Tuna Breyani

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Salwaa’s Tuna Breyani

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

Ingredients:
2 cups long grain rice
2-3 tins of tuna
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup vegetable oil
3 potatoes
2 large onions, sliced thinly sliced
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup buttermilk
1 – 2 green chillies, chopped
1 ½ tsp jeera / cumin
3 cloves
3 allspice
3 cardamoms
2 stick cinnamons
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp fish masala
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ – 1 tsp chilli powder
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp turmeric / borrie

Method:
Boil the rice in water until half done. Drain, rinse and set aside. Peel the potatoes, cut into slices. Heat the oil in saucepan, fry the potatoes until lightly browned and semi soft, set aside. Drain excess oil from the saucepan, add the chopped onions, fry until golden brown. Add the chopped tomato, buttermilk, green chillies, jeera, cloves, allspice, cardamoms, stick cinnamon and salt. Simmer over low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until onions are soft.

Meanwhile, combine all the spices with the lemon juice in a small bowl, stir to combine. Pour over tuna. Arrange the potato slices at the bottom of a large heavy based pot / saucepan. Add half of the rice on top of the potatoes, spreading it evenly.

Arrange the tuna with the masala on top of the rice on top of the rice, then the onion mixture, then the mixed vegetables ending with the remaining rice. Dot the butter on top of the rice add 1 cup of hot water.

Cover and steam to complete over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving with lemon atchar or blatjang.

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Dried Fish & Cabbage

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Salwaa’s Dried Fish & Cabbage

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

As we discovered on our recent trip to Portugal, Bacalhau (salted cod fish), is the most popular ingredient in Portuguese cooking. Traditionally there are more than 365 different dishes, one for each day of the year.  

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Salted Cod – Bacalhau

This reminded me of the dried snoek and cabbage bredie my paternal grandmother and aunty used to make. So naturally we bought a small piece of salted cod which is similar to hake as we know it.

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So today I share my grandmother’s recipe with you. What are your memories of this dish?

Salwaa’s Dried Fish & Cabbage

Ingredients:
1 medium cabbage
300g saltfish
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
2 green chillies, or according to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into half
Salt, if needed

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Salted Cod – Bacalhau

Method:
Soak the salt fish in water for about 30 minutes to remove excess salt.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic, sauté until golden brown.

In the meantime slice or shred the cabbage finely.

When the onion is nice and golden, add the cabbage, potatoes, chillies and pepper.

IMG_3972

Stir and cook until the potatoes is almost soft. Add drops of water if needed.

The cabbage must be a deep golden brown.

Strain the fish in a colander, pick or cut the fish into small pieces.

Add the fish to the cabbage, stir gently to combine.

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Simmer a further 10 minutes.

Taste for salt and add according to you taste buds.

Serve with white rice, homemade blatjang or lemon atchar.

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Here’s my complete recipe:

Salwaa’s Dried Fish & Cabbage

Ingredients:
1 medium cabbage
300g saltfish
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
2 green chillies, or according to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into half
Salt, if needed

Method:
Soak the salt fish in water for about 30 minutes to remove excess salt.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic, sauté until golden brown.

In the meantime slice or shred the cabbage finely.

When the onion is nice and golden, add the cabbage, potatoes, chillies and pepper.

Stir and cook until the potatoes is almost soft. Add drops of water if needed.

The cabbage must be a deep golden brown.

Strain the fish in a colander, pick or cut the fish into small pieces.

Add the fish to the cabbage, stir gently to combine.

Simmer a further 10 minutes.

Taste for salt and add according to you taste buds.

Serve with white rice, homemade blatjang or lemon atchar.

Cook’s Note:
Use dried snoek or 2 tins tuna
I used a “spitskop” cabbage

Koesister Pre-Mix
Koesister Pre-Mix


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Boeber

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Salwaa’s Boeber

A traditional South African Cape Malay recipe, the taste is so rich and sugary. Boeber is made of milk, vermicelli, sago, sugar or condensed milk flavoured with cardamoms, stick cinnamon and rose water. If you like a “thicker” boeber add more sago. Boeber is traditionally served on the fifteenth night of Ramadan to celebrate the middle of the fast. The evening of the 15th day of Ramadaan is special for those who had fasted the first 15 days. They are known as people who are ‘op die berg’ Many, many years ago after the taraweegh salaah, boeber was served at the mosques. Every family also made boeber for this particular night. After Taraweegh salaah, boeber was also sold at boeber houses at two pence a glass. There, friends would assemble and, if it were a Friday or Saturday, would stay up until sower (suhur) and then go to the masjid for Fajr.

