vinegar
5 ml (1 tsp) granulated sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) castor sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fish sauce
60 ml (1 4 C) water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, seeded and sliced
Pinch of salt
2.5 ml (1 2 tsp) freshly ground
black pepper

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the
pork and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
While the pork is marinating, make the dipping sauce. Combine the carrot, rice vinegar and
granulated sugar in a small bowl. Leave to ferment for 30 minutes. Strain and discard any remaining vinegar. Add the carrot to the remaining dipping sauce ingredients and stir until the
castor sugar has dissolved. Taste to adjust the seasoning.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or a wok and saut the pork for 56minutes until cooked. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large serving platter.
Arrange the lettuce, cucumber and mint alongside the pork. Neatly place the cooked, drained
noodles on the platter and garnish with spring onions. To eat, wrap the noodles, pork and mint
leaves in butter lettuce and roll up like a wrap. Serve with the sweet dipping sauce.
Serves 46.

Tips
Use any good quality Thai fish sauce as a substitute for the Vietnamese variety, but
bear in mind that it could be a little stronger and saltier than its Vietnamese or
Cambodian cousin. When cooking with fish sauce, there is no need to add a lot of salt
as fish sauce is the replacement for salt in all Southeast Asian cookery.
Use pork neck for this dish as it has a little fat, adding to the flavour. It is also an
inexpensive cut of meat. Leaner pork fillet can also be used.

To serve
1 large butter lettuce, washed
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut
into thick julienne strips
250 ml (1 C) fresh mint leaves
Rice vermicelli noodles, cooked
according to instructions on the
packet and cooled
Chopped spring onions to garnish

CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM 205

Green mango salad


Traditionally this salad is made with green mango, but a large Chinese radish (daikon) works just as well. Any variety of unripe
mango can be used, so long as it is julienned into fine matchsticks. Nowadays, tools are available at speciality kitchen stores for just
this purpose and investing in one of these will save you hours of preparation. The salad will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
Nuoc mam (fish sauce) Like many Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam produces its own fish sauce
from the juice of fermented salty fish. It is used in practically all Vietnamese cookery and is to Southeast
Asia what soy sauce is to China. Taste can differ according to the region or variety of fish and recipes remain
closely guarded family secrets. Layers of fish and salt are left to marinate and ferment for three months in
large wooden barrels. The fermented liquid is then extracted and poured back into the barrel, leaving it to
mature like any good wine. Nuoc mam is said to improve with age, encouraging the belief that the best fish
sauce should have the colour of a good whiskey.

Mango salad
1 large green mango
1 large carrot
30 ml (2 Tbsp) roughly chopped
raw unsalted peanuts (no skins)

Dressing
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fish sauce
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fresh lime or
lemon juice
2 large green or red chillies,
seeded and sliced
125 ml ( C) chopped
fresh coriander
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the salad, peel and julienne the mango flesh into matchsticks. Repeat with the carrot.
Combine the two in a small bowl and add the peanuts. Mix well.
To make the dressing, dissolve the sugar in the fish sauce, stirring continuously until all the
granules have dissolved. Add the lime juice, chillies and coriander. Season lightly with black
pepper. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
Pour the dressing over the salad and use your hands to mix the salad very well, working the
peanuts and dressing through the slices. Set aside for 30 minutes before serving, to allow the
flavours to infuse the mango.
Serve as part of a greater Vietnamese meal or eat on its own as a salad.
Serves 24.
Variation

Use the same salty dressing with a salad of ripe mango and small cucumber or small pineapple, and 2 small chopped tomatoes.

Tips
Fibreless mangoes are best for this recipe. Supermarkets often have unripe mangoes in cold storage and you are likely to
find them most of the time. Lime juice will give the salad a sharper taste; only use lemon juice if you are unable to find limes.
Substitute green pawpaw (papaya) or Chinese radish for mango, but do not eat green pawpaw if you are pregnant.
Limes are notoriously difficult to grow but are readily available in South Africa. The variety most commonly associated
with Southeast Asian cookery is the kaffir lime. Imported from abroad, it is now possible to purchase the variety at
specialised nurseries in South Africa.

