Entertaining Ways

If there is one thing the people in the Cape enjoy more than eating, it is eating in the company of others. Family, friends and visitors from less blessed regions are always welcome. The hospitality is innate, but it is equally true that people who are fortunate enough to live in an environment that is so richly endowed, also enjoy showing off just a little.
Mealtimes are convivial affairs, occasions for savouring the local vintages and consuming the seasonal food in a cheerful atmosphere that encourages talk and enjoyment.
‘Capetonians’ display a charmingly reverence and preference for their food creations and the wines which they love. Where food is concerned gender is seldom a factor when distinguishing between a good chef and a bad one, they are assessed purely for their skills. Notes are compared on how individual variations of favourite dishes have been achieved, delivered with all the intensity of philosophers sharing the deepest secrets of human existence.
The character of such occasions ranges from uproariously informal buffets and beach barbecues, to more ceremonial dinners and lunches. At the latter, classic dishes are reverentially presented in an atmosphere of damask table linen on polished exotic wood, with good silver ware to transport the edibles from plate to taste buds.
The composition of a good meal and the achievement of balance between dishes that are both suitable to the occasion and in harmony with the fresh produce available at the market is very much a matter of personal preference. Cape cooks are nothing if not individualistic!
Still, for those who may have visited the region, or who simply want to recapture its atmosphere when they return to their homes far away from those fertile valleys and soaring mountains and warm generous people, I offer a traditional recipe to keep the memory warm. A good Malay Curry.
Malay Curry
2 kg stewing mutton
10ml turmeric
10ml curry powder
10ml coriander
10ml cumin
50ml sunflower oil or any other neutral oil
4 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic crushed
25ml chopped fresh ginger
Few sticks of cinnamon
5 cardamom seeds
8 whole cloves
6 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
5 potatoes quartered
250 ml frozen peas
250ml water
Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
Cube the meat and sprinkle with the turmeric, curry powder, coriander and cumin. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and brown the onions gently, adding the ginger and garlic. Brown the meat and add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
Add the tomatoes and 250ml water and cook the curry very gently for about 1 hour until the meat is tender (add more water if necessary).
Add the potatoes and peas and cook for another 45 minutes. The potatoes should be cooked but not disintegrating.
Scatter over some chopped fresh coriander which enhances the flavour of a curry.
Serve this curry with rice and a selection of sambals, some sweet chutney and perhaps a lemon pickle.

12 thoughts on “Entertaining Ways

  1. Sarah

    Hi Kate,Sorry I haven’t replied earlier … just noticed your comment y/day oooooooooooooops sorry.Well you sound like you’re in absolutely the right place…. friendly ..civilised & local wine. My father grew up in Durban … but came over to England aged 8 (to go to school) and never saw his parents again. They were obviously enjoying Durban too much … but it’s a sad story really, a child longing for his parents. I suppose it was a common occurance @ that time…..PARTAY ON … the weather has got to be better than here….. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH where it’s basically awful, the people arn’t particular friendly & sometimes one wonders if there’s been any so called ‘civilising’ @ all.T.C. and thank you for writing,Lots of love from Sarah XXX

  2. Mei's

    Hello Kate, thanks for popped over and leave your kind comment, wow! smell like it’s the one that my hubby are after, thanks Kate, I think I need to go and do some serious cooking now, bye! Mei

  3. Kenneth

    Hello Kate.
                     Terry and I had a wonderful weekend fishing we caught a whale…!
    The curry sounds interesting, it’s a shame I don’t eat curry.
    Have a great week.
    big warm hugs.

  4. LAIRD

    May I book a seat for one at your next extravaganza? Only attended one beach BBQ – that tale has a 100 year restriction on its publication. Well I will keep this receipe on file ’til next winter. If it is half as good as the Bobotie it will be worth the wait! Still figuring out which part of the Western Cape these Malays originated!  

  5. Scary Faerie


  6. Suki x

    hello Kate
    Well this sounds delish, will try it sometime sounds very tasty with garlic onions and tomatoes from the allotment I cant go wrong.
    Is that a new bit of wisdom top left? can’t say I have noticed it before, but I like it very good advice!!
    Love Suki x

  7. Bittersweet on-the-hill.

    Hello Kate……
    A lovely entry.  I am somewhat partial to lamb and like the recipe.  What is the purpose of adding the potatoes….other than as a thickener, especially since it is served over a bed of rice? I suppose if you cut the potatoes in small enough chunks, you almost don’t see it. I will have to convert your metric system to our measurings but that is simple enough.  I assume there is no harm in buying lamb versus mutton. The mutton is just older.  I love your condiments.  I’m assuming sambals are an assortment of breads or rolls???
    Our summer is slowly emerging and looking forward to fresh and local produce.  The strawberries are just coming out so I suspect lots of good things over the next few months.
    We have had more than our share of spring rains so the fields are rich with hay – soon to be cut.  I could do with a few nice sunny days. Many of our spring blooms have been exceptional. Daffadils and irises have not done well but other things; lilac, mountain laurel, forsythia and clamatis have been lovely. And dare I forget the daylilies that are heavy with buds.
    I trust you are well. Bittersweet-on-the-hill.

  8. Mei's

    Hello Kate, how are you? Just popped in to have another look at your recipe so I can tell my hubby how much lamb do we need, hehe, he is cooking tomorrow. I’m working in the nursery, they are doing a plant sale everything reduced. Have a good weekend, enjoy your soak in the pool. Mei

  9. Peter

    Hi KateBeen suffering from the weather a bit,but a curry would be most welcome just now ! All is usual in Scotland … Hows things there ? good I hope, amd all the best for the week ahead !

  10. swamp

    Morning Kate. I’ll sit here a while with my coffee, and shelter from the rain back at the swamp. It seems non stop.
    After reading through that, I feel quite hungry. I might just tarry a little longer, and raid the kitchen before I go.  lol
    Enjoy Monday   🙂

  11. Kenneth

    Morning Kate
                            Has it really been a whole week since I drank coffee here, how time flies.
    I noticed that there is a new craze in s/a. "train-surfing", quite a number of children have been killed or maimed as they ride on the roof of trains dodging the overhead live wires,  just to attract attention. I think they are trying to get the sport accepted as a Olympic discipline.
    You questioned me about the recent rain we have been experiencing here in good old England, to which I shall reply once more.
    It is a over exageration by the media to sensationalize the conditions in order to reach a greater readership, yes, we have had rain that caused a few flash floods, with the loss of just one life, as far as I know.
    A vidio of a "Tornado" taken by a member of the public was aired on national tv. "WOW A TORNADO"  (batten down the hatches folks) They also reported that there was no structual damage and nobody was hurt, some " Tornado" that must have been.
    Thankyou for the coffee Kate and have yourelf a wicked week.
    Big warm hugs from Kenny.
    P/S. best put a lock on your fridge while Swampy is in the area.  lol.


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