You may be running out of creative ideas for dinners or Sunday lunches for the family and since it is Africa Month, we have compiled a list of 4 must-have local cookbooks written by our favourite South African female chefs. Take a look at the list and where you can get them below.
Pink Gin and Fairy Cakes
Written by local mother of three and home chef, Jan Kohler, Pink Gin and Fairy Cakes is a two hundred page and over cookbook packed with mouth-watering images created to entice novice cooks and aspiring professional chefs into their kitchens. In Pink Gin and Fairy Cakes Kohler inspires readers to make affordable and healthy gourmet meals a reality and includes recipes for decadent desserts and cocktails. Check her recipes out on her blog, jankohlercooks.com, where the book is also available for purchase.
Celebrate with Lorna Maseko
Award-winning celebrity chef and entrepreneur Lorna Maseko launched her cookbook, Celebrate with Lorna Maseko, in September 2019 which has since gone on to win two international awards at the International Gourmand Awards 2020.
Focused on encouraging home cooks to recreate traditional South African dishes with imagination as the main ingredient, Celebrate with Lorna Maseko, takes you on a journey through the township of Alexandra where she discovered her love for food. Available for purchase online at Takealot.com and loot.co.za.
Following the success of her first book, Simply Delicious, Chef Zola Nene continues her calling to help her readers impress guests with no-fuss gourmet food in their homes with her new cookbook, Simply Zola – The Journey Continues. Recipes include an interesting Barley, grape and pecan nut salad, Prawn, lemon and chilli linguini and Cola-braised beef short ribs. P.s, there is a gluten-free chapter in there as well. Available for purchase online at Takealot.com and loot.co.za.
Set A Table
Owner of The Kitchen based in Woodstock, Cape Town, Karen Dudley recently released a cookbook called Set A Table following the success of her first two books both titled, Week in The Kitchen. The Kitchen is known for the celebratory and communal style of dining and Set A table shares recipes that showcase this culture, boast exceptional flavour and are easily achievable at home. Available for purchase online at Takealot.com and Yuppiechef.
Just in case you thought we’re done here, take a look at this sumptuous winter recipe from Jan Kohler’s Pink Gin and Fairy Cakes cookbook for you to try out at home.
Spicy Butternut Soup with Coconut Milk
My family loves soup. I could even make it as a meal during the summer! Butternut soup, in particular, is a very popular choice with my children. When I’m entertaining, I find that soup is useful on any occasion. You can serve it as a starter at a sit-down dinner, as a light meal at an informal gathering for a large crowd or as an easy Sunday night supper for the family. In winter, our leftovers even go to school in food flasks as a warm lunch. (When I do make it for the children, I tone down the curry paste). This soup freezes really well and can be conveniently reheated when needed.
Here’s what goes in:
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of Thai green curry paste
1 kilogram of butternut, diced
Coconut cream (400ml tin)
1 litre of chicken, or vegetable, stock
Olive oil, for frying
Fresh Coriander leaves to garnish
How to do it:
In a large, deep pot, fry the onion and curry paste in a bit of olive oil. Once the onion is soft and translucent, add the butternut. Add the chicken stock, ensuring that the vegetables are immersed in liquid. Put the lid on and allow to simmer until the vegetables are very tender. Keep checking the liquid levels and don’t let the soup evaporate – add more stock if needed. Set this aside to cool. Pour the entire mixture into a food processor and pulse until the soup is smooth and free of lumps. (You might have to do this in two parts). Return the soup to the pot and stir the coconut cream through, warming it over medium heat as you go. The result should be a thick, velvety soup that you can serve with delicious bread or perhaps topped with a few croutons.