The way to a man’s heart is his stomach – an old wive’s tale that seems to apply to the likes Tata Madiba as much as to any man. And so it is that his personal chef Xoliswa Ndoyiya offers up some of the recipes he most enjoyed during her tenure at his home in her book Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen.
In a publicity interview on the Nelson Mandela Foundation website, Ndoyiya explains that Nelson Mandela most loved traditional food.
‘Madiba is happiest with traditional food – if you don’t give it to him for a few days he will ask, “What’s wrong? Why are you not feeding me well?”‘ she explains.
3kg oxtail, excess fat removed
1T barbecue spice
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup green beans, sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
60g oxtail soup powder
salt and white pepper to taste
Put the oxtail in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the water has evaporated. The meat will start to brown in its own fat. Add the paprika and barbeque spice together with enough water to cover the oxtail. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat until the oxtail is tender, about 2 hours. Keep checking that there is still enough liquid to cover the meat, adding more water when necessary. Add the carrots, beans, potatoes and soup powder and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
Season and serve. SERVES 8 to 10
To order a copy or find out more about Ukutya Kwasekhaya: Tastes from Nelson Mandela’s Kitchen by Xoliswa Ndoyiya email email@example.com