A Taste Of South Africa, Sharon Lurie

What attracted me most to A Taste Of South Africa was the byline, with the Kosher Butcher’s Wife. I am always on the lookout for recipes for traditional Jewish food. And in this recipe book, Sharon Lurie combines her Jewish cooking with local cuisine.

A Taste Of South Africa

A Taste Of South Africa

Sharon starts of the book with the most amazing dedication. This embodies to me everything that family is, and should be. The introductions to each section are wonderful and so personal.

Chapters are divided into:
  • Beefing up breakfasts
  • Let’s zoop it up (soups)
  • Challah-valot bread spot (breads)
  • Let’s meet and eat
    • Beef
    • Lamb
    • Chicken
  • Here comes the braai’d
  • Sharfari salads
  • Menchables – what a great bunch (vegetables)
  • Deli and street food
  • Secret sauces
  • Sweet endings
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Shaksausage (p15)
  • Vanilla And Cinnamon Tea Compote (p19)
  • Mdumbi Soup (p22)
  • Groen Groentesop (p29)
  • Yentil Soup (p33)
  • Mossbolletjie Rooibos Babke (p39)
  • Roosterkoek (p42)
  • Xoliswa Ndoyiya’s Umbhako Challah (p47)
  • Bushy-Eyed Honey-Mustard Brisket (p55)
  • Prime Rib Steak & Herbichurri Sauce (p63)
  • Easy Shebeen Sheva Brachot Curry (p68)
  • All-Night Shredded Beef (p75)
  • Joburg-Style Jerk Chicken (p91)
  • Mojito-Inspired Kebabs (p110)
  • Chakalaka Corn Latkes (p146)
  • What The Frikkadel? (p156)
  • Tomato Konfyt (p190)
  • Chakalaka (p194)
  • Amakheke (p198)
  • Granadilla Lollies (p203)
  • Teiglach vs Koeksisters (p215)
What I made:

The first recipe I made was the Amakheke. These were meant to be scones but turned out to be more like cupcakes. They tasted great but were not what I expected at all. The second recipe I tried was the Mossbolletjie Rooibos Babke. The ingredients list 1 litre of liquid and I followed the recipe exactly as written, not following my instincts. The result was a batter not a dough and I baked the yeasted cake. After 3 hours I tried to turn the failure into rusks. But even that did not work. I ended up throwing them away, being a total waste of ingredients. I reworked the recipe the following day and even the baking time was not accurate.

What I thought:

I loved the photographs in the recipe book, and the recipe stories. What I did not love was the use of cups for measurements. It is something the South African recipe authors seem to use as standard and one I find frustrating. Especially with baking where measurements need to be more precise. Given that I had a total recipe failure I am reluctant to try anything else from this book. Time will tell if I change my mind.

Cocoa Tea Babke
Cocoa Tea Babke

Publishing information:

ISBN 9781432309756
Format Paperback
Published May 2019

Disclosure: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Random House South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime September 25:

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6 thoughts on “A Taste Of South Africa, Sharon Lurie

  1. I have had experiences like this with recipes and recipe books. A total recipe failure is most upsetting but it could be a once off. I always consider a recipe and if my gut tells me it won’t work, I don’t go there.

  2. So, this is interesting. I have (had) a cookbook that others swear by (Annabel Crabb – Special Delivery). I cooked 3 failures or less than perfect dishes. People have suggested that it’s me, not the book. Really? I like to think I know how to cook and follow a recipe. I have since sold that book to a more appreciative audience. Re: instinctual cooking – again, sometimes you just ‘know’ but then second guess yourself. I really appreciated your honesty with this review.

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