Having spent so many important days in lockdown already - birthdays, Easter, Mother’s Day, Ramadaan and now Eid, we should all be used to this new way of living.
With many people either losing their income or having their salaries cut, many of us have had to make certain lifestyle changes.
In the words of cookbook author and founder of the popular Facebook page Cape Malay Cooking and Other Delights, Salwaa Francis Smith, nothing stops you from still having a lekker time with your immediate family at home.
Salwaa, who is currently in the UK with her family, says: “This is an ideal time to establish new traditions which our kids will remember in the years to come.
“Get dressed in your best clothes, set your table with flowers from the garden, encourage the kids to make homemade Eid cards for each other.
“Have a Zoom meeting with your family, if possible,” she advises.
Getting dressed up with nowhere to go is a lockdown trend, and since it’s Eid you have even more reason to get opgetof in your Sunday best.
When it comes to the table, Salwaa’s advice is to keep it simple with familiar favourites.
“Bake bread for breakfast, and serve it with cheese or polony. Involve the kids to make the salad and dessert,” she says.
“We would (usually) have friends joining us for lunch, but this year it will just be my husband and me, our three daughters, son in law and 3 grandchildren.
“This year we will spend a quiet day at home, have our traditional breakfast which consists of homemade bread and pies.
“Lunch we will keep simple with maybe a Breyani or braai chops. I’ll make one dessert and that will be our meal for the day.
“We will also have a Zoom meeting with my siblings and family in Cape Town.”
If nothing else, let this time with your friends and family be a reminder of how blessed we are to have them around - albeit on a screen.
2 slices white bread (preferably a couple of days old)
30 ml cooking oil
1 large chopped onion
2 ml ground cloves
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
salt to taste (approx 5ml)
10ml curry powder
500g minced meat (lamb or beef)
20ml lemon juice
6 bay leaves
For the topping:
2 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Pour cold water to cover over the bread and set aside to soak.
2. Meanwhile fry onions in oil until they are soft and starting to colour, 10 minutes. Add cloves, garlic, salt, curry powder, 2 of the bay leaves and turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes adding 30 ml water if necessary.
3. In a separate bowl combine the minced meat with the onion mixture, eggs, lemon juice and sugar. Squeeze the water from the bread and mix until well blended.
4.Tip into an ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.
5. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.
Serve with almond yellow rice and mango chutney,
- Add a couple tablespoons of mango chutney or apricot preserves to the meat if you like. A grated apple is also sometimes added.
- Stir a handful of toasted, slivered almonds into the meat mixture before cooking, or garnish the finished dish with toasted almonds.
- One or two beaten eggs can also be stirred into the meat mixture if you like.
- Substitute lemon leaves for the bay leaves if you can find them.
Salwaa's old school Breyani
750 g lamb, mutton or chicken pieces
For the marinade:
3 stick cinnamons
5 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp grated garlic
2 – 4 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp koljana / coriander
½ tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
3 tsp jeera / cumin
2 tsp leave masala / roasted masala
1 – 2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 medium tomatoes
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ bunch fresh dhanya, chopped
2 tsp salt
½ - 1 cup brown lentils
4 large potatoes
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
3 – 4 cups long grain or basmati rice
2 bay leaves
2 stick cinnamons
2 tsp salt
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 tsp whole cumin/jeer
1 tsp whole coriander/koljana
1 tsp fennel/barishap
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1tsp saffron soaked in half cup hot water
4 - 6 hardboiled eggs
Wash and drain the meat or chicken. Using a large dish or bowl add the meat and spices.
Liquidise ginger, garlic, tomato and yoghurt together. Pour this mixture on top of the meat. Add the ¾ of the chopped dhanya. Mix well and cover with cling film. Leave to marinade for at least two hours in the fridge or better still overnight. This will allow all the flavour to develop and the meat to be really flavourful.
Meanwhile, boil the lentils. The amount of lentils depends on your taste, my family doesn’t like a lot of lentils in breyani, so I only use half a cup.
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into round slices. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the potatoes in the oil until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Peel and cut the onions into thin slices. Fry the onions in the same oil as you fried the potatoes until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside, reserving the oil.
Pour some of the reserved oil in a large pot add the whole spices (cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds) stir fry for 1 minute then add the marinated meat and cook until the meat is soft and tender about 40 – 60 minutes, depending on what cut or type of meat you using.
Parboil the rice with the salt, cinnamon and bay leaves. As soon as the water starts bubbling remove from the heat our into a colander, rinse and leave to drain.
Mix the parboiled rice and cooked lentils into a bowl.
Now start the layers. Add a layer of potatoes in a large, deep and lightly greased ovenproof dish.
Then a layer of rice and lentils mixture. Add a layer of the cooked meat, including the sauce, followed by some of the fried onions. Continue layering the potatoes, rice, onions (reserve some onions for garnishing) until all the ingredients have been used and finishing with a layer of rice. Add the butter sliced on top of the rice, the saffron with the water as well as 1 cup of hot water. Cover tightly with foil or the lid of the ovenproof dish. Cook in a preheated oven at 180° for 60 – 90 minutes or until the rice is soft and all the excess water has evaporated.
Garnish with the remaining chopped dhanya, onions and boiled egg slices.
Ensure you dish from all the layers by inserting your dishing up spoon right down and lifting it up. This way you can be sure to get from all the elements of the dish.
Serve with dhai (yoghurt sauce), tomato & onion salad or atchar.
Salwaa's Malva Pudding
Delicious moist pudding, serve with custard or enjoy on its own. Makes one large pudding or divide into individual ramekins.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream together sugar, jam and eggs. Melt butter and add vinegar add this to the sugar and egg mixture. Add the milk, flour and bicarb, mix well to combine all the ingredients. Pour into a pyrex dish (or something similar) and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. If you using ramekins the time will be considerably shorter. You'll know its baked when the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and pour the warm sauce over. Makes 6 - 8 mini malvas or one large malva pudding.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon caramel essence
Melt all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat an pour over the cake.
OR USE THIS RECIPE FOR A CREAMY SAUCE
125ml water/Orange juice
Melt together as per above sauce and pour over warm pudding
You can use either white or brown sugar
Spray the ramekins or Pyrex with spray and cook to prevent sticking