Hope you are all keeping well!
In this Newsletter I will feature some
African recipes. I always tend to think that Traditional South African
food is always "Boerekos" forgetting that we have a wealth of ethnic
cooking out there that is also Traditional to that specific ethnic group.
Thanx to Glenn Read for his input!
The names are often unpronounceable (try
Umngqusho ) and if
you were to order any of the dishes from a menu you would probably be
surprised to see what arrives at your table. If your host orders
you are most probably dining with Nelson mandela!
Well I am featuring a selection for the
adventurous to go and try out, if you happen to do so, please give me
feedback on the result!
I have just realised that this theme is vast
and more recipes will follow in future Newsletters, so watch this space!
If you just happen to love rugby, sunny
skies and braaivleis, you might just remember this! Click
here and enjoy!
way to create your faily tree! Click below!
recently met Kalie de Jager, probably the foremost authority on South
African Afrikaans Traditional music, or Boeremusiek. His site is not
quite finished yet, but as it is it already offers an in depth look on
this fascinating subject. Go take a look
at this fascinating Afrikaans website.
Does anyone have a Boeremusiek MP3 for me, no larger than about 200
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When you have had a look at the recipes
here to visit the main recipe page on my site.
comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be
That's it for now
Cardamom Tea (with kind permission of
Hot tea spiced with cardamom is popular in Eastern Africa. This recipe calls
for making the tea first, then adding the cardamom, milk, and sugar.
cold water (three to six cups)
three or four teaspoons of tea (plain black tea, or Earl Grey, English
Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, etc.)
sugar or honey
In a saucepan or teakettle heat the water to a near boil. Transfer the water
to a teapot and add the tea leaves, steep tea as normal.
Pour the tea into cups and add a pinch of ground cardamom to each cup. Add
sugar, honey, and milk to taste. Stir.
Sardines & Greens Stew (with kind permission of
Canned sardines, often imported from Morocco, are cooked in stews throughout
Central Africa. Any other sort of dried, smoked, or salted fish can be used
in place of the sardines.
oil for frying (palm oil is most authentic, but any vegetable oil will do)
one onion, finely chopped
one clove of garlic, minced
one or two ripe tomatoes, chopped (or canned tomatoes, or tomato sauce or
one to two pounds of spinach, cleaned, stems removed -- or -- cassava leaves
(Feuilles de Manioc), kale, collards, or turnip greens or similar, cleaned,
stems removed and parboiled (or some combination of these)
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
canned sardines (two or three cans is good, but one can will do if you're on
a tight budget)
If using dried or salted fish: Soak fish in water for a few hours, rinse and
remove any skin or bones, and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Heat a few spoonfuls of oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic
for a few minutes.
Add the spinach (or greens) and fry them at high heat for a few minutes,
stirring continually. (just a few minutes for spinach, but a few minutes
more for other greens).
Stir in the tomatoes (or canned tomatoes with their juice, or tomato sauce
or paste), the salt and pepper, and a cup of water. Reduce heat, cover, and
allow to simmer for twenty minutes or until the greens are nearly tender.
Add the sardines (or other preserved fish) and continue to simmer until the
greens are ready to eat.
Serve with Rice.
Umngqusho (Samp and Beans)
Umngqusho (Mngqusho) is a favorite traditional dish of the Xhosa people in
South Africa made of samp and cowpeas. Samp (or stampmielies, stamp) is very
similar to American hominy or posole: both are de-hulled dried corn (maize).
In the case of samp, however, the corn kernels are crushed or broken into
pieces which are easier to cook and eat. If you cannot find samp, buy dry
hominy and use a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle to crush or break the
kernels, being careful not to grind them into flour. Cowpeas are a variety
of the American black-eyed pea (use whichever is obtainable). In South
Africa, dried samp and beans are sold already mixed and ready to use. Samp
is sometimes served with fried onions, or as a side dish with any main
course that has its own gravy.
four cups dry samp (broken hominy)
two cups (one pound) dry cowpeas (black-eyed peas) or any similar beans
Combine samp and cowpeas in a large enamel pot or glass bowl. Add cold water
sufficient to cover. Cover, and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse before
In a large pot. Cover the soaked samp and cowpeas mixture with cold water.
