Ask CookSister

by Jeanne on September 26, 2008

in Uncategorized

I often have people e-mailing me to ask questions about South African food, to find lost recipes and so on.  Some of them are truly lovely people, and after I send them an answer, we continue to correspond and go on to become friends.  But probably about half the questions answered here were asked by people who did not even have the common courtesy to say “thank you” after I’ve spent an hour researching and replying to their question.  Charming – your mothers must be so proud.  Don’t bother asking me anything again! 

After a couple of similar questions lately, I have realised that if one person has a question, there are propbably quite a few others with the same question.  So to prevent having to peel my potatoes twice (as the Afrikaans saying goes), I have started a list of questions and that people have sent me, and the answers I have sent back.  See if I can answer your question!

  • Do you have a recipe for Cape seed bread?
  • What is the UK equivalent of Nutty Wheat flour?
  • Do you have a recipe for vetkoek?
  • What is the nutritional value of Peck’s Anchovette?
  • How do I roast a turkey on a Weber grill?
  • What ingredients can I substitute to make Peppermint Crisp tart outside South Africa?
  • What beans can I use in the UK to make boontjiesop?
  • Do you have a good recipe for a vegetable potjiekos?
  • What fish can I substitute for South African fish varieties?
  • Do you have a good recipe for banana bread?
  • Do you have a recipe for pickling Peppadews?
  • Where can I find marula bark in the UK?
  • Where can I get proper Durban masala powder in the UK?
  • Can I please have the Imperial measurements for your cranberry, orange and pecan muffins?
  • I am looking for a recipe for mulled wine spice sachets? 
  • Where can I get nasi goreng spice locally in Cape Town? 
  • Where can I buy a Moroccan tagine in South Africa? 
  • Cheryl asked whether I could recommend a tutorial for the Canon PowerShot A720is which she and I both own.

    I am addicted to Cape Seed Bread…particularly the Woolies kind. Do you have a good recipe for it?

    I have never made it myself, but this recipe from Addie’s Random Ramblings seems to resemble the Woolies one most closely:


    185 g whole wheat flour
    42 g sesame seeds
    37 g flax seeds
    28 g sunflower seeds
    26 g poppy seeds
    4 g cracked wheat
    15 g multigrain mix
    4 g salt
    15 g high protein wheat gluten
    2 g roasted malt powder
    9 g fresh compressed yeast
    195 ml chilled water
    1. To prepare dough, combine all ingredients (reserve 5 g of poppy seeds and 5g of sesame seeds) in a mixer. Dough should be sticky and form a ball

    2. Sprinkle flour on work bench and flatten dough to a rectangle that is approximately 15 cm x 20 cm. Scroll up the dough piece so that it is in a
    cylindrical shape about 18 cm long .

    3. Roll the piece of dough in sesame seeds and put into a small baking pan (if you do not have Teflon coated you will need to grease your pan first)

    4. Place pan in a hot steamy room or proof box for approx 45 minutes or until the dough has risen over the height of the tin.

    5. Using a small serrated knife, cut along the length of the dough piece, splitting the dough open about 3 cm. In this cut sprinkle on approx 5 g of poppy seed

    6. Bake in oven with steam for 30 minutes at 225 Celsius.

    Many South african recipes call for Nutty Wheat flour but don’t really know what the equivalent is in the UK…Granary?

    According to the Snowflake website, Nutty Wheat is flour that has 20% wheat bran added to it (wholemeal only has about 12%), so I guess in theory you could make your own. Mix 4/5 plain flour with 1/5 wheat bran (available form health shops). 

    Granary flour, on the other hand contains malted wheat flakes to give it its distinctive taste, so not entirely the same and I’m not sure how good or bad a substitute it will make, but it may be worth a try.

    Maryke asked for a vetkoek recipe?

    Vetkoek is a South African favourite – basically a soft, doughnut-like fritter that can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings.



    2 cups Water lukewarm
    2 teaspoon Sugar  
    2 teaspoon Yeast (one little sachet)
    5 cups Flour 
    2 teaspoon Salt 
    2 tablespoon Oil 


    1. Stir sugar in the lukewarm water and add the yeast.
    2. Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
    3. Add oil to the yeast liquid.
    4. Mix dry ingredients with yeast liquid using a wooden spoon.
    5. Work to a firm dough, adding extra flour if needed, until sides of bowl are clean.
    6. Turn dough on to a lightly floured table and knead thouroughly until it is firm, elastic and no longer sticky (about 10 minutes).
    7. Shape dough into a ball and place into mixing bowl and cover with cloth.
    8. Allow dough to double in size and dough springs back when pressed with a floured finger (60 minutes in a warm place, 2 hours at room temperature).
    9. Turn risen dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten to knock out air bubbles and knead to make firm. Flatten to about 1 cm thick (little less than inch) and cut pieces into 8 cm x 8 cm (3″ x 3″).
    10. Cook in hot, deep oil until brown.  Drain and serve.

    Ann asked what the nutritional value of Peck’s Anchovette is.

    Ingredients:  pilchards, Cape herring, mackerel, anchovies, salt, cornflour, sugar, spices, soya protein, Colouring: E172, ascorbic acid

    Nutritional value per 100g:
    Energy – 527Kj
    Protein – 15.6g
    Carbohydrate – 1.4g
    Total fat – 6.5g (consists of saturated fat 2.6g, trans fatty acids <0.1g, polyunsaturated fats 2.4g, Omega-3 fatty acids 1900mg, monounsaturated fats 1.9g)
    Cholesterol – 54.3mg
    Total dietary fibre – 2g
    Sodium – 1166mg
    Iron – 9mg

    A few people have asked “how do I roast a turkey on a Weber charcoal grill?”

    I’ve never personally roasted a turkey in a kettle braai but the braai book that I trust above all others and that is written for kettle braais has a recipe which I’ll type below.  

    Regarding your choice of bird, there is no set weight, but obviously it has to be small enough that you can completely close the lid of your Weber kettle, leaving about an inch between flesh and lid!  So consider the structure of your bird – better to go for wider and flatter rather than a bird with a high breastbone.  Also, make sure that the turkey is completely defrosted before roasting.  As for the stuffing, it is true that it extends the cooking time which is why I always make stuffing separately in the oven when I make a chicken.  As the cooking time for a turkey is already going to be long, I suggest you do the same – but it’s up to you!

    First make your stuffing of choice (the suggestion that the Kettle Braai Cookbook offers is for an apricot, walnut and sausage meat stuffing.  There are probably loads of recipes on the net though, so I leave that part up to you.)  If you are going to cook the bird without stuffing, place a few whole onions, carrots and fresh herbs in the cavity before roasting.

    Rub the breast with oil or butter (I would go for butter), season with salt and pepper, and place in a roast holder that can go into the kettle braai.  

    Prepare a LARGE indirect fire (i.e. make coals that are ashy and ready to braai, then move them to the sides of the kettle barbecue and keep them there with coal holders or by placing a drip pan in the middle between the 2 lots of coals.  Place the roast holder on the grid over the drip pan.  Cover and roast for 2-2.5 hours or until done.  Start it off without foiling anywhere but check after an hour or so and foil any part that seems to be browning too fast.

    Your biggest problem is going to be maintaining heat for long enough to cook this.  If you are in the UK as your address suggests, DO NOT attempt to cook with the lumpwood charcoal they love so much over here!!  Make sure you get proper compressed briquettes.  The lumpwood will just burn out and yuor turkey will be raw.  Even with briquettes, you may need a second BBQ going making coals that you can use to replenish your turkey-roasting kettle braai.

    The turkey will need to be cooked for about 25 minutes per kilogram, but this is only a rough guide – it is done when a meat thermometer registers 180F in the thigh or 170F in the breast.  Remember to let your turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.

    What ingredients can I use for peppermint crisp tart outside South Africa?

    You can substitute whipping cream for Orley Whip, but the outcome may be even richer than this pudding already is.  If you are in the UK, use Elmlea, a half-dairy creamer available in most supermarkets; and in the US, apparently Cool Whip is a near-identical product. 

    For Caramel Treat caramelised condensed milk, you can substitute a jar of dulce du leche (the Merchant Gourmet brand is available in supermarkets in the UK, in the baking section) or you can make your own by boiling a sealed tin of normal sweetened condensed milk **warning:  hazardous!!**. 

    The Tennis biscuits may prove problematic.  These cookies are thinner than Graham crackers and lighter, with a distinctive (and essential) coconut flavour.  If you are in Australia, try substituting Arnott’s coconut biscuits or Nice biscuits.  Any other suggestions welcome. 

    And as for the peppermint crisp… sadly, for that you will have to bite the bullet and buy it from a South African shop as I’m not sure if anything else like it exists and I hear that Peppermint Crisps may not be imported into the USA because the FDA does not like one of the green colourings in the kryptonite-green filling.  If you can’t find one at a South African shop, you could in a pinch grate a Cadbury’s Mint Crisp slab with crispy peppermint bits in it, or a Nestlé Peppermint Aero (which are definitely available in the UK), or in the US you could grate some peppermint bark instead. 

    Michael Olivier asked what beans can be substituted in boontjiesop (South African bean soup) for a friend who can’t find sugar beans or Van Zyl beans in the UK.

    As far as sugar beans go, your friend has several options.  She can get proper SA sugar beans from one of the many South African shops that operate in the UK – many sell online as well (e.g.  If this is too pricey, another near-identical substitute would be pinto beans – popular in Mexico but probably almost as tricky to get in the UK as SA sugar beans!  A site called the Mexican Grocer does sell them though if she wants to investigate 

    She could also substitute pretty much any large, mealy beans – dry butter beans would be ideal, or speckled red kidney beans.  If she’s lucky, she will find these in the “world foods” section of large grocery stores (ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s) – our local stores almost always stock them, but then we live in a more culturally diverse area than Suffolk ;-)   

    I would say the least expensive or painful way might be to go for the butter beans, but I know what it’s like to try and recreate that perfect taste – which is why I gave the other options too! 

    Karen asked for good recipes for vegetable potjies (a slow-cooked South African stew cooked over an open fire in a 3-leged cast iron pot).

    I have 2 recipes for veggie potjies that you can try from my tried & trusted potjiekos recipe book:

    VEGETABLE POTJIE WITH CHEESY TOPPING (serves 6 as a main course)

    2 medium onions, chopped
    50 g butter
    6 medium potatoes parboiled & thinly sliced
    2 medium brinjals, peeled & cubed
    a cup of baby marrows sliced diagonally into rings
    300g mushrooms, sliced
    50ml fresh chopped parsley
    30 ml fresh chopped oregano (or 10ml dried)
    4 medium tomatoes skinned & chopped (or 1 x 410g tin of chopped tomatoes
    250ml fresh breadcrumbs
    250ml grated cheddar cheese

    Saute onion until transparent in heated butter.  Remove onion and set aside.  Arrange vegetables in potjie in layers as follows:  first potatoes, then brinjals, baby marrows and finalyl mushrooms.  Add a little sauteed onio, parsley and oregano between each layer and salt & pepper to taste.  Pour tomato pulp over the top of vegetables.  Cover with lid and simmer over a slow fire for 1 hour or until the vegetables are cooked – do not stir or peep too often!  Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and cheese, replace lid and put potjie back on fire until cheese has melted.  For a golden brown crust, place a few small coals on the lid.

    30ml cooking oil
    2 large onions, sliced
    4 cloves of garlic, crushed
    15 ml ginger root, chopped
    15-30 ml medium curry powder
    5 ml turmetic
    2 bay leaves
    5 ml salt
    50ml sultanas
    2 large tomatoes, skinned & chopped
    3 potatoes peeled & sliced
    250g green beens, cut into pieces
    1/2 a shredded cabbage
    a few outside cabbage leaves to cover

    Heat oil in a small pot (not the potjie you intend to use), add onion & garlic and saute till transparent. Add ginger, curry powder, turmeric and bay leaves & fry lightly.  Add salt, sultanas and tomatoes.  Simmer while stirring continuously until the mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Grease your potjie with butter.  First, place potatoes on the bottom.  Spoon a little of the curry sauce over them and then place green beans on top of the potatoes.  Spoon some more sauce over them.  Then arrange the shredded cabbage on top of the beans and spoon the remainign sauce over.  Arrange the outside cabbage leaves on top of the vegetables to keep them moist during cooking.  Cover with a lid and place over a slow fire for 30-45 minutes or uintil vegetables are cooked.

    Nicci in Laguna Beach, California asked for Northern hemisphere substitutes for South African fish – she had a recipe that called for Cape Salmon, Yellowtail or Red Steenbras.

    My easy peasy suggestion would be to substitute swordfish – it is another very firm (but white, as opposed to tuna) game fish and should work in similar recipes.  Alternatively, you could try asking fishmongers for teraglin, as it answers to the same Latin name as Cape Salmon:

    For yellowtail, ask for yellowtail kingfish or seriola lalandi or north pacific yellowtail or yellowtail amberjack

    Cynthia asked for a good banana bread recipe.

    I discovered after her death that my mom never wrote down her banana bread recipe that I loved so much :( But I figured that as she was such a fan of the classic “Kook en Geniet” cookbook, her recipe was probably based on theirs – this is it, plus the adition of chopped nuts.


    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 cups plain flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    4 – 6 very ripe bananas
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecan nuts

    Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the vanilla.
    Add the eggs one by one and mix well after each addition. 
    Sift together the dry ingredients and mis into the butter/sugar/egg mix.  Mash the bananas and add to the mixture. 

    Pour into a small greased loaf tin and bake at 180C for one hour or until the bread starts to pull away slightly from the sides of the tin.  Allow to cool before removing from the tin and slicing. 

