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The staff of life, they say. You need a flat bottomed black pot, called a "Dutch Oven" in some parts of the world.

3/4 kilo cake flour, 1/2 kilo mieliemeel, 100 grams honey, some instant yeast and sugar, some salt, a bit of oil, and you're set.

1. Mix the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar in a glass of lukewarm water. I do this even with "instant" yeast, to make sure it's OK.

2. Sift flour (not essential), add salt. Add foamy yeast mixture, add honey, add some more water (not too much), knead into a nice firm dough. Tip: spend some time kneading. Cover and leave in a warm area to rise.

3. Oil the pot, knead the dough a bit again, dump it in the pot.

4. In the mean time, of course, you've made a fire. This is the trick: Move the fire. The people tend to complain, but fsck them, this is bread we're making. Put the pot on the warm ground where the fire was. Pack coals around and on top. It should take about an hour, if it gets all hard and black and starts smoking you have too many coals. Rather take it easy.

5. Stick a skewer in to see if it's done. Tip: always carry a few stainless steel skewers for toasting marshmallows or making rat sosaties.

Butter, apricot jam, beat the neighbors off with a stick.

This specific recipe is pretty OK the next day or three, toasted. If you manage to have any left.

Mince Curry

In South Africa, we use rounded (potbellied) cast iron pots to cook potjiekos. I make this recipe in my potjiekos pot, but it's not strictly potjiekos -- but then, only a purist would care.

It started out life as Matie Brink's "Kerriekos vir die eerste aand", which I morphed into a recipe which I never follow exactly anyway.

450gr mince
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 sweet potato, scrubbed and diced
4 medium carrots, scrubbed, sliced
Handfull of screw noodles 
250gr mushrooms

3 tablespoons medium curry
pinch cumin
tablespoon chutney
tablespoon HP sauce
teaspoon aniseed
Handfull of grated cheese.
Stock cube

Heat pot thoroughly. Mix meat and onion and fry well. Add curry powder
and cumin while frying. Layer potatoes, sweet potato, and carrots. Simmer.

Mix one cup of boiling water, stock cube, chutney,
HP sauce, aniseed, and cheese. Pour down sides of pot. Simmer until
carrots are almost done.

Add noodles, making sure that all noodles are covered in sauce.
Layer mushrooms on top. Simmer until done.
Tip: You always pour the liquid down the side of the pot otherwise, they tell me, the meat goes all tough...

2004-10-11: Used about 12 baby potatoes, halved, a handful of baby carrots, extra spicy curry, some cayenne pepper, and cumin seeds and nutmeg instead of cumin and aniseed. Made it in a pot on the stove, and had to cook the noodles separately. Niiiiice :-)


On the topic of potjiekos, kluitjies are little dough dumpling type thingies that go extremely well with a goulash / mutton curry type potjie.

This recipe works well for a potjie with about 600-700gr goulash or stewing type meat, and the appropriate amount of veggies.

Brown meat & onion. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour (or paprika if you're that way inclined) and mix. Add 900ml stock, tomato paste, V8, whatever. Salt pepper bayleaf etc. and so forth.

Simmer for 1 hour (or less for better meat). Add veggies (carrots / turnips / parsnips / whatever) and simmer another hour.


175g self raising flour, 75gr marge, parsley, salt, pepper.

Mix ingredients, add water to get soft manageable dough. Make balls, put in pot, cook / steam for 15-20 minutes.

Or try FunkyMunky's recipe which uses standard flour, yeast, and egg.

Vrystaat Poeding

On the 50th Anniversary Tour and the Y2K trip, Elmari made Vrystaat Poeding quite a few times. I got my copy from PaNiek's website, PaNiek got it from Pim, and Pim got it from Elmari... a strange path for a recipe from someone you were married to for eight years, but hey :-)

Try it, it's good!

Instant baked pudding

If the Vrystaat Poeding recipe looks like a bit too much work, buy the Moirs instant baked pudding and make it in a flat bottomed pot on the coals. Great, and easy.