206 CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM

Fresh rice paper spring rolls with


tuk trey dipping sauce
Fresh spring rolls stuffed with crisp vegetables and herbs can be prepared with the addition of cooked chicken, pork or shrimp.
The crisp, sun-dried pastry is often hand made from rice flour throughout Vietnam and Cambodia. Entire families spend
generation after generation plying their trade, making up to a few thousand sheets a month, after which it eventually
finds its way to the markets and from there to destinations around the world. Thailand produces a very similar
quality rice paper and these are the brands we are more likely to find in South Africa.
Spring rolls
12 round rice paper wrappers
1 lettuce, cleaned and leaves
separated
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 small English cucumber,
julienned
5 spring onions, trimmed
and halved lengthways
150 g bean sprouts
250 ml (1 C) fresh mint leaves
250 ml (1 C) fresh
coriander leaves

Tuk trey dipping sauce


4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 large red chillies, seeded
and chopped
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon or lime
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fish sauce
(nuoc mam)
60 ml (1 4 C) water
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped unsalted
raw peanuts (no skins)

Make the spring rolls first. Work with one rice paper wrapper at a time. Dip the wrapper
into a bowl of lukewarm water to soften. Transfer immediately to a clean work surface and
leave to stand for about 20 seconds. Certain homemade rice paper wrappers are thinner than
others so use your discretion when applying the moisture. If in doubt, follow the instructions
on thepacket.
Make a straight edge by folding over about 2 cm of the wrapper on the right-hand side, all
the way down. Place a piece of lettuce on the rice paper, towards the bottom, with the frilly side
towards the straight edge. Add a few pieces of carrot, cucumber, spring onion, bean sprouts,
mint and coriander neatly on top. Fold the bottom flap upwards. Start rolling, holding the filling in place as you work and folding over the left side of the roll until complete. It should be
neat and firm, with an opening on one side. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients.
Arrange on a serving platter.
To make the dipping sauce, use a pestle and mortar to pound the garlic, chillies and sugar to
make a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice, fish sauce and water. Add the peanuts for texture.
Serve with the spring rolls.
Serves 46.

Tips
If you are adding any meat or shrimp, lightly season and saut the strips of meat beforehand. Set aside to cool before using.
Any mixed salad leaves will do the trick when making these magnificent little rolls. Experiment with different varieties and
even try baby spinach. Always break off the stems.
Take note that the same method is not used for rolling deep-fried spring rolls as they are usually much smaller and thinner
than the fresh rolls and all the sides need to be sealed.

CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM 209

I N D I A
AND

NEPAL

A passage to India
Nothing can prepare you for India. From the moment you step foot upon her humble
shores, your senses will run riot. Trying to absorb it all is impossible. But if you succumb to
her charms and follow the rhythm of this ancient land, you will be fine.
After weeks of travelling on a shoestring, my boyfriend and I opted for some five-star
accommodation in Varanasi. I was thrilled. Finally, I could have my clothes washed in a
real hotel laundry. None of this pay per kg for hand wash rubbish you get everywhere else,
Ithought. Whenever I returned to my air-conditioned suite I would find a chocolate on my
pillow and clean clothes hanging in the wardrobe. I felt rich.
One morning we took a boat trip down the Ganges River, the lifeblood of India. Old and
young come to her shores to wash, drink, swim, feed, die and be cremated. Cows walk
amongst corpses, stacked onto a funeral pyre, nibbling the marigolds from the forbidden
fruit, woman wade waist-deep in the water, washing their hair and brushing teeth, while
young boys swim past floating debris and water buffalo.
All things being equal, it was an amazing sight. That is, until I spotted my brown dress drying on the cement at the washing ghat The washer men were knee-deep in the water,
scrubbing the rest of my laundry and neatly laying it out to dry before the sun rose to her
highest point. Welcome to India!
I have since returned many times, nowadays for art as much as travel. I am very fond of
Indian cuisine and over the years have recorded many more adventures and recipes. Perhaps even enough to fill a whole book

Rogan josh (mutton curry)


My love affair with rogan josh began in a small village near the world-famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan,
where I travelled to see one of the last remaining Siberian cranes in the world. Rogan josh is actually a Kashmiri dish brought
to the area by the Mughals, who were determined to escape the heat of the Indian plains. Nowadays rogan josh adorns menus
on every continent. As with all authentic Indian dishes, recipes differ greatly according to the region where they originate and
the families who cook them! Over the years I have adapted this recipe to become my absolute favourite curry dish of all time.
What is ghee? Ghee is the clarified butter used extensively in Indian cooking. It can be purchased at any
large supermarket and will keep for months in the fridge.

30 ml (2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil or ghee
2 large onions, chopped
7 large cloves garlic, crushed
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
10 ml (2 tsp) chilli powder (more
if you like it hot)
10 ml (2 tsp) paprika
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground coriander
15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground cumin
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cardamom or
6 cardamom pods, bruised
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
10 ml (2 tsp) turmeric
1 large stick cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
1 kg lamb shanks, cubed on
bone or similar
1 x 410 g can whole
peeled tomatoes
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
330 ml (11 3 C) plain yoghurt
45 ml (3 Tbsp) garam masala
45 ml (3 Tbsp) slivered almonds
(optional)
Fresh coriander leaves to serve

212 INDIA AND NEPAL

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and saut the onions, garlic and ginger for a
few minutes. Add the chilli powder, paprika, coriander, cumin, cardamom, ground cloves, turmeric, cinnamon stick and salt. Add the lamb and cook for 35 minutes, stirring continuously
to coat well. Add the canned tomatoes with the juice, the tomato paste and the yoghurt. Cover
and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 11 22 hours or until the meat is soft
and the sauce has thickened. Taste the curry and see if more salt is needed at this stage. Sprinkle
garam masala over the top and stir in the almonds. Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves over the dish
just before serving with rice, naan or roti.
Serves 46.

