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excerpts from The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook

1954: Myra Waldo

Myra Waldo, born in Manhattan, was the author of many travel guides and cookbooks that were published in the second half of the 20th century. The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1954), which she edited, was her first book. It consists of "recipes gathered by Pan American Airways from 81 countries they serve, with food and travel comments by Myra Waldo". These excerpts are the book's entries for Africa: Egypt, North and Central Africa, and what was then called the Union of South Africa.

Myra Waldo authored many restaurant and travel guides and cookbooks in the second half of the 20th century. The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1954) consists of "recipes gathered by Pan American Airways from 81 countries they serve, with food and travel comments by Myra Waldo". These excerpts are the book's entries for Africa: Egypt, North and Central Africa, and what was then called the Union of South Africa.

Note:

THE COMPLETE ROUND-THE-WORLD COOKBOOK



Recipes gathered by Pan American Airways from 81 countries they serve, with food and travel comments

by

MYRA WALDO

Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York

First printed October 21, 1954

(reprinted November 23, 1962)



AFRICA

Egypt

North and Central Africa

Union of South Africa




EGYPT

Lying in the northeastern part of Africa, Egypt is a tremendous land of which the western half is almost entirely an uninhabited desert. Since only a tiny portion of its land is available for cultivation (a reasonable approximation being about three per cent), the nation is practically supported by the area surrounding the Nile River. The great stream of fabulous history overflows its banks about early September of each year and carries with it the thick silt of the river bed. As the water drains away, the life-sustaining soil remains, permitting the raising of crops which would otherwise be impossible.

Egyptians are famous for their heavy breakfasts and for their exotic choice of foods at this first meal of the day. What makes this surprising is that none of the other Mediterranean or Near Eastern peoples begin the day with a heavy meal. Dinner, usually enjoyed in the evening cool after the great heat of the day has abated somewhat, is likewise an important meal. Between breakfast and dinner, the people do not exactly starve, for in addition to lunch they nibble on little delicacies, such as nuts, fruits, dates, figs, and other oddments. The Egyptians love cool, refreshing soft drinks and there are numbers from which to choose. Both tea and coffee are popular here.

Some fish is eaten, but poultry and meat are more appreciated by the average person. In Egypt "meat" usually means mutton, which is preferred to the younger and more delicate meat of the sheep which we call lamb. The fat of the full-grown sheep is quite strong in flavor and most Westerners find it unappetizing, though it must be admitted that in Australia and New Zealand there is little objection to mutton. Egyptians prefer their meat practically swimming in fat, and this, too, is hardly to our taste. The hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists have learned to avoid an overabundance of grease in their cooking; authentic French cuisine is the rule.

Bread is of the flat type, usually a rather large, spongy, whole wheat mixture which takes the place of cutlery for the fellah, or peasant, who sops up his food with it. Most people cannot afford fancy fare, and filling food such as beans, chick-peas, and rice are preferred by the majority. Couscous, though probably Algerian in origin, is a great favorite here. It is a meat or poultry dish based on a coarse cereal and is very satisfying. The sweet desserts beloved of all people of the Near East are in evidence here. Wheat flour, thick fruit syrups, and honey are combined with calorific pastries to form desserts far too sweet for our tastes. Candies, too, are of such sweetness and richness that one piece will cloy the palate.

Water-yes, water-is the national drink of Egypt since it is a Moslem country; after water comes Turkish-style sweet, muddy coffee. Beer and alcoholic drinks are available but are generally unimportant. At Mariout, wines are being grown with reasonable success, and the Clos Mariout, a white wine, is well received by wine drinkers. In addition several satisfactory red wines are in production.

BEANS, EGYPTIAN STYLE
FOOL MUDAMMAS

  • 1 and 1/2 cups white beans
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 scallions (green onions), sliced fine

Wash the beans thoroughly and soak in water to cover overnight. Drain, and cover with fresh water. Cook until the skins split, about 2 hours. Drain well and cool. Place the beans in a bowl. Add the salt, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve with the scallions on top as an appetizer. If desired, the beans may be served as a salad on a bed of romaine lettuce.

