Plantation Banana Custard

This dish goes back to colonial day and while that time has gone so of those dishes live on and this is one of those. Again, this has been done by Keith Floyd and many others. There is very little to say about this dish other than enjoy.

Ingredients – serves 6

3 eggs yolks
25g Doves Farm Plain Flour
25g Brown sugar
¾ cup of milk
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 bananas

1. Mix together the egg yolks, flour, brown sugar together is a bowl
2. Heat the milk and the vanilla bean paste to allow the vanilla to infuse into the milk
3. Slowly add the hot milk to the flour. Do this a tablespoon at a time. If you do this quickly the eggs will cook too soon. Whisk all the while until the milk is fully incorporated
4. Line a metal muffin tin with silicone muffin/cupcake cases.
5. Lay slices of banana at the bottom of each muffin case
6. Pour on the custard mix until ¾ full
7. Then top each custard with some more banana slices
8. Put in the oven at 200 degrees. At 10 minutes in, top with a little brown sugar and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
9. Eat as they are or

First Fast

Alhumdulilah last night we completed the first fast of the blessed month of Ramadan insh‘Allah all our fasts and prayers will be accepted.

Yesterday suddenly seemed very hot, in fact so much hotter than normal. Each time I was outside, I would come back in feeling burnt. It felt so strange that it was actually both hot in the morning and in the late afternoon. If it wasn’t Ramadan I doubt I would have been so aware of the heat. Without a doubt I would have gone and bought myself a few ice cold drinks to cool me down.

Alhumdulilah we are so fortunate to go for a day without food or drink knowing what we will eat in the evening, knowing that we can choose what we want. My heart aches when I think about the people starving right now. The stories of the people in the Horn of Africa are dire, may we keep them in our duas and may Allah(swt) rain his mercy down on them, send them rain, food and shelter. Until then insh’Allah please give generously.

Chakalaka with Mealie Pap

Starvation and poverty is a very real problem and yet Ramadan is a time when people normally eat at more dinner parties than normal and as such consume food which is much heavier than normal on a daily basis. As I write this the news is on in the background and a Somali woman tells her story of walking for 30 days in search of food, fighting bandits, fighting off rapists and burying babies and children along the way. Subhan’Allah Ramadan is 30 days long and most of can’t even imagine going for casual walks while we are fasting with the promise of food at the end of the day let alone walking until we find food. I pray insh’Allah that Allah(swt) grants those affected by the drought safety, food, shelter, medicine, water and most of all the ability to self sustain and not be dependent on others.

Eating to excess is not good for the body nor is this good for those who have less than we do. Inshallah this Ramadan I intend for my family to have Chakalaka and Mealie Pap once to remind us that others are not as fortunate as us and others. I’ll be honest and tell you that this caused a discussion in my household. My husband’s view being that by having this meal in Ramadan we weren’t changing anything, nor were we doing anything to affect poverty away from our dinning table. I, however, disagree. I feel that just by having the discussion we were doing something. Inshallah the intention is for us to give the money that we would have spent on meat directly to a charity. Inshallah it is something and frankly that has to be better than stuffing ourselves when there really is no need.

Sura Al-A’raf “…and eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance, certainly (He) Allah likes not Al-Musrifun (Those who waste by extravagance)” (7:31)

Chakalaka may sound like a Bollywood song (Shakalaka baby) however, the origins of this meal lie in the townships of Soweto in South Africa. Traditionally this meal was a meal of poverty, a meal made of odds and ends to feed a family of many. Nowadays Chakalaka has been elevated to the tables of well-to-do South Africans as a spicy barbeque relish to be eaten on the side rather like cold spicy baked beans.

When I first saw this recipe something became very apparent to me – everyone has their very own chakalaka recipe. It just doesn’t have such a fantastic name! It’s the dish I make when I can’t be bothered to think too much about what to cook, when I want us all to eat the same thing and I am sure you have one too. Made with odds and ends it remains true to its township origins. I used things I normally have in my fridge. For this to be truly authentic I would suggest replacing the vegetables for those that you normally use. Please remember there are no rights and wrongs with the Chakalaka…go with the flow, do what you feel is right and please remember to have the discussion while you eat!

In a little OIL fry an onion with some peeled and chopped GARLIC and GINGER. Once they have gone translucent add 1 teaspoon of GARAM MASALA, TUMERIC, 2 chopped CHILLIES, 1 chopped CARROT, 2 chopped PEPPERS, 1 tin of BUTTER BEANS (drained and washed), 1 TIN OF TOMATOES, gently stir and allow to simmer for about 7 mins before adding SALT and PEPPER to taste and any green herbs that you may have to hand. Serve with mealie pap or rice or pasta.