Tip
This curry can be frozen for up to three months and is better made the day before
eating. The best cut of meat for this curry is lamb shanks, cut on the bone.

Aloo tikki and tamarind chutney


Aloo tikki is the king of Indian street food and a popular snack sold on every street corner in northern India.
Its commonly served in little cups made from a dried lotus leaf or old newspapers complete with an ice cream stick
to mop up the sauce! I cant get enough of it when I am in India. My friend Bavesh Negandhi, who worked for the
Fine Art Trade Guild in London for many years, gave me his family recipe.
Did you know? Besan or chickpea flour is also known as gram flour, and is made from Bengal gram
or chickpeas. It is yellow in colour. Rice or cake flour will also do the trick as it is only used to thicken and
bind the mixture.

500 g (about 2 large) potatoes,


peeled and quartered
30 ml (2 Tbsp) butter or ghee
60 ml ( C) chickpea flour or
cake flour
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil or ghee
2 fresh green chillies,
finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) grated fresh ginger
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped
fresh coriander
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped fresh mint
2.5 ml ( tsp) hot chilli powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
2.5 ml ( tsp) freshly ground
black pepper
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
Extra oil or ghee for frying
Cake flour or rice flour to dust
1 egg, lightly beaten

Tamarind chutney
1 x 100 g packet tamarind paste
250 ml (1 C) boiling water
1
60 ml ( 4 C) chopped pitted dates
10 ml (2 tsp) grated fresh ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
60 ml ( C) palm sugar or soft
brown sugar

To make the aloo tikki, cook the potatoes in boiling


salted water, then drain and add the butter. Mash while
still warm; Make sure there are no lumps. Stir in the
chickpea flour. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and saut the chillies, ginger, chopped coriander and mint. Add the chilli
powder, ground coriander and cumin and cook for
2minutes. Add the mixture to the mashed potato, mix
well and season.
Divide the mixture into equal-sized balls, almost as
big as a golf ball. Flatten to form patties. Refrigerate for
1 hour.
Heat a little oil in a nonstick or heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle, dip the patties into flour and then into
beaten egg to coat. Fry for a few minutes on each side or
until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on
absorbent paper towel.
To make the chutney, soak the tamarind paste in boiling
water for 30 minutes. Strain to remove the seeds. The liquid
should be smooth. Combine all the chutney ingredients in
a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook until the dates
have dissolved. Serve warm with the aloo tikki.
Makes 1215.

Tip
Dried tamarind and palm sugar are available from any large supermarket or Asian
food speciality store. Palm sugar is often associated with Thai ingredients, collected
from coconut palms, but is widely used in all Asian cooking and for making alcoholic
drinks. Substitute with brown sugar.

INDIA AND NEPAL 213

Kathmandu butter chicken


Butter chicken is Indian in origin but the best version I ever tasted was in Nepal.
I have some wonderful memories of Kathmandu, a city nearly as old and majestic as the Himalayas themselves.
Across the alleyway from the Kathmandu Guest House is a little restaurant called the New Orleans Caf. The courtyard
fills up early in the evening with throngs of trekkers and mountaineers, all huddled around the fire and sharing tales of great
adventure and elusive summits. The menu has not changed in years and the first thing I do when I arrive is order the butter chicken.
Oh yes, and a cold beer. The chef cooks in an open courtyard so I was able to watch and scribble down the recipe.
What is garam masala? Garam masala is a North Indian spice mix used for meat dishes, and
consists mainly of ground coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It is
not used in the cooking process, but rather added at the end as a grand finale. As with all things Asian, there
are several variations and today the term garam masala is used loosely in South Africa, often referring to
curry powder. Garam masala is easily found in all supermarkets.