FISH AND LAMB MOLD
BAMIA AU COMBOS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 pound lamb, ground
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 6 fillets of sole

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, lamb, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sherry and stir well. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Butter a 7- to 9-inch casserole or mold. Arrange the fillets so that they cover the bottom and sides of the casserole. Pour in the lamb mixture. If the fillets extend over the outside edge of the casserole, turn them inward to cover the lamb mixture. Bake in a 275° oven for 2 hours.

CHICKEN AND GREENS
MLOOKHIA

  • 5-pound chicken, quartered
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 and 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 pounds spinach, kale, or chard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 pound butter

Combine the chicken, onion, carrot, and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 2 hours, or until chicken is tender. Wash the spinach carefully. Drain well and dry thoroughly. Chop coarsely. Pound the coriander, garlic, and salt to a smooth paste. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the paste and chicken. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the spinach. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Correct seasoning. Serve with boiled rice. The chicken broth may be served separately.

Note: Mlookhia is a unique and very popular Egyptian vegetable. The green vegetables substituted are similar in flavor, though not so bitter.

MEAT CROQUETTES
KUFTA

  • 1 pound beef, chopped
  • 1 pound lamb, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/4 pound butter

Mix the beef, lamb, onions, eggs, milk, salt, cayenne pepper, oregano, parsley, and 1 cup of the bread crumbs together. Form into large croquettes and dip in the remaining crumbs. Melt half the butter in a frying pan. Fry the croquettes in it slowly over low heat until browned on both sides, about 20 minutes. Add butter as required.

EGGPLANT AND LAMB CASSEROLE
BEDINGANE ABIAD

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil or salad oil
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 2 pounds lean lamb, ground
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a skillet. Brown the eggplant slices in it on both sides. Remove the eggplant and set aside. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the skillet and heat. Add the onions, lamb, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Butter or oil a casserole. Arrange a layer of rice on the bottom. Cover with about one third of the lamb mixture. Add layer of eggplant and successive layers of rice, lamb and eggplant until the ingredients are used up, ending with rice on top. Bake in a 375° oven for 35 minutes, or until browned on top. Serve directly from the casserole.

CHICKEN AND CRACKED WHEAT
HAREESIE

  • 5-pound chicken, disjointed
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups bourghol (cracked wheat)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 pound butter

Combine the chicken, onions, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and skim the top carefully. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the bourghol in water to cover for 20 minutes. Drain the bourghol and add to the chicken, together with the salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, or until the chicken is tender and the liquid thickens.

Remove the chicken meat from the bones, cut into small pieces, and return to the saucepan. Add the pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and butter. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Mix well. Correct seasoning. Serve each portion in a large soup plate. The consistency of the dish should be that of a porridge.

RICE FLOUR PUDDING
MEHALLABIA

  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1 and 1/8 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon rose water, orange flower water, or vanilla extract

Soak the raisins in water to cover for 15 minutes. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and rice flour in a saucepan. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the boiling point is reached. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to low heat and cook, without stirring, until the mixture caramelizes on the bottom of the pot. Add the flavoring. Drain the raisins thoroughly and add, stirring gently. Pour the mixture into a serving dish or into 6 individual dishes. Chill at least 4 hours.




NORTH AND CENTRAL AFRICA

My discussion of the food habits, diet, and customs of millions of people living in thousands of square miles of territory can be treated only in general terms. In defense of this, it must be admitted that although the area has its high points of local food they cannot, with few exceptions, be called culinary specialties. For the most part, what makes them unique is the use of locally produced ingredients-wild game, fruits, and other produce.

The north coast of Africa consists principally of French and Spanish Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt (which is discussed separately). Spain has Spanish Morocco, France has French Morocco and Tunis, and Libya is Italian, but underlying the culture of the colonizers is the way of life of the Mohammedan people. Thus in each area there are three conflicting and modifying influences upon the food of the region: the Islamic background of a large part of the population, the respective mother countries, and the kinds of native foodstuffs available.

The one point of agreement throughout the north coast region is couscous, a filling semolina dish. Although its exact origin is somewhat doubtful, it is usually attributed to Algeria; in any event it is that country's most important dish. There are many recipes for couscous, usually quite spicy, but it may be made with sweet ingredients, such as fruits, or with nuts. Another similarity in the food of this region is the extensive use of fish along the coastal area. Some of the local soups and stew are quite good.

