“Daddy, what are you preparing? “, asked Ava. “A recipe from Zimbabwe darling. Do you know where Zimbabwe is?”, I replied in a pontificating way.
“Sure daddy, it’s next to Botswana! ” Is there anything left I can teach this girl who is not even 5 yet ? Well, fortunately, I asked her what the capital of Zimbabwe was and she had no clue ! We haven’t explored the South African region so far. Quite different from the rest of the African continent, the cuisine from this region is characterized by its variety inspired by indigenous, Europeans and Asians.
For this stop, I did not choose to go with traditional national dishes but rather recipes that I found on Rumbie’s cooking blog, a food aficionado from Zimbabwe. Next time we’ll stop in Zimbabwe, I will gladly cook more traditional dishes such as sadza, essential staple from Zimbabwe which consists of cornmeal.
Delele or derere, which means okra in the local language, is also the name of the dish with this vegetable. Often accompanied with sadza, I decided to serve delele with “mince”, a very simple and quick recipe with ground beef that was also inspired by Rumbie and other recipes gleaned on the web.
This is the first time I use okra other than in a stew, like the famous Tunisian Gnaouia. It will probably not be the last time I fry them as it gives them a different texture which is a little less gooey and very tasty. However, I’ve also added fried onions and even though I enjoyed the taste the onions provided, I think they made the fried okras a little soggy. I have also added a blend of spices that gave them an exquisite taste. Do not hesitate to innovate with spices!
For the “mince” recipe, I used allspice, a spice that Vera already featured in her cod blaff. I also used cardamom seeds and yellow curry powder.
- 1 lb okra
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- ½ onion , diced (optional)
- A blend of spices (salt, wild black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper)
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1½ lb beef
- 1 onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 5 tomatoes (peeled, canned), diced
- ½ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 4 whole allspice berries , ground (or 1 teaspoon ground allspice)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds , ground
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 2 potatoes
Cut okras into 1/4-inch slices after discarding the ends of the vegetable. Season the okras with the spice blend, then drench them into the flour.
Beat 4 eggs. Dip okras in eggs. Heat the oil over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough, dip the okras one by one in the oil. Deep fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until okras are golden.
Remove the okras from the oil bath and place them in a dish covered with paper towels. Season with spice blend as soon as they are out of the oil.
When all the okras are fried, fry the onions in the same oil for 3-4 minutes until they are golden. Remove the onions and mix with okras.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Add the ground beef. Cook and stir for at least 8-10 minutes. Add spices (curry, allspice, cardamom). Mix and add the tomatoes and peas. Continue until the meat is cooked.
Separately, prepare mashed potatoes to serve with mince.