During lockdown we have become a nation of bakers and home chefs whipping up delicious home made meals every day… except when inspiration starts to wane and the excitement of choosing what to make for dinner, again, dulls!
Lockdown has made us all more creative, but now that it has been over a month – and with various stages of lockdown still looming it’s becoming harder to find the desire to make dinner. I’m sure I’m not alone in my desire to visit some of my favourite restaurants as soon as they open their doors! But, until that happens, we have to all exercise as much culinary creativity as we can.
Fortunately I have some good news that should help to fire into flame your passion for cooking some Cape cuisine… Chef Wade Kearns from The Quarter Kitchen at the Portswood Hotel, is one of Cape Town’s foremost homes of Cape Malay cuisine, and he has made his full Cape Malay recipe book freely available for download.
This pdf includes a variety of his tried and tested recipes to add a little spice to your lockdown experience.
The Quarter Kitchen Restaurant proudly pays homage to the city’s almost 400-year history by celebrating the Cape Malay cuisine so central to the city’s history. The restaurant is one of the Waterfront’s oldest, housed in a section of the original Breakwater Prison that was built in 1860 and known as the “Good Conduct Ward”. While the space has been transformed into a modern and welcoming restaurant, some of the original features can still be seen.
In addition to the provision of this free recipe book that includes recipes for Cape Malay classics such as Babotie, Green Bean Bredie, Beef Samoosas and Bollas, Chef Wade is running a competition to win a dinner for two at the Quarter Kitchen.
To enter choose one of the Cape Malay recipes in the downloadable pdf, create this culinary delight and then share a photo of your creation on social media using the hashtag #CookingWithQuarterKitchen.
Tag the restaurant on Instagram at @QuarterKitchenRestaurant or Twitter at @ThePortswoodSA. The winner will be chosen at the end of lockdown.
To inspire tonight’s dinner and to help you on your way here is an authentic Cape Malay recipe for Chicken Breyani.
4 chicken breasts – I used bone and skin on (more flavour)
2 1⁄2 cup basmati or normal rice
2 large onions sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic – crushed
1 thumb size piece fresh ginger – grated 1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp dry coriander seeds
2 sticks cinnamon
2 star anise
5-6 all spice
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
3-4 cardamom pods – just cracked to release flavour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
11⁄2 litre of chicken stock
1 tbsp salt/pepper
1 tin lentils – drained and washed
4 boiled eggs
Finely chopped tomato
toasted almond slivers
1⁄2 cup sultanas or chopped dried apricots
- 1 Heat the oil in a pot and add all the spices at once and stir around for a few seconds (this will release essential oils and flavours)
- 2 Add the onions and brown slightly and allow to soften. Add the garlic and then the chicken. Move the chicken and onions around in the pot, allowing the chicken to brown slightly.
- 3 Add some of the chicken stock and simmer for about 1⁄2 hour.
- 4 Now add the rice and again fill up with more chicken stock. Lower the heat, place the lid on and let the rice and chicken cook together until the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid.
- 5 Add the lentils and sultanas or apricots and stir through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- 6 Dish up and dress with the almonds, chopped tomato, a boiled egg and chopped coriander.
- 7 Serve with poppadoms.
The Quarter Kitchen Restaurant at The PortsWood Hotel
PortsWood Rd, Portwood Square, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Tel: + 27 (0) 21 418 3281