food, Recipes

Oxtail Stew by Madiba's chef

Real African Publishers

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.

Through Ndoyiya's unpretentious, easy recipes, honest, wholesome food is exactly what Madiba got. 'I am not ashamed to say that I use stock cubes, Aromat and margarine, because that is what tastes good and feels right to me. If I take them out and hide the fact that I use them I am removing my secret tricks from you,' she says.
Ndoyiya's oxtail stew was Ahmed Kathrada's favourite dish whenever he went to visit Madiba. 'From the first time I had her oxtail, every time I was invited to lunch there I was just wishing it would be oxtail and nothing else,' he explains in the book.
Try this easy recipe:


3kg oxtail, excess fat removed 1tsp paprika 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   READ MORE: Tata Madiba's isophu In honour of a legend Spaces inspired by Madiba