Tuscan Bean Soup

This recipe started out as Tuscan Bean Soup off

In a flat black cast iron pot (or anything else, a paraffin tin should work :-) fry a half pack of bacon till really crisp, and remove. Fry two smallish diced onions and two stalks of sliced celery for as long as you feel like, then add two litres of boiling water and the appropriate amount of chicken stock powder, and bring to the boil. Add three medium potatoes, cubed, and two turnips, also cubed. Add 500ml of your pasta of choice (macaroni, screw noodles, shell noodles, whatever) and boil for a half hour or so until potatoes and noodles are soft. Add a tin (or two) of diced tomato and a tin of red kidney beans (or butter beans, or chickpeas, whatever) as well as 500ml of shredded cabbage. And the bacon, of course. Heat through and serve.

As you can see, it's a very stew-ey soup, but I like it that way. It's also enough for four hungry individuals.

Pork Chops with Apple, Onion and Sweet Potato

This one is my interpretation of a recipe off As always, use a flat black pot.

Caramelize onions on low heat. While that's going, Liberally sprinkle pork chops with cayenne pepper, a bit of salt, paprika if you want to, and herbs.

When onions are caramelized (two or three beers later), remove from pot, and brown the pork chops on both sides. Layer onions, sweet potatoes, and apples. Sprinkle with sugar, black pepper and salt.

Cover and bake for 1 hour at 180 degrees C.

I normally cook baby carrots and brussel sprouts on the side, and serve this with mash.

Chicken Curry Casserole

Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and whatever else you like (I often lean towards cayenne pepper).

In the ubiquitous flat black pot, fry the onion in a bit of oil until glossy. Add the mushrooms and apple and fry till brown. Reduce the heat a bit and stir in the curry powder and paprika (if you don't like paprika, replace with flour. This thickens to make a sauce). Stir for about a minute, stir in the stock, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and from pot.

Fry the chicken until golden brown, then arrange flat in the bottom of the pot. Stir the cream into the sauce and pour over the chicken pieces. Bake for an hour at 180 degrees C.

I normally serve this with a green salad and fresh bread. Rice also goes well.

Pork & Cabbage

This one might be a bit bland for some, but it's quick and easy and I like it...

Mix soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a bowl. Fry onions in some oil (yes, in a flat black pot) and add the pork, fry until pork is basically done. Add cabbage and soy sauce mixture, stir until cabbage is tender.

Serve on rice or mash.

"La Bella Pasta"

A few years ago, there was a restaurant in Edward Street in Bellville where we often went to supper. They had a dish called, as far as I can remember, "La Bella Pasta".

This is my attempt at it -- not that I ever make it according to the recipe, ever...

You need about 250 or 300 gr pasta -- I use tri-colour screw noodles but penne or shells or anything will do, really. Cook that in boiling water until almost done, then dump it in the colander, wash under cold water, sprinkle with olive oil, and keep warm on boiling water.

Other ingredients : you need at least some of the following stuff... use what you have, or feel like.

Smoked chicken breast or grilled chicken or salami, about 150gr
Carrots (I use baby carrots)
Mushrooms (Portbellini or baby button)
Zucchini / Baby marrows
Brocolli florets
Frozen peas
Small salad tomatoes
1 can chopped tomato (not optional)
Feta cheese (or mature cheddar, or colchester, or...)

Fry the chicken with spices of your choice (I lean towards cayenne pepper and cumin), remove and keep warm. Chop carrots in 1cm chunks and microwave for a few minutes until done but still crispy. Fry mushrooms with herbs of your choice, remove and keep warm. Fry onions and garlic, add tomato (or just start with the tomato) and maybe some sugar and / or cinnamon, add zucchini, add brocolli, put lid on pot (you're doing this in a flat black pot, of course), steam until brocolli is done. Stir in peas and small tomatoes, heat. Add chicken and mushrooms and pasta. Stir the whole thing through, serve with feta and gherkins on top.

The next time, modify the recipe to include bell peppers or beans or cauliflower or ham or whatever you have on hand :-)

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