In case you didn’t know, and rightfully so, we are celebrating the easter weekend. It has probably felt like one vey long weekend. This is a good weekend to cook up a storm (if you still have groceries to spare).
The Maslow Sandton’s Executive Chef Hector Mnyayiza is using the time in lockdown to do more of what he loves. Between keeping his young son entertained, Executive Chef Hector has been spending time in his kitchen, experimenting with dishes that South Africans should find comforting.
“The weather is starting to get cooler and with having to plan our meals prudently during lockdown when trips to the shops must be limited, batch cooking meals such as curries and casseroles is ideal,” he says.
Chef Hector encourages parents to invite their children to cook along with them. It is a great way to keep children busy and help them feel useful. At the same time, they will learn skills that they will be able to use throughout life
Here is a fun recipe that you can try.
Butter Chicken by Chef Hector
300g Boneless Chicken breasts
60g Medium curry powder
10ml Egg yellow food coloring
250ml Fresh Cream
150g Fresh Tomatoes (blanched and peel)
1 Whole Onion
20g Fresh Dhana
10g Breyani mix
250ml Tomato sauce (optional)
5g Crushed Garlic
10ml Fine Salt
- Cut chicken into cubes. Marinate with tea spoon garlic, two teaspoons curry powder, one teaspoon egg yellow colouring and two teaspoons salt.
- Score the bottom of the tomato in a cross shape. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water until the skins start to open. Remove and place them in cold water. Peel the skin off the tomatoes and chop roughly.
- In a sauce pan, add butter and fry your chopped onions. Add the breyani mix, a teaspoon of garlic and two teaspoons of curry powder. Allow to cook for about one minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and chopped dhana. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves, and then blend until fine. Thereafter, strain the tomatoes and put them back into the saucepan.
- Warm up the 250ml cream in another saucepan and then add to the mixture so that it does not split. Add 250mls tomato sauce (optional) with two teaspoons egg yellow. Thereafter, add two spoons of butter let it simmer.
- Pan fry the chicken and set aside for the oil and juice to settle. Then, add the chicken into the sauce mixture. Make sure to keep out the chicken juices and oil from the bottom of the bowl.
- Allow to simmer. You can add more chopped dhana and salt to taste.
- Enjoy with basmati rice, roti or poppadoms
Homemade roti by Chef Hector
2 Cups/500ml cake wheat flour sifted
4 Tbsp melted butter plus extra for brushing the rotis
1 Cup/250ml boiling water
1 Pinch of salt (optional)
- Sift the flour and add the melted butter.
- Pour the cup of boiling water into the flour and mix it into the flour using a fork or spoon. You will have a wet, lumpy mixture.
- Knead into a soft dough once the mixture has cooled a little. The dough will feel a little sticky but as you knead it will become silky smooth. If the dough doesn’t feel soft, you can drizzle a little more butter and keep kneading.
- Heat a non-stick pan or thawa on the stovetop on medium heat. You may need to adjust your heat if the pan gets too hot.
- Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a neat round ball. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hands. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. You can add more flour as you are rolling to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll each ball into a circle of about 20cm in diameter.
- Place the roti on the pan. Cook until it starts to bubble a little and then flip it over. Cook until the other side bubbles. Brush with butter and turn over again. Brush the other side with butter and turn over. You must flip your roti over three times. It takes about a minute to cook the roti.
- Keep rotis soft by placing them in a container with paper towel at the bottom and on top.