Citizen reporter
2 minute read
21 Aug 2020
1:32 pm

Chef Zanele van Zyl shares her twist on the popular 7 Colours dish

Citizen reporter

This dish gives the food stylist the opportunity to do what she does best – put her own spin on a classic meal.

Chef Zanele van Zyl. Picture: Supplied

She has released a cookbook titled Cooking with Zanele: Simply Delicious Quick Meals and hosted a variety of cooking classes across the country.

She aims to release her second cookbook in October this year.

In this week’s episode of The Insider SA, which aired on 18 August, Zanele opened up about her culinary journey while sharing her twist on the popular 7 Colours dish with viewers.

For Zanele, 7 Colours is a dish that’s close to her family. It has been a staple in her home as she grew up watching her mother whipping up this popular dish. In fact, it was Zanele’s mother who motivated her love of food.

“I’m a very colourful girl, and 7 Colours has got all the colours you can think of – the textures, the taste, it’s balanced – and it reminds me of my childhood. We’d open our eyes and it was there – on Sundays or Christmas,” she remarked.

Named for the assortment of colours it presents when served, 7 Colours is a traditional South African meal that consists of rice, chicken or beef and sides such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beetroot, cabbage, beans salad, potato salad or coleslaw.

Dishes such as 7 Colours give the food stylist the opportunity to do what she does best – put her own spin on a classic meal. But, developing a recipe is very tricky, she said.

“At culinary school, they taught us how to pair this with that – but it must always be here [in your mind]. You must always work around it, twist it.

“You don’t have to be a chef to cook this meal – it’s something that will never go out of fashion!” added Zanele.

Zanele’s 7 Colours Recipe

Special dumplings
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
½ cup water
1 cup chopped spinach
Handful grated carrots

Mix all the ingredients and cook in a steam-proof dish for 20 minutes.

Roast chicken
Whole roast chicken
½ cup mayonnaise
125ml lemon juice
2 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp chicken spice
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and pepper


1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Marinate the whole chicken on the inside and outside.

2. Place the chicken on a baking tray, cover with foil and let it cook through for 45 minutes.

3. Take the foil off and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

4. Serve with vegetables or rice.

The Insider SA airs Thursdays at 7.30pm on SABC 3 with repeats on Saturdays at 8pm

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