Celebrating National Braai Day with Cape Herb & Spice

Words: Crush

National Braai Day

South Africa is certainly a rainbow nation, celebrating widespread diversity crossing race, language, culture, region and religion. However, despite our differences, we are widely known for a single, simple unifying practice whenever the need to celebrate arises…we light fires! Some say it’s in our blood, and whilst the names and ingredients may differ, this common practice inspires a variety of proudly colourful and equally as flavourful cuisines. All South Africans are encouraged to unite around fires on Heritage Day, also known as National Braai Day, sharing our heritage and waving our flag!

In the spirit of National Braai Day, we have spiced, skewered and salivated our way to providing you with the ultimate braai day feast offering something for everyone… where the secret (we believe) is in the spice! Happy Heritage Day to one and all.

National Braai Day Recipes With Cape Herb & Spice

Braaied Mealies with Spicy Toasted Cashew Butter

National Braai Day

If it can be done on a braai, it goes on the braai. That’s our motto for our Heritage Day ‘super braai’. Mealies (corn on the cob) done on the braai is always a winner. There are two schools of thought when it comes to braaiing mealies. Some folks place them straight on the braai. However, this can lead to mealies that are quite dry. Our trick to perfect braaied mealies that are both smokey and juicy is to give them a bit of a head start in a pot of boiling water and then finish them on the coals.

These mealies beg for a knob of butter. And since its Braai Day we’re not just serving any old butter. No, we’re upping the ante with spicy toasted cashew nut butter.

Braaied Mealies with Spicy Toasted Cashew Butter

Cashew nuts
Salted butter, at room temperature
Cape Herb & Spice Chipotle Chilli Seasoning
Olive oil or melted salted butter

What to do

Place cashew nuts on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 150˚C until golden brown – then remove from the oven and roughly chop the nuts. Use a fork to work the nuts and a generous sprinkling of the Cape Herb & Spice Chipotle Chilli Seasoning into the butter. Place in the fridge to firm up.

Place the mealies (leaves and all) in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, allow mealies to cool and peel back the leaves. Remove the silky strands. You could also remove the leaves, but we love the aesthetic of keeping the leaves on. Brush the mealies with olive oil or salted melted butter and place on the braai. Once you have a lovely char, they’re ready to come off. Serve with the spicy toasted cashew butter.

Piri Piri Prawns on the Braai

National Braai Day

These piri-piri prawn skewers for the braai need only three words to describe them: plump, pink, perfection. You can of course thread numerous smaller prawns sideways onto skewers, but during the month we celebrate our favourite national pastime, why not indulge a bit?

Think Mozambican prawns and track down the fattest beasties you can find for your piri-piri seafood braai.  A quick bath in olive oil, parsley and loads of Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli Seasoning and onto wooden skewers and a hot fire they go. Sticking the prawns on a stick is just the perfect way to braai them because you don’t need any tongs to flip them over! All these gems of the sea ask for is a cheeky little spicy garlic lemon butter for dipping.

Piri Piri Prawns on the Braai

For The Prawns

12 XL prawns
Extra virgin olive oil
A handful of chopped flatleaf parsley
1 minced clove of garlic
2 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli Seasoning

For The Spicy Garlic Lemon Butter

125g butter
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli Seasoning
1 minced clove of garlic

What To Do

De-vein the prawns by cutting open their backs, starting at the head and finishing at the tail. (Cook’s tip: A small pair of sharp scissors works way better here than a knife.) Lift out the vein, rinse the prawns and pat dry. Drizzle prawns generously with olive oil, add 2 tablespoons Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli Seasoning, the parsley and minced clove of garlic. Toss, then cover and place in the fridge for an hour. Thread the prawns onto wooden skewers (soaked in water for 10 minutes to prevent them catching) and place on a hot braai.

To make the garlic lemon butter, combine all the ingredients in a small enamel dish or any other metal container and place it on the edge of the braai to slowly melt and infuse.

Serve the braaied prawns with a generous drizzle of garlic lemon butter and with extra on the side.

Curried Lamb Sosaties on the Braai

National Braai Day

We thought long and hard about the meat we’ll be serving for our Heritage Day braai feast. Would it be a whole fillet of beef? Perhaps a braaied chicken flattie? But in the end we knew we had no choice, it just had to be that South African classic – curried lamb sosaties.

Fabulously generous chunks of prime Karoo (of course!) lamb is lovingly marinated overnight in a tangy sweet and sour curry sauce. Then onto sosatie sticks the lamb goes along with pickling onions, dried apricots or peaches and bay leaves. This is not just a sosatie. It’s a ‘supersatie’.

