Put a twist to your dishes

Nomkhosi Miya looks at new ways to pre­pare food for stokvels

Move! Stokvel - - Contents -

MI­CROWAVE meals and take­aways have be­come the al­ter­na­tive be­cause of our busy life­style. How­ever, this pop­u­lar trend doesn’t guar­an­tee healthy eat­ing.

Cater­ing & Events Man­age­ment owner, Tha­bile Zikalala, gives stokvels tips on putting a spin on their dishes and pre­par­ing food in a mod­ern way.

She says that freshly pre­pared food is healthy com­pared to the food from restau­rants or fast­food out­lets.

PRE­PAR­ING YOUR STARTERS

Tha­bile says stokvel ladies should bear in mind that starters should be very light, colour­ful and invit­ing.

Starters are served in small por­tions and are pre­pared to keep guests busy be­fore the main meal.

“Many peo­ple go for plat­ters as starter th­ese days. When serv­ing your plat­ters, keep in mind that some peo­ple may be al­ler­gic to fish or pork. There­fore, think of other op­tions like chicken, lamb or beef,” she ad­vises.

“When serv­ing your starters, make sure that you serve them in a way that is ap­petis­ing. Place your ribs, sausages, drum­sticks and a va­ri­ety of samoosas in an or­derly man­ner on a big plate cov­ered in foil. Sprin­kle herbs or gar­nish for that en­tic­ing smell. You can also add pieces of lemon for good pre­sen­ta­tion.

Make sure that you al­low your guests time to en­joy their starters while slowly fill­ing up the plates.”

Tha­bile says in­gre­di­ents to make starters can be found in big su­per­mar­kets. She urges stokvel mem­bers to buy orig­i­nal brands for good results.

“For your drinks, serve guests fruit juice, ice tea and wa­ter. As a host,

it’s im­por­tant to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­body’s pref­er­ences. How­ever, you can limit the amount of fizzy drinks. Buy your drinks from big re­tail shops, which sell in bulk and at a cheaper rate,” ad­vises Tha­bile.

SERV­ING YOUR MAIN COURSE

Tha­bile says it’s time for pas­sion­ate cooks to do away with the old method of pre­par­ing dishes. She urges stokvels to try new things.

“If you are go­ing for a chicken curry and rice or lamb curry and rice, spice things up for your guests. Make flavoured rice, which may in­clude fried mush­rooms, onions and turmeric or mixed veg­gies.”

She adds that when cook­ing your lamb stew or chicken stew, make sure that your spices are min­i­mal and that your stove is set to the right tem­per­a­ture to avoid over­cook­ing it. Make sure to cook your beef chunks in batches and give the meat enough time to cook.

She says,“you can add fresh curry to your stew as it doesn’t have a strong aroma.”

Tha­bile ad­vises that us­ing fresh in­gre­di­ents will en­sure that your food re­mains fresh for longer. She adds that curry leaves can be frozen and kept in a con­tainer in the re­frig­er­a­tor for up to two weeks.

Tha­bile says when pre­par­ing food for your guests, it’s also im­por­tant to know the num­ber of guests you are hav­ing to avoid food short­age. You can al­low your guests to dish up for them­selves. If you fear that your food may run out be­fore every­one has eaten, your guests can tell your what they pre­fer and you can dish up for them to en­sure that the food cov­ers every­one.

HEALTHY AND DE­LI­CIOUS SAL­ADS

Tha­bile says there are sal­ads that will for­ever stay with us but cooks need to be creative and have fun when pre­par­ing sal­ads.

She rec­om­mends green salad as one of the sal­ads you can serve with your meals as it is not only healthy but de­li­cious too.

“Pre­pare your green salad a few hours be­fore the ac­tual event to serve it fresh to your guests. Add red and yel­low pepper to give your green salad colour,” she says. “For a sec­ond op­tion, stokvel ladies can serve beetroot cut into cubes and dressed with a bit of chut­ney.

If you don’t have chut­ney, you can mix your beetroot with onions chopped into small pieces and vine­gar.

Stokvel ladies can also find a va­ri­ety of veg­gies from the food mar­kets at an af­ford­able price.”

A YUMMY DESSERT

Tha­bile says when pre­par­ing your dessert, pre­sen­ta­tion is key. She says if your dessert looks good, your guests will go for it even if they may be full from hav­ing their main course.

She rec­om­mends the dessert in­stead of serv­ing the usual jelly and cus­tard dessert.

“For a bis­cuit dessert, you would need a packet of bis­cuits and 500ml of amasi, 250 whip cream, 125g of in­stant cus­tard pow­der and 45ml of con­densed milk.

“For a beau­ti­ful display, make this dessert in a clear glass bowl. Mix all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether and pour over a layer of crushed bis­cuits. Make an­other layer. Do this un­til all the in­gre­di­ents have been used. Crush one or two bis­cuits for gar­nish­ing. Re­frig­er­ate un­til set and serve,” Tha­bile ad­vises.

She adds that you can serve this dessert in trans­par­ent dessert bowls or wine glasses. This dessert will be an end to a per­fect meal for your stokvel guests.

Cooks need to be creative and have fun when pre­par­ing meals

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