SOUTH AFRICA

Starter: BUTTERNUT SOUP

Ingredients:

4 cups peeled cut squash

1 to 2 onions (depending on how much you like em!)

2 to 4 tablespoons butter

4 cups stock

3 tablespoons grated ginger (fresh only)

juice from 2 limes

salt and pepper

Method:

Chop the onion and cook until wilted in the butter. Add in the ginger and stir it around a bit, (1 or 2 minutes). Add the stock and the squash. Cook until squash is soft. Remove from stove and blend in a blender. (You usually have to do it in batches). Return puree to soup pot, add in lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Main course: BOBOTIE

The Boers brought slaves from among other places Malaysia in the 1600's to work the South African land they acquired. With the slaves came curries, chutneys, sambals, atjars and bobotie - imported specialities of India, China, and Indonesia. These dishes also became an integral part of the metamorphosing cuisine of South Africa.

Ingredients:

1 slice white bread

250 ml milk

1 kg lean minced beef or mutton

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

125 ml seedless raisins

125 ml blanched almonds

15 ml smooth apricot jam

15 ml fruit chutney

25 ml lemon juice

5 ml chopped fresh mixed herbs

10 ml curry powder

5 ml turmeric

10 ml salt

10 ml sunflower oil

3 large eggs

4 bay or lemon leaves

Method:

Soak the bread in 125 ml milk, then squeeze it dry and reserve the milk. Mix the bread with the minced beef or mutton. Mix in all the other ingredients, except the remaining and reserved milk, the oil, eggs and bay or lemon leaves. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat mixture lightly. Turn it out into a casserole. Beat the eggs with the remaining and reserved milk and pour the mixture over the meat. Garnish the top of the mixture with the bay or lemon leaves and bake at 180 'C for approximately 50 minutes, or until set.

SERVES 6 - 8

Serve with Yellow Rice with Raisins

Yellow rice (GEELRYS)

Ingredients:

250 ml uncooked white rice

10 ml turmeric

1 stick cinnamon

5 ml salt

30 ml yellow sugar

125 ml seedless raisins or sultanas

10 ml butter

Method:

Place the rice, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 15- 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the moisture has been absorbed. Add the raisins or sultanas and steam the mixture in a colander over a saucepan of boiling water for 30 minute, Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff the rice with the butter and serve with curries or Bobotie

SERVES 6

Dessert: CAPE BRANDY PUDDING

Brandy has a long history in South Africa, from the earliest distillation of cape grapes - believed to he in 1672 and rightfully termed fire water - to the refined product available today.

Ingredients:

250 g dates, stoned and finely chopped

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

250 ml boiling water

125 g butter or margarine

200 g white sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

240 gm cake flour

5 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

250 ml finely chopped walnuts or pecan nuts

SYRUP:

15 ml butter or margarine

200 g white sugar

150 ml water

125 ml brandy

5 ml vanilla essence

1 ml salt

Method:

Mix half of the dates with the bicarbonate of soda and pour the boiling water over the dates. Mix well and leave to cool. Cream the butter or margarine and sugar together until light, then beat in the eggs to make a smooth mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the creamed mixture and fold it in. Mix in the remaining dates and the nuts. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and date mixture, mix well and turn the batter into a large baking dish. Bake at 180 C for approximately 40 minutes, or until the pudding springs back when pressed at the centre. Make the syrup just before the pudding is cooked. Heat the butter or margarine, sugar and water for approximately 5 minutes, remove the mixture from the stove and stir in the brandy, vanilla essence and salt. Pour the warm syrup over the pudding as soon as it comes from the oven. Serve the pudding either hot or cold, with whipped cream.

Serves 6

MICROWAVE OVEN: Microwave the pudding on 70 per cent power for 13-15 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Microwave the syrup on 70 per cent power for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring once. Pour the syrup over the pudding and serve.

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