4 cloves garlic, crushed


10 ml (2 tsp) grated fresh ginger
60 ml (1 4 C) ground almonds
10 ml (2 tsp) garam masala
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground cloves
2.5 ml ( tsp) ground coriander
2.5 ml ( tsp) chilli powder
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
125 ml (1 2 C) plain yoghurt
750 g1 kg skinless chicken fillets
60 g ghee or butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods, bruised
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sweet paprika, but
not smoked
1 x 410 g can tomato pure
80 ml (1 3 C) fresh cream

Combine the garlic, ginger and almonds in a bowl. Add the garam masala, cloves, ground coriander, chilli powder, tomato paste and yoghurt. Mix well. Add the chicken to this mixture and
leave to marinate for about 4 hours or overnight if possible.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Heat the ghee in a saucepan and saut the onion. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods,
salt and paprika and cook for a few minutes. Add the marinated chicken. Stir well to combine
with the other spices and the onion. Stir in the tomato pure. Transfer the chicken mixture to
a casserole with a tight-fitting lid or an ovenproof dish covered with two layers of foil. Bake
for 1hour. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and stir in the
cream. Return the dish to the oven without the lid or foil and bake for the remaining time or
until the dish is browned on top.
If you like, sprinkle over some chopped fresh coriander and slivered almonds, and serve with
basmati rice, plain naan or roti.
Serves 46.

INDIA AND NEPAL 215

Jet Airways samoosas


Some years ago my mother and I travelled to Goa. During the return journey the plane engine caught fire and we had to do an
emergency landing at Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The new plane took seven hours to arrive. Eventually the
airport staff, no longer sure what to do with us, made tea and served samoosas until I couldnt eat another one.
Pastry
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
50 g cold salted butter
about 60 ml (1 4 C) water

Filling
15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
15 ml (1 Tbsp) hot curry powder
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
250 g lean beef mince
1 x 70 g can tomato paste
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh coriander
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) chopped
fresh mint
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for deep-frying

Mint chutney
125 ml ( C) roughly chopped
fresh coriander leaves, washed
250 ml (1 C) roughly chopped
fresh mint leaves, washed
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green chillies, chopped
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
45 ml (3 Tbsp) lemon juice
125 ml (1 2 C) plain yoghurt
60 ml ( C) water
10 ml (2 tsp) white sugar
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
12

216 INDIA AND NEPAL

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add just enough water and combine the mixture into a smooth,
firm dough. Do not overwork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan and saut the onion and garlic
until soft. Stir in the fresh chillies, chilli powder, curry powder and ground coriander. Cook for
3minutes. Add the mince and cook until the meat is well browned. Add the tomato paste, fresh
coriander, mint and lemon juice, then reduce the heat and simmer for 810 minutes, stirring
from time to time. The mixture should be a little dry. Season to taste. Leave to cool.
Divide the pastry into about eight equal pieces. Dust with flour and roll each into a thin circle
of about 12 cm in diameter. Cut the circle in half. Fold each semi-circle into a cone and brush the
seam with a little water to seal. Place a spoonful of mixture into the centre, but do not overfill.
Dampen the top edge and seal firmly. You should now have a triangular shape. Repeat until you
have used up all the pastry and filling.
Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 190 C. Test to see if the oil is hot by
frying a cube of white bread; if it turns golden brown in 30 seconds, the oil is ready. Deep-fry
the samoosas a few at a time until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and
drain on absorbent paper towel.
To make the chutney, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
Transfer to a small bowl, season well and cover with plastic wrap until needed. It will keep well
in the fridge for up to three days.
Serve hot with the Mint Chutney or Tamarind Chutney (see page 213).
Makes 1216.
Variation

Use the same mince mixture and puff pastry to make curry puffs, or make South African
samoosas using shop-bought samoosa pastry.

Tips
This recipe is for authentic Indian samoosas, and the pastry, filling and method
of folding is different from the samoosas we make in South Africa. South African
samoosas have a spring roll-like pastry and are folded into triangles. My recipe
calls for a pastry that puffs up slightly during cooking.
This pastry is very delicate. Add only a little water at a time until you have a firm
dough. Dont make the dough too soft or it will break as you try to fold the cones.
The uncooked samoosas can be frozen for up to three months. Deep-fry direct
from the freezer.

Mutton kofta with sweet smoked paprika


This dish is superb. I have infused the little mutton meatballs with smoked paprika in a rich tomato
base to create a somewhat unconventional sauce.
Koftas
1 small onion, grated
500 g mutton or lamb mince
15 ml (1 Tbsp) grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large green chillies,
finely chopped
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
1 large egg
15 ml (1 Tbsp) finely chopped
fresh Italian flat-leaf
parsley or coriander

To make the koftas, grate the onion and push it through a sieve with the back of a spoon, or
squeeze with your hand to remove the moisture. In a small bowl, combine the onion with the
rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Divide the mince mixture into equal portions, rolling into little balls about 5 cm in diameter
or the size of a large walnut. Place the meatballs on a plastic tray or baking tray, cover with
plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. The meatballs must be firm enough to hold their shape
while cooking.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan and saut the onion. Add
all the spices and salt. Cook for a few minutes to brown the spices. Stir in the tomato pure,
yoghurt and sugar. Bring to the boil, and then add the meatballs. Reduce the heat and leave to
simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Give it a good stir from time to time, ensuring that you dont
break up any of the meatballs when you do this.
Serve with fresh coriander and naan bread or roti.

