Category Archives: Etc

My Mother’s Secret Sauce

I’m not sure what to say about this sauce. It is just so magical. 


It can be used as a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, sandwich spread, nacho dip, chutney, it can be added to stir frys, soups, casseroles…and the list goes on.

Basically, this sauce, can do ANYTHING! Or rather, ANYTHING can do with this sauce:)

I don’ know why I just can’t seem to get it exactly like my mum. She made a whole load of it today for my sister in Cape Town.

Give it a try: ( It’ll be just as delicious, or, you can borrow her for a few days;))

To make 1- 1.5 litres:

10-12 ripe tomatoes ( I try not to be fussy about the type, I use a mix of Pomodoro + Israeli)

4 small peppers – (paprika, capsicums, red, yellow, green , anything is fine!)

2 tins chopped tomato

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp taj laving masala ( ground clove and cinnamon)

2 tsp crushed green chilli

a sprig or two ( or five) of fresh Oregano. Otherwise 2 tsp fresh oregano will do.

a handful of basil leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp black pepper

+- 3 tsp salt

+- 5 tsp sugar ( yes I know it seems like a lot)


Liquidize the tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves to a medium – fine puree. Depends on how you like it!

Heat the olive oil, fry the cumin seeds and the crushed green chilli for 30 seconds.

Add the puree, and allow to simmer for ten minutes.

Add the black pepper, taj-laving masala,sugar and salt to taste. At this stage I usually need to add more chilli and a drizzle of olive oil, just for fun!

Simmer simmer simmer.

Simmer until you notice a change in volume – the sauce should reduce about 1/4.

The key to the sauce is the balance between the salt and the sugar. Sounds strange, I know.

It’s true .

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Pesto for the Purbhoos


It has been raining these past few days. My mother’s little herb garden is flourishing…with over 10 different items to pick and choose from every day! There is nothing better than growing your own food, preparing it and tasting it’s  freshness!

Our basil is growing wildly, begging to be picked and transformed into a fragrant pesto!


For a large jar:

a generous bunch of basil – say, 25ish leaves

1 cup of pine nuts

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese ( non animal rennet Parmesan is easily available)

3/4 cup (or more) of olive oil


crushed green chilli


a pinch of mustard powder*

It’s so simple:

Throw everything into the blender and pulse until you get a choppy consistency.

If you wish to have a thinner pesto, add more olive oil, and blend until it is smoother.

Since I don’t include garlic (or onion) in any of my food, to add a bit of pungency to the pesto, a pinch of mustard does the trick!

I made this batch for my dear friends the purbhoo sisters!

Please make yourself as MUCH as you can, and enjoy in many ways!

Toss a little bit of pesto with some hot pasta…my favourite! Add a bit of fresh cream for a creamy pesto sauce, or enjoy plain, like I do!

Dress a salad with it

Or make the cheesiest mozzarella pesto sandwich

Toss with some fresh diced tomatoes, and pile it up on toast.

The possibilities are endless!


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