South African cuisine is an eclectic mix of cultures, flavours and cooking styles. Our local foods range from bunny chows to koeksisters, boerewors and braai to bak en brou and everything in between. Because local is lekker, we’ve rounded up three new proudly South African recipe books that can inspire your holiday feasts. Who knows, you might even get some inspiration for a Christmas gift!
Ta-Da! Die beste uit die Tuis-kombuis
Lyk moeilik maar is maklik is this recipe book’s tagline, which immediately drew my attention. Why would you put in hours of work to make something that looks effortless like housewives did in the old days? Rather go the opposite direction and spend less time making something that looks like it took you hours to create!
This book is a compilation of recipes from the Tuis test kitchen and caters for all palettes. The thing I love most about this book is that the recipes aren’t categorised by starters, mains and desserts, but rather by season. The book starts off with Somer which features braai classics like cider chicken, Christmas showstoppers like smoked pork with berries, and lighter dishes for those blistering South African summer days like steak salad and chicken and couscous salad.
Herfs features warmer dishes like Katemba ribs (made with red wine and Coke), bredie with dumplings, Marmite and cheese muffins and of course, the true South African classic, Melktert. Winter features comfort foods such as chicken noodle soup, beef curry, beer bread and cruffins (croissant muffins) which will keep you warm and happy throughout the chilly season. The book finishes off with a spring in its step. Lente showcases the best of South African cuisines with recipes for mango chutney, pannekoek with salmon, a frikkadel terrine, and Ouma Jonni se “glamour”-koek.
The dishes in this book all look incredibly impressive when prepared, but don’t require loads of effort, and definitely won’t break the bank. In true South African fashion, this book embraces different cooking styles and cultures while staying true to the author’s Afrikaans roots. I’ll definitely be making a few recipes from this book, especially the Camembert and black forest ham pastry braid featured on the cover!
Visit their website for more information.
Olami: Simple, Nourishing, Fresh
Olami Restaurant was established in 2016 on Bree Street, but has been running for six years as Sababa Kitchen and Deli. With the name change, owner and chef Nirit Saban embraced a global menu, which she highlights in this cookbook. The Israeli word olami means global, universal and worldly, and in her recipes, Nirit Saban embraces what makes South African cuisine unique , through Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes.
The book starts off by explaining the basics such as green and red chilli paste and coriander pesto. It swiftly moves on to sides and mezzes, featuring hummus and roasted mushrooms, roasted aubergine with roasted pepper relish, sweet and sour beetroot cubes and the likes.
In the soup section, we find hearty soups like lentil and vegetable soup, and Thai broth with veggies and rice noodles. Under salads, there are some interesting flavour combinations like fig and ricotta with honey chilli dressing, and sweetcorn and blue cheese salad. Other sections include mains, grains and pulses, vegetable dishes, bakes and pies, and sweets.
If you want to take your taste buds on a tour of the Middle East and Mediterranean while staying at home, this book is a must-have!
For more, visit their Facebook page.
Weg! Kuier om die Kole
Aletta Lintvelt curated the best recipes from Weg! In this proudly South African recipe book. In the introduction she says that she, like many other Saffas, grew up next to the braai fire. The recipes in this collection feature the braai as the main cooking method, be it on a rooster, in a three-legged pot or even a kettle braai.
The first section, Op die kole, focuses on traditional braai methods. The recipes range from traditional lamb sosaties and brick chicken, to more exotic pork loin tacos and Mojito pork.
In Pan, twee, drie the traditional braai rooster is exchanged for a pan straight on the coals. The recipes in this section are more adventurous than your average Friday night braai, and include coconut calamari with sriracha mayo, chimichangas, and even stir-fry made on the braai!
Stadig oor die kole gives us potjiekos recipes for those lazy, long potjie braais. Think smoked ham with pea soup; port and paprika chicken potjie; duck potjie; and even pork neck pie made in the potjie.
Vir die kleinbordjie features sides and small plates like pap and smoor, brie baked in a pan on the coals, a broccoli and polenta bake, as well as more traditional sides like potato salad (with a twist of course). Braaibroodjies en gebak features just that; garlic and cream cheese braaibroodjies, pizzas, muffins and bread baked on the coals.
All in all, the recipes in this book give you a feeling of nostalgia, but the recipes don’t feel old and boring, they offer a new take on the traditional braai foods and introduce new cooking of methods and ideas to the table.
For more information, head over to their website.
What are your favourite South African recipe books? Let me know in the comments below!