Sophia Lindop brings life to food with her series of cook books and shares with us a rich history of our country and the stories around her inspirational recipes.
She has produced another little gem in the ‘Flavours and Traditions’ range, telling the tale of not only the two main influences, namely the Indian population and the Malay population, and how their age-old usage of spices and eating habits influenced the rest of our country in such a way that their recipes are now part of South Africa’s national heritage, but of all the other nations that played a role in this spicy story.
“Spices that we add to our food every day without thinking, such as pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, were such a valuable commodity in the 15th century that they inspired fearless mariners to cross vast oceans in less than adequate vessels in search of new routes to the spice-rich Orient. Today pumpkin without cinnamon, potatoes without nutmeg and a curry without ginger is unimaginable, so, even now, all around the world, spices are still making magic,” writes Lindop.
Recipes in this tantalizing collection include, among others, Cauliflower-and-chickpea biryani, Chilli bites, Courgettes stuffed with lamb mince and fragrant rice, Cucumber pickles, Chocolate cardamom brownies, Milk tart, Spicy rooibos iced tea and Mosbolletjies.
Malay lamb-knuckle curry
Spices: curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, bay leaves, white pepper
Serves 4 to 6
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp curry powder (medium strength)
¼ tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 sticks cinnamon
3 bay leaves
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1kg lamb knuckles, cut into portions
100ml water (plus extra if needed)
4 tbsp fruity chutney
Salt and freshly milled black
Pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, and fry the onions until they start to go brown. Add garlic and continue to fry, being careful to not allow the garlic to go brown. Add the curry powder, ginger, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, and fry to release the flavours. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to fry lightly.
Place the lamb in the saucepan and toss in the curry mixture. Pour the water over, add the chutney, season and cover.
Cook on low heat for 90 minutes, making sure the pot does not cook dry, until the meat is soft and falls off the bone.
Serve on a bed of rice.