Cape Town Day 3: Mzoli’s!!

03 May 2015

Today, we had a cheerio with Lena who (after 9 months of travelling!!) is finally returning to her family in Luxembourg. So for our final activity, we went on a Free Tour of Cape Town.

As we had already discovered in the Slavery Museum yesterday, Cape Town has a dark and fascinating history and has made significant social growth in the short time since apartheid rule has thankfully been defeated. I was particularly interested in the benches outside the Cape Town courthouse

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I’ll never be able to comprehend the logic (or lack, thereof) that was applied here.

Finally though, after wishing Lena a fond farewell, Sofia, Tilly and I ventured out to a Cape Town Township of Guguleta to visit a whispered about area for lunch called Mzoli’s.

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Spicy Rhododendron Chutney

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After learning of an edible flower indigenous to the Himachal region of India that blooms only from January to March, I couldn’t resist taking a bag-load back to my Palampur hostel, and trying my luck at being shown a local spicy chutney recipe made from this flower. This suggestion was welcomed with great enthusiasm, all the team were very excited that their dinner would have the special chutney alongside it, and were keen to show me the ropes!

This is not something that can be bought in shops anywhere, not even hear. It is made in Himachal homes and no where else, so I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity, not only to try it, but also to make it! Here’s how it’s done…

Ingredients

  • A good bunch of Rhododendron flowers
  • 4 cloves of raw garlic, peeled
  • 4 raw green chilllis
  • A pinch and a bit of fresh corriander
  • A teaspoon of chilli powder
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • One  lemon
  • A tablespoon of water

Go eat flowers.

1. Remove the petals from the flowers and place them to one side

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2. Place the coriander and chillis into a blender and blitz into a paste

3.. Add the garlic and chilli powder. Blitz.

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4.. Add the flowers, salt and water. Blitz.

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5.. Finally the juice of one lemon. Blitz.

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Mmmmm

 This was really delicious. I’ve never tasted anything even remotely like it, which is exciting as I can’t remember the last time a flavour felt this new to me, but also gutting as it was so tasty but replicating it will never be possible! I’ve thought and thought, and the closest thing I can put the flavour of these petals to is a combination of grapefruit and plumb, but richer and not as sharp. Combine that with a chilli kick and a garlicky cuddle, and you have a taste sensation! IF you are ever in the Himacha region of India over January/March, you must force the opportunity to try this spicy chutney! It’s zinglicious!

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With due thanks to Sunil in Palampur, for showing me how it’s done and making my taste buds so very very happy!

The Timeless ‘Bel Cream Maker’

Well I have to say, I’ve had a delightful birthday! I have been spoiled rotten by all my friends and family and fed till I can barely breathe! Dinner with Stephen Wednesday, Colin Thursday, parents Friday, them plus sister and brother in law Saturday and got the grandparents involved today. Not to mention an early birthday dinner with my friends Adele and Charlotte on the 10th! I’m exhausted.

What I loved about today, was not just the food and family, but that I got the opportunity to play with a really cool toy I got for Christmas- The Bel Cream Maker!

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Who better to teach me how to use this than my brilliant Grandmother. Every Christmas, my Grandma has cooked up the world’s greatest Christmas pudding based on a recipe founded by her own Grandmother (a recipe, I’m afraid, that is far too secret and special to ever appear on this blog) and to go with this Christmas pudding- homemade cream in The Bel Cream Maker.

These aren’t made anymore, and haven’t been for years. In fact, I once saw one in The London Natural History Museum! But if you want to have a go at this recipe, you shouldn’t struggle to find one second hand on eBay. Just make sure it has all the parts! I managed to bag one once for just 99p… unfortunately it was missing the valve- the most essential component to making your delicious cream.

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