Ancestral eating goes glam

2016-12-11 00:01
Mabele with coconut cream & peanut butter. (Supplied)

Mabele with coconut cream & peanut butter. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Why do we baste and sweat our way through foreign festive food when South African culinary culture has so much to offer?

Why not make this holiday season deliciously different with sorghum?

Sorghum (mabele, amazimba) is an ancient African grain. It is relatively drought-resistant, so despite the recent lack of rain, it is still as cheap as chips (but much better for you) and readily available in supermarkets nationwide.

It is difficult to imagine anything healthier than sorghum. It is gluten-free, low-GI (which means it’s good for diabetics and keeps the rest of us fuller for longer) and has high levels of antioxidants, protein, fibre, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron. Plus, it is delicious!

Sorghum can be used as a whole grain, ground into fine or coarse meal and also fermented into soured porridges and beers.

Just because it is a traditional ingredient doesn’t mean that you can’t have modern foodie fun with it.

A perfect plate of finely ground mabele porridge is the ultimate comfort cuisine after a long and difficult year, but add coconut cream and peanut butter and it is suddenly supersexy too.

Add melted butter and amasi for a fabulous flapjack batter.

Wholegrain sorghum is usually used for beer, but it can be cooked like rice and served hot or cold to great effect.

A summer salad of wholegrain sorghum with cubes of tart green apple and crunchy macadamia nuts will add glamour to any yuletide table.

Add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a handful of mushrooms for an uber-elegant risotto-like melange. If you are lucky enough to have access to amakhowe wild mushrooms, so much the better.

This year the culinary cool concept was fermenting. All the fanciest chefs and food magazines, both locally and abroad, were singing the praises of fermenting as a health and wellness strategy.

So why not try traditional ting?

Soured ting sorghum porridge has a satisfying tang that is as subtle or strong as its length of fermentation.

For additional festive flare, top it with pulled beef or toss some crispy bacon and a sprinkling of herbs into the mix. A glass of sauvignon blanc or a light pinot noir would pair to perfection.

All these delicious recipes and many more traditional tastes by Mpho Tshukudu and Anna Trapido. None of the recipes requires specialist equipment; everything can be prepared ahead and all the cooking techniques are simple, but ultimately impressive.

So, what are you waiting for? Sorghum offers cool recipes for a deliciously hot African summer.

Mabele with coconut cream and peanut butter

Serves 4

1 litre cold water

¾ cup fine sorghum meal

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup coconut cream

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Place cold water, sorghum meal and salt in a saucepan and whisk over a low heat until a rich, thick porridge forms; about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add coconut cream and peanut butter and mix well. Serve warm.

Sorghum is already low-GI, but it is lowered further by the peanut butter and coconut cream.

Read more on:    sorghum

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.