Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Louw's Curried Potjie

It's becoming colder and colder by the day in Cape Town and menu's have quickly become richer and heavier along with a hefty stock up on warming red wine. I have mentioned my craving for "Potjie Kos" a stew cooked in a large three footed, cast iron pot over a fire.

I am not entirely sure if there is a classic version of this dish but I think your favorite stew recipe cooked this way becomes a "Potjie" the Afrikaans word for pot.

My craving so overwhelming I basically invited myself, it was really so good I had to post the recipe on behalf of my friends the Louw's however nobody in South Africa ever knows if the potjie was good or was everybody drunk or even if the cast iron pot makes any difference, not to mention the three legs... we will just keep on making them regardless.

This one is a curried chicken pot but may be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with butternut and eggplant, dairy free and carb free without the rice.

The Louw's Curried Potjie (aka Sannie)
serves 6

1kg chicken thigh and drumstick, skin removed
30ml cooking oil
2 onions, sliced into rings
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
30ml chopped ginger
1 chilli chopped
15ml mild curry powder
2ml turmeric
5ml ground coriander
1 by 410g tin whole peeled tomatoes
6 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 4
5ml salt
1 500g packet potjie vegetables or a mix of peeled baby carrots, rough cut baby marrow and baby onions
1 bunch fresh coriander
20ml lemon juice
40ml cornflour slaked with water

Make the curry paste by placing garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, ginger, chilli, curry powder, turmeric, ground coriander in a pestle and mortar, grind until smooth.

Allow the potjie pot to heat over the fire, add the oil and brown the chicken pieces in the pot, remove and add the onions, allow to soften.

Add the curry paste, cooking for 2 minutes then top with the chicken, tinned tomatoes, arrange the potatoes on top and lastly the vegetables. Adding salt to each layer.

Close the pot and adjust the coals to make it simmer, cook for 1.5 hours.
Check the seasoning with salt and lemon juice, add cornflour if necessary to thicken and lastly add the roughly chopped fresh coriander.

Best eaten with rice and a salsa or yoghurt raita known as sambals and Mrs Balls chutney.

Cucumber sambal
100ml chopped cucumber, seeds and skin removed
50ml desiccated coconut
100ml Bulgarian yogurt
30ml flaked almonds
15ml lemon juice
10ml chopped fresh mint
10ml chopped fresh coriander
2ml salt
grind of pepper

Mix together and serve along side the Potjie

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells and Julie Louw

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thai Mango and Sticky Rice

When life gives you mangoes you just have to make sticky rice to go with it, traveling through Vietnam and Thailand with my foodie friends is always the best part of my year as they introduce me to all these amazing foods, so simple but a taste memory I will never forget.

A year later I decided to recreate my own version craving the salty sweet flavour, unfortunately the Tim Noakes dieters must stay away from this dish, I may try make a quinoa version at a later date when I have finished indulging in mine.

Traditionally Thai sweet rice is used or glutinous rice, I only use Jasmine or Basmati in my house so below is my version, much lighter and a little less sticky than what you would find in Thailand but still hits the savoury sweet spot.

Suitable for vegetarians and lactose intolerant.

Mango and Sticky rice 
Serves 4

1 cup Jasmine rice
1/3 tin coconut milk (400g tin)
1tsp salt
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 Mangoes, perfectly ripe

Coconut sauce:
2/3 tin coconut milk
3 tsp light brown sugar
about 1 tsp salt, depending on your taste

Soak the rice covered in water for 20 minutes, rinse and strain.
Measure 2 cups of liquid, include the 1/3 tin of coconut milk and water, place in a pot and bring gently to the boil with 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp brown sugar.
Add the soaked and rinsed rice and turn the heat to its lowest simmering with a lid half on.
Stir occasionally, cook for about 8 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the beads of rice are almost cooked. Switch off the heat, place the lid on and leave for about 6 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile make the coconut sauce, heat all ingredients in a pot but do not boil as it will split. Add the salt and sugar to your taste.

Peel the mango and slice.

Remove the rice from the pot and allow it to com down to room temperature.
Once cool serve yourself half a mango with some rice on the side topped with coconut sauce, I added sesame seeds but the traditional topping is a crispy like puffed rice topping.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells