Tag Archives: coriander

samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation

samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation

Respect. You are in our thoughts Tata – get well soon.

Samp Curry

Click here to watch me make this.

Samptuous samp curry – Within our democracy is a technicoloured blanket of a diverse society; of young of old, of traditional and the unconventional, there is beauty and richness in our diversity and too often we fail to see the real rainbow behind our nation. Our often tainted spectacles prevent us from celebrating the bounty of our diverse heritage. Take a simple ingredient such as samp for instance…

For years, samp in its multitude of forms has fed and sustained the poorest of our nation. I grew up with samp in the Free State {yes with pap too :-)} but we normally had it with warm milk and sugar for breakfast. The traditional Xhosa dish is umngqusho, made with samp and cowpeas – this dish is said to be former South African president Nelson Mandela’s favorite meal of his childhood.


Samp lends itself very well to absorbing flavours so to curry it for me is just a no brainer. It’s like an African chick pea that is curried. I cooked it beforehand to al dente (it still needs a bite) – and with fresh chopped coriander it’s a perfect vegetarian dish served with a roti. And it is extremely economical too!

It is a simple thing but it is often the unusual, the unsuspecting ingredients however plain they may seem that is the very dye that brings the colour to our lives and our life. We just have to look a little deeper , beyond the mirage of our own perceptions to live our lives in true colour …

Postscript – I was most fortunate to meet Mandiba once in the 90’s at a memorial function for the late Samora Machel. You see I am good friends with his granddaughter Ndileka and was very privileged to sit at one of the family tables back then. What did he say to me … this humble man? His words to me were – “Hi, so good to meet you Anél. Oh I have heard so much about you (me? – really Madiba!) and thank you for being such a good friend to my granddaughter” – well, I nearly fainted … To this day these words remain etched as a very special and lasting memory. Respect. You are in our thoughts Tata – get well soon.

Samp Curry

samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 Cups of cooked samp – the samp must not be all soft – it needs to be slightly al dente and still have a bit of biting texture.
  • 2 Large onions finely chopped
  • 3T Cooking oil
  • Spices
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 3t Mustard seeds (yellow)
  • 1t Fennel seeds
  • 1t Cumin seeds
  • ½t Coriander fine
  • 4t Curry powder (I use medium for this dish)
  • 1t Turmeric powder
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1t Chillie flakes
  • Other
  • 4 Large garlic cloves – grated
  • 2 Thumbs fresh ginger – grated
  • 6 Medium tomatoes – grated
  • Salt and pepper.
  1. Fry onion till translucent in the oil.
  2. Then add all the spices as well as the grated garlic and ginger and fry slowly for about 5 minutes until all the flavours are released.
  3. Add the grated tomato and let it simmer till thick – +- 10 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add ½ cup of water and let it simmer again till thick. This way you are really creating this delicious tomato chutney.
  5. Then add the samp and heat through for about five minutes - season to taste.
  6. Serve with fresh coriander and a roti.


cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad

cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad

‘don’t get overwhelmed by the list ingredients – read the method first – then you will find it easy to cook my recipes’ – reza mahammad


As the African sun set over the great Sundays River, I had to pinch myself… the situation was surreal, almost sublime. There I was deep in the Kwazulu-Natal bush at the Esiweni Lodge on the Nambiti Private Game Reserve … just the day before I was at my desk doing my regular duties as communications head at a leading architectural firm, dhk Architects.

For the next 48 hours, I was to be a captive in this wilderness, a captive to my senses. It wasn’t the Big 5 wild animals that roamed the reserve that were making me nervous but the prospect and sheer excitement of meeting world renowned TV Foodie and chef, Reza Mahammad. You see, he is one of my all-time food heroes and by some stroke of sheer good fortune I spent the weekend with him on what I could only describe as a culinary safari of sorts. It was such a fabulous opportunity that I could hardly contain myself. I was there representing Food24 but the truth be told I was more excited than a little girl on big red school bus venturing off to class for the very first time.

reza.JPG 800

Reza Mahammad

The lodge had embarked on a series of culinary safaris where guests would be invited to cook and share the food of well-known chef’s and personalities. It is a good formula and offers an enchanting yet educational break from the humdrum of our daily lives.

Reza Mahammad joined us later the Friday evening jetting in from Cape Town where he was promoting his new TV series. In his latest series, Reza’s African Kitchen, he explores African cuisine, from the spicy Indian influences of Zanzibar, to the indigenous dishes of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa. Reza goes on horseback safari, tiger fishing, gets friendly with ostriches, herds sheep, snorkels and more all in an unsatiable endeavour to uncover the diversity of flavours and fabulous ingredients which populate the food heritage of Southern Africa. Back in his own breath-taking African kitchen, Reza uses his travels as inspiration to create his own delicious dishes with a spicy Indian twist!

