Tanya Visser launched her first show, The Gardener Live, at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens last week. I am not much of a gardener and certainly don’t have green fingers. I once killed my cactus – although I followed the care instructions on the tag, it just seemed to wither away. I go through phases where I feel I should try harder with gardening. My latest attempt is herb gardening. There were the stock standard herbs like parsley and thyme but also exotic herbs like Makrut lime and Vietnamese mint. I will keep you posted on the developments in the herb garden.
I booked a stand at the Gardener Live to promote the Curry Me Home spices and recipe books. The space was situated next to the Sun City team which was manned by the Executive Chef, Andrew Robertson. So here I was happily enjoying the great weather when Chef Andrew challenged me to a curry cook off. I know I make a pretty good curry but he is the Executive Chef!
I was quite unprepared so I just moved my AMC electric cookware over to his stand with some spices and a few other ingredients. And we were off – the challenge had begun.
Chef Andrew made a chicken curry with Indian spices, some wine and lashings of cream and butter. The aroma was heavenly and he really made me curious – I have never made a curry with wine before. I would best describe it as a Mauritian style curry. It was completely different to the more traditional curries – he used red onions and marinated the chicken first.
I went with a Malaysian Chicken Curry with Curry Me Home spices, coconut milk, tamarind paste, fresh lime leaves and coriander. This was a curry that I tasted in Kuala Lampur – the speed in which it was prepared makes it a winner! It takes just ten minutes to prepare and is perfect for a midweek dinner.
Chef Andrew cooked on gas with a non stick frying pan and I opted for the tried and tested option which was my fabulous AMC electric pan.
The audience was enthusiastic about the show and were keen to sample the dishes especially after the aromas wafted through the Botanical Gardens. We plated our curries and placed them on the tasting table. The speed at which the curries were devoured made choosing a winner unnecessary.
Anyway, I have now decided to promote myself to Executive Chef Yudhika.