South African food isn’t world renowned, until visitors arrive on our shores and realise what incredible food there is on offer! The abundance of options, incredible flavours and great variety of food styles and tastes is worth celebrating… which formed the idea of this interview series featuring some of the top South African food bloggers and personalities. In Food Fare we profile their foodie faves plus feature one of their favourite South African recipes for you to try making in your own home!
Teresa Ulyate is the passionate foodie behind Cupcakes and Couscous. She has a background in the food industry with a National Diploma in Food and Nutrition and many years of experience in the field. Apart from creating and photographing content for her food blog she is also a freelance recipe developer, magazine contributor and appears regularly on The Expresso Show.
What as the origin of your passion for food?
My love for cooking started at a very young age, and I grew up in a home where our cookies, jam and even our morning muesli were all homemade. I have so many fond childhood memories of baking with my mom, my granny’s made-from-scratch apple pie and custard, marmalade bubbling away on the stove and Monday night roast chicken. I have been cooking and baking ever since!
Why did you start blogging?
Cupcakes and Couscous is a recipe blog and features many old family favourites as well as brand new dishes. I love experimenting in the kitchen and want to share my love for food and inspire my readers to get back into their kitchens with beautiful but accessible new recipes for them to try. It’s always a thrill to hear from somebody who has made and loved one of my recipes, and it’s why I keep on doing what I’m doing!
What is the focus of your blog?
Baking was always my first love but Cupcakes and Couscous includes all sorts of recipes – sweet and savoury, healthy dishes and decadent treats. I share the recipes that I am inspired to create at the time, the common factor being that they are all totally delicious and easy to recreate at home.
What is your must-try South African food for visitors to South African shores?
Gosh, where to start! Meat eating visitors should definitely not leave without trying some biltong and boerewors, and sweet lovers should absolutely sample a traditional koeksister and some peppermint crisp tart. And let’s not forget one of my personal favourites… rooibos tea!
What is YOUR favourite South African food?
With so many different food influences and delicious dishes to choose from in S.A. it’s almost impossible to single out a favourite (although I could not live without my rooibos tea!), but what I love is that we as South Africans are a super friendly bunch who love food and love to entertain! Sharing a delicious meal around the table or a fire together, with some good wine or beer and plenty of laughs… that to me is what it’s all about!
Can you share 1 recipe with Sawubona readers that features a uniquely South African twist?
One of our favourite treat suppers at home is pizza, but have you ever tried making it on the braai?
BRAAI PIZZA (Makes 4 medium pizzas)
Pizza dough base:
½ cup mielie meal
1½ cups plain flour + extra for dusting
1 tsp white sugar
½ tsp salt
10g instant dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
For the tomato sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ tsp chopped rosemary
½ tsp sugar
8 olives, pitted and chopped
250g fresh spinach
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1.) Sift the mielie meal, flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Mix, then stir in the dry yeast.
2.) Stir in the olive oil and enough warm water to make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until soft, smooth and elastic.
3.) Divide the dough into 4 balls. Place on a greased baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes to rise.
4.) While the dough is rising you can prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the crushed garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, sugar, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the chopped olives. Stir well and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce is thick.
5.) Wash and steam the spinach. Allow to cool slightly before squeezing out any excess water and chopping roughly. Add the garlic and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix and set aside.
6.) Dust your work surface with some flour. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball of dough into a circle with a thickness of 4-5mm. Dust both sides of each pizza with some additional flour.
7.) Place the pizza bases directly onto a clean grid over the hot coals. Allow to cook until the base starts to brown. This should only take a few minutes, depending on how hot the coals are.
8.) Carefully flip the pizzas onto a tray, grilled side up. Spread the tomato sauce equally over the pizzas. Sprinkle the spinach over the pizzas and finish by sprinkling half a cup of grated mozzarella over each one.
9.) Carefully slide the pizzas back onto the grid and cook until the base is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Slice and enjoy immediately.