My sister Tarisai is the one who introduced me to Magwinya. We used to live in South of Joburg so everyday on our way to work she would stop by the store right opposite Bree taxi rank in Joburg cbd and get 2 or 3 freshly cooked gwinyas. I on the other hand would tell her the dangers of buying food in spaza shops until one day I gave in to the smell and ate 1. That was the beginning of my gwinya love journey and also the beginning of my weight gain. If there is anything i have learnt, its that all delicious things need to be eaten in moderation. Over the years i have tried to replicate making magwinyas from scratch but its been a nightmare. The problems ranging from burnt dough to nasty tasting ones, until i tried Cheroldines recipe and it was a hit. I obviously cut the recipe in half but all was well.


  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3 table spoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast
  • 3/4cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

1. In a stand mixer, with the dough hook attachment on, combine all dry ingredients together.

2. Slowly add water and let the dough knead for about 10 minutes until it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. If you are doing it by hand, knead the dough for about 15 minutes.

3. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with damp kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place. I usually place it in the oven or microwave.

4. About 5-10 minutes before the dough is ready, heat vegetable oil in a pot.

5. With your hands lightly oiled, lift a part of the dough and squeeze it between your thumb and index finger to form a ball and place it into the hot oil. This is how you achieve a perfectly round shape.

6. Fry in hot oil in batches. In most cases the vetkoek will turn itself as it gets lighter at the bottom while cooking. Remove with slotted spoon.

Tip: When frying the second batch, turn your heat down to medium to avoid magwinya from burning

Queen cakes

Queen cakes

Nothing beats the smell of queen cakes on a Wednesday morning. That crack in the middle is a sure promise that these would be delicious.

Queen cakes are a fervent reminder of my childhood. Not that I used to eat them all the time but on rare occasions my mum would buy these at ok/tm and they were delicious. Now I am not going to lie and say my recipe surpassed that of OK supermarket but they were somewhat close. Here is the recipe:


  • 125g Stork Bake
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp candied peel/grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp currants
  • 2 to 3 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Lightly grease muffin trays or line them with paper cupcake cases.
  3. In a large bowl, beat Stork Bake until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  5. Beat in the eggs gradually, one at a time.
  6. In another bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Mix salt, candied peel/lemon rind and currants in the flour.
  7. Fold the flour into the creamed mix.
  8. Stir in the milk. The mixture should be of dropping consistency.
  9. Spoon the mix into the prepared muffin tray/paper cases and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Happy cooking!!!!

Celebrating Africa day with Manhuchu

Celebrating Africa day with Manhuchu

Let me put this out there: I am not a fan of Manhuchu. The year 2007 I was in boarding school in Zimbabwe and bread was replaced by Manhuchu. We started adding all sorts of things to make this meal bearable, from peanut butter to sugar and sometimes jam. Yes jam in samp, I kid you not. Hard times indeed. Fast forward 2015, I got married to someone who is into his traditional food and had to embrace samp in my life again. I have had to come up with clever ways of cooking it and so far its been a hit in my home.

Saturday was Africa day and so I decided a nice traditional meal would be great. I then opted for Samp with peanut sauce, oxtail and a crispy garden salad. 

Samp Ingredients

  • Samp
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Peanut Butter

MethodAdd samp and water to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours

Add samp and water to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours

After its cooked, wash it thoroughly and put in a pot, add a bit of water and let it simmer

Add peanut butter and mix

For the Oxtail, I use this recipe.

I then added an easy salad, a mix of crispy greens and some sliced avocado. Loved it. This was a very delicious meal and the oxtail tied the flavours altogether very well.


Chicken stir fry

Chicken stir fry

What do you do when you are coming from work, tired and very hungry? You look for anything in your fridge and make tasty stir fry but if you are like me and your fridge is often empty then you definitely pass through Tesco and get all your ingredients. This took me 30 minutes to prepare and was totally worth it. Here is the recipe:


  • 1 packet baby corn
  • 250g chicken breakfast
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • I/2 punnet of mushroom
  • 1 packet of mangetout peas
  • red pepper and green pepper
  • chicken stock (I used a stock pot)
  • olive oil


  1. warm olive oil and add chicken strips and fry until golden brown
  2. add the baby corn, mangetout peas , sliced mushroom as well as the pepper. fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce and then add the chicken stock
  4. Reduce the heat and let it simmer
  5. Serve with basmati rice or cauliflower rice and a salad of your choice.


Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

This is my first Easter since we moved here and i am BORED! Timmy is at work the whole holiday and i have nothing else to do because 1. I have no money 2. I have no friends/family here. Yesterday the only thing on my mind was camping, fishing and some braai. Agh the fun times in South Africa. How i miss SA, the good weather and seeing black people everywhere and the ubuntu. Anyway out of my boredom i decided to make hot cross buns and tbh i just followed the Tangzhong recipe and added the necessary spices. I did cut the recipe in half because its for 2 people. These were light and very soft and i did enjoy a hot cup of green tea with them.

3 and 3/4 cup all purpose/ plain or bread flour
1tsp of salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ground cloves
4tbs melted butter
4tbs sugar
2tsp instant yeast
1cup luke warm milk

1 cup raisins

Flour/water mixture (roux/Tangzhong)
1/3cup flour
1cup water


1. Start by making the roux, in a small pot mix 1/3flour and 1cup water then heat the mixture on medium heat and stir continuously until it forms a thick mixture. Remove from heat and mix thoroughly the mixture until it looks smooth and sticky as shown in the picture. Leave the mixture to completely cool to room temperature and set aside for later use.