    Hanli asked for a recipe to pickle all the Peppadew peppers that she’s growing.

    The problem with Peppadews is that the company that owns the trademark had also patented the pickling process, so you are unlikely to find the recipe freely available on the Net!  That said, a trawl through the Epicurious forums revealed this recipe which seems to fit the bill.  The secret lies in removing all the seeds before pickling :)

    “Step 1: It’s best to use surgical gloves, as any pepper makes your fingers burn. Cut off the stem end and scrape out the seeds with a small teaspoon. Try removing all seeds. Leave overnight in a brine consisting of 2 ounces kosher/coarse salt and about 2 1/3 cups water. Let the salt dissolve as best you can, by stirring, before adding the fruits. Put a plate on top if necessary, to stop them bobbing on top.

    Step 2: Mix in a suitable pot: 1 1/2 cups grape, wine or malt vinegar* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1 cup water A few pieces peeled fresh ginger Some peeled garlic cloves About 2 teaspoons peppercorns, preferably the mixed peppercorns with diff. colours 2 whole green chilli peppers, stem removed (I sterilise bottles by washing, and then putting in a cold oven in a container, and heating up to 225 deg F). Rinse cherry peppers well under running cold water, and discard the brine. Shake in a sieve to get rid of the liquid. Stir the mixture given in Step 2 over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Then bring to a rolling boil. It will foam up somewhat. Add the peppadews/cherry peppers, the 2 chili peppers, and boil for just 1 minute or so. Take your hot bottles from the oven, and with a slotted spoon first fill the bottles with the little peppers. Add a green chilli to each bottle — just for prettiness! Then fill up with the boiling liquid. (The liquid runs into the hollows of the peppers after a while, so it’s better to fill almost to the top). Wipe rims of bottles carefully, then screw on the lids. This recipe fills 2 ordinary (supermarket size!) 375 ml bottles, i.e. each about 1 1/2 cups. Don’t work with huge quantities — rather make in smaller batches, it’s easier and safer. Leave for about 2 – 3 weeks before use. * I use white grape vinegar because it’s pure white. I dislike the cheaper spirit vinegar. Use whatever is available to you. Cider vinegar is also fine, except that it’s slightly coloured.”

    Karen asked where in the UK she could get hold of Marula bark, which is a natural remedy for vulvodynia.

    Marula bark is used as a natural remedy by many Southern African tribes.  If you can’t find it listed under the name “marula bark”, you might find it under its scientific name of sclerocarya birrea (or its traditional name of umganu).  Here is a site where you can order the bark – they seem to ship worldwide:

    William wants to know where in the UK he can buy proper Durban masala powder, like “mother-in-law’s tongue”.

    Sadly, there does not seem to be a UK equivalent of the Durban masalas and they are not imported – although there are loads of other masalas and spice mixes available.  My friend from Durban says she always brings masala back with her when she visits home, but also says that the East End range of spices for sale in supermarkets here in the UK are pretty good.  If you don’t find their masala powder spicy enough, gradually add chilli powder until it’s hot enough for your taste. 

    Mabel needed the UK measurements for my orange, cranberry and pecan muffin recipe.

    The good news is that this muffin recipe is very forgiving, and even approximate conversions are perfectly good enough! 

    But if you want my rough guess at conversion:
    for the liquids – 1/2 a cup is 4 fluid ounces
    for the flour – 2 cups = 250g = 8.3 ounces
    for the sugar – 1/2 cup = 100g = 3.5 ounces
    for the cranberries – 1 cup = about 100g = 3.5 ounces
    for the cranberries – 1/2 cup = about 50g = 1.75 ounces

    I am looking for a recipe for mulled wine spice sachets

    Mulled wine spice sachets are really easy to make and are great home-made Christmas gifts!

    You will need for each sachet:
    7-10cm whole cinnamon stick
    30 whole cloves
    20 allspice berries
    3 green cardamom pods
    1tsp mixed dried citrus peel
    15cm square of cheesecloth
    cotton for tying

    Break the cinnamon stick into smaller pieces and lightly crush the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar. Place all the spices in the centre of the cheesecloth square and gather the corners together to make a pouch.  Tie securely with the cotton. 

    To make the mulled wine, add the sachet to 1 x 750ml bottle of red wine, 3 Tbsp of sugar, a sliced orange and 20ml brandy in a large saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes and then ladle into mugs. 