Strong liquors are of no great consequence here because of the Moslem rules on the subject; the possible exception is lagmi, a palm wine, which is the only wine permitted by the Koran. Wines are very important in Algeria. Though certain of the wines produced here must be classified as vin ordinaire, others are highly regarded. When a Frenchman is willing to admit that a wine made outside la belle France is entitled to serious consideration, it is news indeed. Both reds and whites are produced, but the red burgundylike qualities of the Mascara, Bône, and Bouira regions are probably the best. Also worth mentioning is the very sweet raisin and fig liqueur called boura, and of course the ever present milk drink leben, or yogurt.

Senegal is a fairy prosperous country, at least by African standards. Fish dishes are great local favorites, but otherwise the usual chicken, rice, nuts, and fruits are the staple foods.

Throughout the central part of the dark continent game is often plentiful. First-time visitors to Africa may be surprised to learn that game can also be very scarce, owing to varying factors such as rainfall, terrain, and the supply of available food for the game to feed upon. The natives eat all types of wild beasts, including many that are considered palatable by Western standards. Many other creatures of the jungle, which we consider inedible, are enjoyed here. Among these are monkeys, buffaloes, porcupines, elephants, crocodiles, lizards, serpents, ants, grasshoppers, slugs . . . but need we continue?

More to our taste are such things as pawpaw soap, cassava croquettes, and groundnut stew, all of which can be reasonably approximated in our own homes. Most of these dishes are common throughout West Africa and Nigeria. Jolov [Jollof Rice], a rice dish of the area, is a particular household favorite in Liberia. A potatolike tuber, the mattambala, is a familiar item of the local diet.

Of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) it can be said that the food is spicy, spicier, spiciest. Hot pepper, ginger, and other inflammable condiments are apparently required in almost every dish to satisfy the local palate. Coffee is highly regarded, and there is also a barley beer, talla.

In the Congo the one native dish of importance is moamba, known to the English-speaking residents as palm oil chop. It is quite similar to groundnut stew, for which a recipe is given. A Ugandan specialty is cream of peanut soup, a very nourishing and satisfying dish. Most of the other food is strictly non-habit-forming.

Concerning the culinary style of the cannibals who remain today in Africa, it is believed that little purpose would be served by furnishing their recipes. However, there are people who enjoy such exotic food as snails, squirrels, and frogs' legs, and those who wish may try the following recipe furnished by a local chieftain: "Take one very large pot, with a capacity of about 75 quarts, and fill it with water. When it begins boiling, add 1/2 pound of salt, and . . ."

The large region that constitutes the Union of South Africa is discussed separately. The island of Madagascar, located southeast of the continent, is well supplied with oysters, shrimp, squid, and all sorts of fish, common and rare. Everything tastes different here; chicken has the flavor of duck, pork has its own variation, and even beef is hardly recognizable. Since chicken tastes like duck, how is the taste of duck to be described? It is believed that the water supply and the aromatic plants and vegetation of the region upon which the animals feed have altered their flavor. This makes it quite simple for the tourist in Madagascar who wishes to eat chicken, pork, or beef: merely order something else: Possibly a good choice for the startled traveler would be the local rum, tokanem.

CREAM OF PEANUT SOUP
UGANDA

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups hot chicken stock or 1 can consommé and 1 and 1/4 cans water
  • 2 cups ground peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the cornstarch in a deep saucepan. Slowly add the milk, stirring until smooth. Add the stock, peanuts, onion, salt, and cayenne pepper, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Beat with a rotary beater for 1 minute. Strain. Serve hot.

PAWPAW SOUP
WEST COAST OF AFRICA

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 large papaya, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of mace
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups milk

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the papaya, parsley, water, and salt. Cook over low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours. Force through a sieve, then return to the saucepan. Add the pepper and mace. Mix the cornstarch and milk until smooth and add to the soup, stirring constantly. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat but do not allow to boil. Serve with croutons.

Note: Although papayas are not generally available in this country, the recipe is included because it it so typical of this region of Africa. Papayas are obtainable in Florida and certain other areas. Other varieties of melons may be substituted for the papaya.

