Be bold with Benny - recipes


Benny Masekwameng has a smile that will melt your heart and, boy, can he cook too.

The Masterchef SA judge and executive chef at Sun Square Montecasino hotel’s MondoVino restaurant in Johannesburg, loves bold flavours and colours and uses these to showcase different ingredients.

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Chef Benny Masekwameng  dishes at Mondo Vindo Restuarand in Montecasino near Johannesburg. 
Chef Benny Masekwameng prepare his dishes at Mondo Vindo Restuarand in Montecasino near Johannesburg. 
Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

I asked him to share some of his favourite recipes with readers and he came up with some punchy hot and spicy dishes.



Serves 4

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

45ml oil

15ml hot curry powder

5ml turmeric

5ml ground coriander

1 carrot, peeled and grated

5ml tomato paste

2 tomatoes, peeled and grated

80g sweet piquante peppers, chopped

400g can of baked beans

half a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Sauté the onion and garlic in oil in a pan. Add the curry powder, turmeric and ground coriander.

Add the carrot and braise till soft. Add the tomato paste and stir through the mixture then add the tomatoes and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add the peppers and the baked beans and cook for 8 minutes.

Lastly add the fresh coriander and remove from heat and place in serving dish.

Serve with grilled T-bone steak.

* Piquante peppers are sold under the brand name of Peppadews



Serves 4

50ml olive oil

2 onions, sliced

5ml chopped garlic

2 bunches of spinach, cleaned and chopped

150g butternut, cubed

250ml vegetable or chicken stock

3-4 chillies, chopped

100g ground cashew nuts

100ml cream


ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil, add the onions and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, spinach, butternut and stock and let the spinach boil down for 10-15 minutes.

Add the chillies, ground nuts and cream, mix for about 3-5 minutes until well blended. Season and serve.



Serves 4

1kg butternut, cubed

salt and pepper

5ml ground cinnamon

50ml cooking oil

75g butter, cubed

2 onions, finely chopped

5ml crushed garlic

5ml chopped red chilli

5ml ground coriander

1 litre of chicken stock

400g can of coconut cream

Place butternut in roasting pan, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon and sprinkle with oil. Mix well to coat with the oil and seasoning. Roast in the oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven.

In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter, add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are soft. Add the roasted butternut and all the juices in the pan. Add the chilli and coriander, mix well and add the stock.

Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the coconut cream and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree in a blender until smooth.

Serve in a bowl, with garlic croutons if desired.



Serves 2

2 large potatoes, skin on, cut into wedges

salt and pepper

pinch of grated nutmeg

15ml cake flour, for dusting

60ml fresh breadcrumbs

45ml olive oil

2 chicken breasts with skin and bone

15ml butter

200g small calamari tubes, cleaned

30ml lemon juice


Lime chilli and coriander cream sauce

15ml butter

1 onion, very finely chopped

1 fresh chilli, very finely chopped

30ml fresh coriander, very finely chopped

125ml fresh cream

15ml lime or lemon juice

Blanch the potato wedges for 5 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water.

Drain, season and dust with the nutmeg and flour, then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Place in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until crispy.

Season the chicken breasts and cook on both sides in a hot, lightly oiled griddle pan until cooked through.

In a clean pan, heat the butter and fry the calamari with the lemon juice for no more than 3 minutes.

SAUCE: Heat the butter in a pan and sweat the onion until soft. Stir in the chilli and coriander.

Add the cream and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the lime or lemon juice.

Arrange the potato wedges, calamari and chicken on plates, pour over the sauce or serve it separately in a bowl. - The Star

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