    Zdenka asks where she can get Nasi Goreng spice locally in Cape Town

    I would ring Atlas Trading in the Bokaap at 94 Wale Street – if anybody sells the authentic nasi goreng mix, they will.  And if they don’t sell it, I am sure they will be able to tell you where to buy it or sell you the rght spices to make your own.  Their telephone number is Contact: Tel: +27 (0) 21 423 4361, Fax: +27 (0) 21 426 1929

    Samuel is desperately looking for a tagine cooking pot in South Africa

    There are various options available – cast iron tagines, electric tagines or ceramic tagines.  Boardmans occasionally sell them, but here are three online options for you: – not a South African supplier but they will ship to SA. - scroll down to “Ceramics – Safi” section, which is where you will find the tagines

  • Cheryl asked whether I could recommend a tutorial for the Canon PowerShot A720is which she and I both own. 
  • I can’t really recommend a tutorial on the A720is, but what I can do is give you the three tips that transformed my food photography with this camera.  (By the way, although my pics up to 2007 were all taken with the powershot, most after that date were taken with my Canon EOS20D).

    Firstly, never ever use the flash when photographing food – turn it off!  This is fine in bright light, however once you turn the flash off in low light, you will find that the shutter speed is so slow that the photographs will  be blurry from camera shake so… (gasp!) you have to take the camera off the auto setting.  Dial to the Av setting – this means aperture priority.  What aperture priority means is that you are going to manually control how wide you want the lens to open during an exposure, and the camera will decide what the appropriate shutter speed must be (i.e. how long the lens will be open for).  So put the camera on AV, then get the aperture as big as possible.  Illogically, a big aperture is represented by small numbers, so what you want to do is click the left hand side of the circular navigation button (as if scrolling backwards through photos) until the number on the screen is 2.8 (or as low as it will go). When taking the picture, be sure to hold the camera as still as possible – rest it on something stable (or rest both your elbows on the table).

    Photos in low light are often very yellow.  To combat this, set your white balance correctly.  When in photo mode, press the centre button in the middle of the circular navigation button.  Move to the second icon in the left margin (should say AWB).  If you are, say in a dim restaurant lit by electric light, scroll down using the circular navigation button to the little sumbol of a lightbulb – you will instantly see that the image on the screen is less yellow.  You can also set the white balance for cloudy weather, shadows or sunlight – there are icons representing each of them.  But you need to take your camera off its auto setting in order to manually set the white balance.

    Taking photos of food usually involves getting up close and personal, so to keep them in focus, be sure to use the macro function – the flower symbol at the bottom of the circular navigation button.  Press it and the screen should read “Macro”.  Now you can get really close to your food and the shot is still in focus.

    Have a play around & try the above out with your camera – you will definitely see a difference!  If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch.


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    Leave a Comment

    { 60 comments… read them below or add one }

    Karen April 8, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Hello, I suffer with vulvodynia and have found out that Marula bark is good for this very painful condition but I am finding it difficult in finding it to buy here in the UK. Can you help in any way. With regards, Karen


    William Hoffman April 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Can anybody tell me where I can find proper Durban Masala/Curry powder, like Mother-in-law tongue and others….. in the UK


    Mabel Clarke May 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Can you tell me what the british ounce equivalent would be for your Cranberry & pecan muffins recipe. They sound delicious and I am anxious to try them. Please help. I have tried weighing out the cups I have but they seem to differ quite a lot.


    peter June 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    do you have a malva pudding recipe


    Renate June 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I’m back in South Africa, after 2 years in the UK. I’m looking for a recipe to make mulled wine, in London you could buy a packed of spices to use, but I don’t seem to find something like that here and I don’t know what to combine to make my own.


    Ezette Mallin July 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I’m looking for a nougat recipe. ONE THAT WORKS!!!
    I have tried about 5 different recipes, none of which delivered the right consistency. The taste comes out right.
    Any ideas?


    Jean July 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Do you or any of your readers remember hollow Easter Eggs that had silhouettes inside them?


    Nicole Paris July 21, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Hi There! Wow – I’ve just discovered your website, whilst looking for a good potjie and peppermint fridge tart recipe. Your website is great! My mouth waters everytime I come on here (which has been everyday for the last week). I recently moved to Canada and am planning to host a South African evening, my husband will be the only one there to have set foot on SA soil so it should be interesting! I’ll be attempting to boil some condensed milk soon as I couldn’t find a suitable caramel substiture – fingers crossed!
    My question is… do you have a recipe for corn and beer bread? I remember it being made at braais years ago but haven’t seen it for ages. I think it called for a can of beer and a tin of creamed sweet corn. I can’t eat gluten but have a pretty good all purpose flour that fits most recipes so a normal recipe should do.
    Thanks for all the amazing recipes!


