Global recipes from the foodie twins

With its Instagram-friendly and uncomplicated recipes, twins Tebo and Lebo Mdala’s first cookbook is a perfect purchase for young people.
With its Instagram-friendly and uncomplicated recipes, twins Tebo and Lebo Mdala’s first cookbook is a perfect purchase for young people.

Foodie twins Tebo and Lebo Mdala are two down-to-earth Mamelodi girls who have travelled the world, learning new recipes along the way. In their new cookbook Food Stories, they share some of their culinary favourites with us.

Food Stories
Tebo and Lebo Ndala
Human & Rousseau
192 pages

With its Instagram-friendly and uncomplicated recipes, twins Tebo and Lebo Mdala’s first cookbook is a perfect purchase for young people.

Food Stories is their spin on dishes they’ve experienced during their travels around the world, some of which they’ve shared over the years on their popular website,

The sisters’ primary inspiration is their grandmother Koko’s kitchen, where they first learnt how to cook, and you’ll find these comforting recipes in the book’s first chapter.

In Grade 11, a hospitality tour took them to Thailand, where they fell in love with the food and collated recipes for Thai butternut soup, coconut and pineapple fried rice, and Thai basil chicken.

After matric, the twins lived in the US, Tebo in Massachusetts and Lebo in New Jersey.

During this time, they ate pizza slices as big as their heads and learnt about true Americana cooking. The mix of cultures explains recipes in the book such as boerewors corn dogs.

From South African jollof rice to “kinda-sorta healthy” meals, Food Stories has plenty of dishes you’ll want to try. The twins shared two with #Trending:


You know the stereotype about black people liking chicken so much? We don’t think it’s a stereotype. It’s proven to be true ... Well, at least in our household it is. We treated chicken like royalty at home, only eating it on Sundays.

Our mom makes the best deep-fried chicken ever, but we think this recipe might give her a run for her money.



2 cups buttermilk

1 tbs hot English mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

8 pieces chicken thighs and drumsticks

2 cups flour

1 tbs baking powder

1 tbs ground nutmeg

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs onion powder

Oil, for deep-frying


1. Whisk the buttermilk, mustard, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper together.

2. Put in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag and coat well with the buttermilk mixture.

3. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

4. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, garlic powder and onion powder together well.

5. When you’re ready, transfer the chicken

pieces into the dry ingredients and coat well.

6. Heat the oil until hot and fry the chicken in batches, turning constantly until golden brown outside and cooked inside.


Our grandmother introduced us to grilled corn. She has always been obsessed with it, and still is.

She would buy it from the train station after work, wrapped in a newspaper.

As soon as she walked through the door, we’d get a whiff of the smell, and run to the kitchen for our share.

Poor Koko could never catch a break and enjoy her “miedie” by herself.



For the salad:

4 sweetcorn on the cob

100g brussels sprouts

2 tbs olive oil

50g chutney

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

2 each of red and yellow peppers, deseeded, grilled and julienned

2 cups cooked quinoa

Rocket leaves

For the vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbs hot English mustard, salt and pepper


1. Char the sweetcorn in the oven. Leave to cool and remove the kernels with a knife.

2. Boil the brussels sprouts in salty water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.

3. Sauté in olive oil until crispy on the outside.

4. Coat in chutney while hot.

5. Assemble all the salad ingredients.

6. Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients together and serve with the salad.

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