Tomato and sweet paprika sauce


15 ml (1 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
1 large stick cinnamon
6 dried cloves
6 cardamom pods, bruised
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
10 ml (2 tsp) smoked sweet
Spanish paprika
10 ml (2 tsp) garam masala
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
1 x 400 g can tomato pure
190 ml ( C) plain yoghurt
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
Chopped fresh coriander to serve

Serves 46.
Variations

Use the kofta meatballs as a pasta sauce for penne pasta or, better still, use the meatballs and
sauce as the filling for a lasagne. Proceed as usual with the white sauce, dried lasagne sheets
and cheese layers.
For more spice, add smoked hot paprika instead of sweet paprika. Both are available at most
large supermarkets or speciality food stores in South Africa. These paprikas are prevalent in
Middle Eastern and North African cooking a long way from India but I love the smoky
flavour when used with lamb or mutton.

INDIA AND NEPAL 219

Devilled potatoes
This is a super potato dish to serve with any meat dish. I normally make it when I have a braai.
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) sunflower or
canola oil
2 large red onions, sliced
not chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp) dried crushed chillies
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml ( tsp) turmeric
1 kg potatoes, peeled, cooked
and cooled
20 curry leaves
1 large stick cinnamon
8 large fresh green chillies, sliced
25 ml (11 2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed
lime or lemon juice

220 INDIA AND NEPAL

Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan and saut the onions, garlic, crushed chillies, salt, chilli
powder and turmeric until the onion is soft and there is no more moisture in the onions. The
mixture must be dry. Quarter the potatoes; add them to the saucepan with the curry leaves,
cinnamon stick and fresh chillies. Cook for 810 minutes or until well coated. Remove from the
heat, stir in the lime juice and serve immediately.
Serves 68.
Variations

Omit the turmeric, curry leaves and cinnamon. Add half a chorizo sausage, 5 ml (1 tsp) finely
grated lemon rind and 2 dried bay leaves.
Omit the turmeric, curry leaves and cinnamon. Add 125 g roughly chopped bacon and
100g whole pitted black olives and 2 dried bay leaves.
Use whole unpeeled baby potatoes if preferred. They are low GI and look great particularly
useful as a party dish.

Peanut brittle
Although this recipe comes from Sri Lanka, youll find peanut brittle in every market on the Indian subcontinent.
Slabs of sickly sweet peanut bars are stacked sky-high on plastic tables. I never travel to India without stocking enough to supply
a small spaza shop at home. These are to Asia what energy bars are to the West and no great pilgrimage would be the same
without them, none more so than Adams Peak. On a recent visit to Sri Lanka, Sue convinced me to walk up the famous
Buddhist pilgrimage site. What she failed to mention was the 4 750 steps to the top. I must admit the climb was certainly
a breeze after running the gauntlet past throngs of peanut brittle sellers congregated at the seven-kilometre start.
Traditionally, peanut or sesame brittle is made with jaggery, which is basically a moulded lump of sugar made from sugar
cane with a slight caramel flavour and alcoholic aroma. Jaggery is similar to Thai palm sugar and can also be substituted
with brown sugar in both Indian and Thai dishes. I have simplified the recipe using white sugar.
75 g salted butter
125 ml ( C) golden syrup
2.5 ml ( tsp) salt
330 ml (11 3 C) white sugar
250 ml (1 C) boiling water
330 ml (11 3 C) salted peanuts or
raw cashew nuts

Grease a large baking tray with


butter. Set aside.
Combine the butter, syrup,
salt, sugar and boiling water in
a medium-sized saucepan. Stir
over low heat until the sugar
has dissolved. Bring to the boil,
reduce the heat and cook without
stirring until a sugar thermometer
reads hard crack or 147 C.
Alternatively, drop half a teaspoonful of the mixture onto a
saucer with a little cold water. If
the mixture sets hard and cracks
when broken, its ready.
Remove the caramel from the
heat and immediately stir in the
peanuts. Immediately spread the
mixture onto the prepared baking tray and smooth with the back
of a greased spoon. Leave to cool.
Before it is set completely, about
8 minutes, mark out the pieces
with a buttered knife. When cold,
break the pieces into squares.
Store in an airtight container.
Keeps for up to two weeks at
room temperature.
Makes about 24 squares.

INDIA AND NEPAL 221

Recipe index

Page numbers in italic indicate photographs.

