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Try these Easter recipes from Chef Zola Nene

Celeb chef Zola Nene is back with a third book, this time celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of South Africans through the wonderful tradition of sharing meals.

Pickled Fish

Serves 4–6

½ cup cake flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
500 g fish fillets (I used hake)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 Tbsp Zola’s Feasts 
Fragrant Curry Powder
1 tsp turmeric
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup white spirit vinegar
1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Coat the fish fillets in the seasoned flour.
2. Heat a pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the fish fillets and fry until golden on both sides. (The fish doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this stage.) Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. To the same pot, add more oil if needed, then add the onions, bay leaves and peppercorns. Sauté for a few minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
4. Add the Fragrant Curry Powder and turmeric, and sauté for a few minutes more to release the aroma of the spices. Add the sugar and white spirit vinegar and bring to a simmer.
5. Return the fish fillets to the pot, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
6. Turn off the heat and leave the pickled fish to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge. Refrigerate overnight before serving. The longer the pickled fish is left to sit, the more the flavour will develop. This dish will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Chickpea-stuffed Butternut

Serves 4 as a main and 8 as a side
2 medium (± 2 kg) butternuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup water
1 can (410 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 spring onions, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 . Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
2 . Cut the butternuts in half lengthways, remove the seeds, then score the flesh with a sharp knife. Drizzle each half with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
3 . Place the halved butternuts on a baking tray. Pour the water into the tray, cover with foil, then bake in the oven for 1½ hours, or until soft.
4. Once fully cooked, remove the butternuts from the oven. Carefully scoop the butternut flesh out of its skin. Make sure you keep the skins intact, which you can do by leaving a 5mm border of flesh around the inside of the skin. Set the skins aside for later.
5 . Mix the butternut flesh with the chickpeas, spring onions and cheddar cheese until well combined. Season to taste.
6 . Spoon the butternut and chickpea mixture back into the butternut skins, sprinkle with more cheddar cheese, and return to the baking tray (or roasting dish). Bake for a further 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and browned on top.

Garlic Butter Naan

Makes 8
For the naan
3 cups cake flour
10 g instant dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
1/3 cup canola oil, 
plus extra for greasing
1 egg
± 1½ cups lukewarm water
For the garlic butter
300 g butter
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1. To make the naan, whisk together the cake flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the yoghurt, oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Slowly add enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and leave to prove until the dough has doubled in size.
4. To make the garlic butter, add the butter and chopped garlic to a saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter has melted, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, form into balls, then roll out into circles.
6. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Cook the naan, one at a time, for about 6 minutes on each side, until puffed and browned. Once cooked, remove from the pan and brush with garlic butter on both sides. Wrap each naan in foil to keep warm while you cook the rest.

Curried Lamb Shanks 

Serves 4

4 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 dried chilli 
(or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes)
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
2 Tbsp Zola’s Feasts
Fragrant Curry Powder
300 g cherry tomatoes (or regular tomatoes), puréed or chopped
600 g lamb or beef stock
1. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a pot and add the oil. Add the shanks and brown on high heat until golden on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside. 
3. To the same pot, add the onions, dried chilli, star anise, cardamom and thyme. Cook over medium heat, until the onions are soft and caramelised.
4. Lower the heat and add the garlic, ginger paste, cumin, coriander, chilli powder, and curry powder. Gently cook the onions and spices for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes and stock, then bring to a boil.
5. Return the lamb shanks to the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 3–4 hours, until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender and falling off the bone. (You can also cook the shanks in the oven at 160 ºC for 3–4 hours).

Peaches & Cream Bombe

Serves 8–10
100 g Christmas fruit pudding
1 can (410 g) sliced peaches, drained 
(reserve the liquid)
1 kg vanilla ice cream, softened and divided
100 g white chocolate, melted
1. Line a dome-shaped bowl (about 20–24 cm) with cling wrap, then set aside.
2. Purée the sliced peaches and set aside.
3. Crumble the fruit pudding into a separate bowl, then mix in ¼ cup of the peach liquid.
4. Press the pudding mixture into the lined bowl. (The bottom and sides of the bowl will form the outer layer of the domed pudding, so make sure there are no gaps.)
5. Press half the vanilla ice cream into the bowl until it is half-full. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
6. Mix the puréed peaches into the remaining ice cream. Spoon the mixture into the pudding, on top of the other ice cream layer. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until completely set.
7. Once set, turn out the pudding from its bowl onto a serving platter and peel off the cling wrap. Drizzle the pudding with melted white chocolate to decorate, then store in the freezer until ready to serve.
8.  To serve, remove the pudding from the freezer 10 minutes before serving and slice into wedges.

All recipes sourced from Simply Seven Colours:

In Simply Seven Colours, Zola Nene gives praise to the uniquely South African seven-colour concept with a selection of more simply delicious recipes that tap into the heart of our food nostalgia, with a focus on going back to basics.