To make boeber you will need the following:
50g butter
3/4 cup sago
200 ml water to soak the sago
250 ml vermicelli
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cardamoms
50 g sultanas (optional)
1.5 – 2 liters milk
1/2 tin condensed milk or sugar to taste
1 tin evaporated milk (optional)
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
15 ml rose water (optional)
50 g blanched almonds (optional)

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Method:
Soak the sago in the water for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan.
When it has melted, add the vermicelli and toss it so that the butter covers it and it starts to go golden brown.
Add the cardamom, cinnamon and the sultanas.

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Stir before pouring the milk into the pan.
Bring to the boil before adding the pre-soaked sago and then simmer for about 30 minutes stirring constantly otherwise it will stick. Add evaporated milk. The sago should become transparent.

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Add the rose water (if using), condensed milk, coconut and almonds and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Serve hot and enjoy this rich, spicy drink…

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

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Paella

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Salwaa’s Paella

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other delights
From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

Ingredients:
1kg seafood mix
2 chicken fillets, cubed
3 large onions, finely sliced
Oil for frying
3 cups uncooked white / basmati rice
Salt and Tabasco sauce to taste
Few strands of saffron
Fresh chopped parsley for garnishing (optional)
Shelled mussels for garnishing

Marinade
3 Tbsp peri-peri, chilli or chutney sauce
2 tsp crushed garlic
3 tsp Paella spice
Salt to taste
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
#capemalaycooking

Method:

Put saffron strands in a cup of boiling water.
Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl, add seafood mix and marinate for about 1 hour.
Stir fry cubes chicken until cooked in little olive oil and set aside.

Meanwhile, fry onions in hot oil until golden brown. Remove onions from pan and set aside.

Transfer seafood and marinade to frying pan, stir fry for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil rice in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse using a colander.

Layer ingredients in a large saucepan as follows: first rice, then seafood mixture and fried chicken. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and Tabasco sauce.

Lastly pour the saffron water over the rice.

Garnish with a few shelled mussels. Steam, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes.

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Fish Frikadel (Fish Cakes)

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Fish Frikadel (Fish Cakes)
Come rain or sunshine fish frikadel served with dhal and or ‘gesmoorde’ tomato is our favourite meal on a Monday in our household. ‘Gesmoorde’ tomato is made similarly to marinara sauce.

Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

Fish Cakes
Fish Cakes

Fish Frikadel

Ingredients:
500g hake fillets or 3 tins tuna chunks, in brine, drained
2 slices of bread (preferably a couple of days old)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon jeera/cumin powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons leaf masala (curry powder)
1/2 teaspoon borrie/tumeric
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Handful chopped parsley
1 medium egg
Cooking oil for shallow frying

Method:
Boil hake in enough water to cover for 5 – 10 minutes. Drain well and flake. If you using tin tuna, drain well before using.
Soak the bread in water for 10 minutes squeeze out all the water. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped onion. Braise until golden brown. Add tomato, garlic, lemon juice and spices, cook 5 minutes until all the spices are combined. Combine the fish, bread, spices with the rest of the ingredients. Shape into flat fish cakes. Shallow fry in medium to hot oil until brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with white rice, dhal or gesmoorde tomato. Makes about 10 fish cakes ©capemalaycooking

 

Fish Frikadel / Cakes
Fish Frikadel / Cakes

Dhal Curry
2 cups of dhal washed and drain
Cook untill soft with 1tsp each of garlic, ginger, salt and turmeric approximately 20 – 30 minutes
Add water as needed
Meanwhile braise one large onion in a separate pan in;
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
Add
2-3 chillies
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large tomato chopped in small pieces
Braise for about 5 – 7 minutes
When Dhal is soft and ready stir onion mixture into dhal.
Garnish generously with dhanya and a couple of mint leaves ( mint leaves are optional but it does give a lovely taste to the dhal) @capemalaycooking

Gesmoorde Tomato (Marinada)
Sauté a large peeled and chopped onion in a tbsp of oil. Add 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, green chilli, 1 small chopped green pepper, 1/2 salt, 1/4 tsp dried mix herbs, 2-3 large red tomatoes. You may use 1 tin of chopped tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes. Add 1 tbsp tomato paste. Season and cook until well blended and the vegetables are soft. @capemalaycooking

 

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Ingelegde Vis (Pickled Fish)

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Ingelegde Vis (Pickled Fish) – Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delight
Pickled fish is a sweet and sour dish which is traditionally eaten over Easter time. This is a very tasty way of preparing fish and can be cooked in advance. The flavour improves with time and stays fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator . Here I have used yellow tail to make this pickled fish. You may use snoek or any other firm fish. Best eaten cold.

Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish
Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish


Ingredients:
1kg snoek or any firm fish cut into large slices
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 cup  brown vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 large onions, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander / koljana
1 tsp ground cumin / jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric /borrie
1/4 tsp dry ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5 bay leaves
Method:
Season the fish chunks with salt and pepper, and quick-fry till opaque in a well-oiled pan. Remove and set aside.

Yellow Tail
Yellow Tail


Wipe the pan, and fry the sliced onions till they turn golden. Add the liquids and the spices, raise to boil, turn low and simmer for about five minutes. Turn off heat, allow to cool slightly.

Arrange the fish chunks and sliced lemon in a pyrex or glass dish, and pour sauce over. Cover, and refrigerate when completely cold. Leave the pickled fish to marinade for a day or two before eating. The flavour improves the longer its left before eating and will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Serve with crusty buttered bread.

Fried Yellow Tail
Fried Yellow Tail

 

Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish
Ingelegde Vis / Pickled Fish

© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Oven Grilled Mackerel Fillets

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Oven Grilled Mackerel Fillets – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith
A quick and easy fish dish to prepare that will have you licking your lips and fingers. Use any fish of choice instead of the mackerel.

Mackerel with lemon, onion and chilli slices
Mackerel with lemon, onion and chilli slices

Serves 4
4 mackerel fillets
Sprinkle with salt and freshly grind black pepper to taste
Add slices of onion, lemon, red and green chillies
Dot with garlic and herb butter
Grill in a preheated oven on medium to high for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve with fresh garden salad and/or lemon fried rice.

Mackerel1

Served With Lemon Fried Rice
Served With Lemon Fried Rice


© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Saucy Tiger Prawns Served With Lemon Rice

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Saucy Tiger Prawns
Saucy Tiger Prawns

Saucy Tiger Prawns – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith
Quick and easy way of cooking prawns, this recipe can also be used for crayfish tails. Marinade the night before.Ingredients:
18 extra large tiger prawns (approximately 1kg)
1 Tbsp seafood masala (I used the one of Simply Spice)
1/4 cup Nandos lemon & herb sauce
1/4 cup peri-peri Spur sauce
1 Tbsp tomato sauce (optional)
#capemalaycooking

Method:
Slit the prawn on top half way threw and devein, wash and allow all the water to drain off in a colander. Rub seafood masala in each prawn. Marinade for a few hours or better still overnight in the fridge. Cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.

Mix together the sauces and pour over the prawns and cook a further 10 minutes. Serve with lemon rice.

 

Lemon Rice
Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice
4 cups cooked rice, preferably long grain or basmati
2 tsp coriander / koljana seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
8 curry leaves
3 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 ½ tsp turmeric / borrie
Juice of 2 lemons

Gently roast and then coarsely powder the coriander seeds. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till the spluttering stop, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the turmeric powder and turn off the heat.
Add the lemon juice and mix well. Add the rice, roasted coriander powder and mix thoroughly. Reheat the rice if necessary.
© Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Crayfish Curry

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Crayfish Curry
Use crayfish tails to make this lovely seafood curry or add whole crayfish (cleaned and cut). If you like a more filling seafood curry add chunks of stockfish fillets. You can of course use more or less chillies depending on your palate. Serve with boiled fragrant or basmati rice.
Alternatively follow the recipe to make a lovely crayfish curry potjie.

