Local is lekker

Smothered fish is among South Africa's most famous traditional dishes.

It was originally prepared with fish preserved by salting and drying in sea breezes. After soaking in water to get rid of the salt, the flesh was flaked and "smothered" in spicy rice. It's delicious with home-made brown bread and atjar, korrelkonfyt (grape jam) or blatjang (chutney).

Nutritional content per serving if 6 servings 1 099 kJ

37 g carbohydrate, 24.5 g protein, 3.4 g fat, 3 g fibre


Description: Description: SMOORVIS

Serves 10 as a starter, 6 as a main

·           500 g smoked fish, boned, skinned and roughly flaked

·           2 onions, finely sliced butter, vegetable oil

·           2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice

·           1-2 red or green chillies, finely sliced and seeded

·           2 large, ripe tomatoes blanched, skinned and chopped

·           500 ml cooked brown basmati (250 ml dry rice)

·           salt and milled black pepper

·           lemon juice

  1. Lightly brown the onion in a little butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the potato and fry until golden and cooked through. Stir in the chilli and tomato and cook over a more gentle temperature to heat through. Stir occasionally.
  2. Mix in the fish and rice, cover and steam over very low heat until piping hot. Check the seasoning. Add pepper and a little salt if necessary. You may find the fish is sufficiently salty in the first place.
  3. Tip the smoorvis into a warm serving dish, and flavour with a good squeeze of lemon juice.


Smoked fish – usually snoek – is more often used today, though any smoked fish may be used.

Though similar to many highly spiced rice dishes of India, this recipe is attributed to Cape Malays. South Africans have for centuries prepared similar dishes using ingredients as diverse as crayfish, crabs and mussels.

Traditionally served with Mrs Balls chutney. We prefer the Mrs Balls Light Chutney, which carries half the kJ.

French affair

This subtle, smoky-flavoured soup is a traditional French winter dish. French onion soup (Soupe a l'oignon) is an onion and beef broth or a beef stock-based soup traditionally served with croutons and cheese as toppings.

Although ancient in origin, this dish underwent a resurgence of popularity in the 1960s in the US due to an increased popularity for French cuisine.

Nutritional content per serving 933 kJ

30 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 10 g fat, 3 g fibre

French Onion Soup

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Serves 4

·           2 large onions

·           2 fat cloves garlic, crushed

·           1T (15 ml) olive oil

·           1 litre low-sodium beef stock

·           2 slices wholewheat bread

·           40 g grated gruyire cheese

1.    In a medium pot, over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden brown. Add the stock, cover and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until the onion is tender.

2.    Cut 4 circles of bread (a cookie cutter works perfectly), place on a baking tray and top with the grated cheese. Place under a hot oven grill until the cheese starts to bubble, melt and turn golden brown.

3.    Spoon the hot soup into warmed serving bowls, place a slice of cheesy bread on top and serve immediately.


Replace beef stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian option.

Canned consommé is a perfect replacement for the beef stock.

If you aren't a fan of gruyere, replace with grated low-fat mozza­rella, which works perfectly.

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