Students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra in northern Italy recently visited South Africa to experience our food and culture.
The team at the Angela Day Kitchen, with well-known cookbook author and foodie Dorah Sitole, helped them cook up a range of African and South African recipes. Dorah told them of the food and cultural traditions of various African communities.
The students styled their dishes for photographs, then sat down to enjoy the feast. They all felt that the experience of hands-on cooking was a great way to learn about the foods of a country.
“It has been an exciting experience,” Federico Tacchella said. “I’ve enjoyed the mixture of ingredients and their strong flavours.”
Added Giulio Lazzetta: “Helping to prepare the dishes, we got to experience different ingredients and how they combine.”
And Luca Nicola said: “From what we understood in these 10 days, South Africa is a huge melting pot of cultures and influences, which was reflected in all the dishes we prepared.”
Chicken stew (sechu sa khona)
8-10 chicken portions
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 chillies, seeded and chopped
250ml chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil and fry the chicken on all sides until brown.
Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender.
Add the tomatoes, chilli and the stock.
Add the seasoning and simmer for45-60 minutes.
Serve hot with steamed dumplings, pap or rice.
Lamb bunny chow
1 large onion, chopped
30ml crushed ginger and garlic mix
2 sticks of cinnamon
5ml fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
6 green cardamom pods
4 curry leaves
1 green chilli, finely chopped
15ml chilli powder
15ml curry powder
5ml garam masala
1kg lamb knuckle or stewing lamb, cut in cubes
4 tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
500ml lamb stock or water
chopped fresh coriander
half a loaf of bread or bread rolls,hollowed out
Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, fennel seeds, bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves and curry leaves and cook until the onion is softened, about5 minutes.
Add the green chilli and spices and cook until fragrant, about2 minutes.
Add the cubed lamb and salt and mix well to coat the meat with the spices. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, potatoes and water.
Cover and cook for 1-2 hours until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add more water, if needed, during the cooking process if too dry.
Stir in the coriander and serve in hollowed-out bread or bread rolls.
Lamb mince samoosas
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2.5cm fresh ginger
15ml chilli powder
500g lamb mince
7ml coarse salt
5ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
5ml garam masala
1 tomato, blanched and chopped
125ml chopped coriander
1 packet of frozen samoosa pastry, defrosted
a flour and water paste to seal the samoosas
Heat the oil in a large pan.
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaf until fragrant.
Sprinkle cumin seeds into the oil and, when they sizzle, add the onion and sauté until light golden brown.
Add garlic, ginger and chilli powder, and stir for a few seconds.
Add the lamb mince and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the mince and break down lumps.
When the mince is browned, add the spices.
Sauté the mince until the spices start to stick to the pot.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they have softened.
There should be no liquid left as this will make the samoosas soggy.
Remove from heat and stir in the coriander.
Place a strip of pastry on your work surface.
Spoon a mound of mince filling at the base of the pastry.
Lift up the pastry and fold it over diagonally to enclose the filling and form a triangle.
Keep folding until you reach the top of the pastry strip.
Put a little flour and water paste on the end of the strip and seal the triangle.
Fry the samoosas in hot deep oil until golden brown.
Drain on paper towel and serve with achaar if desired.
Morogo with turnips and potatoes
2 bunches of morogo (African spinach), well rinsed and finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 bunch turnips, peeled and diced
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper, to taste
Place morogo, spring onions, turnips, potatoes and a little water in a saucepan.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Let it boil and then simmer gently for about 30 minutes until cooked.
Add the butter and serve on hot pap.
Malva pudding with Amarula
2 extra-large eggs
250ml castor sugar
15ml apricot jam
5ml bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
100ml Amarula Cream liqueur
whipped cream to serve
Beat together the eggs and castor sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in the jam. Sift the dry ingredients.
Melt butter and mix with milk and vinegar. Alternately add milk mixture and dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix well. Pour into greased oven-proof dish and bake at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and pour over sauce.
Sauce: Mix together all ingredients except the liqueur and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the liqueur. Pour over pudding. Serve with whipped cream.
The Angela Day cookery column is published in The Star, the Cape Argus, the Daily News and the Pretoria News.