FISH STEW
MAKA, NORTH COAST OF AFRICA

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground chili peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 7 cups milk
  • 7 pounds sliced, assorted fish (3 different varieties)
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
  • 2 lobsters, in the shell, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 slices toast (French bread, if possible)
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon rind

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the flour and mix until smooth. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, chili peppers, and coriander. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until the boiling point is reached. Add the fish, shrimp, and lobster and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Correct seasoning. Place a slice of toast in each soup bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon rind and pour the soup over it. Arrange the fish on a separate platter and serve.

AFRICAN GUINEA HEN

  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 2 small guinea hens or 2 and 1/2-pound chickens, disjointed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5 firm bananas, sliced 1 inch thick

Melt all but 3 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan or casserole. Add the poultry, onion, and garlic and sauté until brown, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the flour and add the wine, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and tomatoes. Mix well. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, or until the poultry and potatoes are tender. Correct seasoning.

Melt the remaining butter in a skillet. Add the banana slices and sauté lightly. Arrange the poultry in the center of a platter and place the potatoes and bananas around it. Skim the fat off the remaining gravy and serve separately.

ALGERIAN COUSCOUS

  • 1 cup dried or 2 cups canned, drained chick-peas
  • 2 cups faufal (see Note)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 5-pound chicken, disjointed
  • 2 pounds lamb, cubed
  • 3 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon peppe
  • r
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound fresh or 1/2 package frozen green peas
  • 1 cup yellow squash, cubed
  • 6 canned or fresh artichoke hearts (optional)

If dried chick-peas are used, soak in water to cover overnight. Place the faufal in a bowl. Add the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir. Rub the faufal between the hands about 1 foot above the bowl, allowing it to drop into the bowl. Repeat the process several times. Do not allow any lumps to form. Soak the faufal until all the water is absorbed.

Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions, chicken, and lamb and brown well. Add barely enough water to cover. Drain the chick-peas, and add, together with the tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, pepper, cayenne pepper, and remaining salt. (If canned chick-peas are used, do not add until the green peas are added.)

Place the faufal in a large strainer or colander over the saucepan. Cover as well as possible and cook over low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours. Add the green peas, squash, and artichokes to the chicken mixture, cover again, and continue cooking over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Add the remaining butter to the faufal, stirring with a fork. Place the faufal in the center of a platter and arrange the chicken and vegetables around it.

Note: Faufal consists of tiny pellets of wheat obtainable in Near Eastern or oriental food stores. Cracked wheat or wheat semolina or even farina may be used, but none of these substitutes will duplicate the faufal. The amount of cayenne pepper may be increased slightly for those who wish a more authentic couscous.

GROUNDNUT STEW
MOAMBA, WEST COAST OF AFRICA

  • 2 4-pound chickens, disjointed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups ground peanuts
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, shelled
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice

Clean the chickens carefully and place in a deep saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the peanuts and stir well. Add the onions, sweet potatoes, and salt. Cook for 1 and 1/2 hours, or until chicken is tender. Correct seasoning. Place a whole egg on each plate and cover with some of the rice. Place the chicken and sauce on top. Serve with side dishes of sliced cucumbers, chutney, and sliced bananas.

LIBERIAN RICE AND CHICKEN
JOLOV [Jollof Rice]

  • 2 3-pound chickens, disjointed
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 3 tablespoons salad oil
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 3 green peppers, minced
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups rice

Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the chicken and brown well on all sides over high heat. Cover and cook over low heat until tender.

Heat the oil in a separate saucepan. Add the onion and green peppers and sauté for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomato paste, water, and remaining salt. Mix well and bring to a boil. Wash the rice in several changes of water and add to the tomato mixture. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add small additional amounts of water, if necessary. Correct seasoning. Combine the rice with the chicken and stir. If desired, press the rice into molds or cups, then unmold and arrange the chicken around the mounds of rice.

CASSAVA CROQUETTES
WEST COAST OF AFRICA

  • 2 cups grated cassava [tubers] or potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Wet the cassava with water, then squeeze it dry in the hands. Add 2 eggs, the lemon rind, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and parsley. Mix well. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Shape the mixture into croquettes or pancakes and dip in the beaten egg, then in the bread crumbs. Fry in butter or shortening over low heat until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes.

