At her cooking school in Hilton, award-winning KwaZulu-Natal chef Jackie Cameron puts her creative flair to work on heritage food. Try her Beer-steamed Mealie Bread with Chilli Bites, Patta and Amaqheqhe.
Bread (makes about 10 small cups)
- 125ml flour
- 62.5ml crème fraîche
- 250g fresh corn cut from the cob
- 2 whole eggs
- 22.5ml salted butter, melted
- 25g white sugar
- 2.5ml fine salt
- 2.5ml baking powder
- 2 cans (880ml) beer
Ramola’s Chilli Bites (makes 40-50 – this recipe can be halved)
- 250ml gram flour/ chickpea flour
- 125ml cake flour
- 2.5ml turmeric, fresh if possible
- 7.5ml Durban masala or red masala
- 5ml white sugar
- 5ml baking powder
- 15ml sunflower oil
- 250ml warm water
- 45ml coriander, chopped
- 75g carrots, peeled and grated
- 100g potatoes, peeled and grated
- 65g onions, grated
- extra sunflower oil, for frying
Ramola’s Patta (makes 6 rolls)
- 500ml gram flour/ chickpea flour
- 250ml mealie meal
- 125ml white bread flour
- 15ml fine salt
- 2.5ml turmeric powder, freshly grated if possible
- 5ml ginger powder
- 5ml fresh garlic, grated
- 20ml Durban masala or hot and spicy masala
- 10ml garam masala or hot and spicy masala
- 10ml cumin seeds
- 15ml desiccated coconut
- 10ml fresh coriander, chopped
- 2ml bicarbonate of soda
- 40ml white sugar
- 50ml sunflower oil
- 200ml vinegar
- 200ml warm water
- amadumbie leaves or spinach as a substitute
- extra sunflower oil, for frying
- 500ml maas/ amazi
- selection of fresh herbs, chopped
- To make the bread, place all the ingredients into a liquidiser for a few seconds to blend the corn and mix all the ingredients together.
- Grease little flower pots or small metal tomato paste 100ml tins. Place mixture inside the pots or tins, put cling wrap on the top and poke a few holes in it.
- Place the beer into a steamer and the pots into steamer following the operation guidelines. Allow to steam for about 25 minutes or until cooked. If you don’t have an electric steamer, make your own with a colander placed inside a large pot or a wire rack balanced on an empty jam tin.
- To make the chilli bites, heat the oil for deep-frying. Mix the gram flour, cake flour, coriander, salt, turmeric, masala, sugar and baking powder together. Add 15ml oil and mix through. Add the warm water, which will make the mixture into a batter. Add the remaining ingredients. Take teaspoons of the batter and drop them into the oil (best for the oil to be on a medium heat, as you don’t want the outside to get to brown before the inside is cooked). Turn them around, and cook until brown on the outside and cooked inside.
- To make the patta, combine all the dry ingredients and mix together. Add the oil and crumble together. Add the remaining ingredients to make a soft, spreadable batter. Scrape and thin the veins out of the amadumbie leaves, wash and dry. Lay the leaves flat down, shiny side down and pointed end away from you. Apply a thin layer of batter with your fingertips on the entire leaf. Fold the sides to meet in the centre. Spread some more batter over the leaves. Roll up tightly like a Swiss roll, wrap in cling wrap. Place in a pot of boiling water to poach for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, remove the cling wrap, cut into slices and shallow-fry well on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper towel and serve.
- To make the amaqheqhe, place the maas in an oil filter attached to a sieve over a bowl and leave in the refrigerator overnight for the maas curd and whey to separate. Remove the maas curd from the oil filter, mix with a selection of chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper. Place into a piping bag. To serve, place the breads on a bread board, pipe the amaqheqhe over and add thick lashings of butter.
Beverage suggestion: Clockwork Brewhouse The Pitter beer