South Africans around the country will celebrate Heritage Day on 24 September. This national public holiday has one message: to celebrate our diversity as a nation and respect and embrace all our cultures.
AGT Foods offers three delicious South African dishes that include better-for-you ingredients to embrace our rich heritage and to share with friends and family.
These recipes are easy to make and include a variety of healthful ingredients such as seeds, flours, grains and beans. Cooking with these types of ingredients is important because our world is facing an unprecedented challenge and by 2050 the world population is predicted to increase to almost ten billion people whom we must nourish on a planet of finite resources.
We need to transform our global food system, from the way we farm and fish to what we choose to eat. It is a complex task, and if we are to deliver nutritious food to all, everyone needs to play a part in making the food system more sustainable. Beans and other pulses are members of the legume family. They can convert nitrogen from the air and ‘fix’ it into a form that can be readily used by plants. More than environmental superheroes, beans offer a rich source of fibre, protein and B vitamins.
Rusks are always a winner, especially when dipped in tea or coffee. While South Africans around the world yearn for the well-known South African boxed rusks, there’s something special about home-made rusks.
- 7 cups self-raising flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 5 cups All Bran flakes
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup mixed seeds eg, linseeds, poppy seeds
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a large oven dish with butter.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a big hole in the centre and add the eggs, buttermilk and butter.
- Mix well using a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a dough.
- Place the dough into the oven dish and press evenly.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once ready, remove from the oven and immediately turn out on a working surface.
- Cut into finger shapes and place back onto the oven dish.
- Dry in a 100C oven overnight or for at least 8 hours, leaving the oven door slightly open for moisture to exit.
- Store in an airtight container.
Samp and Beans
Samp and Beans are made from crushed dry maize/corn kernels (a.k.a. samp) and slowly cooked sugar beans. Samp and Beans were traditionally eaten in South Africa by Zulu and Xhosa people. Today it has become so popular that it’s now pre-packaged and mixed for easier preparation. It can be served as a starter, side dish or main meal. Some keep it simple and others love to mix in chillies or curry. You can add more flavour with meat and gravy.
- 1kg samp and bean mix, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 5ml allspice
- 2ml nutmeg
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pour off the water after soaking and place the samp and bean mix in a large saucepan. Cover with water and simmer slowly until the samp and beans are nearly soft and most of the water has evaporated.
- Season well with salt.
- In the meantime, sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft and add the allspice.
- Add the onion mixture and continue to simmer until the samp mix is completely soft. Season with nutmeg and black pepper and extra salt to taste if necessary.
- Serve hot with meat and gravy if desired.
Curried Lamb and Bean Potjie
Potjiekos is an Afrikaans term for food cooked in layers in a traditional three-legged cast-iron pot, but in essence it is a stew, not much different to the slow-simmered stews of beef, chicken and mutton and that are popular across Southern African countries. The difference between a potjie and a stew is that a potjie is never stirred during the cooking process and is always cooked slowly over hot coals in a cast iron pan. There is nothing more traditional than serving a delicious potjie at your next social event.
- 1 cup red kidney beans
- 1 cup red speckled beans
- 1 kg lamb, sawn into portions
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 30 ml medium curry powder
- 5 ml turmeric
- 5 ml meat masala
- 1 x 410 g can whole tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 500 ml meat stock
- Place beans in smaller potjie and cover with cold water.
- Slowly bring to the boil then boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat but keep lid on and allow beans to soak for 1 hour, then drain.
- Heat larger potjie well without adding oil or butter.
- Brown meat a few pieces at a time.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and sauté until onion is transparent.
- Add curry powder, turmeric and masala and fry for 2 minutes, stirring well.
- Arrange beans on top of meat followed by tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper and heated stock.
- Ensure the beans are well covered.
- Cover and simmer for 2–3 hours or until beans and meat are tender.
- Stir carefully to mix.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.