Bring to a boil. Let boil for ten minutes. Reduce heat. Simmer on low heat
for one to two hours, until all is tender and the water is mostly absorbed.
Add additional water during cooking if needed.
Season with salt. Serve hot.
Many websites report that umngqusho is said to be South African President
Nelson Mandela's favorite dish. It is usually described as "stamp mealies
(broken dried maize kernels), sugar beans, butter, onions, potatoes, chillis
and lemons, . . . simmered a long time until all ingredients are tender".
His autobiography, however, describes the more traditional umngqusho.
Piri-Piri Chicken (with kind permission of
Piri-Piri Chicken, Peri-Peri Chicken, Frango Piri-Piri, and Frango ā Cafreal
are all basically the same dish: chicken, marinated in a hot chile pepper
marinade, then grilled. The dish's Portuguese and African origins are
clearly seen in its names. Frango and cafreal (or cafrial) are Portuguese
for chicken, and grilled; and piri-piri or peri-peri are the pan-African
words for chile pepper. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once
Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought
American chile peppers to Africa. The Portuguese also took the peppers and
the cafreal to other parts of the world, notably Goa, India. Spicy-hot
Frango Piri-Piri is now so popular in Portugal that it is regarded as a
The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper
or minced fresh hot chile pepper, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an
acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or
liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken. More elaborate
versions also include various other flavorings and spices. -- No quantities
are given for the ingredients in these recipes: how you make your marinade
depends on how much chicken you're cooking and what ingredients you like.
(However, as a guide, the ingredients are listed by volume from largest to
chicken; whole or serving-sized pieces
Marinade # 1
oil (or butter, or bacon grease or similar)
cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes; or finely chopped
hot chile pepper
Marinade # 2
cayenne pepper or red pepper
garlic (minced, or powdered)
Marinade # 3
vinegar, or cider vinegar
cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried red pepper flakes
Marinade # 4
oil or butter
lemon or lime juice
fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne pepper or red pepper; or dried
red pepper flakes
Marinade # 5
vinegar (red wine vinegar) and/or dry sherry (or cooking wine)
fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or dried red pepper flakes
Marinade # 6
oil or butter
lemon or lime juice
fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne or red pepper
ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, to taste
fresh or dried parsley or oregano, chopped
Marinade # 7
oil (olive oil)
lemon or lime juice -- and/or -- vinegar or cider vinegar
fresh hot chile peppers, minced; or cayenne or red pepper
bitters (Angostura bittersŪ or similar)
Prepare your choice of marinade, or invent your own, by grinding and mixing
all of the ingredients (except the chicken) in a glass bowl. For a milder
flavor substitute paprika for cayenne pepper. Some recipes call for bay
leaf, marjoram, raisins, tarragon, thyme, or tomato paste. Some cooks like
to let the marinade "age" for a day or two (in the refrigerator) to allow
the flavor to develop.
Rub the chicken all over with the marinade (inside and out if using a whole
chicken). Allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour, overnight if
possible. Save the remaining marinade after the chicken is done marinating.
Cook the chicken on an outdoor grill or broil it in the oven. Depending on
your preference, foil wrap or a rotisserie may be used for a whole chicken.
As it cooks, turn the chicken and baste it with the remaining marinade,
making sure the marinade is completely cooked after the last basting. Remove
the chicken from the grill or roasting pan with a clean fork (not one that
came into contact with the uncooked marinade). Use a meat thermometer to
check for doneness.
Serve with additional hot sauce (but not the marinade that was used with the
raw chicken), Rice, bread, or roasted potatoes, and chilled fruit.
One authentic African method is to "butterfly" a whole chicken, i.e., split
a cleaned whole chicken down the center enough to allow it to lie flat, but
without cutting it into two pieces; then flatten it by hitting it with a
mallet or sturdy bottle (sometimes also called a "flattie"); then coat the
chicken with a marinade like # 1 and let it marinate for a few hours before
These marinades also work well with fish or shrimp.