A Culinary Tribute to Mothers: Reviving Memories with Food

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mother's day south african cuisine

As Mother’s Day draws near, we commemorate this day by embarking on a culinary excursion to South Africa. Here, we explore the stories and beloved recipes of three gifted chefs from Capsicum Culinary Studio, the country’s most prominent culinary school. These dishes, ranging from authentic Indian cuisine to a treasured dessert, evoke fond memories and epitomize the nurturing essence of motherhood.

Sandra Nagana’s South Indian Fish Curry: A Legacy of Authentic Indian Cooking

Ann Nagan, the head of Capsicum Durban, attributes her love for authentic Indian cuisine to her mother, Sandra. Her South Indian Fish Curry, made with a combination of fresh fish and a medley of spices, including mustard seeds, cumin, Kashmiri masala, and fish masala, is Ann’s favorite. The dish contains flavors complemented by ripe tomatoes, green chilies, and fragrant curry leaves. Adding black tamarind creates a tangy undertone, while optional brinjals add a fun textural element. The dish represents the Nagan family’s culinary heritage and embodies the love and care Sandra puts into her cooking.

Kamogelo Makhubela’s Spinach Pesto Pasta with Chicken: Versatile Comfort Food

Kamogelo Makhubela, a student from the Pretoria campus, fondly recalls his mother’s spinach pesto pasta with chicken. The versatile dish, which can be served hot or cold, is an ideal comfort food for any occasion. A delicious spinach pesto is created by blending fresh spinach, cashew nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and parmesan cheese. The accompanying chicken is marinated in a zesty lemon juice marinade, and pasta options include penne or rigatoni. The dish is elevated by adding rosemary, thyme, and lemon pepper. This comforting meal embodies the care and warmth that Kamogelo’s mother puts into all her words.

Granny E’s Triangle Delight Cake: Baking Memories with Love

For Catherine Greyling, another student from the Pretoria campus, the cherished Triangle Delight Cake is more than just a dessert. The multi-generational heirloom recipe originates from her grandmother, and making it together is a profound bonding experience. The cake has layers of tennis biscuits and a creamy mixture of smooth cream cheese, condensed milk, and lemon juice. It is topped with cherries and rich chocolate icing made from icing sugar, margarine, cocoa powder, and hot water. As Catherine fondly recalls, “The best part of this cake is the sharing.” The Triangle Delight Cake represents the continuity of love and care passed down through generations and the importance of family connections in shaping cherished memories.

These recipes, steeped in cultural and familial bonds, are a testament to mothers’ immeasurable impact in shaping our love for food and creating lasting memories. This Mother’s Day, indulge in the power of an unforgettable meal that evokes the warmth and love of a mother’s embrace. Recreate these cherished recipes in your kitchen and allow the love and memories imbued in each dish to strengthen your connection with the mother figures in your life. Check out Capsicum Culinary Studio’s blog for more inspiration and recipes.

Environmentalist and Outdoor Enthusiast. Amanda is a nature-loving, energetic, and enthusiastic environmentalist who has dedicated her life to exploring and protecting Cape Town's stunning natural landscapes. She is an experienced hiker, wildlife enthusiast, and advocate for sustainable tourism.

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