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Best savoury recipes from 2013

COCONUT PUMPKIN CURRY

Serves 4

Pumpkin and coconut curry. Picture: Bongiwe MchunuSpinach and strawberry salad  Picture: Antoine de RasLamb and orzo curry  Picture: Chris CollingridgeThai style chicken thighs  Picture: Antoine de RasSAlmon and sweet potato patties  Picture: Bongiwe MchunuBeer battered prawns  Picture: Etienne Rothbart.

600g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

60ml oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

5ml turmeric

10ml ground cumin

10ml cumin seeds

5ml coriander seeds

1 stick of cinnamon

2 bay leaves

a pinch of dried chilli flakes

5ml salt

400g tin of coconut milk

5ml lemon juice

125ml chopped coriander

Sprinkle pumpkin chunks with a bit of salt. Heat 15ml oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Brown the pumpkin for a few minutes.

Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 12-15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add all the spices to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until fragrant. Return the pumpkin to the pan and stir to combine with the spices.

Add the coconut milk and half the golden onions. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until pumpkin is tender.

Stir in the lemon juice and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add half the coriander.

Serve topped with the remaining onions and chopped coriander.

SPINACH SALAD

Serves 4

500g fresh baby spinach

250g strawberries, hulled and sliced

1-2 avocados, diced

125g feta cheese, crumbled

60ml sliced almonds, toasted

½ a red onion, thinly sliced

Poppyseed Dressing

60ml avocado or olive oil

15ml apple cider vinegar

30ml honey

10ml poppy seeds

10ml Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

SALAD: Toss all ingredients together until combined.

DRESSING: Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Pour over the mixed salad ingredients and transfer the salad to a serving platter.

LAMB AND ORZO CURRY

Serves 4-6

30ml olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

10ml crushed garlic

15ml medium curry powder

250ml orzo (risoni pasta or pasta rice)

500g lamb mince

250ml chicken stock

400g can crushed tomatoes

1 cinnamon stick

100ml chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.

Fry the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the curry powder and cook for another minute.

Add the mince and fry until cooked through. Add the stock, tomatoes, cinnamon and orzo and cook for 15-20 minutes until the orzo is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir the coriander through the mince and rice and serve immediately.

THAI CHICKEN THIGHS

Serves 4-6

Marinade

125ml coconut milk or cream

125ml sweet chilli sauce

10ml grated fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

60ml chopped fresh coriander

60ml chopped fresh mint

1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped

15ml peanut oil

15ml rice wine vinegar

15ml lime juice

600g chicken thigh fillets

wooden skewers, soaked

Put all the marinade ingredients into a bowl and stir everything together. Add the chicken thighs, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove and skewer the thighs.

Braai for about 15-20 minutes, turning and basting frequently with the leftover marinade.

The thighs may also be baked in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes, turning and basting halfway.

salmon and SWEET POTATO PATTIES

Makes 8

250ml cooked orange sweet potato, mashed

2 x 85g sachets of pink salmon

125ml chopped spring onion

5ml grated lemon rind

15ml lemon juice

1 egg yolk

250ml fresh brown breadcrumbs

salt and pepper

oil for frying

Combine all the ingredients and mix them well.

Shape the mixture into eight patties.

Place on a board and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the patties until golden on both sides.

Drain on paper towel.

These are delicious served warm or cold.

BEER-BATTERED prawns

500ml self-raising flour plus extra 100ml for coating

3ml salt

330ml can of beer

oil to deep-fry

500g prawns, peeled, leaving tails intact, deveined

Salsa

3 tomatoes, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 red onion, finely diced

125ml chopped fresh coriander

15ml lemon juice

30ml olive oil

PRAWNS: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.

Add beer and whisk until a smooth batter is formed.

Add enough oil to a large heavy-based saucepan or deep-fat fryer and heat.

Holding the prawns by their tails, dip one at a time into the extra flour and then into the batter to coat.

Add to the oil and cook for 2 minutes or until golden.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a tray lined with paper towel.

Repeat with the remaining prawns and batter.

Serve the prawns with tomato salsa.

SALSA: Combine all the ingredients.

Season to taste and serve with prawns.

Note: The beer may be replaced with soda water.

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