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)
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
5ml ground coriander
1 by 410g tin whole peeled tomatoes
6 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 4
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.
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
grind of pepper
Mix together and serve along side the Potjie
Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells and Julie Louw