Fresh recipes for an African summer

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These light and fresh African summer recipes are perfect for those summer days when meat- and carb-heavy meals don’t appeal.
These two fish recipes, extracted from The Africa Cookbook, are the perfect light and fresh meals for those summer days when meat- and carb-heavy meals just don’t appeal. End off with a coconut ice cream for a creamy yet light summer treat.

Prawn and coconut patties

serves | 12

750g prawns
250g fish
750g shrimp
1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 egg
10 spring onions, chopped
1 tsp red or cayenne pepper
3 tsp white pepper, finely ground
Vegetable oil, for shallow for frying (coconut or rice oil)

1. Place prawns and fish in a food processor and pulse to create a textured mince.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and mould into patties.
3. Fry the patties in oil over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.
4. Remove from the pan onto paper towel to drain excess oil.

Tunisian Fish Soup

serves | 6–8

¼ cup vegetable oil 
2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 green pepper, diced
½ tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
4 cups puréed tomato (canned or homemade)
  Tip: to purée tomatoes, boil for 5 minutes, peel, chop and blitz in a blender.
2 cups vegetable stock
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice 
1 cup chickpeas, cooked and drained
750g firm, white fish fillets
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped with its seeds
Salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Heat oil in a large casserole pot. Sauté onion and garlic, then add carrot. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
2. Add green pepper, cumin and coriander, and stir. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add puréed tomato, vegetable stock, lemon juice and chickpeas.
4. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.
5. Cut fish into chunks and add to the soup.
6. Add the chilli and salt, to taste.
7. Simmer until fish is flaky.

Coconut ice cream

serves | 6 servings (makes 1.5L)

2 eggs
2 Tbsp castor sugar
200g white chocolate
400g can coconut cream
500ml thick cream, lightly whipped
3 x 500ml plastic or silicone containers, with lids
Edible dried rose petals, for garnishing (optional)

1. In a saucepan on low heat, whisk eggs and sugar until frothy.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or in a bowl placed over boiling water).
3. Whisk melted chocolate into egg mixture, then whisk in coconut cream.
4. Fold in the whipped cream.
5. Pour the mixture into the plastic containers. Sprinkle with dried rose petals, if using, then cover and freeze.
Tip: To make ice lollies, pour the mixture into silicone ice-lolly (popsicle) moulds and insert ice-cream sticks or dried slices of coconut, sprinkle with garnish, then freeze. 

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The Africa Cookbook by Portia Mbau, founder of The Africa Café, is published by Quivertree Publications, R390. Photographed and compiled by Lumai de Smidt. For more information visit 

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