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Cooking a up storm for dad

If Snegugu Wanda could sum up her passion for all things culinary in one sentence, it would be this: “I want to hit South Africa’s food space like a good storm!”

Having closed her law books in 2013 and bade farewell to her dreams of becoming the country’s next Chief Justice so that she could pursue a career in food, she’s certainly making her mark as a member of the South African Chefs Association and one of Durban’s finest female chefs who heads up the kitchen at Florida Road’s trendy Italian restaurant, Wish on Florida.

Specialising in Fusion cuisine, Chef Gugu (as she is affectionately known) attributes her passion for cooking to her late grandmother, Esther Wanda, who taught her how to cook. “My mother was a very career-focused woman in my youth, so I was raised by uGogo. One of my fondest memories is my grandmother teaching me so I could one day turn around and teach my mother how to cook,” she says.

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Someone Chef Gugu has always loved cooking for is her father, Thulani Jaca, and with Father’s Day around the corner, we asked her to share some of the dishes she’d enjoy knocking up most for him, if she were able to have him over for the day.

“My father is a Durbanite through and through, but he is currently based in Joburg, and whenever I ask him what he misses most about Durban he says his favourite food – a really good Indian mutton Biryani. I may not be Indian, but I made it my duty to come up with the meanest version of a Spicy Mutton Rice that he cannot say no to. He also loves rustic roasted potatoes and anything else that I might try at the restaurant like our creamy delicious ocean fresh pasta. Since we’re on lockdown, I hope you enjoy making these dishes in your own homes as much as I have.”

 

Spicy mutton rice

 

Ingredients

Cubed mutton meat

1 tablespoon Robertson Shisanyama spice

2 chopped onions

100g curry leaves

100g rosemary

3 tablespoons of garlic and ginger

1 tablespoon Paprika

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried chillies

90ml oil

5 cinnamon sticks

100g cumin seeds

1 cup of jasmine rice

1 teaspoon of turmeric

500ml plain yogurt or Amasi

500ml stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Pomegranate seeds 30g

Parsley 50g chopped

 

Method

Cook the jasmine rice according to packet instructions. In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt with turmeric, and then add salt and pepper and the garlic and ginger. Add 1 tablespoon spoon of Robertson Shisanyama spice followed by the cubed meat into this mixture. In a deep pan or pot, warm up the oil and add all the other spices and allow to simmer for a minute, this helps release flavours of the spices, plus it gives your kitchen a pleasant fragrance. Add the onions and allow to cook till soft. Add the marinated cubed meat into the pan and mix well. Add the stock and allow to simmer slowly. It should look like a stew at this point. Add the curry leaves. Once the meat is cooked, add the rice into the pan and make sure it’s coated well. Turn off the heat and garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Rustic roasted lemon-minted coriander potato salad

 

Ingredients

1kg bag of baby potatoes

2 lemons

100g mint leaves

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon salt

250ml oil

700g coriander

1 tablespoon dried mint

Tangy mayo

70g Pomegranate seeds

1 tablespoon of paprika for garnish

 

Method

Add your potatoes to a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic clove, dried mint, zest of half a lemon and the juice of a whole lemon, drizzle with oil and roast. Don’t throw away the lemon carcass. Keep it safe. In bowl mix three tablespoons of tangy mayo, add the juice and zest from the remaining lemon and chop up the mint and coriander and add this to the mayo mix. When the potatoes are just about cooked add the leftover lemon carcass to roast with the potatoes to release the juices even more. Once the potatoes are golden crispy coat them with the mayo mixture. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of paprika.

 

 

Creamy delicious ocean fresh pasta

 

Seafood

6 king prawns

6 mussels

120g calamari tubes

4 squid heads (for garnish)

 

Choice of pasta: tagliatelle or penne 250g

2 tomatoes

1 whole onion

fresh rosemary and thyme

150ml cream

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 tablespoons of garlic

1 tablespoon of lemon zest

10 ml of lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Methods

The tomato base:

Finely chop the onion and tomatoes. In a saucepan sauté onions and the fresh rosemary and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer until cooked, then add a tablespoon of tomato paste, mix in well and remove from heat.

Pasta:

Boil 500ml of water in a pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When boiling add the pasta of your choice. Allow to cook for 8 minutes till al dente, if you like your pasta softer cook till desired texture. Once cooked, strain it put under a tap of cold running water (this stops the cooking effect), put that aside. In a heated pan add butter, chopped onions, garlic and your seafood. Seafood cooks fast and you don’t want to overcook it, so allow cooking for about 2 minutes.

Add the lemon zest and 1 ½ serving spoons of lemon juice to the seafood. Then add your precooked pasta, followed by the cream and allow to simmer till desired thickness. Serve and enjoy!

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