Oh how Very Peri!!

Oh how Very Peri!!

The Olami cookbook from Nirit Saban of the popular deli on Bree Street, Cape Town is all about simple, nourishing, wholesome food. Olami, a word used in Israel, means global, universal and worldly, and Nirit’s recipes open the door to many fusions and intermingling flavours from the Middle East to South America. A book that keeps in mind the local, the recipes with easy-to-source ingredients make it accessible to everyone.

In this book, you will find classic recipes with a twist, the focus being on using original flavour bases with different combinations to create meals with flair and flavour. You can roast butternut with a glaze of honey and sprinkled toasted sesame seeds or you can mash the butternut and top it with loads of parsley, lemon, olive oil and a dusting of sweet paprika. With stunning photographs, these mouth-watering dishes will keep you wanting to try every recipe in the book.

This a must-have book for every kitchen.

‘There is something magical that happens at Olami every day, whether it be the flavours we combine, the music that streams through the sound of sizzling and steaming and bubbling, the voices of our customers and friends and family, the arrival and departure of our suppliers – the consistent flow of work and production all adds up to a melting pot of powerful elements that nourish the team and the customers in the most inspiring way. The intention behind Olami and my life is to be as connected to nature as nature is to us. We at Olami are incredibly humbled at this opportunity to share the food we love with everyone.’ – Nirit Saban

Following the success of the Sababa: Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Food cookbook, co-author and deli owner Nirit Saban shares recipes in her new cookbook Olami. Cooking is Nirit Saban’s playground and her passion. She loves travelling, exploring different cultures, art, dance and music, and using food as a medium and base to create, recreate and discover. She feels deeply connected to nature and what it provides us.

Brought up in a family where food was always celebrated and festivals were always occasions for an abundant variety of delights, the foundation for her food-love was laid. She spent a couple of years in Israel, learning from local chefs and master confectioners, before returning to Cape Town in 2010 to run a very successful catering and deli kitchen, until establishing Olami in 2016.


Let’s Cook!

Peri peri chicken

750 g free-range chicken

breast, cubed

2 teaspoons cornflour, sifted

2 tablespoons paprika

4 lemons

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup sunflower oil

5 tablespoons tomato paste

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon ginger, crushed

2 tablespoons chilli flakes

6 fresh red chillies, sliced open

2 tablespoons Korean chilli

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 baby onions, finely diced

1–2 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons salt


This flavour combination can

be made into a paste using a

blender or by hand and can

be used as a marinade for a

whole chicken/fish/beef or

even any hardy vegetable that

is roasted or barbecued.

Marinate the cubed chicken breast with the cornflour,

paprika, juice of 2 lemons and freshly ground black

pepper for at least an hour or ideally overnight.

Heat a medium-size heavy pot/pan, add the oil and the

onions and cook for 4 minutes, then add the marinated

chicken breast cubes and sauté until the chicken is 60%


Add the tomato paste, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes,

fresh red chilli and Korean chilli and caramelise all the

ingredients on a medium heat for about 3 minutes,

making sure the dry ingredients don’t burn on the

bottom. Stir well every 30 seconds or so.

Add the chicken stock into the pot – first one cup and

see the consistency and if needed add more stock so

that the chicken is immersed in the liquid. Cook for a

further 10 minutes on a very low heat.

After 10 minutes, check the seasoning, add salt if need

be, and see if the liquid has reduced into a thick red


Serve with lemon wedges.