Crayfish Curry
Crayfish Curry

Serves 6
Ingredients:
1 kg crayfish tails, deveined and cut into 2 or 3 pieces depending on the size
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
3 large onions (finely chopped)
2 medium tomatoes (chopped)
2 teaspoons coriander/koljana
2 teaspoons cumin/jeera
1 teaspoon turmeric/borrie
2 – 4 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 – 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
4 large cloves of garlic, grated finely
Dhanya leaves (finely chopped), optional
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water or as needed
Method:
Heat the oil in a pot and sauté onions on low heat till the onions are light brown in colour.
Mix in the grated garlic and green chillies. Fry till it turns golden-brown stirring all the time.
Add the tomato pieces and cook till the onions and tomatoes are soft, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add drops of water to prevent the onion mixture sticking to the bottom.
Now add all the spice powders except the garam masala and mix well to combine the spices with the onion mixture.
Gently stir in the crayfish tails, salt and the yoghurt.
Cook on high for about 5 minutes.
Add the water. Cover and allow it to simmer on low heat till the crayfish meat is cooked and tender about 15 minutes or until the shell of the crayfish turns pinkish. Stir every few minutes, add more water as needed, depending on the consistency you like the texture of your curry (thick or thin gravy/sauce)  Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with freshly cooked basmati or fragrant rice.

Crayfish Curry
Crayfish Curry

Follow the above recipe and make a lovely crayfish curry potjie!

Crayfish Potjie
Crayfish Potjie

Crayfish Potjie
Crayfish Potjie

© Cape Malay Cooking

Salmon & Lemon Fried Rice

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Salmon

Salmon served with lemon fried rice & Salmon served on a bed of sweet potatoes, mashed

Salmon & Sweet Potato

Lemon Rice – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa SmithPacked with flavour, this zesty lemon rice is great accompanied with fish. Here I served it with Salmon fried in chilli butter


4 cups cooked rice, preferably long grain or basmati
2 tsp coriander / koljana seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
8 curry leaves
3 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 ½ tsp turmeric / borrie
Juice of 2 lemons
Gently roast and then coarsely powder the coriander seeds. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till the spluttering stop, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the turmeric powder and turn off the heat.

Add the lemon juice and mix well.

Add the rice, roasted coriander powder and mix thoroughly.

To Make Chilli Butter
125 g soft salted butter
1 tsp crushed dried red chillies
Mix together the butter and dried chillies in a small bowl. Transfer and wrap the butter in clingfilm, roll it into a log. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the butter is hard. Cut in slices and use as required. Left over chilli butter can be frozen for later use.

Lemon Rice
© Cape Malay Cooking

 

 

 

 

 

Fish Breyani

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Fish Breyani
Fish Breyani

Fish Breyani – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights – Salwaa Smith

From My Kitchen To Yours – keeping our heritage alive!

 

Ingredients:

3 cups long grain rice or basmati rice

1½ cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 cup cooking oil

3 large potatoes

2 large onions, sliced thinly

1kg firm fish pieces of your choice, like hake or snoek

1 tomato, chopped

¼ cup buttermilk

1 – 2 green chillies, chopped

1½ tsp jeera / cumin

3 cloves

3 allspice

3 cardamoms

2 stick cinnamons

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter

 

Fish Masala

7 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

½ – 1 tsp chilli powder

3 tsp jeera / cumin

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp turmeric / borrie

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

 

Method:

Boil the rice in water until half done. Drain, rinse and set aside. Peel the potatoes, cut into slices. Heat the oil in saucepan, fry the potatoes until lightly browned and semi soft, set aside. Drain excess oil from the saucepan, add the chopped onions, fry until golden brown. Add the chopped tomato, buttermilk, green chillies, jeera, cloves, allspice, cardamoms, stick cinnamon and salt. Simmer over low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until onions are soft.

 

Meanwhile, make the masala to fry the fish. Combine all the spices in a small bowl, stir to combine. Wash and dry the fish pieces, smear the masala mixture all over the fish. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before frying in the left over oil used for frying the potatoes.

 

Arrange the potato slices at the bottom of a large heavy based pot / saucepan. Add half of the rice on top of the potatoes, spreading it evenly. Arrange the fish slices on top of the rice, then the onion mixture, then the mixed vegetables ending with the remaining rice. Dot the butter on top of the rice add 1 cup of hot water. Cover and steam to complete over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving with lemon atchar or blatjang.

© Cape Malay Cooking

 

 

 

 

Pickled Fish (Ingelegde Vis)

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Ingelegde Vis (Pickled Fish)

Pickled fish is traditionally made at Easter time. Pickled fish dates back to when there was no refrigerators and different means were used to preserve food. Any firm fleshed fish can be used to make this delectable dish. Yellow tail and Snoek are the most common fish used when making pickled fish.

