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Greetings from South Africa!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi! My name is Ali and I am from South Africa. I was recently accepted into one of our local chef schools and would love to start learning more about cooking and baking and different techniques. I'd also love to learn about food in different cultures and would love to share anything and everything about food from my part of the world. In South Africa, we have great diversity in cultures, languages and, of course, food. So feel free to ask about anything! I may not be the most experienced cook but I have a substantial cook's library to back me up. I'd love to have some feedback and help from anyone out there!!


Many thanx!!

post #2 of 10

Aloha, Welcome to Chef Talk Ali.

This is a great Community, so many different culinary skill levels from all around the Globe. 

Feel free to join the conversation or start one in the relevant thread.

One note on that though, folks who are not employed in the food industries are asked to read only in the 3 Pro-forums. 

Don’t pass over the Articles, Reviews and Gallery; there are some fantastic photos of folks work and fun stuff too.  Try the Search bar at the top of the page when looking for an interest; a lot of topics have gone around the block a few times already.  Also, if you have questions in regards to Chef Talk’s website once you’ve read the Tutorials, FAQ and Community Guidelines, just post them in the Feedback & Suggestion forum.  Don't forget to check out on Fac Book too. 

Whatever you do, have a good time doing it!     

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much!! I'll be sure to follow your advice.

post #4 of 10
Hi Ali-Kat,
It is very exciting to hear that you are from South Africa. I'm a home cook and love to experiment with different spices. Can you tell me a popular spice from South Africa? Thanks.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi there! Well, if you know any South African history, you'll know that we have quite a big variety of cultures and ethnic groups, etc, so we have a lot of various spices and herbs. Depending on whether you're mostly English, Afrikaans (of mostly Dutch decent but very varied too) or completely African, the use of herbs like coriander, oreganum, thyme, basil, etc, is quite popular. We do, however, have a rather large Indian population and are, therefore, influenced greatly by them which brings about the use of curry powder, turmeric, paprika, all sorts of masalas for a Breyani dish for example, and most of the traditional Indian spices. Because of our wide variety of cultures in our country, our recipes of get swapped around and sometimes altered so now everyone uses Indian, Afrikaans, English or Zulu (for example) recipes. If you like, I'd be glad to send you some popular traditional South African recipes?


Where are you from?

post #6 of 10

Hello Ali-Kat and welcome.

I know nothing of South African cuisine or culture and look forward to remedying that now we have you with us.

OH is supervisor on an FPSO offshore in West Africa (Mulabo) with many south African colleagues and I know, like him, they miss their food cooked the way they like it. 

He gets a regular supply of Kudu biltong on a barter basis. Heavy on the coriander, absolutely lovely, but he eats most of it on the ship and we just get the leavings. Have you any recipes we can make at home using beef or venison which i would assume would be close to the Kudu?

Keep in mind there will be no drying in the sun here anyway  : )

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

There are a few ways of making your own biltong using a specially designed wooden box and a specific lightbulb and fan, so if you would like the "recipe" for that, let me know! ;) My younger brother of 16 made one a while ago, they're quite simple and veeery useful, making brilliant biltong. He also experimented with different biltong recipes using all sorts of different spices and herbs.


Here's an idea of what you can do alternatively though:


What you need:

-5kg sirloin/rump steak

-500g salt

-1 cup of brown sugar

-1 cup coriander coriander seeds, cracked

-2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda

-1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

-1 cup red wine vinegar


The process:


-Start by slicing the meat into strips, with the natural grain of the meat. We like our finished product to be a little moist inside so cut the strips about 5cm wide. You can cut them thinner if you prefer.


-Now mix the salt, pepper, cracked coriander, bicarb and sugar together in a bowl to form a rubbing mixture.


-Take a large glass or stainless steel container, rub some of the misture into each piece of meat make a single layer in the bottom of the container. Splash some of the vinegar over the layer of meat strips and then continue the same process until all of the meat is layered and you have no vinegar left.


-You now need to cover the container with cling film and leave it to marinade for 12-24 hours depending on the thickness of the meat and the intensity of the flavor you desire. 5cm thick strips and 18 hours is perfect.


-Now you need to find a cool dry and well ventilated place to hang the meat(we hang it high up in the garage covered with a mosquito net)


-Prepare s shaped galvanized wire hooks to hang the meat on and hang them until the outside is dark and the center is according to your taste.


-Depending on the dryness of the air and the ventilation, the time will vary. if you are in a hurry, use a slow fan to keep the air circulating around the meat.


I hope this works out for you!! If you would like to try any other recipes, either let me know or try looking up "South African Biltong recipes" on Google.



P.S: SO sorry for the late reply!! I didn't know about the message... I hope this was useful though!!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Click on this link to find the "recipe" for a Biltong maker. And happy biltong making!! licklips.gif

Edited by Ali-Kat - 6/16/13 at 6:44am
post #9 of 10

Thank you for the recipes and links. I know we will make use of them.  Look forward to hearing more from you. How are you getting on with CT?


I get the impression (Correct me if im wrong ) we don't have much experience of South African cuisine. I for one look forward to learning more, so do share. 


Btw my big brother was born in Northern Rhodesia...Zimbabwe now of course. i was conceived there and my parents just made it back to Aberdeen (Scotland) in time to give me the Scots heritage I'm so proud of.

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

It's a pleasure!! CT has been great! There is quite a lot on here. How long have you been a member?


Well, I can say that South African cuisine is very different to everything else out there. We do, obviously, use a lot of traditional recipes for a lot of things but we can be very adventurous with spicing them up, etc! We have influences from all over the world due to our history as a country and that has brought us to where we are today in the world of cooking. Most South Africans, regardless of race or culture, tend to steer away from bland, boring dishes so you can be sure to always have a new experience when dining here.


Wow, that is interesting! My family is one big mixing bowl! we have all sorts of ingredients in us haha but I do know that I have Scottish blood in me as my great-grandparents on one side were Scottish. However, I do have English, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, French (and probably one or two others!) ancestry so I really am a mix! But I am proudly South African and always will be.

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