The Boma celebrates its new ‘Heritage Bowl and Braai Menu’

Boma drum workshop
Boma drum workshop
Image: supplied

Heritage day is almost upon us and The Boma in Sardinia Bay has taken inspiration from this celebration of our rich and colourful local culture to launch a brand new Heritage Bowl and Braai Menu.

Rejoicing in SA’s love for the outdoors, The Boma’s rustic architecture with safari chairs around crackling bonfires and fairy lights twinkling in its indigenous trees, provides the perfect environment to enjoy traditional cuisine and festive entertainment.

Its latest offering is being released at exactly the right moment for locals to celebrate the easing of the lockdown and further opening of the economy, in a Covid-friendly outdoor space.

Sweet potato and droëwors soup
UNIQUELY LOCAL: Sweet potato and droëwors soup
Image: SUPPLIED

“Now, more than ever, people want to celebrate,” The Boma owner Sarah Dirsuwei says.

“A festive braai with friends and colleagues is the ideal way to toast the easing of restrictions and the end of a very difficult year.

“We have launched a typically Eastern Cape Heritage Celebration for those wanting to celebrate together in a safe outdoor but undercover environment.”

The menu is the brainchild of The Boma head chef Annelie Oosthuizen (owner of Petronella Craft Foods and Catering), who says the culinary heritage of Port Elizabeth is as rich as it is underrated.

“When we think of South African food we often get stuck at bobotie, samp and beans or braaivleis,” Oosthuizen says.

“But the specific blend of cultures in historical Nelson Mandela Bay, makes for a culinary melting pot that is not found anywhere else in the world.

"The Khoisan, Xhosa, Dutch, Malay, Mfengu, Chinese, Indian and British all brought ingredients and cooking techniques that now make up the Port Elizabeth table.

“We have put together a menu of typically Port Elizabethan finger snacks, mini bowls, desserts and of course our ever popular braai favourites.

All-time favourite, malva pudding, lovingly served by generations of South African mothers to their families
SWEETLY HOMEGROWN: All-time favourite, malva pudding, lovingly served by generations of South African mothers to their families
Image: SUPPLIED

“From proudly Eastern Cape Hong Kong chicken to slow-braised oxtail potjie, chicken biryani, boerewors with chakalaka and umfino and traditional melktert, to mention a few, The Boma’s heritage menu has taken its inspiration from our vibrant rainbow nation and multi-cultural province.

“All our ingredients are locally sourced and prepared in a traditionally delicious way, with a gourmet twist, right in front of our guests.”

The Boma also offers a range of local, traditional entertainment and interactive drumming workshops to round off the heritage celebration.

Dirsuwei says: “We are proud of our beautiful adventure province and thrilled to be sharing the most delicious parts of our cultural heritage with our guests.”

Oosthuizen, who has chosen two dishes for readers to try, tells us about her choices:

1. An original recipe of sweet potato and droëwors soup that was invented by myself and one of my best friends in our early twenties and has become everyone’s favourite.

The recipe was not intentionally created, but purely based on what we had left in the fridge before payday!

South African food is often characterised by using sweet and salty flavour combinations.

I believe it stems from the strong Cape Malay influence in our culinary heritage that has formed the base of so many of our favourite dishes.

The natural sweet flavour of the sweet potato combines very well with the coriander-spiced salty droëwors.

As opposed to traditional European dried sausages (such as Italian salami or German dry worst), droëwors is usually dried quicker in the warm, dry conditions that our wonderful South African climate provides, whereas European dry sausage is dried more slowly and in relatively cold and/or humid conditions.

It also does not contain a curing agent as found in a European cured sausage.

Droëwors, like biltong and rusks, was developed as a way of preserving food for long “treks”.

Most families had their own (well-guarded) recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

It is one of SA’s most famous national culinary treasures and it takes great skill to make!

2. Malva Pudding received its rightful place in the global culinary world as it was one of the signature dishes that contributed to Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s first Michelin Star in 2016 for his South African cooking in France.

But for us mere mortals, malva pudding is home-food, a Sunday treat, lovingly served by generations of South African mothers to their families.

Most believe the dish is named malva pudding after the Afrikaans word malva, meaning marshmallow, referring to the similarities between marshmallows and the pudding’s texture.

It is not a dense pudding like sticky toffee, it is much more spongy and light in texture.

There is a myth that it was named after a woman called Malva, but it could also be that the name stems from the Malvasia wine that was initially part of the recipe.

Recipe 1: Sweet potato and droëwors soup (makes 4 portions)

Ingredients:

800g sweet potato peeled and diced in chunks

100g quality droëwors (you can leave the skin on) cut into 3cm pieces

½ onion chopped

½ teaspoon lemon juice

1l chicken stock

250ml cream

Method: Add all the ingredients, except the cream, into a large pot with the lid on and boil together for 35 minutes until the sweet potato is soft. Put the mixture in a blender and blend until very smooth. Return to pot and stir in the cream. Serve with extra droëwors pieces, fresh roosterkoek, farm butter and green fig preserve.

Recipe 2: Best-ever traditional malva pudding

Ingredients:

Pudding:

250ml sugar

2 eggs

30ml apricot jam

30ml butter

5ml vinegar

125ml milk

310ml cake flour

5ml bicarbonate soda

1ml salt

Sauce:

250ml sugar

2 eggs

30ml apricot jam

30ml butter

5ml vinegar

125ml milk

310ml cake flour

5ml bicarbonate soda

1ml salt

250ml fresh cream

125ml butter

125ml brown sugar

125ml water

5ml vanilla essence

Method: Pudding: Heat the oven to 180°C. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the apricot jam. Melt butter in a small pot on medium heat and add the vinegar and milk. Sift the flour, bicarb and salt together and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Pour into a deep round dish or an ovenproof casserole dish that takes about 2l. Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

Sauce: Bring the butter, cream, sugar and water to the boil and simmer. Add vanilla essence, stirring all the time for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove. Pour over the hot baked pudding. Serve with custard and ice-cream.  — Sarah Dirsuwei — The Boma sarah@theplantation.co.za/084 619-2695

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