A doubly delicious cookbook to savour

Twins Lebo and Tebo Ndala from Mamelodi are widely travelled and the recipes in their book reflect their varied culinary experiences.
Twins Lebo and Tebo Ndala from Mamelodi are widely travelled and the recipes in their book reflect their varied culinary experiences.

Mamelodi-born culinary duo Lebo and Tebo Ndala's cookbook is a heartwarming glimpse into their lives. The book, titled Food Stories: Our favourite recipes, with love from the twins, boasts anecdotes from their lives. Each chapter and the recipes in it reflects a period in their lives.

The duo, who are twins, received their culinary qualifications from The Hurst School in Stellenbosch and have lived and worked in the US and Cape Town and travelled to countries such as Thailand. Those culinary experiences are reflected in the book too.

The first chapter is called Koko's Kitchen. The twins say they have lived with their grandmother their entire lives and learnt how to cook in her kitchen. They also say her ting [fermented sour porridge] is the best they've ever tasted. This chapter explores easy-to-make recipes such as herb butter grilled corn.

The recipe book is infused with the chefs' many memories and you, the reader, get to taste them. The Seven-Colour Sundays recipe is one they love to create.

"Definitely, our seven- colour Sunday lunches! We love to cook as a family on Sundays and experiment with a variety of foods. This is a tradition we will definitely pass down to our children one day," they have said.

The book also has "South African American" dishes, which is their take on American dishes with a South African twist.

The Ndala twins even throw their hat in on the ongoing Jollof wars by introducing a South African-baked Jollof rice with chicken that I'm sure will provide some great dinner conversations with West African guests. This recipe was inspired by Lebo's stay with a Nigerian family who lived in the US.

Book cover
Book cover

The cook book is the latest venture in their culinary journey - the twins also have a pop-up restaurant concept called With Love From The Twins. They host friends, family and paying patrons to intimate dinner experiences.

Most chefs are asked what their favourite food memory is at some point in their careers and the Ndala twins have answered with an easy- to-use cookbook that leaves you feeling closer to the two.

The book is a great talking point that manages to give you a taste of their food traditions while inspiring you to approach your own in a refreshing way.

A chapter of the book is dedicated to all things involving tea. The twins love the health benefits of rooibos tea and talk about how visitors to their house are offered tea, no matter the weather.

There's an apple, mint and green tea sorbet recipe you should look out for and a refreshing lemon green tea mojito as well as a cranberry and wild cherry gammon with rooibos glaze that will be perfect for the Christmas lunch.

The twins have provided two recipes for you to try at home. 

LEMON GREEN-TEA MOJITO

Image: Supplied

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10–15 min

Nothing like a fresh, cold beverage on a hot summer’s day. For this recipe, instead of club soda, you may use soda water or dry lemon. Turn this drink into a virgin cocktail by leaving out the alcohol so that the young ones don’t feel left out. Cheers.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

100 g castor sugar

Peel of 1 lemon

5 lemon-flavoured Green teabags

20 fresh mint leaves, and extra to garnish

2 limes, cut into wedges

A dash of syrup

Ice cubes

4 shots of white rum

2 cups club soda

Method:

Boil the first 4 ingredients together until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is reduced to half. Strain the lemon peel and teabags out. Set aside to cool.

 Place 5 mint leaves and the lime wedges into each glass. Use a muddler to mash or crush the ingredients together.

 Add a bit of syrup to each glass and fill the glass with ice.

Pour 1 shot of rum in each glass and top with club soda. Stir.

Garnish with extra mint and enjoy.

CRANBERRY AND WILD CHERRY GAMMON WITH ROOIBOS GLAZE

Image: Supplied

Serves: 10–12 Prep time: 85 min

Merry Christmas! LOL, well typically for us, gammon is

served around Christmas time. But if you want to prepare

this dish in March or something, by all means go ahead,

we won’t judge. We always boil our gammon before

finishing it off in the oven; it works a charm.

Ingredients:

FOR THE GAMMON: 2 kg boneless gammon

6 Laager Cranberry & Wild Cherry flavoured Rooibos teabags

½ cup sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp fresh ginger

1 tbs marmalade

1 tbs butter

1 can (410 g) pineapple rings 1 cherry

Toothpicks

2 l vegetable stock

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

½ cup carrots, chopped ½ cup celery, chopped ½ cup onion, chopped Salt and pepper 

FOR THE GLAZE:

6 teabags

4 cups boiling water

½ cup sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

A pinch of ground ginger 1 tbs Seville marmalade 1 tbs butter

Method: 

 Boil the gammon ingredients together for 30–40 min. Set aside.

 Boil the teabags for 15 min, then remove.

 Simmer the tea and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the liquid to 1 cup of simple syrup.

 Add the lemon juice, ginger, marmalade and butter.

Score the gammon with a knife, crisscrossed.

Brush the glaze all over the top.

 Secure the pineapple rings with toothpicks and place 1 cherry on top with a toothpick. 

Roast for 45 min at 200°C. 

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