We Love Local Flavor (Part 1) - Varsha Naidu's Chunky Pea Puree, Anamika Somera's creamy prawn curry

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Six readers share their dearly beloved dishes; all made using quintessentially South African ingredients, that cater to both a nostalgic yearning and a craving for comfort

Varsha Naidu’s Chunky Pea Puree

“Mint is one of the loveliest herbs and, when combined with peas, it works beautifully. The Parmesan adds a wonderful creaminess and extra level of flavor.”

Description: Description: Varsha Naidu’s Chunky Pea Puree

Varsha Naidu’s Chunky Pea Puree

Serves 6 to 8


Great value

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

·         Frozen peas 750 g

·         Plain yoghurt 1 cup

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         Mint 2 T chopped

·         Cream 1 T

·         Parmesan 70 g, grated

·         Black sesame seeds, to garnish

  1. Boil the peas in salted water. Drain.
  2. Add the yoghurt, salt and pepper and blend with a hand blender
  3. Stir in the mint, cream and cheese until well combined
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve as a side dish or spread

Fat-conscious, health-conscious, wheat- and gluten-free

Wine: Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Anamika Somera’s creamy prawn curry

“This prawn curry is my mom’s recipe but, to give it my own flair, I added the cream. It’s perfect served with thick rotis or even soft bread rolls.”

Description: Description: Anamika Somera’s creamy prawn curry

Anamika Somera’s creamy prawn curry

Serves 4

A little effort

Great value

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

·         Olive oil 3 T

·         Medium-sized onions 2, finely chopped or pureed

·         Yellow mustard seeds 1 t

·         Cumin seeds 1 t

·         Prawns 500 g, deveined

·         Ginger 1 t crushed

·         Garlic 1 t crushed

·         Coriander ¼ cup finely chopped

·         Mint ¼ cup finely chopped

·         Red masala 3 t

·         Garam masala 1 t (optional)

·         Curry leaves 8

·         Chilli 3 t finely chopped

·         Ripe tomatoes 6 – 8, pureed (alternatively use 1 x 400 g can tomato passata)

·         Sugar 2 t

·         Cream ½ cup (alternatively use plain yoghurt)

·         Sea salt to taste

·         Poppadoms, for serving

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, mustard seeds and cumin for 1 minute.
  2. Add the prawns, ginger, garlic, coriander and mint. Cook over a medium heat until the prawns turn opaque and pink.
  3. Add the spices, curry leaves and chilli, and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat.
  4. Add the cream or yoghurt, season with salt and simmer for a further 10 minutes
  5. Serve hot with poppadoms and cucumber raita.

Carb-conscious, fast-conscious

Wine: Howard Booysen Riesling 2010

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