Note: Cassava is obtainable in certain cities with large Spanish-speaking populations, such as New York City. It is a large, starchy root and the use of white potatoes will somewhat approximate the taste of it. An even closer resemblance may be obtained by adding 1 tablespoon of either farina or instant tapioca to the grated potato.

LIBERIAN RICE CAKE

  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Preheat oven to 325°. Sift the rice flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda together. Add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Beat constantly. Add the nutmeg and vanilla. Beat well. Pour into a 12-inch buttered loaf pan. Bake in a 325° oven for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.




UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA

The word "Africa" usually brings to mind vast plains and wild animals, and while this is true to a certain extent, Capetown and Johannesburg (called Joburg by its inhabitants) are extremely modern cities filled with fine buildings and not a few skyscrapers. The visitor is always surprised by the pace and tempo of these cities.

Four principal groups in addition to numerous minorities are represented here: the Dutch, British, Indian, and native populations. The Dutch (Boers) were the earliest settlers of this land, and brought with them their own style of cooking, names of dishes, and eating habits. Melksnysels (ribbons of dough in milk soup) is a typical Dutch dish, The British, as they have the world over, brought a little bit of England with them in their hearts, and they prefer English food and the English way of life, typified by elaborate teas and formal dinners. The Indians came originally to labor under the hot African sun but have become shopkeepers. They, too, brought their food customs with them. The Bantu, the principal group of aborigines, have few dishes of interest to us, except those based on the wild game of the region.

Unfortunately for the curious gourmet, hotels and restaurants limit themselves to the hotel-style food known the world over as "international," which customarily means taking little or no advantage of the area's fine foodstuffs. To enjoy an Afrikander dinner, it would probably be necessary to secure an invitation to the home of a long-time resident, as these dishes are seldom seen on menus in public dining places.

The native groups are particularly fond of their home brew, known as Kaffir beer, but comparatively few tourists ever get around to tasting it. South Africa produces in a moderate-sized area numerous wines of good quality, particularly sweet types. Both still and sparkling wines are available, though they are not yet of export standard, except for the local sherry-type wine. Local brandies are quite satisfactory. Of course the usual imported liquors may be had. In passing, it may be noted that the cocktail party is the most popular of all social events.

Until recently the great shellfish specialty of South Africa was unknown to the rest of the world. However, since the advent of frozen foods, the langouste, marketed as the South African lobster tail, has been well received. These are eaten broiled, boiled, sautéed in butter, served on noodles, and in many other fashions. Rock oysters and salmon are also unusually fine.

Lamb is raised extensively in the region and is the basis for many local dishes. The young lamb is appreciated by visitors, but the older specimens appeal only to those who have eaten mutton all their lives. Among the old standbys of the country are babottee (a meat pie) and bean bredee (a stew). The local preference is for dishes of this nature.

The fruits-melons and berries-are astonishing. The variety is apparently limitless, but their quality is also very high. Not only are there all the familiar fruits, there are also the rare, the exotic, and the romantic.

PICKLED SALMON

  • 12 thin slices salmon, cut in half
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive or salad oil
  • 6 large onions, sliced in thin rings
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground chili peppers
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups vinegar

Wash and dry the salmon. Mix 1 teaspoon of the salt with the pepper and sprinkle the fish with it. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the fish in it on both sides. Remove the fish and let cool. Add 4 onions to the oil remaining in the pan and fry until brown.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the curry powder, the chili peppers, raisins, sugar, and turmeric. Add 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and mix well. Arrange several successive layers of fish, fried onions, and the spice mixture in a bowl or jar. Combine the remaining onions, vinegar, salt, and curry powder in a saucepan. Boil for 15 minutes. Pour over the layers of fish and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 days before using. Prepared this way, the fish will keep about 2 weeks. Serve cold as an appetizer.

CURRIED POTATO SOUP

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound stewing beef, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 potatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Melt the butter in a deep saucepan. Add the beef and onions and fry until brown. Add the water, salt, curry powder, and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and vinegar. Cook for go minutes, or until the meat and potatoes are tender. Correct seasoning. Discard bay leaves. Serve hot in deep soup plates.