    Pauline Deutschmann August 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for a great web site I am looking for a Buttermilk Rusk recipe. We have been in the U.K. for just over a year and my husband misses the Rusks the most.


    thelma dods August 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    can you get me the recipe for durban indian chilly bites and real koeksisters please and if possible a south african goods shop in southampton..bournmouth area? thanks


    Pippa September 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Hello Cooksister
    I was interested in finding out whether Frey Bentos spread is still available is SA. I have lived in the US now for 14 years. I was told it is still available but am unable to find it to buy anywhere.
    Thanks for your time.


    Michelle September 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Koeksister Question
    Hi, I made your lovley receipe Late Wednesday night, I still have some dough in the fridge and I am wondering if it would be safe to eat it now, after four days?
    Wonderful site, lots of things to try, it’s inspiring me to get back in cooking
    Thanks for you help
    regards Michelle


    Petra November 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Just discovered your site, and it’s great!!!
    Re Koek susters…..when I was in Paris a while ago I passed a Tunisian Traditional cake shop and spotted Koeksusters in the window. Imagine my excitement! My husband suggested that they just looked like Koeksusters and weren’t the real thing.
    Well, I couldn’t resist…..bought some and they were the real thing! The shopkeeper told me it’s a very old traditional Tunisian delicacy but I couldn’t understand his accent so don’t know what it is called in Tunisia.
    Thanks for a great site


    yungju December 12, 2009 at 2:33 am

    I from Taiwan.
    Many years ago I once did business in South Africa,
    I like South Africa’s “peri peri sauce” and “Boerewors” very much.
    After I return to Taiwan, so miss South Africa’s good foods,
    therefore I transfer, but seeks help to very famous you.
    Can you teach me this different recipes?
    Thanks your help very much


    Valerie Lugonja February 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Good moring from Canada!
    Sad to see people that seek a connection with you are so ungratious…blogging is an interesting communication tool, for sure. Most people e-mail me their comments… and don’t even post them, I find. Maybe this is the “new” way people are using blogs.
    Anyway, I was so excited to see your detailed pics of your Fat Duck evening. My husband and I are travelling to London for the first time in March.
    We have St John and The Fat Duck booked… I was even able to get a day in the Bertinet Kitchen in Bath for Breadmaking. I am so looking forward ot this.
    I was surprised to see no bacon and eggs on your Fat Duck menu… I thought htis was a permanent item. I expected more of a molecular gastronomy look – but was thrilled with the attention to detail, and the odd ideas… the tea after the venison, for instance, does not sound appealing, but I am sure it was!
    We are there only for 10 days – and really, only in London. Aside from the usual things to see… I am saving one full day for the markets (well early morning until they close) and another partial day for specialty food browsing.
    If you have current suggestions of markets – which order?
    and shops – I would be so thrilled.
    Of course, I have googled my little eyes out… but from one foodie to another… just wanted to know. Particularly as you are not native to the country… your eye may be more open.
    (I have received your newsletters for years)


    SHAHISTA February 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Hello Cook Sister,
    I am looking for recipes of Caramel Bread and chocolate clusters they are like biscuits but shaped in rectangle. please help. thank you.


    Richie April 1, 2010 at 1:16 am

    I went to school in sydenham Port Elizabeth many years ago and most days after school while waiting to catch the bus home one of the boys would go into a nearby shop and come out with a “CurryBunny”. Needless to say he was a bit overweight but it always smelt delicious. Do you know how to make them please.
    Love the site.CS


    Richie April 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    William wants to know where in the UK he can buy proper Durban masala powder, like “mother-in-law’s tongue”.
    I ordered some werners original Durban curry mix online from Can’t say how good it is as I haven’t used it yet but it smells great and came complete with all the cinnemon/seeds etc..


    Mike Hidden April 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Hi there – well done for creating the site and sorry to hear you’ve had a bunch of ?@$! who never bothered to say thank you.
    We’ve recently moved to Norwich from Jozi and after trying the local offerings decided I would make my own boerewors. Any idea where I could find a recipe that provides a breakdown of the spices used for plaaswors, Magalies wors, etc
    Your help would be appreciated.


    Ros April 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Hi Cook Sister, You have made this homesick Saffa incredibly happy with your blog. I’ve been here in the USA for 4 years now, and homesickness is really setting in. Luckily, thanks to your blog I am able to bring a taste of home here to Texas. Thank you!
    Lately though, I have been craving a Woolies chicken liver pate. I’ve seen (and made) other recipes I have found online, but so far I’ve been underwhelmed. I wondered if you might perhaps have a fabulous recipe up your sleeve? If so I would really appreciate it if you’d share it with us.
    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memories along with your delicious recipes. They help jog my own memories before I even taste the food. I truly feel like I know you. Thank you again.


