Food Glorious Food

Yes, ANOTHER recipe post, the last one before I jet off to Washington, DC at the end of next week. Alex called to ask me for more recipes before I leave. He mentioned that he downloads them onto his phone so that he can look them up when he goes shopping. What can I say – my work is done!

Many years ago, when I was going through my “Brady Bunch Mom” phase, I attended several cooking demonstrations at the Christina Martin School of Food and Wine which was, in those days, situated in a gorgeous old house in Durban’s Florida Road. Most of the recipes were quite rich and elaborate and more suitable for posh dinner parties than family meals or our more humble shindigs. However I did manage to repeat a few of the more straightforward recipes at home and this was one of them which became a great standby when I was cooking for a crowd. This recipe serves 8 and even if you are not cooking for that many people it is worth it to cook up a big pot because the leftovers are even more delicious the next day and the day after that.

 Christina’s Chicken & Chickpea Curry


  •  16 deboned, skinned chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4 tbsp medium curry powder (Osmans if you can get it)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml Italian tomato passata/ purée (not tomato paste)
  • 2 medium brinjals, cubed
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped (don’t leave this out, the dhania makes the dish)
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot (I use my mother’s old pressure cooker pot). Add the onions, garlic and ginger and stir until very lightly coloured, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cook for 1 minute then add the chicken pieces, tomatoes, passata, brinjals, and chickpeas. Stir to combine all the ingredients well, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half the fresh coriander. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stir in the balance of the fresh coriander and cook for one minute.

Serve with basmati rice, tomato & onion sambals and Mrs Ball’s chutney.

The other recipe of Christina’s that I would like to include is the delicious   

Butternut Cannelloni with Sundried Tomato Sauce

serves 8

It is well worth cooking if you are going to be feeding appreciative guests but not something I would rustle up for a family dinner.


  •  Firstly track down a packet of cannelloni shells – you need 250 g
  • 1 kg butternut, peeled, cubed and steamed
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 ml nutmeg, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Sundried Tomato Sauce

  •  200 g sundried tomatoes
  • 500 ml passata
  • Bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Mash/purée the cooked butternut, together with the butter, sugar and nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the butternut in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off), pipe the butternut into the uncooked cannelloni shells and place them in a well oiled, rectangular oven-proof dish.

Bring the cream, garlic and salt and pepper to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.

Make the sundried tomato sauce: Soften the sundried tomatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes, then purée the sundried tomatoes together with the passata, fresh basil, garlic and season to taste.

Pour the cream carefully over the filled cannelloni and ladle the tomato sauce between the rows. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until the pasta is tender.

My parents loved eating out and Ted was always one for discovering new and exciting places to eat. I remember them taking Peter and me (newly courting) to a restaurant called Cecile’s Kitchen in Umdloti where we ate the most wonderful Mauritian seafood curry served individually in beautiful little red enamel pots. In my recipe file I have a supplement to Fair Lady magazine dated June 8, 1977 and in that supplement is Cecile Tilley’s recipe for Rougaille of Sausages.

In 1978, not long after Peter and I got married, we invited, for the first time, some of his colleagues from the Department of Social Anthropology (UND), including his professor, for dinner. Since I was a preschool teacher at the time and was free in the afternoon, I was delegated to preparing the food. This was a special occasion and I decided to go all out on our very limited income by cooking Cecile’s rougaille of sausages, with mash and salad. I can remember Peter coming home and expressing disbelief that I was serving sausage and mash to our esteemed guests. Sausages, as far as he was concerned, were just not good enough! Needless to say, I proved him wrong and the meal went down better than he expected. I’ve cooked this dish many times since and every time I can still hear Peter’s professor as he turned to me that evening and asked “and what do you do, my dear?” This was the extent of our conversation from that moment on. He would ask, I would reply, he would be at a loss for words and turn to the person on the other side of him who could inevitably claim to be something more than a lowly preschool teacher.

Rougaille of Sausages

(serves 4)

  •  8 pork sausages
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tin chopped tomato
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (these days of course I use fresh!)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 300 ml beef stock

Heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry the sausages until browned. Remove the sausages and reserve. In the same pan, fry the onions, green pepper and garlic. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, salt, pepper and herbs. Allow mixture to cook until the oil separates. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Replace the sausages, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.

And FINALLY, a recipe for

Chicken baked in Spicy Yoghurt

This serves 4 and is super easy to make.


  •  8 deboned, skinned chicken thighs
  • 125 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 fresh chilli chopped / 2 tsp dried, crushed chilli
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp Mrs Ball’s chutney
  • Dhania, chopped

Place chicken in a roasting tin. Season. Mix remaining ingredients and spread over the chicken. Marinate for as long as is possible. Bake in a preheated oven 160ºC for 30 – 45 minutes.

Don’t be tempted to pump the temp up, it will curdle the yoghurt.

A tip for those of you who shop at Woolies (Alex, I know you sneak in to Cavendish from time to time). You can buy a pack of crushed garlic, ginger and chilli which lasts, I may add, way beyond its use by date. It  is excellent for this recipe because you can just add a square of ginger, garlic and chillli to this dish – no fuss.


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3 Responses to Food Glorious Food

  1. Judy says:

    Your chicken and chickpea curry is one of my favourites.

  2. Adam Rice says:

    I can’t wait to try the curry recipe. I hardly ever make curry and this sounds just perfect, easy to make and delicious. I tend to keep making the same old usual stuff, and your recipes give me just the impetus I need to try something new. Have a great weekend you two, makes me wish we were there!

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