Friday, November 25, 2011

Chef Lumka's New House

Lumka is now just around the corner from me and we have taken full advantage of being neighbours in my last weeks left in South Africa.  I am proud to say I was there the very first day she moved into her garden cottage and have now spent many nights learning new recipes to bring home (with perhaps some ingredient substitutes!).
I know you are all sick of hearing about umvubo or umphokoqo with amasi (the coarse mealie meal with sour milk) but I love it so much and still consider it a major challenge to make.  So Lumka gave me what is now my final lesson in preparing it and I'm proud to say I've made it twice, by myself, since!

Showing off the new appliances

Adding the White Stair super maize meal
Getting my exercise

The final product - amathambo and dumplings

The most recent recipe is dumplings and amathambo. It was a cold and wet day when Lumka called to say we were making dumplings with meat soup and our hunt began for a bag of bones from the butcher. All they had was the leftovers for dogs, which we passed on, but we finally found some lamb bones. They weren't exactly what Lumka was looking for, but we had to improvise after apparently everyone else in East London wanted to make amathambo.
First, we rinsed the meat and let it simmer on the stove with some salt.  Then, with the big bag of raw dough that we bought, Lumka flattened four large circles of dough which we placed on top of the bubbling meat.  You let that sit for a while and the steam from the meat cooking slowly cooks the bread through and through.  Once the bread is nice and soft and steaming, you remove it and add spices, onions, and vegetables and let it all cook together.  Finally, to serve, you place the bread back in the pot to heat it up and have your big dumpling with the big pieces of soft meat.  It was a big hit!
Stewing lamb

Fresh lamb bones

Beginnings of the dumplings

Listening carefully to all cooking advice

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