    Dave Werner May 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hope its OK to contact you here but I couldn’t find a contact form. First of all let me say your blog is beautifully designed and your photography is very professional. We’d like to invite you to appear on our foodie website: . have a look and if you are interested contact me through the email on this comment of through the contact form on our site


    Catherina Wait June 5, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Hi, thank you for this site. Wonderful reading other people’s comments on recipes. I’m looking for a recipe to preserve garlic – you can eat it straight from the bottle and it’s lovely. I’ve only had it once at a party and have been looking for a recipe since. Can you perhaps help me?


    Julie Weldon June 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hi there, good to scroll through the list of things from good old SA. Feel quite homesick just thinking about all this good stuff!! Please could you possibly let me know if you know how to make Pork Sisters, these were stips of smoked belly of pork that were marinated and then cooked on the braai. I used to buy them from a butcher in Ashburton just outside Pietermaritzburg but would like to try and make them here so a recipe would be much appreciated if possible. Keep up the great job and baie dankie. Juls


    Gert June 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Affol (Afval) is there anybody that can help with a sauce for this.
    View also my recipy page at


    Anthony June 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    My wife and I are detoxing our selves from yeast which takes 4 to six weeks. The list is endless of what we may not eat, not just yeast, gluten and wheat but also many fruits, fungus (mushroom), dairy, sugar, alchole, foods with MSG (even tomatoes), processed foods ETC. There are many things we may eat but find it hard to spice up the food. Most spices contain MSG or presevatives. As a result this diet is difficult and expensive but should not be. We are looking for some great ideas as we would also set the foundation of how we will cook in the future once the yeast is killed and we can return to normal eating.
    I hope some one can help.
    Thank you from Durbanville, Cape Town


    Yolande October 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    You are awesome, thanks!! I got all the answers I needed and didn’t even have to ask a question!!!


    Gladys October 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    hi Cooksister
    please provide me the simple recipes to fry snoek fish


    Lyn October 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Hello Jeanne
    Having just got back from a wonderful holiday in South Africa and eaten the last buttermilk rusk that I brought back with me, I was wondering if you have a recipe that mimics the delicious ones that I bought from Woolworths. Your site is the first I turn to when I feel nostalgic for ‘things South African’ so please keep up the excellent work and continue with your musings and recipes. Likewise, your photography is great.


    PATRICIA CARLTON November 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm



    Jeanne @ CookSister! November 13, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Hi Trish – I just sent you a mail to your gmail account answering your question :)


    Val Rodger December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Dear Cooksister,
    I’m looking for an old recipe for a light fruit cake which uses, amongst fruit, flour, baking powder etc., 2/3 eggs, bicarb and milk and a small amount of ground rice for crunch. This recipe came from the highfield but has not worked here in Cape Town. Help please.
    With thanks
    Val Rodger


    hannah france December 20, 2010 at 9:21 am

    i am looking where i can buy Pecks Anchovette paste, also melrose cheese the uk,i live in manchester, could anyone help me please.


    hannah france December 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

    has anyone got a easy recipe for pineapple fridge tart,


    penny ryan December 29, 2010 at 9:35 am

    What quantity of salt would I use to make brine for pickling ox tongue
    Hope to hear from you soon


    nick March 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    hi thanks for setting up this website it looks fantastic
    I was wondering if you can give me the recipe for cook sisters the sweet things
    that are like doughnuts in the uk but sweeter please as this would be a big help for me when iam in capetown i have them all the time at brai love them i even buy them at the south african shop but would love to make my own
    look forward to hearing from you


    Celia March 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Wow, can’t believe I’ve only now found your site. Thanks for the vetkoek recipe, it came out great! Happy blogging, from a fellow PE girl and former PET employee now living in Beijing.


    sindey dekker April 9, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Hi there,
    Tank you for taking the time and energy to put this wonderful website together for so many of us. My husband will not just love me but you as well for the lovely vetkoek recipe! Thanx


    Tegan & Donald April 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    my lovely other half has just purchased a sausage mincer…. just wondering if you have any recipes for home made wurst? Promise to share it at our next braai!


    Tegan & Donald April 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    my lovely other half has just purchased a sausage mincer…. just wondering if you have any recipes for home made wurst? Promise to share it at our next braai!


    Tegan & Donald April 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    my lovely other half has just purchased a sausage mincer…. just wondering if you have any recipes for home made wurst? Promise to share it at our next braai!


    Johan Hattingh April 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    How do Ismoke and cure pork to make Kassler , Regards , Johan Ex RSA now Kiwi


    Natasha Gerhardt July 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Hi Cook Sister
    I live in Zim and my daughter will be starting high school next year as a boarder and they are allowed to take tuck. Do you have any ideas on some of the classics that would survive a trunk for a period of time.