Aoli 10
Almonds
Bakewell tart 138, 139
Chicken tagine with dates 132, 133
Rich almond fudge cake 52, 53
Apples
Howards apple pie 46, 47
Lamb shank with bacon, smoked chilli
and apple 134, 135
Apricot pot pudding 42, 43
Bacon
Chicken coq au vin potjie 32, 33
Lamb shank with bacon, smoked chilli
and apple 134, 135
Roast leg of warthog with dried pears,
hanepoot and cinnamon 35
Bananas
Banoffee surprise 151
Coconut and sesame fried bananas 165, 165
Bean salad 40
Beef
Aromatic beef curry 186
Beef rendang with roti jala (lacy pancakes) 177
Beef stock 120
Cornish pasties 148, 149
Cynthias sirloin au poivre with soy and green
peppercorns 106, 107
Jet Airways samoosas 216, 217
Massaman beef curry 170, 171
Pasta al forno 80, 81
Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) 202, 203
Thai beef salad 166, 167
Trans-Siberian beef stroganoff 114, 115
Beetroot
Beetroot curry 188, 189
Borscht (beetroot soup) 120, 121
Berbere paste 77
Braai sauce, AWB 34
Breads
Farmhouse seed loaf 19
Refrigerator tray rolls 66, 73
Soda bread with buck rarebit 142, 143
Breakfast and brunch
Coconut and sesame fried bananas 165, 165
Ritas breakfast slice 112, 113
Soda bread with buck rarebit 142, 143
Brinjals
Honey lamb moussaka with nutmeg 124

222 RECIPE INDEX

Burgers, Lamb with cumin, sweet paprika


and mint 82, 83
Cakes
Big bake cake 51
Black mamba cake 24
Carrot cake with olive oil, pistachio nuts
and cumin 130
Custard powder cheesecake 100
Engelas moist chocolate cake 30, 31
Fentes boudoir sponge 78, 79
Greek coconut cake with cardamom
syrup 126, 127
Livingstones orange chiffon cake 68, 69
Mrs Hendersons boiled fruitcake 48, 49
Poppy seed and coconut chiffon with
white marshmallow topping 103
Rich almond fudge cake 52, 53
Ritas breakfast slice 112, 113
Salted caramel cheesecake 100
Carrots
Carrot cake with olive oil, pistachio nuts
and cumin 130
Fresh rice paper spring rolls with tuk trey
dipping sauce 208, 209
Green mango salad 206, 207
Cheese
Caramelised onion, olive and goats cheese
quiche 94, 95
Little Paraguay pies (empanadas) 88, 89
Soda bread with buck rarebit 142, 143
Spanakopita money bags 128, 129
Cheesecake
Custard powder cheesecake 100
Ritas breakfast slice 112, 113
Salted caramel cheesecake 100
Chicken
Chairman Maos chicken 161, 161
Chicken coq au vin potjie 32, 33
Chicken jalfrezi 141
Chicken liver pt with whiskey and green
peppercorns 14, 15
Chicken tagine with dates 132, 133
Doro wat chicken berbere and hard-boiled
egg 76
Kathmandu butter chicken 214, 215
Lok lak chicken with Kampot pepper 198, 199
Mombasa chicken curry 60
Nasi goreng 179, 179

Ohn no khao sw (Burmese chicken noodle


soup) 168, 169
Satay with peanut sauce 180, 181
Singapore laksa with chicken and prawns
174, 175
Zanzibar coffee chicken 58, 59
Chillies
Chilli jam 20
Chairman Maos chicken 161, 161
Chilli chocolate puds 118
Chuanr lamb kebabs with cumin and
crushed chilli 157
Devilled potatoes 220
Green mango salad 206, 207
Lamb shank with bacon, smoked chilli and
apple 134, 135
Lok lak chicken with Kampot pepper 198, 199
Singapore chilli crab 178, 178
Piri-piri oil 72
Chimichurri sauce 90, 91
Chocolate
Chilli chocolate puds 118
Chocolate profiteroles 12, 13
Engelas moist chocolate cake 30, 31
Icing 31
Liquid chocolate vodka mousse 119, 119
Orange chocolate puds 118
Rich almond fudge cake 52, 53
Tsar Nicholas chocolate fondant puddings
118
Chutney
Mint 216
Pineapple 192, 193
Tamarind 213
Clams
Linguini with white clam sauce 104, 105
Coconut
Aromatic beef curry 186
Beef rendang with roti jala (lacy pancakes)
177
Coconut and sesame fried bananas 165, 165
Greek coconut cake with cardamom syrup
126, 127
Howards apple pie 46, 47
Massaman beef curry 170, 171
Poppy seed and coconut chiffon with white
marshmallow topping 103
Singapore laksa with chicken and prawns
174, 175

