Curry Oxtail Potjie

We have made an Oxtail Potjie before. Its like a stew but made in a big South African black pot (which we call a "potjie"). Its done over a few flames to allow it to simmer for a few hours and is really great for using the meaty cuts that love a slow roast. I love the oxtail version that just work great but you can even do a chicken one that takes only an hour.

But I just had to add this great recipe. I must apologize for the photos: it was dark, the people were hungry and they started eating, so I didn't have much time or space to do a proper photo. Usually we serve rice with a stew or "potjie" like this but since this was a curry based stew, I added bread and Naan to dip in the delicious sauce! This was such a success we will be making it again and again!

What you need:

  • 3 x packets oxtail (I use Woolworths as theirs are already prepared)
  • 2 x stock pots or stock cubes (I used Knorr)
  • 1 x small can tomato paste
  • 1 x can butter beans rinsed
  • 2 x onions chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 cup hot curry powder
  • 100ml curry paste (any kind you fancy)
  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  •  2 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 3x garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 4 x potatoes chopped into big cubes or a bunch of mini potatoes, sliced in half
  •  3 x carrots chopped into big rings
  • 3 x sweet potatoes chopped into big cubes
  • 3 tsp maize meal/mazina/thickening agent
  • Butter or oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Boiling water

What to do:

  1. Get the coals ready for a steady heat. 
  2. If you are not using Woolworths then clean the meat by quickly rinsing it under water and removing the fattiest sections. Pat dry before browning.
  3. In a big black 'poitjie kos'-pot (a cast iron pot) add enough butter/oil to brown the meat. Do this in batches if your pot is too small.
  4. When the meat is browned, remove the meat and add the onions.
  5. Then add all the spices, mixed herbs, bay leaves, garlic, chilli flakes and curry paste.
  6. Keep stirring until the onions are browned and everything is fragrant. 
  7. Add the meat back.
  8.  In a big measuring jug, add the stock pots, tomato paste and hot water, stir until dissolved. Add it to the pot.
  9. Take another measuring jug filled with hot water and keep it next to the pot.
  10.  Add enough of the water to almost cover the meat. 
  11. Allow it to simmer for about 4 hours (you can reduce the cooking time to 2 hours but the meat might be tough by the end of the cooking process). 
  12.  Stir occasionally and ensure that the pot doesn't cook dry. Add more water if needed.
  13. After about 4 hours of simmering, taste the sauce. If it's not spicy enough add ore curry powder (but not too much!)
  14. Add the potato, sweet potato, carrots and beans to the pot. 
  15.  Continue to simmer for about and 1 to 1 and a 1/2 hours until the potatoes are cooked through.
  16.  Add the coconut cream to the pot.
  17. Mix the mazina/thickening agent with a little water and stir until smooth.
  18. Slowly add it to the pot while stirring continuously in small circles. Stir through the whole pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  19. Serve with rice and/or bread, naan, chutney or whatever you usually have with your curry.
  20. Enjoy!


Cohen Diet - Chicken Sandwich

I am loving the roasted onions and peppers and I am basically adding it to everything except my yoghurt! By roasting the veggies you are bringing out their sweetness and by adding garlic and fresh coriander you are also adding some serious flavour.

I start every week by measuring out 5 days' worth of onion and peppers that amounts to about 50% of my allotted vegetable portion for lunch. I weigh it all before I cook, then I weigh it again after the cooking process to account for volume loss. I then divide it by 5 and just add a fresh vegetable for the other 50% (either lettuce and tomatoes or in this case a cucumber, sliced). This makes meal preparation each morning very easy.

For this sandwich I steamed my chicken and shredded it once cooked. Added 1 tsp of mayonnaise, fresh coriander and salt and pepper. I added my portion of prepared onions and peppers (which I diced a bit) and mixed it all. I do this the night before so the flavours can develop. For the rest of my vegetables I included some cucumber batons. Quick and delicious!


Cohen Diet Friendly Stirfry Dinner

Being on a diet and attending dinner outside of the controlled confines of your home can be daunting. It seems like you are defeating your good intentions merely by opening the front door. But sometimes it merely is a state of mind.

I was recently invited to a "do-it-yourself" stir fry evening. I must say this is a brilliant idea if you are entertaining a bunch of people who all have different dietary requirements and want to eat at different times. Basically you prepare a protein and some veggies and a starch (here it was rice but egg noodles work just as good) and a couple of sauces. Allow each person to select what they want to eat and have a designated cook stand by with the gas grill to fry it all up.

I chose the mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, onions and patty-pans with some sliced steak. As I wasn't going first I didn't add any sauces as the residual sauces on the grill helped. I added some vinegar though for taste. I wasn't sure about my portions so I uses a small plate.

The food was so good that I didn't mind skipping the rice! So next time, look at what is available and what you can eat instead of only focusing on what you can't.


Cohen Diet Meal Prep and Dinner for Hubby in One Step

Don't these look great? And they were so tasty too. All this while doing my weekly meal prep for my diet. I decided I am not making 2 completely different meals, I will just add some carbs and fat to Hubby and the Little One's meals instead.

So how do I meal prep? Well, easy actually. I measure out my lunch ingredients, cook it, weigh it again (to account for loss while cooking) and divide it up for the whole week. Then I can just add the ingredients in my lunch box and go. I prepared my chicken by cooking 500g of copped chicken breast with paprika and fresh coriander and some lemon juice.

Then I did the same with onions, peppers (are supposed to use green peppers but waste not want not) and some tomatoes. I added garlic, chili and fresh coriander with a splash of vinegar. Cooked until caramelised and weighed again.

For Hubby's dinner I took a small wholewheat tortilla which I spread with cream cheese and some avocado. I topped it with some chicken and onion mixture. I added 3 slices mozzarella and some fresh leaves and another tortilla. I fried it in a frying pan until crispy then flipped it around to cook on the other side. Make sure the cheese is melted before removing. Slice like a pizza and enjoy! 

I enjoyed my chicken and onion mixture on 2 cracker breads with some mayonnaise.

Quick and easy and enough lunches for the whole week!


Cohen Diet lunch - the steak sandwich again

I just had to share this photo. I made a big helping of the onions and peppers and had some leftover steak so I had this again. This steak sandwich is so good that even Hubby loved it.

Try it and let me know what you think?