    Simon Robertson July 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Could you post your Greek chocolate cake recipe on your website – looks fantastic and would like to make it for my wedding cake.


    Jim Beam August 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hi cooksister – there is a question: “Many South african recipes call for Nutty Wheat flour but don’t really know what the equivalent is in the UK…Granary?”. I am still a bit confused by your answer – so what is the equivalent? Is it wholewheat?


    Jenni Noel August 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Hi Jeanne – Love your website, been living in Jersey now for 3 years and so nice to see all your South African receipes. Just wondering if you could advise on converting american measures to british? (With all your travels thought you perhaps have a conversion table handy?) Have tried to find american measures in the UK but with no luck and don’t know how much a ‘stick’ of margarine is?


    Charm August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    hi ,
    Please can you assist me , I have tried almost every receipe I could get my hands on for S.A. snowballs , but non off it does justice to what it must actually taste like, please can you provide me with your recipe , I did notice on your website , you have a receipe but unfortunately I am unable to access that page ….I get an internet error. Can you be so kind an email me the recipe .


    Avril Taylor Spacey September 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Spicy green tomato and apple chutney. How long can I store this for, and how? Wanting to make it now, but not sure how long it will take to use up.


    Lize Lubbe October 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I’m looking for a potjiekos recipe with any meat(lamb, chicken, springbuck, kudu, pork) and veggies with coconut milk, please. Its for a compitition this weekend so its very urgent.
    Thank you


    Gladys Nkopane January 11, 2012 at 7:14 am

    hi cook sister,my brother is getting married around may,problem is they need the easiest malva pudding for dessert and they are expecting 300-350 guests..i cant get the correct measurements for that..
    please help me
    thank you in advace
    gm nkopane


    restaurants in Norwich January 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Hello Mike, nice to hear you’re from Norwich! I know some good restaurants in Norwich, but I’m not sure I could help with the recipe you wanted.


    stephanie september January 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hi i am baking for a function on the 28/01/2012, i have an order for 50 chocolate chip muffins and 50cappichino muffins these have to be big. do you have a recipe for these. please help, thank you Stephanie


    Ally February 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Dear CookSister,
    Ive recently been home to visit SA – still is God’s country – although I found some Olde Cape Seeded bread – I did taste the Sasko brand low GI brown seeded bread and OMG is that the most delicious tasting bread I have tasted – thank you for your cape seeded recipe I am going to give it a bash – and thank you for your delightful website – I have followed you for the last couple of years – great sight and thanx so much for all the tastebud delights – Ally


    Carolynn March 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hi, I am living in Ireland and apparently no one can get fish paste here. Redro or Pecks. I am getting desperate, has anyone ever tried making anything like it.
    Thank you. Carolynn


    Janet Hornsby May 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Jeanne
    Thanks for the great blog!
    I am on the hunt for a South African cookery book here in the UK, as a birthday gift for a friend. But I am having trouble locating anything decent on Amazon (and elsewhere). Would you be able to recommend a book of South African recipes and the UK website I can order it from?
    Thanks so much.


    ENGELA MURLESS May 23, 2012 at 11:19 am



    Mart-Mari Wilken June 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Hello I live in Johannesburg and cannot find sumac anywhere and my supply will shortly run out! Can you please help? Mart-Mari


    Fran Fine July 11, 2012 at 2:27 am

    hi I happened upon your website when you wrote about the loss of your dad. your writing and your photos touched me and of course your food stories and recipes transport me to distant places, but when you talk of South Africa, you take me home. I’ve lived in the US for over 40 years but still crave marmite, fish paste, peppermint crisp and all the dear and familiar food that keeps stores like TheSouth Africa shop or The African Hut in business. Since you grew up in the Cape you may not have heard of a take out place for rotisserie chicken called Le Poulet in Hillbrow, Jhb. My dad would go there on a Saturday in the days when the town shut down at 1:00 pm. Their chicken was amazing and I’ve tasted it a few times since in Paris and from a little cafe near my sister in Asquith in Austrlia. None of the proprietors would share their recipe. I’ve tried and tried to replicate the herbs or spices used and I wondered whether you would know how to get the recipe. I look forward to hearing from you. Keep up the good work, I love your site!


    JACO January 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Has anybody replied to this? any idea of this recipe? it was absolutely amazing!

    Reply July 13, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Just discovered your site, and it’s great!!! Thanks for the vetkoek recipe,


    Leah Williams December 3, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Hi Cook Sister
    I tasted delightful Mississippi Mud Pies which were made from oatmeal and apparently from South Africa. They are an easy treat for the children, spoonfuls dropped on a baking sheet, but everso delicious.
    I’m hoping you know the recipe!
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Many thanks
    Leah Williams


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