We love sharing kitchen tips! Here are eight useful tips for you to try out. Which is your favourite?
Kitchen Tips from Africa
1. Never store onions and potatoes together because both produce a gas that causes either of them to spoil quickly.
2. To avoid feeling peppering hotness on your hands after cutting pepper with bare hands, scrub your hand with salt and red oil then wash it.
3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.
4. If your soup or stew goes sour while warming it, add a little piece of charcoal and remove after warming, the taste will come back.
5. Never put citrus fruits (oranges, lemon, lime, etc) or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperature degrades the aroma and flavour of these fruits.
6. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky.
7. If your salt is becoming lumpy, add a few grains of rice to absorb excess moisture.
8. To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, cook a 1/4" piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavours and odours.
Do you have any kitchen tips to share with us?
What is Bunny Chow?
We have two beautiful South African recipes shared - Cape Malay Chicken Curry and Bunny Chow.
Bunny Chow has become one of Durban’s most famous exports! It’s usually called a ‘bunny’ and brings back youthful memories for many Durbanites who used to stop for a bunny chow on their way home from late-night clubbing.
Bunny chow, often referred to as a bunny, is a South African dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It can be made with lamb, beef chicken, mince or vegetables. It originated in the Durban Indian community.
Recipe for Bunny Chow
1kg of meat of your choice e.g. chicken or lamb
Oil to cover the base of the pot
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
A sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp crushed green chillies
1 large onion, finely diced
½ tsp turmeric (optional)
2 tbsp crushed ginger and garlic mix
1 tbsp vinegar (I normally use white vinegar)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garam masala
2 tomatoes (chopped)
5 small to medium potatoes (cut medium size)
Chopped fresh coriander
Salt to taste
Dilute Meat Curry Base powder in water.
Heat oil in a pot. Add diluted meat curry base and cook till fragrant or "pecah minyak".
Add curry leaves, chillies, onion, turmeric, ginger and garlic.
Braise for 3-4 minutes.
Add garam masala and spices to the pot. Then vinegar and sugar. Mix well.
Add the meat and salt.
Mix until the meat is coated with masala.
Cover the saucepan and cook/braise on moderate heat for a few minutes.
Stir from time to time until the meat is well braised. Add potatoes.
Add water as needed as the curry needs to be quite saucy.
When the potatoes are ¾ cooked, add the chopped tomatoes.
When potatoes are completely soft, stir and add coriander.
Serve with salad.
(1) For "Bunny Chow" and any other chicken curry and to save and reduce cost in your meat consumption, use chicken"thigh cutlets" - it is much cheaper than "thighs" and "legs". You would need to remove the bone and skin if you wish to use just the thighs. You can use the bones to make chicken stock.
(2) Chicken thigh meat is brown and has a little more fat than the breast, but also slightly more flavour. Thigh fillets are great sliced or chopped in stir-fries, or casseroles. We like to pan-fry and BBQ them after marinating them with Spiced Fried Chicken (Ayam Goreng Berempah) spice or Satay Marinade.
(4) If you are used to our Malaysian Curry, use Malaysian curry and fill up the bun -
a Malaysian Bunny Chow!
There are many ways to get creative with just one recipe!
Check out all the beautiful food made by Imelia! Pandan Sausage rolls, Torch Ginger Fried Rice with anchovies (Nasi Goreng Bunga Kecombrang) and Mie Ayam Rica Rica - they're all so unique and yummy!
Read more about the benefits of Pandan
Mel is a cheerful housewife whose daily activities generally revolve around her family. Living with her husband makes household chores simple and quick, and it gives her ample free time to enjoy her leisure activities.
Follow Imelia on her Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mel.s_food/
and subscribe to her YouTube - https://youtube.com/user/imeliajuwono
Unlike other chefs, Mel was not born into a family with a culinary passion. Interestingly, her father is an artist so Mel grew up with her father´s love for painting (which perhaps has unconsciously seeped into her beautiful recipes). Her mother is a loving housewife who cooked for the family and it was mostly run-of-mill family-friendly dishes she grew up with. Her mother was not particularly interested in cooking or experimenting with new recipes or flavours. Mel remembers spending more time cooking with an aunt of hers, but she is not exactly sure where her love for cooking came from. Perhaps Mel was simply born with her own unique passionate culinary curiosity.
Mel´s artistry is seen not only in her cooking but also in her other hobby - photography. Being behind the lens allows Mel to escape into another dimension and see the world with a different set of eyes. It is how she expresses herself in imagery as seen through the lens of her camera. When she first started photographing food, there were little hiccups here and there, and it was a bit disheartening. Still, she took part in a photography contest and she was pleasantly surprised when she won. This boosted her enthusiasm and she continued to actively develop this new hobby of hers. She learns from other people's posts on Instagram and has since built up quite a lot about photography, cooking and so many other things in the culinary world which she had not known about before.
Mel is now dedicating her time to growing her talents and hobbies. She wants to continue sharing ideas and learn from people around the world about cuisine and photography. My Blue Tea loves what Mel has been sharing in the culinary community. Her dishes look good enough to be framed and we can't wait to taste more of her beautiful dishes!