Coffee
Banoffee surprise 151
Butterflied leg of lamb with aromatic coffee
and smoked paprika 84
Mocha icing 51
Zanzibar coffee chicken 58, 59
Couscous salad, African roasted veg and 41
Crab
Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and
mushroom spring rolls) 204
Singapore chilli crab 178, 178
Wasini-style crab curry 70, 71
Curries
Aromatic beef curry 186
Beef rendang with roti jala (lacy pancakes) 177
Beetroot curry 188, 189
Black pork curry 194, 195
Chicken jalfrezi 141
Kathmandu butter chicken 214, 215
Massaman beef curry 170, 171
Mombasa chicken curry 60
Rogan josh (mutton curry) 212
Sri Lankan egg curry 184, 185
Wasini-style crab curry 70, 71
Curry paste 174, 177
Massaman 171
Curry powder
Roasted 187
Vegetable 187

Eggs
Doro wat chicken berbere and hard-boiled
egg 76
Ohn no khao sw (Burmese chicken noodle
soup) 168, 169
Sri Lankan egg curry 184, 185
Empanadas (little Paraguay pies) 88, 89

Dates
Chicken tagine with dates 132, 133
Mrs Hendersons boiled fruitcake 48, 49
Sticky toffee pudding with fresh ginger
butterscotch 61
Tamarind chutney 213
Desserts (cold)
Banoffee surprise 151
Milky bar ice cream 25
Pears in red wine with bay leaves,
cinnamon and orange 97, 97
Desserts (hot)
Apricot pot pudding 42, 43
Chilli chocolate puds 118
Howards apple pie 46, 47
Orange chocolate puds 118
Pears in red wine with bay leaves,
cinnamon and orange 97, 97
Sticky toffee pudding with fresh
ginger butterscotch 61
Tsar Nicholas chocolate fondant puddings 118
Duck
Peking duck Natasha style 158, 159

Honey
Honey lamb moussaka with nutmeg 124
Mascarpone and honey icing 79
Rose honey 55
Venison and honey boerewors 38, 39

Fish and seafood


Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and
mushroom spring rolls) 204
Linguini with white clam sauce 104, 105
Nasi goreng 179, 179
Prawns in Swahili sauce 64, 65
Singapore chilli crab 178, 178
Singapore laksa with chicken and
prawns 174, 175
Wasini-style crab curry 70, 71
Fruitcake, Mrs Hendersons boiled 48, 49
Garlic
Chimichurri sauce 90, 91
Gastro-pub pork belly, fennel seeds
and garlic 150, 150
Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb with
rosemary, garlic and aoli 10, 11
Ugandan garlic soup 66, 67
Grapefruit
Witblits marmalade 21

Ice cream, Milky bar 25


Icing
Chocolate 31
Cream cheese 130
Mascarpone and honey 79
Mocha 51
Orange 68
Jam squares 22, 23
Jams and preserves
Chilli jam 20
Mint chutney 216
Pineapple chutney 192, 193
Rose petal jam 54, 55
Star anise and cinnamon plum preserve 96
Tamarind chutney 213
Witblits marmalade 21

Kebabs and skewers


Chuanr lamb kebabs with cumin
and crushed chilli 157
Satay with peanut sauce 180, 181
Lamb and Mutton
Butterflied leg of lamb with aromatic
coffee and smoked paprika 84
Chuanr lamb kebabs with cumin and
crushed chilli 157
Honey lamb moussaka with
nutmeg 124
Lamb burgers with cumin, sweet
paprika and mint 82, 83
Lamb shank with bacon, smoked chilli
and apple 134, 135
Mutton kofta with sweet smoked
paprika 218, 219
Mutton rolls 190, 191
Rogan josh (mutton curry) 212
Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb with
rosemary, garlic and aoli 10, 11
Lentils
Turkish red lentil soup 131, 131
Mango salad, Green 206, 207
Marinade 58, 107, 161, 205
Brine 109
Marmalade, Witblits 21
Marmite tart 8, 9
Masala paste 195
Mascarpone and honey icing 79
Meatballs
Mutton kofta with sweet smoked
paprika 218, 219
Mushrooms
Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and
mushroom spring rolls) 204
Chicken coq au vin potjie 32, 33
Trans-Siberian beef stroganoff 114, 115
Mutton see Lamb and Mutton
Oil, Piri-piri 72
Olives
Caramelised onion, olive and goats
cheese quiche 94, 95
Onions
Caramelised onion, olive and goats
cheese quiche 94, 95
Oranges
Icing 68
Livingstones orange chiffon cake 68, 69
Orange chocolate puds 118

