GOOD FOR YOU: Spiced-lentil and crushed-pea falafel. Beetroot-and-carrot salad with feta. Inkomazi raita. Served with brown-flour pita bread. Recipes by Jenny Ward.
Dining out can be expensive, which is why more South Africans are opting to dine at home rather than at expensive restaurants. Unfortunately, dining in will also soon become more costly as the price of Value Added Tax (VAT), including food prices, are set to increase on April 1.

In case you missed it, during last month’s Budget Speech then finance minister Malusi Gigaba announced that VAT would be increased to 15%.

The good news is that there are 19 basic food items which are zero-rated, which means those prices won’t increase.

The bad news is that these food options are very limited and unless you’re a culinary magician, creating a VAT-free meal may prove to be quite challenging. The food items include maize meal, samp, rice, brown bread, dried beans, vegetables, fruit, eggs, pilchards, milk and lentils.

Chef Jenny Ward, head chef at Chefs restaurant in Cape Town, shares one of her pocket friendly VAT-free recipes.

Beetroot-and-carrot salad with feta 

200g beetroot

500g carrot 

3tsp cumin seeds

2x orange 

50ml olive oil 

20g coriander 

50g feta 


Julienne the carrots and raw beetroot. Mix the orange juice, cumin seed, olive oil and coriander together to make the dressing. Coat the thinly sliced carrots and beetroot with the dressing and season well.

Top with crumbled feta.

Spiced-lentil and crushed-pea falafel


1c brown lentils (cooked)

1c split peas (cooked)

1x onion

1x garlic clove

1x lemon zest

2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp coriander

1tsp turmeric

1tsp fennel seeds 

1x green chilli 

2x eggs

20g coriander 

20g mint

For coating:

1c brown flour

1c brown breadcrumbs

4x eggs 


Strain the cooked lentils and split peas very well. 

Sauté the onion, garlic, lemon zest and green chilli until soft. Add the spices and sauté lightly.

Add the lentils and split peas and allow to cool.

Blend the lentil mixture together with the fresh mint, coriander and 2 eggs. Season well. 

Shape the mixture into small patties and coat them in brown flour, 4 eggs and brown breadcrumbs.

Allow the patties to set slightly before deep-frying them in vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown (best served warm).