A seasoned plate is all about sharing with you foods with African influences that I grew up eating and loving. So for a Zimbabwean girl, one would wonder why the very first recipe I share on this blog is from South Africa. Well, first off I love South African food and a lot of our Zimbabwean dishes are a bit similar. So when I was in High School I was devastated to know that I didn't get the Cooking (named Food and Nutrition) Class as an option and instead had to do a Sewing class (named Fashion and Fabrics). Now, when you attend a boarding school like the one I did, your food choices are limited to what was served in your dining room or the food you saved in your trunk for a whole three months. (this required bravery and tenacity). Anyhoo, a Cooking class meant you got to try other fancy dishes and eat them as part of class. Well, since this didn't happen for me, I ended my Sewing term with a little blue floral dress for one lucky baby. Long story short, after that term I went home with an eagerness to cook and this sosaties recipe was the very first recipe I actually made on my own from beginning to end and it remains a favorite more so because this was my encounter and discovery of my love for food which I still I have now.
Sosaties are a traditional South African dish of meat (usually lamb or mutton or pork) cooked on skewers. The term derives from sate ("skewered meat") and saus (spicy sauce). The meat on the skewers is accompanied by apricots and whilst one may think that this would be a sweet one note dish, I promise you, you would be surprised by the savory, sweet, and spicy flavors that will have your taste buds in all kinds of excitement. This is a perfect dish to try out right now before you tuck your grill away for winter and it has the warmth of fall from the curry and coriander spices. One of the great things about these sosaties is you can prepare them ahead and then they take just a few minutes to thread on skewers, cook and enjoy.
So whilst I may have ended up with a baby dress, I am grateful for the fact that I found my love for food on my very own because I was curious, passionate and hungry lol. So I hope you can try this dish, and experience a piece of South Africa, and I hope we can have fun on this platform and explore flavors of Africa and beyond together. Welcome to A seasoned Plate!!
PS I devoured these with my side-taster cousin Mo, and she agreed that these skewers were fire.
Yield: 8-10 skewers
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp all spice
4 whole cloves
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp ginger finely chopped
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup water (I used chicken stock)
1 tbsp curry powder (I used Mild Madras Curry Powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
FOR THE SKEWERS:
1lb pork cut into 1-inch cubes
1.5 cups dried apricots
1 large onion cut into big chunks for skewering
Add some the olive oil in a frying-pan on medium heat and saute the finely chopped onion until very lightly cooked.
Add the the jam, vinegar, water, curry powder, garlic, salt, coriander, ginger, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, cumin, sugar and pepper. keep on medium to low heat and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Please taste the marinade to make sure the flavors are balanced. The apricot jams will differ in sweetness and you may want to adjust that.
Remove from heat and add the chunks of onion cut up for the skewers let them soften a bit as the marinade cools down.(This is a game changer- I know the onions wont be as crunchy but it helps the flavors marry nicely)
Put the pork in a large bowl, add the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor but its good after 2 hours of marinating.
Soak the apricots in hot water to soften for about 30 minutes.
Thread the pork cubes, onion chunks and apricots onto the skewers, using 3 apricots per skewer.
Return the skewers to the marinade for up to 30 minutes and keep the remaining marinade for basting.
Cook on a grill or broil on oven and baste with the remaining marinade until the meat is cooked through