Karoo Tapas – Chef’s diary & recipes

Journal & Recipes

In the kitchen at African Relish our Karoo Tapas classes have become well liked and often asked for. We did a little internet research on the history of tapas. They are a variety of small savoury Spanish dishes, often served as a snack with drinks, or with other tapas as a meal. Because tapas are informal, they are commonly eaten standing up at the bar or at small tables or even upturned barrels, and the atmosphere is convivial and noisy. In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, sophisticated cuisine. There are a number of theories of the origin of the custom of eating small snacks with drinks. Legend has it that because of illness the thirteenth century Castilian King Alfonso X (the Wise) had to eat small snacks with his wine between meals to maintain his strength, and after recovering passed a law that wine or beer served in taverns had to be accompanied by food. More probably the origins were practical, with bread or a small plate of ham or olives being used to keep dust or insects out of the drink (the literal meaning of “tapa” is “lid”). It was also the custom for agricultural and other manual workers to eat small snacks so that they could continue working until the main meal of the day. Tapas in it’s modern form is generally believed to have begun in the taverns and bars of Seville and Andalucía.

Here at African Relish we like to add our own ‘Karoo’ twist to our Tapas classes that are popular among bigger groups as tapas are meant to be enjoyed in a socially uplifting environment by not only cooking it, but eating it as well! In the shade of the loquat tree in summer or around the fire in winter students love sharing a variety of tapas dishes they have made for a meal.Tapas class

Prince Albert has access to a good selection of ingredients for use in tapas such as Gay’s Dairy cheeses, local olives and figs, the chorizo and charcuterie we make in our African Relish kitchen, local pork and lamb from the town butcher, fresh vegetables from Doc Reinders garden and sweet wines. We create our own spring roll pastry which is always a big ‘wow’ factor among the students. It’s a lot of fun and very tasty. Here are a few delicious tapas recipes to try. We debone our own chicken and the lamb ribs are fresh and local.


3 cups of flour
1 and 1⁄4 cups of water 10 ml Salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Blend above ingredients with food processor or by hand.
Divide into 100g balls, cover with damp towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes. On flour dusted surface roll each ball to same shape and size
Layer 3 circles of dough with olive oil in between. Dust with flour.
Roll out till thin. Place on baking tray and cut edges neatly with sharp knife. Bake in oven at 200 degrees C for 4‐5 minutes.IMG_0725

3 tablespoons coconut milk

6 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons roasted and ground curry spices (Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cumin, Chilli) 2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon minced shallot (about 1 shallot)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 kg Chicken, deboned

In a mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, minced garlic, curry powder, fish sauce, chilli flakes, minced shallot, and kosher salt. Stir until everything is combined and add the chicken. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. Place on skewers and grill.


1⁄3 cup Oyster sauce
1⁄4 cup honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp malt vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1.4kg lamb ribs

Combine tomato sauce, honey, soy, vinegar, sugar, garlic and mustard in a large glass or ceramic dish. Add ribs and toss until well coated with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200 ̊C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Transfer ribs to prepared tray. Roast for 1 hour, turning once during cooking or until tender and sticky.

Join us in the kitchen to learn more tasty Karoo tapas dishes. Half or full day classes available.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *