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Newsletter #44  - March 3 , 2003

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Greetings from sunny South Africa!

Hope you are all keeping well...

Before we get to the recipes, I would like to share the following with you:

I am a great lover of Africa's "Big Cats" so I was pleasantly surprised to come across this site. You can enjoy the cats (lions-the only white lions in the Free State- leopard and cheetah) up close and personal within easy traveling distance as the Game Lodge is centrally situated! So why not hit the road and pay them a visit, it will be a trip to remember! 
Click on the banner below for more info!

OK, now for the food! 44 Newsletters later and I thought I would give you a menu of my personal favourite Traditional South African dishes. So I gave it some thought and came up with the following:

To start off with, Oxtail soup together with vetkoek as a side dish. Oxtail soup has that special flavour and together with buttered vetkoek, can be a meal on it's own!

But that's just the start. For a main dish I choose Bobotie together with yellow rice and raisins, pan fried sweet potatoes and tomato and onion salad.

For liquid refreshment I would choose pineapple beer, but sip it slowly, it's got quite a kick!

And then, hopefully I would still have some space over for my favourite dessert, vinegar pudding! It was a tossup between vinegar pudding and bread pudding, so I am listing both below, the choice is yours!

Featured Restaurant

If you happen to be in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area and feel like a real Traditional South African meal, head to the Willem Prinsloo Museum and enjoy a delicious Sunday Buffet at a reasonable price! We took some visitors from the USA and they really enjoyed the South African fare! Click on the menu below to see a larger version with contact details!

And that's it for now, folks!
Hamba kahle

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When you have had a look at the recipes below, click here to visit the main recipe page on my site. I also have an Afrikaans section! 

Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now
Keep well

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The Recipes
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  Oxtail Soup

Oxtail needs long, slow cooking, but the end result is worth it!

1 oxtail
15 ml butter or dripping
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
1 medium turnip, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
45 ml chopped celery
3 peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 litres water
1 bouquet garni (3 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig thyme, 1 bay leaf)
125 ml cake flour
25 ml sherry or dry red wine (optional)
5 ml salt
1 ml cayenne pepper

Wash the oxtail well and separate it at the joints. melt the butter or dripping in a heavy based saucepan. Add the meat and the onion and sauté till the onions are golden and the meat browned. Add the remaining vegetables, the peppercorns, cloves, water and bouquet garni and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Remove the meat when it's tender and strip it from the bones, remove the bouquet garni and strain the soup, reserving the stock. Purée the vegetables in a blender or food processor. Add the purée to the stock and return the saucepan to the stove. Mix the flour to a paste with a little water and stir it into the soup to thicken it. Add the sherry or wine and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Add the meat and serve immediately.


1 cup cake flour
3ml salt
5ml Baking powder
1 egg
oil (for deep frying)
Method Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Beat the egg lightly in a cup and add to the dry ingredients. Add  sufficient milk and beat till a smooth batter. Heat the oil in a pan, and drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil (be careful). Fry, turning them over now and then, until golden brown. Cut open, butter, and fill. (Experiment with any other filling!)
While visiting friends in the Cape a while ago, their Malay housekeeper made vetkoek. As a variation, she opened a can of sardines, drained off the oil and mixed the sardines into the batter, this really gave it an unique taste!!

The name comes from the Indonesian word 'Bobotok'. It is a light textured curry flavored meat loaf smothered in a golden savory egg topping. This recipe serves 6 generous portions. We suggest you serve it with a large salad.
2 slices stale white bread (remove the crusts)
30ml cooking oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2,5ml ground cloves
5ml crushed garlic
3ml salt
10 ml curry powder
5 ml turmeric
500g beef mince
2 eggs
30ml hot water
20ml lemon juice
25ml sugar

1 egg (lightly beaten)
150ml milk
bay or lemon leaves for garnishing

Preheat oven to 160ºC. Soak bread in water for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water and crumble. In a large frying pan, heat oil and braise onion until golden (about 7 minutes). Add the ground cloves, garlic, salt, curry powder and turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes. Break the 2 eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly. Mix in the mince. Add the onion mixture from the frying pan to the mince as well as the hot water, lemon juice, crumbled bread and sugar, and mix to combine well. Spoon the mixture into a well greased oven proof dish and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
Combine the egg and beat well. Pour over the bobotie. Arrange bay leaves or lemon leaves as garnish. Return to oven and bake at 180ºC for 5-10 minutes, or until topping is set. 

Yellow Rice with Raisins 

250 ml rice
600 ml litre boiling water
10 ml butter or margarine
2,5 ml salt
5 ml turmeric
10 ml honey
200 ml seedless raisins
Combine the rice, water, turmeric and salt in a 2-3 litre dish. Cover with clingwrap, pierce, and cook on High for 10 mins. Stir in the raisins and cook on High for another 5 mins. Tip into a sieve and rinse in cold running water. Return the rice to a clean dish, stir in the butter and honey and reheat on High for 5 mins, stirring once.

Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes - what can I say, you just gotta try them....

675-900g sweet potatoes
juice of 1 lemon
15ml plain flour
a good pinch of cayenne pepper
about 45ml sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
115g streaky bacon, chopped
50g fresh brown or white breadcrumbs

1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks about 4cm square. Place in a pan of boiling water with the lemon juice and a little salt and simmer for 8-10 minutes until cooked but not soft.
2. Mix together the flour, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Drain the potatoes and then dust with the seasoned flour, coating the pieces well.
3. Heat 15ml of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and fry over a gentle heat for 6-8 minutes until the onion and bacon are golden. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
4. Add the breadcrumbs and fry, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes until golden. Add to the plate with the bacon.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the potatoes for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until evenly browned. Stir in the breadcrumbs and bacon mixture and cook for 1 minute. Serve at once.

Tomato and Onion Salad - Hot Stuff 

1 large onion chopped 
5 ml salt 
500 ml hot water 
2 large ripe tomatoes 
2 chillies, chopped 
10 ml sugar 
30 ml white vinegar 

Sprinkle onion with salt. 
Pour hot water over it and leave to soak for 5 minutes. 
Drain in a colander, squeezing out all excess moisture. 
Add all remaining ingredients, toss to mix and add chopped coriander (dhania). Serves 4

Pineapple Beer

Be careful, it's got quite a kick!

Skin of one large pineapple, chopped. (Use the entire pineapple, not just the skin for a more intense flavor.)
7 litres lukewarm water
500 g white sugar or to taste
75 ml raisins
10 ml active dry yeast

Wash the pineapple and rinse well. Mix the pineapple , lukewarm water, sugar and raisins in a large container. Sprinkle the yeast over and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Stir well, then cover with a clean tea towel and leave to mature for 24 hours in a cool place. Strain through muslin and bottle in sterilized bottles. Cap the bottles after 12 hours and use after 1 - 2 days.

Vinegar Pudding (Asynpoeding) -An old favourite.....

500 ml water
400 g white sugar
125 ml brown vinegar

30 ml butter
125 ml brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
180 g cake flour
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
10 ml ground ginger
2 ml freshly grated nutmeg
2 ml salt
30 ml smooth apricot jam

First make the syrup. Boil the water, sugar and vinegar for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
To make the pudding, cream the butter and brown sugar together, then add the eggs, beating constantly. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, nutmeg and salt into the egg mixture and mix well. Blend in the jam. Pour the cooled syrup into a baking or ovenproof dish and spoon in the batter. Bake the pudding at 180 C for 40 minutes. Serve warm with custard.

Bread and Butter Pudding

4 slices stale white bread, 2 cm thick
190 ml currants or 150 ml seedles raisins
2 large eggs
125 ml white sugar
1 ml salt
759 ml milk

Remove the crusts from the bread. Butter the slices thickly and place them, buttered side down, in a greased ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the currants or raisins over the bread. Beat the eggs well and stir in the sugar, salt and milk. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread and set the dish aside for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to soak right through the bread. Bake the pudding, covered, at 160C for 30 minutes. Uncover the pudding and bake a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve the pudding hot with golden syrup, honey or jam.



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