For serving, have a bit of Braai Day fun with a play on a tabletop hibachi grill. Place bay leaves in the bottom of an enamel ‘skottel’ and dot a few odourless tealights in between. Place a braai grid over it and place the sosaties on it. It’s festive Braai Day fun and has the added benefit of keeping the sosaties warm.

Curried Lamb Sosaties on the Braai

For The Marinade

1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 Tbs Cape Herb & Spice Garam Masala Curry Blend
½ cup brown vinegar
¼ cup fine apricot jam
2 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
Vegetable oil, for frying

For The Sosaties

1 kg lamb cubes
Small pickling onions, peeled
Dried apricots or peaches, soaked in lukewarm water for 10 minutes
Fresh bay leaves (optional)

What To Do

To make the marinade, fry the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until soft. Add the garlic, Cape Herb & Spice Garam Masala Curry Blend and ginger and fry over a gentle heat for a further minute. Add the vinegar, jam and bay leaves and stir until the jam has dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Pour marinade over the lamb cubes, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. Thread the lamb cubes onto sosatie sticks along with pickling onions, dried apricots or peaches and bay leaves. Lightly salt them before they go on the braai. As the marinade contains sugar, it’s important to braai these sosaties over relatively cool coals.

Mushroom and Haloumi Rosemary Skewers with Crostini

National Braai Day

We’re lighting fires all over the place this month. Yes folks, it’s time to braai! Meat is inevitably the star at these gatherings, but the veggie folks deserve some love too. Drum roll for the humble mushroom. The ‘meaty’ denseness of these brilliant fungi makes them the perfect vegetarian braai alternative. Earthy and complex, they’re super just as they are. But add braaied halloumi and garlicky braaied crostini and you have a complete meal that even the most dedicated carnivores will covet.

Mushroom and Halloumi Rosemary Skewers with Crostini

Mixture of exotic mushrooms (think portobello, shiitake, porcini and oyster)
Extra virgin olive oil
Cape Herb & Spice Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning
Halloumi cheese, cut into large cubes
Rosemary sprigs, stripped with leaves left only at the top
Day-old baguette or ciabatta, sliced
Garlic cloves
Rocket leaves, to serve

What To Do

Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe the mushrooms clean. (Cook’s note: Never wash mushrooms, they soak up water like sponges.) Marinate the mushrooms and halloumi cheese in olive oil with a very generous sprinkling of Cape Herb & Spice Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning. Thread the mushrooms onto the rosemary sprigs. Give them an extra dusting of seasoning and place on the braai.

Turn over frequently to ensure even cooking. Just before the mushrooms are done, place the halloumi skewers onto the braai as well. The halloumi is done as soon as it’s golden and starts to melt. (Cook’s note: Because the mushrooms and halloumi have different cooking times, it’s not advisable to put them on the same skewers, unless you lightly pan fry the mushrooms first to give them a head start.)

Toast your bread on the braai as well. Simply drizzle the slices lightly with olive oil and place them onto the braai until golden on both sides, then rub both sides of the bread with garlic. Serve the crostini topped with rocket, warm mushrooms and oozy melted halloumi. This is not a dish that can sit. It needs to be served hot, straight off the braai.

Cabbage, Sprout and Carrot Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing

National Braai Day

Ring in the changes when you braai this month and nix that boring green salad or heavy mayonnaise-laden coleslaw for this Asian-inspired cabbage, sprout and carrot slaw with toasted sesame seeds. Fresh and light, it has loads of marvellous crunch. A sweet and sour lime and honey dressing completes the picture. While you’re at it, why not have some culinary fun and dish individual portions up in Asian takeaway containers.

Cabbage, Sprout and Carrot Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing

For The Salad

Small green cabbage, very finely sliced on a mandolin
Small red cabbage, very finely sliced on a mandolin
Radishes, very finely sliced on a mandolin
Small heritage carrots, peeled into thin ribbons with a veggie peeler
Mung bean sprouts
Onion and beetroot sprouts
Sesame seeds, toasted until golden in a dry pan

For The Dressing

Third of a cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp runny honey
½ tsp Cape Herb & Spice Lemon Pepper Shaker Seasoning
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil or peanut oil

What To Do

Toss all the salad ingredients together. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bottle and shake. Dress the salad just before serving.

Check out some more delicious Cape Herb & Spice recipes for your next dinner party

Happy National Braai Day!

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National Braai Day

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