MILK SOUP WITH RIBBONS
MELKSNYSELS

  • 1 and 1/8 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 quarts milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 egg whites

Sift 1 cup of the flour, the salt and baking powder into a bowl. Add gradually about 1/2 cup of the milk, using just enough to make a stiff dough. Knead until the dough is elastic and springy. Roll out as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface. Allow to remain for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining flour and roll up lightly like a jelly roll. Cut evenly into 1/4-inch slices. Bring the remaining milk to an active boil in a deep saucepan. Drop the noodle ribbons into it and cook until they come to the top. Drain, reserving the milk, and keep warm.

Beat the yolks, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot milk, beating constantly to prevent curdling. Return the contents of the bowl to the balance of the milk, stirring constantly. Heat but do not allow to boil. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Pour the milk mixture over them, mixing gently. Place the noodles in bowls or soup plates and pour the milk mixture over them. Serve hot.

AFRIKANDER LAMB CHOPS

  • 2/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 lamb chops

Combine the tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, mustard, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Marinate the chops at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the sauce. Pan-fry the chops. Turn frequently until done. Heat the sauce in a separate saucepan and pour over the chops.

MEAT STEW, CAPE MALAY STYLE
CURRIED BEAN BREDEE

  • 1 and 1/2 cups dried white beans
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil or butter
  • 4 pounds mutton or lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 8 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped sour apples
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins

Place the beans in a saucepan with water to cover and soak overnight. Drain, cover with water again, and boil for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the meat and brown well on all sides. Add the tomatoes, salt, and chili peppers. Cover and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes. Mix the curry powder, sugar, water, and vinegar together until smooth. Add to the meat and stir well. Drain the beans and add, together with the apples and raisins, again stirring well. Cover and cook over very low heat for 2 and 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender. Small amounts of water may be added if required.

The resulting stew should be quite thick and rich. Best results will be obtained if the saucepan is tightly covered and the meat cooked slowly. Serve with boiled rice.

STEAK AND MACARONI CASSEROLE

  • 2 pounds steak
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Oil or shortening far deep-fat frying
  • 4 cups cooked macaroni

Cut the steak into 1-inch squares. Sprinkle with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Reserve half the cheese and dip the steak pieces in the remaining half. Then dip the pieces in the bread crumbs, eggs, and once again in the bread crumbs. Heat the oil to 375° in a deep saucepan. Drop several pieces of the meat into the fat at a time, and fry for 1 minute. Drain.

Place the macaroni in a buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining salt, pepper, and cheese. Place the steak pieces on top. Bake in a 450° oven for 10 minutes, or until browned on top. This dish is often served with broiled tomatoes.

GROUND BEEF PIE
BABOTTEE

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 pounds beef, ground 3 times
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons plum jam
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3 bay leaves

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Soak the bread in the milk and squeeze dry, reserving the milk. Mash the bread fine. In a bowl combine the beef, sautéed onions, bread, 1 egg, curry powder, salt, plum jam, lemon juice, and almonds. Mix well. Place the bay leaves on the bottom of a buttered baking dish and place the meat mixture over them. Beat the remaining egg with the reserved milk and pour it over the meat. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 and 1/4 hours. Serve hot from the dish.

OAT BREAD

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cake or package yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the yeast and 2 tablespoons of the oatmeal, stirring until smooth. Combine the remaining oatmeal, the flour, and salt in a bowl. Make a well or depression in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes. Blend the oatmeal mixture into the yeast with the hand until a stiff dough is formed. Add slightly more flour if necessary. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°. Form the dough into 2 small loaves or 1 large one and place in a buttered loaf pan. Bake in a 375° oven for 20 minutes, or until browned.

FRIED CAKES
KOEK SISTERS

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oil or fat for deep-fat frying
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together into a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the consistency of coarse sand. Add the egg and toss lightly with a fork until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Roll out 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Gut into circles and roll up in the shape of cornucopias, so that one end is closed and the other open.

Heat the fat to 385° in a deep saucepan. Drop a few cornucopias at a time into the fat. Fry until they rise to the surface. Remove immediately and drain. Combine 1 cup of the sugar, the water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Boil until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Dip each cake into the syrup, then roll in the remaining sugar.



The Rare Recipes pages contain African and African-inspired recipes from antique and out-of-print cookbooks.


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