As we previously mentioned we are still on a journey and are using this significant month of September to discover the different foods that Batswana love to eat.
Food and drink make up a huge part of heritage and culture and every Motswana deserves to explore and excite their palate with home-grown food and products.
In our quest we have successfully cooked Sarona Samp & Botlhe Beans making Dikgobe, Curried Sechaba Cow Peas & Lentils resulting in a unique rich and creamy dish which we chose to infuse with undertones of Indian flavours (because spice is life) and but far we feel Ditloo & Sarona Samp was our hugest achievement.
Undoubtedly these were some of my favourite bean dishes growing up that my mom used to make. That being said I was very nervous that I might get it all wrong or quite frankly that I might not make them the way she used to or it’ll just be a dismal fail (never doubt yourself in the kitchen, if your heart is in it, you’re already winning). Once I realised I was being a hypocrite and going against everything we stand for at Chellzkitchen, which is that everyone has untapped potential and can do anything they put their heart and mind to, I finally got out of my own way and planned the meal holistically. This was based on which day would be best to have them, what I would be serving as a side, what I would dish them in and what to mix the Ditloo themselves with.
I went on to post the question on the Chellzkitchen Facebook page and majority of the interactions suggested that most individuals enjoyed their Ditloo mixed with Samp. They also advised that generally Ditloo are much tougher to cook than Samp and therefore the Samp would need to be added +-2hrs after the cooking of the Ditloo, at this point they would have softened.
One thing you definitely need to look out for when cooking beans is that different types of beans have different sizes/compositions, as much as an overnight soak aids in reducing cooking time for most if not all.
Different sized beans cook for different amounts of time. ie Cow Peas are small and therefore cook quicker than Sugar Beans for example, it’s not as daunting as one might imagine to work out how long the different beans need to cook, looking at the size of the bean is quite telling (which is something I never knew). Generally these dishes take a while to cook and while some people opt to use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time. I prefer to take the long route as this allows me time to go about other things, especially on lazy days I can Surf the net and catch a good movie knowing that the pot is perfectly fine left alone (but motlakase iyooo!).
We have enjoyed using Botlhe Sugar Beans, Sarona Samp, Sechaba Dry Cow Peas from Foods Botswana in our traditional dishes and we feel very proudly BW about it. What we look forward to next, is trying out different recipes and adding a Chellzkitchen flair.
We recently saw a post of a Baobab Fruit infused Panna Cotta by a Mr Phiri and that’s the type of thing we are talking about. We need to be creative and think way outside of the box on how we can use dijo tsa setso differently, how we can incorporate them into modern day dishes and give them an international appeal (imagine a phane starter in a restaurant somewhere in France...akere ke ha we eat garlic snail starters mono gae..lol). I have had a salad on my mind, which is still in its developmental stages, but it is definitely something we would like to put together and share. Please share some of your favourite recipes that you have either made or come across on the Chellzkitchen Facebook page for us to try and get inspiration from. Also keep an eye out for our upcoming competition within this month and to follow, including some of the exciting prizes we will be giving away to those who take part in this journey of Discovering Dijo tsa Setso with us.
Thanks to my friend Nomsa for advising me on the best way to achieve my Stove Top seswaa which I made for my boys, I was completely way out of my comfort zone here but with her advice and a phone call to my butcher Phenious, I managed to make the perfect seswaa and ditloo, a dish which is popularly served at weddings in Botswana.
Typically seswaa is made ko potong, but convenience of the stove top takes nothing away from the authenticity of the final product. Setso sa rona se monate!
250 g Ditloo
200 g Sarona Samp Water, enough to just cover the Ditloo and Sarona Samp in the pot
2 Tbls Chicken stock powder
1 Tbls Butter
Pinch of Salt
Soak Ditloo and the Samp in separate dishes under water overnight. Boil Ditloo in clean water for 1 1/2 hour or until softened. Add Sarona Samp to the pot and top with water and boil until both are soft ensuring to not allow the water to completely dry. Add the remaining ingredients and the beans, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Seswaa, Morogo, Lephutsi.