2. In a bowl put 3 and 1/2 cups flour, add salt, sugar, yeast, spices and mix. Make a well in the centre and add melted butter, lukewarm milk, egg. Mix well.

3. Add the roux ( that flour paste) to the dough mixed in step
2 and mix well. Add  the rains. Using the remaining 1/4 cup flour dust the surface regularly as you knead the dough for 15mins. Add a little more flour if its too thin. The dough is very sticky so add a little flour on the surface as you knead until it looks smooth and elastic.

4. Put a tsp of cooking oil in a clean bowl and put the dough, roll it over to completely coat it with oil then cover with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel, put in a warm place and allow to rise for about 1hr. ( I switch on my oven 2-3mins then off to create a warm environment for the dough to rise)

5. Punch the dough and knead about 1min on a floured surface to remove all air bubbles. Divide the dough into 12 and shape into tight balls and place them in greased 9x13inch deep baking pan. Dust your hands with a little flour on shaping to prevent any stickiness.
6. Place the little balls about 1.5-2cm apart and cover the pan with greased plastic wrap to prevent buns from sticking on it after rising or cover with a damp clean kitchen towel. Put the buns in a warm place again and allow to rise again about 30mins. For the crosses just add flour and water, mix then put in a piping bag and pipe out the crosses

7. Preheat oven to 400F or about 200C and bake for about 15mins or until nicely browned.
8. As soon as they come out of oven brush with sugar water syrup to glaze.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

On Monday i was walking from the city centre back to the office, minding my business, munching on some McD’s fries when i noticed a book store. Not too eager to go back to work, i decided to pop in and check it out and you all know i went straight for the cookbooks section. I picked up 30 minutes meals and lo and behold the recipe for chicken adobo. What drew me to the recipe was the few ingredients most which were already in my pantry (what a joke🙄). Anyway here is the recipe


  • 1 kg chicken preferably chicken thighs/ drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • I teaspoon peppercorns
  • Sunflower oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf


  • In a bowl add the chicken and mix the soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bayleaf and the vinegar then let it marinate for 3 hours
  • After 3 hours fry the chicken for about 2 minutes then add the sauce
  • Reduce heat and let it simmer
  • Serve with rice and enjoy
Samp and Oxtail

Samp and Oxtail

I bought a slow cooker on Friday and you best believe I spent the weekend making slow cooked dishes. On Saturday I slow cooked the samp and on Sunday I slow cooked the oxtail. In all enerst I was a bit annoyed that Timmy bought 1kg packet of samp for £4 considering I would have bought in SA for R9 which is about 50pence. I am still trying to wrap my head around these prices for African food but I guess lets indulge.

I will be honest, I am not a fan of samp. I ate samp every day of my boarding school year in 2007 and I vowed I would never eat it again. Fast forward a few years later I found myself cooking samp mainly because Timmy loves samp. I have had to look for different ways to cook it and yesterday I decided to add spice for rice and boy was it yummy. Here is the recipe:

Oxtail Recipe

  • Packet of oxtail
  • 3 robot peppers (green, red yellow
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Royco hearty  beef soup
  • 3 carrots cut in chunky pieces
  • 1 teaspoon barbeque spice
  • 2 celery stalks cut in big pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper/ birds eye chilli (this is optional if you really like hot food)


  1. Take the oxtail and add salt, pepper and barbeque spice. Fry until golden brown
  2. Add the fried oxtail into the slow cooker, add enough water to cover the oxtail and let it cook on low for 6 hours or 3 hours on high. I like to do 2 ½ hours on low and 11/2 on high.
  3. Halfway through cooking add the chunky vegetables (carrots and celery) you can add any other vegetables you like.
  4. Once the time is up, take a pot and fry some onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes as well as the oxtail and the chunky vegies
  5. Stir in the hearty beef soup and add stock from the slow cooker
  6. Let it simmer on low heat for 15 mins or until its ready to serve.

Samp Recipe

Slow cook the samp on low for 5 hours, dependant on the quantity. Once its done, rinse the samp, transfer it to a pot and add the spice for rice. Simmer on low heat until all water is drained.

Serve with oxtail and your favourite salad.


Easy cheesy burger

Easy cheesy burger

Oh hello there my good friends as well as my neglected blog. Its been long, 3 months to be exact. Well i have a big bag of excuses including moving over 8500 miles away from home and trying to settle down in this new country. On Saturday i decided to make some easy cheesy burgers because a) date night b) i didn’t want to break my bank. This meal was super easy to make and also so damn delicious. Here is the recipe:

Serves 2


  • 2 hamburger buns
  • 4 beef patties
  • 2 eggs
  • Onions
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mayo
  • Any hot sauce you like, i used the nandos vusa
  • Cooking oil of your choice
  • Cheddar cheese or any cheese that you like


First cut the onions into ringlets

Add the 4 patties to a pan with oil. Make sure the pan is hot. Cook the patties to your desired level and when they are almost done, add a slice of cheese on top of each patty

While the patties are cooking, crack 2 whole eggs in a separate pan. Cook up to desired level and set aside.

In a separate pan/pot cook the onion rings until translucent.

To make the burger sauce i mixed equal parts tomato sauce, mayonnaise and the nandos sauce. I cut the rolls in half and placed them in the pan to toast them.

After toasting the buns i removed from the pan, added a nice layer of the sauce, added the cheesy patties, egg and then onions. I then added a layer of sauce and the bun. This meal was served with crispy potato wedges that were so delicious. This meal took me less than 30 minutes to make and will definitely be going into my book as a go to.