Traditional Culinary Exploration for Heritage Day
As South Africans we are encouraged to celebrate our cultural heritage, on Heritage Day September 24, and to honour the diversity of the rainbow nation’s beliefs and traditions. South Africa overflows with rich heritage and a wealth of exciting fare. The variety of influences gives us the opportunity to work from a whole gamut of dishes. Foreigners continue to introduce us to their culinary traditions and, over the years, we have modified their recipes to suit the local taste and available products. This results in a colourful simmering pot of flavours from Europe, Asia, Africa and America and ends in a nutritious, exciting, interesting and mouth-watering meal.
I have put a twist on traditional dishes. Up first is a new look for our preferred South African flavours. A dish that celebrates the essence and spirit of Durban; spicy lamb “bunny chow” with tomato and onion bredie, sour cream and fresh coriander (also known as cilantro and dhanya). The piquant flavour is a combination of many aromatic spices and not, as is commonly believed, only the “shisa”. The bredie and sour cream unites the flavours, with the coriander adding a freshness and final touch.
I have also put a vegetarian slant on one of the best-known South African dishes brought here by the Muslim slaves in the late 17th Century; bobotie. I have revitalised this dish substituting the mince meat for lentils and suggest serving it with amasi flavoured tzatziki, tomato relish and sambles.
I took a giant stride in the right direction when I experimented with a mielie meal made malva pudding served with nothing but an outstanding homemade vanilla ice cream and dried fruit compote. The hot and cold temperatures merge, highlighting the best of both components.
The kitchen here at Hartford House in Mooi River is a fine example of diversity. This is seen in the products used and in the team which puts together the signature dishes created. So what stirring items are on your menu this evening?
Take these recipes and try them.
Post your comments and food-related questions below.
I look forward to hearing from you.