RECIPE INDEX 223

Pancakes 191
Lacy (roti jala) 177
Mandarin 158
Pasta and noodles
Chiang Mai red curry noodle soup 164
Linguini with white clam sauce 104, 105
Pasta al forno 80, 81
Pastry 88, 94, 108, 138, 148, 160, 216
Peanuts
Chairman Maos chicken 161, 161
Fresh rice paper spring rolls with tuk trey
dipping sauce 208, 209
Green mango salad 206, 207
Massaman beef curry 170, 171
Peanut brittle 221, 221
Satay with peanut sauce 180, 181
Pears
Pears in red wine with bay leaves,
cinnamon and orange 97, 97
Roast leg of warthog with dried pears,
hanepoot and cinnamon 35
Pecan nuts
Southern pecan pie with Maldon salt 108, 108
Phyllo pastry
Spanakopita money bags 128, 129
Pies (savoury)
Cornish pasties 148, 149
Little Paraguay pies (empanadas) 88, 89
Pies (sweet)
Howards apple pie 46, 47
Southern pecan pie with Maldon salt 108, 108
Pineapple
Chutney 192, 193
Li River sweet-and-sour pork 154, 155
Piri-piri oil 72
Pistachio nuts
Carrot cake with olive oil, pistachio nuts
and cumin 130
Plums
Star anise and cinnamon plum preserve 96
Pork
Black pork curry 194, 195
Cambodian caramel pork with rice noodles
and mint 205
Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and
mushroom spring rolls) 204
Dinosaur sticky ribs 109, 109
Gastro-pub pork belly, fennel seeds and
garlic 150, 150
Li River sweet-and-sour pork 154, 155
Potatoes
Aloo tikki and tamarind chutney 213, 213
Devilled potatoes 220

224 RECIPE INDEX

Prawns
Prawns in Swahili sauce 64, 65
Singapore laksa with chicken and prawns
174, 175
Profiteroles, Chocolate 12, 13
Quiche, Caramelised onion, olive and
goats cheese 94, 95
Rice
Nasi goreng 179, 179
Rose petal
Honey 55
Jam 54, 55
Topping 103
Vinegar 55
Rub, Dry spice 109
Rusks, Moiras all-bran 28, 29
Salads
African roasted veg and couscous salad 41
Bean salad 40
Green mango salad 206, 207
Thai beef salad 166, 167
Sauces
Aoli 10
AWB braai sauce 34
Bchamel sauce 80
Chimichurri sauce 90, 91
Dipping sauce 204
Ginger butterscotch syrup 61
Mint tzatziki sauce 83
Peanut sauce 180
Pepper sauce 198
Red pasta sauce 80
Soy and green peppercorn sauce 107
Sticky sauce for ribs 109
Swahili sauce 64
Sweet dipping sauce 205
Sweet-and-sour sauce 154
Tomato and sweet paprika sauce 219
Tuk trey dipping sauce 209
Sausage
Venison and honey boerewors 38, 39
Shortbread, Cotswolds lavender 146, 147
Shrimps
Nasi goreng 179, 179
Snacks
Aloo tikki and tamarind chutney 213, 213
Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and mushroom spring rolls) 204
Fresh rice paper spring rolls with tuk trey
dipping sauce 208, 209

Jet Airways samoosas 216, 217


Mutton rolls 190, 191
Soups
Borscht (beetroot soup) 120, 121
Chiang Mai red curry noodle soup 164
Ohn no khao sw (Burmese chicken noodle
soup) 168, 169
Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) 202, 203
Singapore laksa with chicken and prawns
174, 175
Turkish red lentil soup 131, 131
Ugandan garlic soup 66, 67
Spinach
Spanakopita money bags 128, 129
Spreads and dips
Chicken liver pt with whiskey and green
peppercorns 14, 15
Spring rolls
Ch gi (Vietnamese crab, pork and
mushroom spring rolls) 204
Fresh rice paper spring rolls with tuk trey
dipping sauce 208, 209
Steak
Cynthias sirloin au poivre with soy and
green peppercorns 106, 107
Thai beef salad 166, 167
Stews and casseroles see also Curries
Chicken coq au vin potjie 32, 33
Stock, Beef 120
Stroganoff, Trans-Siberian beef 114, 115
Sweet treats
Brandy snaps 50
Chocolate profiteroles 12, 13
Cotswolds lavender shortbread 146, 147
Jam squares 22, 23
Peanut brittle 221, 221
Tarts
Bakewell tart 138, 139
Hong Kong custard tartlets 160, 160
Marmite tart 8, 9
Venison
Roast leg of warthog with dried pears,
hanepoot and cinnamon 35
Venison and honey boerewors 38, 39
Vinegar, Rose petal 55
Vodka mousse, Liquid chocolate 119, 119
Warthog
Roast leg of warthog with dried pears,
hanepoot and cinnamon 35
Witblits marmalade 21