Cookbook author and chef Nti Ramaboa commonly known as Chef Nti . Picture: Supplied
Cookbook author and chef Nti Ramaboa commonly known as Chef Nti . Picture: Supplied

RECIPE: Chef Nti's beetroot and lentil salad

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Apr 25, 2020

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The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, but as the Covid-19 pandemic rages, it’s the war room.  Parents and families may find it very difficult to keep up with the three quarantine meals a day. 

For cookbook author and chef,  Nthabiseng Ramaboa, known as Chef Nti  , it’s the space that created her life’s work. Nti  shares tips on how to cook, how to survive cooking during lockdown and how love spending  more time in the kitchen during this time.
You cook for a living- does it suck for you that you can’t order from a restaurant, or you are okay with cooking?

It definitely sucks that I can't order from the restaurants, because I do like to order in or eat from my favourite restaurants: I enjoy that so much.  In a week, I probably eat out twice and order in from my favorite local restaurants and enjoy that for dinner.  

But it’s not that bad, I missed cooking. Before the lockdown, life was too busy, shooting today and filming the other day and you not in the kitchen. So I was not in the kitchen, now I cook everyday and everything. I love cooking, it’s the cleaning after that becomes an issue.

What’s your go-to meal or do you have something different planned every day?

I loved a good salad and dressing. My go to dressing:  1 part sherry vinegar , 3 part olive oil, salt and pepper, a bit of honey shake it up, make it in advance. I make sure it can serve 4 meals. But with a change in weather, it might change. 

So for those getting back to cooking after a long time, what’s the most important thing they should remember about cooking?

Cooking is fun and it's a love expression, especially if you have family, you can make something special for them. Show them that you love and appreciate them. Cooking can be easy and it does not need to be tedious and time consuming. In my book I have recipes that are easy to do with the whole family. Feed your family well and to just remember that you just have fun in the kitchen. 

Here is a recipe from Nti you can try: 

Festive Beetroot and Lentil Salad


250g dry lentils
300g beetroot
1 tbspwholegrain mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Handful of rocket
2 tbsp roughly chopped dill½ cup crumbled feta

Serves: 2 (lunch) or 4 (side salad)1. 

1. Cook the lentils according to packet instructions, then drain and allow to cool.
2. Cook the beetroot until done, then cut into quarters.
3. Combine the mustard, oil and some seasoning to make a dressing.
4. Put the lentils into a bowl, pour the dressing over them and toss well.
5. Stir through the beetroot, rocket and dill, top with feta and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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