Pickled Fish / Ingelegde Vis
Pickled Fish / Ingelegde Vis

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1kg snoek or any firm fish cut into large slices
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 cup brown vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 large onions, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 – 2 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander / koljana
1 tsp ground cumin / jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric /borrie
1/4 tsp dry ginger
2 tsp fish masala (optional)
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
5 bay leaves

Method:
Wash and drain the fish. Wipe the fish dry with a clean kitchen towel. Salt the fish slices. Heat a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the ¼ cup of oil.  When the oil is warm, fry the fish five minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked thoroughly. Remove and set aside.

Wipe the pan with kitchen towel to remove the residue from the fried fish, and add the sliced onions and fry till they turn golden. Add the liquids and spices, bring to boil, turn low and simmer for about five minutes. Turn off heat, let cool to warm.

Fried Fish
Fried Fish

Fish2

Arrange the fish chunks and sliced lemon in a Pyrex or glass dish, and pour the sauce over. Cover, and refrigerate for a day or two before eating for the flavours to develop. The flavour improves the longer it’s left before eating and will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Serve cold with crusty buttered bread.

Pickled Fish / Ingelegde Vis
Pickled Fish / Ingelegde Vis

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Paella

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Paella - Cape Malay Cooking
Paella – Cape Malay Cooking

Serves 6
1kg seafood mix
3 large onions, finely sliced
Oil for frying
200gr mushrooms, sliced
1 large green pepper, finely sliced
1 large red pepper, finely sliced
1 large yellow pepper, finely sliced
3 cups uncooked basmati rice
Salt and Tabasco sauce to taste
Fresh chopped parsley for garnishing (optional)

Marinade
2 tbsp peri-peri, chilli or chutney sauce
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
5ml Tabasco sauce

Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl, add seafood mix and marinate for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, fry onions in heated oil until golden. Add mushrooms and fry a further 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Remove onions and mushrooms from pan and set aside. Fry peppers in oil for 5 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Transfer seafood and marinade to frying pan and fry for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil rice in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Layer ingredients in a large saucepan as follows: first rice, then onions and mushrooms (reserving some onion and mushroom for garnishing) then the peppers and finally the seafood mixture. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and Tabasco sauce. Steam, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Garnish with reserved onions, mushrooms and chopped parsley if using. Serve with lemon atchar and enjoy

Seafood Paella
Seafood Paella

© Cape Malay Cooking

Prawn Breyani

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Prawn Breyani

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

500g Basmati rice

1 kg large prawns shelled and deveined

To marinate prawns:

1 cup yogurt

Juice of 1 lime/ lemon

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tablespoons garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

Salt to taste

To fry: 4 large onions sliced thinly (divided into 3 equal portions)

3 large tomatoes chopped finely

For dry masala/ spice mix:

2 tablespoons whole koljana/coriander seeds

1 tablespoons whole jeera/cumin seeds

1 tablespoon saunf/ aniseed/ fennel seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 pieces of cinnamon

5 cloves

5 green cardamom

10-12 black peppercorns

2 dry red chillies

For wet masala: 2 green chillies

1/2 cup fresh dhanya leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped dhanya/coriander leaves

4-5 tablespoons cooking oil

Preparation:

Wash the rice. Soak it in warm water for 30 minutes.

Cook the rice till almost done. Drain remaining water (if any) and keep aside.

Marinate the prawns with the marinating ingredients.

Heat a flat pan on a medium heat and gently roast all ingredients mentioned under “For dry masala/ spice mix” till they start to become slightly darker and give off a faint aroma.

Now grind all the roasted ingredients to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder or use a mortal & pestle.

Grind the ingredients mentioned under “For wet masala”, to a smooth paste in a food processor.

Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan till hot and then fry 1 of the 3 portions of sliced onions till crispy and golden. When done, drain and remove from the oil and keep aside on paper towels to garnish breyani later.

In the same oil, add the remaining sliced onions and fry till soft. Now add the tomatoes and fry till soft.

Add all the dry and wet masala ingredients prepared earlier and fry till the oil begins to separate from the whole mix.

Now add the prawns and all the marinade to this spice mix. Stir and allow to cook till the prawns are done. Do not overcook as the prawns will get rubbery in texture. Season with salt if required.

Remove from heat.

Take a large, deep baking dish/ ovenproof dish (it MUST have its own cover) and grease lightly with cooking oil. Layer the rice and prawn as follows: rice – prawn – rice. End with a layer of rice.

Garnish with the crispy fried onions, chopped dhanya leaves. Cover the dish and seal tightly.

Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.