Get a taste of 'Dinner at Somizi's': The celeb shares his fave recipes

Somizi Mhlongo reveals how to make two terrific dishes from his best-selling cookbook: finger-slapping lamb trotters and boozy is'qeda 'koma

28 January 2021 - 09:25 By Toni Jaye Singer
Over the festive period, celeb Somizi Mhlongo's cookbook, 'Dinner At Somizi's: I Am Not A Chef', outsold titles by famous foodies like Jamie Oliver and The Lazy Makoti.
Over the festive period, celeb Somizi Mhlongo's cookbook, 'Dinner At Somizi's: I Am Not A Chef', outsold titles by famous foodies like Jamie Oliver and The Lazy Makoti.
Image: Pedro Ridwan

Multi-talented celeb Somizi Mhlongo recently added 'number one best-selling cookbook author' to his resume with the stellar success of Dinner at Somizi's: I Am Not A Chef, which hit the shelves late last year.

The Idols SA judge told TshisaLIVE, “When putting this cookbook together, I wanted to create something truly authentic for my fans. I wanted to show South Africans how easy it is to add 'pizazz' to everyday meals.”

In the book, the self-taught chef elaborates, saying “home-grown traditional food and kasi-style dishes are often frowned upon and seen as unappetising, but why? The starter recipes in my cookbook take their cue from that.

“The challenge was taking those ingredients that are not seen as gourmet, and turning them into fine dining experiences without having to leave your house. This is one of the things that make my cookbook unique.”

Somgaga's favourite starter recipe? The finger-slapping lamb trotters “because they've great [to serve] as an entrée or finger food while your guests are chilling and chatting”, he says. “They're also amazing for a hangover.”

You may find yourself craving some of these meaty 'babalaas bites' if you indulge in one too many of Somizi's Is'qeda 'koma. He's put an adult spin on that childhood classic, the ice lolly, by adding alcohol to the mix.

Somizi says this recipe is one of his favourites because it's easy to make, and the boozy frozen treats are “fun to have [in the freezer] especially as someone who loves hosting friends and family; they’re great for summer anywhere any time”.

Somizi Mhlongo's finger-slapping lamb trotters.
Somizi Mhlongo's finger-slapping lamb trotters.
Image: Pedro Ridwan

FINGER-SLAPPING LAMB TROTTERS

“When you buy tlhakwana (lamb trotters), the cuts are chunky and those hooves can be quite intimidating,” says Somizi.

“Since we eat with our eyes first, let's first cut them into fancy bite-sized pieces. That way, they are easy to eat. Simply take a bite, suck the gelatinous morsels and throw away the bone. You can devour as you mingle and rub shoulders, it doesn't have to be an extreme sport.

“You get to save money too, since you won't spend a small fortune on a bag and you can easily serve over 20 people.”

Serves: 4

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

2kg lamb trotters

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp mixed herbs

3 springs fresh thyme

3 tbsp oregano

½ tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp Chinese paste 

¼ cup Chinese hot chilli sauce

1 block Knorr Beef Stock Pot

1 tbsp salt

1 cup hot water

Parsley, chopped, to garnish

Method:

  1. Fill a deep pot with water. Add the lamb trotters and boil for 40-60 minutes till soft but still holding their shape.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  3. Once the trotters are cooked, drain the water from the pot and cut the trotters into bite-sized pieces.
  4. In an ovenproof pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onions and garlic till translucent.
  5. Add the mixed herbs, thyme, oregano and coriander seeds and fry till fragrant.
  6. Add the bite-sized trotters to the onion mix and fry on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the Chinese paste, chilli sauce, stock and the cup of hot water. Add the salt. Stir together and allow to cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the pot from the stove and place in the preheated oven to cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Once done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley.
  10. Serve in small bowls or on a platter, with your choice of side.
Is'qeda 'koma from Somizi Mhlongo's best-selling cookbook.
Is'qeda 'koma from Somizi Mhlongo's best-selling cookbook.
Image: Pedro Ridwan

IS'QEDA 'KOMA (ALCOHOLIC ICE LOLLIES)

Serves: 6

Time: 10 — 20 minutes, plus freezing time

Ingredients:

Kiwi:

2 shots vodka

1 cup pineapple juice

1 kiwi, sliced

Strawberry:

2 shots gold tequila

1 cup grapefruit juice

1 shot strawberry syrup

Lemon:

2 shots gin

2 tbsp honey

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 cup pomegranate juice

Lemon slices

Orange:

2 shots vodka

1 cup fresh orange juice

Glazed cherries, chopped

Berry:

2 shots vodka

1 cup mixed berry juice

Pomegranate seeds

Method:

  1. Mix juices with the alcohol in a shaker.
  2. Shake for about a minute and pour into small ziplock bags.
  3. Add the sliced fruit to the ziplock bags and seal.
  4. Freeze overnight and enjoy on a hot summer day.

Recipes and photos from 'Dinner at Somizi's: I Am Not A Chef' by Somizi Mhlongo. Priced at R295, it's available online from cna.co.za and at CNA stores.


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