Culinary Hotline - 22 June 2022

With special guest chef Siba Mtongana!

Steamed bread, isonka samanzi, ujeqe, idombolo

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Recipe by Siba Mtongana

4 Cups cake flour
20ml (4 t) yeast
5ml (1 t) salt
30ml (2 T) sugar
30ml (2 T) olive oil
400ml lukewarm water
extra flour for dusting
boiling water for cooking


Equipment for cooking the bread: very large and deep pot with lid or large pot with a heat proof dish that can be used as a dome lid to the pot (as demonstrated), enamel or heat proof bowl that can fit in the large pot, small wire rack or small loose bottom tart tin.
1. Place the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and oil together in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center and pour in the warm water. Stir using a wooden spoon until combined.
2. Knead the dough with your fist if using the traditional African technique or place the dough on a working surface if using the general stretch and pull technique as demonstration. What you want is to work the gluten in the flour until you have a soft, pliable dough that is elastic.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl that is lightly oiled (this helps the dough from sticking to the bowl once proofed). Proof the dough for 45 minutes to 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
4. To cook: place a small wire rack or inverted tart tin a large pot (this creates a little height and helps the bowl with the bread from having directed contact with the bottom of the pan). Pour enough boiling water until the brim of the tart tin.
5. Knock down the dough and place it in the oiled enamel or heat proof dish that can fit into the large pot. Now place this bowl in the pot on top of the tart tin and hot water.
6. Cover with the dome shaped lid (or normal lid if using a very large / deep pot). Cook (steam) for 45 minutes over medium. Replenish the water if needs be.
7. To test if the bread is cooked press the top slightly and it should bounce back to the touch as demonstrated. If the bread leaves an indent then cook it once more.
8. Remove from pan and loosen the bread from the bowl using a spatula or knife. Cut into slices and enjoy!!!
If you don’t have the stand / loose bottom tartine, you can use a ramekin / small cake tin / a small metal bowl / lots of stainless steel cutlery… Basically what you want is to elevate and separate the enamel bowl from the bottom of the pot as without these, the bread will burn underneath.

Golden soup
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6

Recipe by Siba Mtongana


For the topping:
1 x 410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp chermoula spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil

For the soup:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 x 500g packet cubed butternut
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 x 500ml tubs fresh vegetable stock
2 Cups freshly squeezed orange juice
coconut flakes, to garnish
fresh coriander, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease a baking tray with oil.
Place the chickpeas onto the baking tray and season with the chermoula, cinnamon and salt, then drizzle with the coconut oil. Roast for 25 minutes, or until crispy. Set aside.
To make the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, cayenne pepper and turmeric for 4 minutes, or until soft.
Cut the carrots and butternut into very small pieces, in order to speed up cooking time. Steam in the microwave until tender. Add to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, half covered, until the vegetables are fully cooked.
Add the orange juice and cook for a further 2 minutes, then blend until smooth. Serve topped with the roasted chickpeas, coconut flakes and paprika oil from roasting the chickpeas. Garnish with coriander.

From Siba: I make a lot of soup in winter and this slightly spicy one, which just happens to be vegan, is a great hit with Brian and our kids. It’s important to sauté the veggies first so that you build up the flavour in the beginning. And remember, a gentle simmer is always better than a rapid boil – the flavours marry so much better that way.

Mug brownie
Time: 5 min
Serves: 1

Recipe by Clem Pedro

2 Tbsp butter
Single espresso, freshly brewed
A tiny pinch of salt
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp Woolies cocoa
4 Tbsp cake flour
Woolies creamy toffee dessert sauce for drizzling


In a large mug coated with non-stick kitchen spray. Add the butter and melt in the microwave, about 20 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave. Add the espresso, salt and sugar and mix well. Add the cocoa and flour before giving a final mix to form a smooth batter.
Microwave for a minute, the centre should still be a little runny. If you’d like it a little more cooked simply pop back in the microwave in 20 second bursts until it cooks to your liking.
Serve with a generous scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of toffee sauce

Easy no churn ice cream
Time: 3 hours
Serves: 3-4

Recipe by Clem Pedro

1 x 380g can evaporated milk
160g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
¼ tsp fine salt


Chill the evaporated milk in the fridge overnight. Add the chilled evaporated milk to a stand mixer and begin whipping until the mixture becomes fluffy and voluminous, this should take about a minute
Gradually add the icing sugar while continuing to whip the mixture. Add the vanilla and mix until the mixture becomes thick forming soft peaks. Add the salt and mix through.
Pour into a freezer safe container with a lid and place in the freezer to chill for an hour before whipping again. Return the mixture to the freezer and repeat this process every hour for another 3 times.
Once set the ice cream can be scooped and served over your brownie.

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