Food Fare: South African Food with Flaire – Zola Nene


CAPE TOWN EDITOR-AT-LARGE of Eat Out magazine Zola Nene has become a force on the South African culinary scene.

Zola Nene shows us once again why simple is better when in comes to food in her latest cookbook Simply Zola: The Journey Continues which was released last month. Continuing on with the theme of simplicity from her bestseller Simply Delicious, Nene shows us yet again that food doesn’t have to be pretentious or difficult to be good.

According to Nene, ‘Curry is always a winner as a one-pot meal, but this one is extra special because it combines the sweet-savoury flavours of bobotie and the spicy, pungent notes of a curry in one magical dish.’

Here’s her take on a traditional Western Cape dish, bobotie.



60ml milk
125ml dried or fresh breadcrumbs
500g beef mince
½ onion, grated
1 egg
45ml sultanas, chopped
45 ml chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper to taste
30ml oil

½ onion, grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
15ml ginger paste
30ml mild curry powder
15ml tomato paste
45ml fruit chutney
1 x 400g can coconut milk
30ml chopped fresh coriander

  1. Pour the milk onto the breadcrumbs and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mince, onion, egg, sultanas, coriander, seasoning and the soaked breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 12 balls with your hands. Refrigerate the meatballs for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs; make sure not to move them around too much otherwise they will break up. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. To the same pan, add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, ginger paste, curry powder, tomato paste and chutney, then stir into the onions and fry for a minute.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, return the meatballs to the pan, check the seasoning and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander before serving.
  5. Serve with rice or rotis.

SIMPLY ZOLA The Journey Continues
Zola’s new book, published by Struik Lifestyle, is on sale at leading bookstores nationwide.
R250 (recommended retail price)



  1. UPPER BLOEM: I love that the restaurant is an ode to Cape Malay culture – all the food on the menu is amazing, but my favourite is definitely the smoked snoek croquettes with pickled onion.
  2. OSTERIA TARANTINO: This small family-run Italian restaurant is so cosy and welcoming, and the pasta is just moreish. The 4 Ps Pasta (named after the main ingredients pappardelle, pecorino, prosciutto and porcini) is so comforting and so delicious!
  3. SWAN CAFÉ: The quaint little crêperie in the heart of the CT city centre serves the thinnest and most delicious sweet crêpes and savoury galettes. My favourite is the salted caramel crêpe – I’m a sucker for pancakes and caramel sauce and this is exactly that, just with a sophisticated touch.
  4. BETWEEN US: Not only is the space simply stunning and totally Instagrammable, but the food is equally gorgeous and totally delectable. My favourite item on the menu is the creamy oat porridge with honeycomb, cashew butter and fruit compote… and before you roll your eyes at me for gushing about porridge, trust me, it’s worth the praise – so YUM!
  5. EL BURRO: The Mexican food trend is slowly fizzling out, but I still love the food (and drinks) at El Burro. Besides the delicious margaritas, my favourite item on the menu has to be the corn esquites. Delicious sweet corn kernels dressed with parmesan, lime juice and coriander – I could eat bowls and bowls of it!

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