Recipes: Cooking around load shedding

Beef shishebo. Picture: Supplied

Beef shishebo. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 17, 2023


Load shedding and the high cost of living bring added stress when it comes to cooking.

The Wonderbag is a non-electric slow cooker, using heat retention technology.

After bringing a pot of food to a boil and placing it in a Wonderbag, the food will continue cooking for up to eight hours without an additional energy source.

Try these pocket-friendly recipes from Wonderbag.

*Butter Chicken Curry

Butter chicken curry. Picture: Supplied

Main - 2 hours

The Wonderbag Butter Chicken recipe is ridiculously easy to make (Serves 6-8)


500 g chicken thighs/chicken fillets, roughly chopped

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

2 tsp each of turmeric, medium hot curry powder, ground coriander, cumin and dried chilli flakes (Don’t throw all the spices together yet; just keep the boxes out and ready, as you need only half of each to start with.)

2 tbs butter

2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 x 410 g can chopped peeled tomatoes

3 tbs ground almonds

100 ml cream/coconut milk

a handful of chopped fresh coriander

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


If possible, prep the night before: 
Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and coat with the yoghurt, and 1 tsp each of the turmeric, curry powder, coriander, cumin and chilli. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium-sized pot over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic, grated ginger, black pepper and remaining spices, and let them “marry” with the oil until fragrant.

Add the chicken mix in a couple of batches so that the pot is not overwhelmed. Stir and let it come to a simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and ground almonds.

Simmer gently for 5 minutes and place in the Wonderbag for 2 hours to continue cooking.

Open the Wonderbag, the colour will change to a delicious rich burnt orange and the meat is really tender. Try not to stir too often, as this can break up the chicken too much.

About 5 minutes before serving, add the cream/coconut milk to the butter chicken and stir gently. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the fresh coriander.

Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, cous-cous or pitas.

*Beef Sishebo

Main - 4 hours

This perfect, thick sishebo beef curry combines layers of rich and complex flavours with its thick and spicy gravy.


2 tbs cooking oil

1.021 kilograms stewing beef

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

3 tsp vinegar

1 beef stock cube

4 ¼ cup water

1 bay leaf

1 tbs ground coriander

2 tbs mixed dry herbs


Heat the oil in a pot and fry the beef until browned.

Remove the beef from the pot and add the onion. Fry the onion until soft.

Return the beef to the pot, and add the carrots and potatoes.

Stir in the vinegar, beef stock cube (dissolved in water), bay leaf and dry spices and herbs.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the lidded pot in your Wonderbag for four hours to finish cooking.

*Sausage and Bean Stew

Sausage and Beans

Main - 4 hours

A thick, hearty and nutritious one-pot sausage and bean stew that's quick and easy to make in your Wonderbag.


4 thick pork and herb sausages

1 tbs olive oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2x397g cans cannellini beans

2 tbs tomato purée

1 tbs molasses

1 tbs dark brown sugar

Tin chopped tomatoes

fresh parsley, to serve

2 tbs English mustard, or spicy mustard


Take 4 thick pork and herb sausages. Twist each sausage into four parts and cut to make 16 small, fat sausages.

In appeox a 4 litre pot, warm a tablespoon of oil over a high heat. Add the sausages and cook for 5 to10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.

Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes, adding the garlic at the last minute. Add all of the remaining ingredients, other than the parsley, to the pan, followed by 2/3 cup cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and seal it in your Wonderbag for 3 hours until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is thick.

Season to taste and scatter with fresh parsley. Serve just as it is or with mashed potato.

*Wonderbag Pap

Wonderbag Pap

Side dish - 1 hour

This delicious pap recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep and comes out light, fluffy and is the perfect combination for any dish.


2 cups mielie-meal, mixed with 1 cup cold water

2 ½ cups boiling water



Pour the boiling water into a pot, add the mielie-meal and salt to taste.

Boil for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.

Cover with a lid and place the pot in your Wonderbag for 90 minutes to finish cooking.

Serve with sishebo or any other dish of your choice.

For more ideas, visit


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