Braised cabbage from Tanzania

INSPIRED by the names of legendary places like Ngorongoro and Olduvai, and our friend Ina Randall’s balloon ride over Serengeti last year, we decided to take a virtual trip to Tanzania on The Global Table this weekend.

There is also a fascinating piece on Tanzania and the remote Greystoke Mahale lodge in the MyWeekend supplement of Weekend Post tomorrow, so that’s all the more reason to explore the culinary tradition of this East African country!

Tanzania used to be called Tanganyika, and what is served here is very similar to the rest of East Africa.

Tropical fruit like coconut and banana are widely used in savoury and sweet dishes, and curry powder and coconut milk are common ingredients.

Mealiepap (they call it ugali), rice and potatoes are staples; Indian-style chapati bread is popular too, as in other East African countries. There may also be other vegetable side dishes, such as the cabbage recipe below, while dessert is usually fresh fruit of the region.

Spicy braised cabbage from Tanzania. Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Recipe: Spicy braised cabbage

This recipe is from The African Cookbook, by Bea Sandler, which was originally published in the early 1990s and is still available, presumably reprinted, from Amazon.com. The recipe was said to serve 8 but I found it is more like 6 portions as a veggie side dish – perhaps us South Africans just like to eat a little more! I really liked the recipe as it was very easy to do and with just a few simple spices managed to transform the humble cabbage. I didn’t have any beef stock at home, but chicken stock seemed to work just as well.

Combine 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp curry powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp powdered ginger and ½ tsp chilli powder in a small bowl.

Add the spices to ½ cup of finely chopped purple onions which you then saute in a bit of oil or butter until soft, but not brown.  Add 1kg of cabbage, cut in wedges about 2.5cm thick. Saute lightly until the cabbage begins to lose its crispness.

Add 1 cup of beef stock; adjust seasoning if needed.  Simmer for five minutes, transfer to a bowl and serve.

Ina Randall (centre) with fellow travellers Marlene Druck and Linda Coulthard when their group got to meet the Maasaai.

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One Response to Braised cabbage from Tanzania

  1. Jiksun says:

    Looks amazing! Thanks for the post. I’ve just posted a cabbage recipe here if you’re interested: http://jiksun.com/2012/09/18/braised-cabbage-bacon-a-whole-bunch-of-awesome/

    Have a nice day!

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