Feast away

Family gatherings and social get-togethers. Now is the time to bring people together.

Jacqueline Naicker, head of Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Boksburg campus, is not only optimistic about the hospitality industry going forward, but she also believes 2022 will be an adjustment.

However, despite everything, this Mondeor resident believes socialisation and food will continue to comfort the masses who have been emotionally and physically drained by the events of the past two years.

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And there is no better time than Easter to bring people together.

‘Easter has always been a time of reflection. We are inundated with many traditional views of this time. We come together as a family to spend a magical weekend, as well as the understanding that death is not always the end of something but can also mean the birth or renewal of something great.

‘I’m happy to admit my family has as many perspectives of this time as we grow and gather extensions and add-ons to our family.

‘While the very young are consumed with Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies, the older ones are more pensive as they tuck into pickled fish and hot cross buns.

‘It reminds me of a family trip to Port Elizabeth – or Gqeberha as it is known today. We were met with the hearty smell of nutmeg, cloves and allspice from the freshly baked hot cross buns. At the resort where we were holidaying, we were served pickled fish in an onion and lightly curried sauce.

‘I would love to share my favourite recipe for pickled fish.’

Pickled fish

You’ll need:

2 kg white fish fillets such as hake; 6 large onions, peeled and sliced; 1 cup all-purpose flour; 1 tsp ground black pepper; 2 tsp turmeric; 1 cup vinegar; 1 cup water; 3-4 tbsp sugar; Salt to taste; 2 tbsp apricot jam (optional); 1 tbsp black peppercorns; 1 tbsp coriander seeds; 5 bay leaves; 2 tbsp roasted masala of your choice; 1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 3 tbsp of water; Vegetable oil for frying.

To make:

Dust the pieces of fish with flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and shallow fry the fish for about two minutes on each side. Set aside and allow any excess oil to drain off. In a large pot, heat the vinegar and water. Add the onions, sugar, salt, spices, jam and bay leaves and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat. Add the corn flour mixture to the curry mixture and stir well. Place the fish and onion and curry sauce mixture in a large heatproof dish, ensuring the sauce covers all the fish. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge overnight or for a few days, so it gives the fish a chance to absorb the spices. Your pickled fish should be succulent in a lightly flavoured curry sauce.

Enjoy with freshly baked bread or hot cross buns and a salad.

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