But now back to the Friday night at the lodge – I was anxious, apprehensive and excited – the spirit of this man and his culinary talents preceded him. Yet, it was odd, I loved the work of this chef before I had even met him…But after spending two days as an apprentice-like food groupie of sorts, I was hanging around his apron tails for the better part of two days … I think I can call him friend. What an individual! What a down to earth talent and yet of such humble and generous spirit. Reza is exactly the way he is on television – open, full of laughter fun and excitement – but what strikes you almost immediately is his dedication and enthusiasm for his work his passion and his food. He started in the kitchen at 6am with Damon (Esiweni chef) in the morning to prep for our workshops – and finished that evening with dessert just before 9.45 pm. To say he is a workaholic would be somewhat of an under exaggeration. Where the energy and passion comes from can only be put down to his deep love of his craft. A craft of which he is a master. He is so proficient – even almost belligerent in the best of ways, he never uses any measuring equipment – it is just a dash of this, a sprinkle of that a few spices here… and there you go – another Reza creation. There are neither airs nor a graces about this man, he preps, cleans and chats and somewhere in-between these masterful dishes just seem to appear.

Through it all we laughed till our bellies were sore, we chatted about food and tips and his new ventures and adventures. We sipped on this, savoured that and let ourselves get lost in this wilderness of food, flora and fauna.

reza mahamma - esiweni lodge

Esiweni Lodge

My lodgings for the next two days was an opulently furnished suite perched high above the meandering Sunday’s river. It was a citadel in the sky, luxurious and just too beautiful all at the same time. My cliff-top chalet had its own private deck with just the most magnificent, sprawling views. I need’nt have gone anywhere and could have sat for the entire weekend sipping endless G&T’s in the rim-flow pool taking in the breathtaking vista and just talking to myself and the animals. I would have done so if it were not for the scheduled game drive which took us into the veld to explore God’s beautiful creatures in the cool of the setting sun.

There were elephants, birds, strange sounds and nature-filled silences, the rustle of bushes and fluttering heartbeats. From the exotic to the unusual – these wild and wonderous creatures seemed to linger in balance around the environs of the lodge. There were no doubt many more creatures wandering around the greater reserve. But the most amazing thing of the lodge was its people – their motto is you come as guests and you leave as friends – it’s so true. The managing couple Natie and Magda are such an engaging and exceptional couple who exude the finesse and hospitality that brings the real charm to this natural hideaway.



I learnt loads of interesting things which I will share in future in my future blog posts. But for now, one of the workshops that we did with Reza on the Saturday is what I want to share ….it is this amazing dish called Paupillette of Lemon Sole with saffron sauce. This dish epitomises Reza’s love for the “Frindien” cuisine, combing classic French food with an Indian twist. This is a not an easy task but this genius does it so brilliantly – this dish not only looks elegant and refined, but the taste is subtle yet complex. The white fish contrasts beautifully with the yellow sauce. This is a perfect dish to impress the best – without having to slave for hours in the kitchen. Don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients because the preparation is actually quite straightforward. As Reza said – “ don’t get overwhelmed by the ingredients – read the method first – then you will find it easy to cook my recipes’.

cooking paupillette of lemon sole + saffron sauce with reza mahammad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Paupillette of Lemon Sole with saffron sauce
  • Serves 4
  • 6 x 140 – 160g fillets of lemon sole, trimmed, skinned and filleted
  • 150ml dry white wine or Vermouth
  • For the filling
  • 300g raw prawns (net weight, after being shelled and de-veined)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus juice of ½ a lemon ¼ tsp roughly crushed fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes salt to season
  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) or vegetable oil1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 1 chopped green chilli
  • ½ tsp saffron 1 tbsp. chopped coriander
  • 200ml double cream salt to season
  1. To make the filling - Blitz the prawns coarsely in a food processor. Decant into a bowl and mix in all the remaining ingredients. Divide into six portions and set aside.
  2. Place the sole fillets, with the side that had the skin face up. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a portion of the prawn stuffing on the fillets. Roll the fillets, starting with the thickest part and finishing with the tail.
  4. Place on a roasting tray and pour the dry white wine or vermouth over the fish.
  5. Cover with a grease parchment paper and place in a preheated oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until the fish is tender.
  6. To make the sauce - Whilst the fish is in the oven, heat the oil in a pan until hot. Add the fennel seeds and allow them to pop for a few seconds. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and finely chopped chilli. Reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Cook until the onions are soft and transparent.
  8. Once the fish has finished cooking, remove the soles from the oven and pour the juices from the roasting tray into the sauce. Set the fish aside, cover and keep warm.
  9. To the sauce, add the saffron and coriander. Reduce the liquid to half so the flavours intensify. Add the cream and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened, become glossy and coats the back of a spoon.
  10. Strain through a fine sieve, and squeeze out all the juices to maximise the flavours. Adjust seasoning.
  11. To plate up - Cut the sole into halves, allowing 3 halves per portion. Arrange on a plate with the sauce around.
  12. Serve with the glazed carrots with maple syrup and mustard seeds.


Esiweni Lodge: +27(0) 36-636-9002
Emails: reservations@esiweni.coza
Reza: @rezamahammad (twitter)

carrot + potato + date crush = moroccan dream

carrot + potato + date crush = moroccan dream

carrot and potato crush with dates and coriander

Carrot and potato mash with white pepper and butter was something I grew up with during my childhood. I remember it was one of my dad, Coen’s favourite dishes – he loved to scoop it onto his plate when it was still piping hot.  He always added an extra bit of butter and more white pepper – Coen liked to spice things up and … the richer, the better.  He was so in my thoughts when i made this dish on Dinner Divas – he would have been proud that I transformed the dish from the “boere tafel” of my childhood to an exotic type of Moroccan flavoured dish.

I did not mash it but rather crushed the potato, adding the butter and white pepper in remembrance of my dad and giving it that North African twist  by adding dates and coriander. You would have loved it dad. You encouraged me to live one day at a time, to be crazy + to be myself, to cry + laugh every day, to live my dream, to travel the world, to give more than what I have, to try and fix whats wrong, to never give up, not to get discouraged by disappointment, to stand up and try again, to be adventurous, to be me … today I miss you so much … with love … your biscuit.

carrot + potato + date crush

carrot + potato + date crush = moroccan dream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 200g Potatoes – peeled and cut in big blocks
  • 200g Carrots – peeled and sliced
  • 35g Dates – chopped
  • ⅛t Salt
  • 20g Butter
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 2T Coriander coarsely chopped
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  1. Boil carrots and potatoes together till cooked. Crush with a fork – this is not mash so we don’t want it fine like mash.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients - mix well and serve hot with a few chopped dates on top of the dish.



herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta

My mom, Babs, is in her eighties, extremely healthy and has been a size 10 her whole life. She is one of those “odd” people who does not like butter, cream, fatty foods, deep fried foods, chips and crisps or anything unhealthy and then she also does’nt like too much spices either – not like her not-so-small-foodie-wine-drinking-spice-loving-daughter! Lean proteins, huge salads, vegetables, different kinds of fruit and whole grains are part of her daily regimen – washed down with a cuppa tea or two or ten – and then … always a healthy strong whiskey every single night. I have to admit though that she has been prone to a bit of strong cheese and a dash of olive oil here and there just to keep the body parts in good working order.

So when Babs comes to visit I have to cook something healthy and therefore for our Sunday lunch recently I prepared a chicken breast covered in fresh herbs, some stem broccoli and I served it on parmesan + lemon flavoured pasta. It was delicious, fresh with a light and dreamy springtime flavour… but most importantly … mom approved. Enjoy!

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • For the chicken
  • 4 Skinless deboned chicken breasts
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic – peeled and sliced in 4 slices length ways
  • 2 T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1T Fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the spaghetti
  • Cook enough spaghetti for 4 people
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 75g Grated parmesan cheese
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the stem broccoli
  • 4 or more stem broccoli
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Chicken: Make small incisions into the chicken breasts and insert a sliver of garlic into each breast.
  2. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all chopped herbs together – parsley, coriander and basil.
  4. Then press the breasts in the fresh herbs – so that the herbs coat both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Using a non-stick pan fry the breasts till done – while frying squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken.
  6. When done put aside.
  7. Pasta: Add the parmesan, olive oil and lemon in a bowl – mix well and add to the cooked pasta.
  8. Then mix the parsley through.
  9. Taste the pasta for seasoning – add some more salt and add the black pepper.
  10. Stem broccoli: Cook as per packet instructions – normally only 3-4 minutes.
  11. Immediately put in a bath of ice water.
  12. After a while, warm the broccoli up again in the same pot you have cooked them – add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  13. To assemble: Place the cooked pasta the bottom of the bowl. Add the stem broccoli and then the chicken breast. To serve, add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and parmesan shavings.



20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth=healthy hot winter warmer
I am by nature a foodie and as foodies go, we all have our foodie idols … One of my foodie idols is Chef Peter Tempelhoff – not only is he a great chef but also not too shabby on the eye – oh, who am I kidding everyone … he is hot! And if you come to my office you will see an A3 poster of him hanging next to my desk … but to my utter dismay two of my wonderful colleagues Johann and Pieter gave Chef Tempelhoff a mustache and a tattoo 🙂 … Anyway, two weeks ago I attended the Table of Peace and Unity lunch on the slopes of our wonderful Table Mountain and Peter Tempelhoff was one of the chefs responsible for the starter [miso sesame cured salmon and ginger prawn spring roll with soja jalapeno dressing]. I don’t know if it was the dish or perhaps him walking past that inspired me to do something hot with salmon. So later in the week I visited my Chinese supermarket for some ingredients and over the weekend made this really delicious, salmon in a hot and sour Asian broth. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It’s so easy … so tasty and so fresh … and cheers to the hot chef who inspired me to make this dish!

20 minutes + salmon + asian broth = healthy hot winter warmer
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 150g x 4 Skinless salmon steaks
  • Salt and black pepper
  • For broth
  • 1L Chicken stock (I use stock cubes for this – that’s what they do in Asia :-))
  • 2-3 Green chillies (...if you like things a little hotter, spice it up with one more ... but not too many as it will overpower your dish )
  • +-20cm piece of lemongrass – crushed with the back of your knife and cut into pieces (if you cannot find it but you do stay in Cape Town – contact me, I have a huge bush in my garden!)
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
  • 1 Thumb size piece of fresh ginger – finely sliced
  • ¼ Cup of soya sauce
  • 4ml Sesame oil - just under a teaspoon (be very careful that you don’t overdo the sesame oil)
  • Juice of 2 limes (small) or 1 lemon
  • 2 Spring onions – chopped diagonally into thin slices
  • Handful of fresh coriander – roughly shredded by hand
  • Bean sprouts to garnish and to add some crunch
  1. In a saucepan or pot add all the ingredients for the broth – except the spring onions, coriander and bean sprouts. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes allowing all the flavours to infuse.
  2. In a non stick pan fry the salmon until brown on both sides - +-2-3 minutes on each side should do. The salmon must still be rare inside – but you must be able to flake it with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve: Pour some of the broth through a sieve into a 4 bowls, add some spring onion and coriander. Put the salmon in the middle of the bowls and add some bean sprouts to garnish. I love fresh ginger so I always add the ginger I used for the broth in my bowl.
  4. Tuck in and enjoy!


maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york

maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york

Whilst wrapped-up under the duvet on a public holiday with a glass of red wine and watching a dvd, I was wondering what I felt like to eat. Jade de Waal’s twitter came through with a recipe for mielie fritters (Jade is an extraordinary wonderful woman that is currently in the Top 13 in Masterchef SA). That little tweet took me back to my moms’ “mielie brood” (mealie bread) that we used to gobble down with lots of golden syrup. My mind then next teleported me to the place where I had fallen in love with Maple syrup … New York…! Oh my word, how I love maple syrup! That amazingly, beautiful, golden sticky, earthy, sweet syrup stole my heart (as did New York…). At that moment I knew I wanted Jade’s Mielie Fritters with my maple syrup!! I really love mixing sweet and savoury and immediately started cooking. To say the least – it was YUMMY and the chopped spring onion complimented the Maple syrup in such a profoundly earthy way!
mielie frittersmielie fritters

Just a little snippet about Maple Syrup…

In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees can be tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

So here is Jade’s recipe – she serves it with a green avocado salsa and/or sweet chilli sauce – delish!

The recipe makes about 6 medium fitters

maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • Fritters
  • 1 cup (250ml) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) corn kernels in brine, drained
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Salsa
  • Small handful coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 avo, peeled and diced
  • ½ chilli, finely chopped, optional
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to dunk, optional
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the fritter in a bowl. At first the batter will look dry, but keep mixing until the ingredients come together.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium frying pan. Turn down to medium so the oil is not too hot, otherwise the outside of the fritter will burn whilst the inside is still raw. Spoon a tablespoon scoop of the batter in the oil, frying about 2-3 at a time for 2 minutes on each side or until brown.
  3. Meanwhile chop and mix the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl.
  4. Test the first fritter by cutting in half to make sure they're cooking through. When all fritters are done, spoon the salsa over to serve perhaps with the sweet chilli sauce on the side to dunk the fritters in or … as I did smother the fritters with golden maple syrup. Bon appétit!