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There are a lot of stinging nettles in the Cape Town area and many other areas in the country. Most people are probably not aware that they are not only edible, but delicious and very nutritious. Once you cook them they lose their sting within 30 seconds. They are available at organic health shops, or you can just pick them yourself if you know how to identify the plant. Be sure to use thick gardening gloves, or pick them with tongs, because they don’t call them stinging nettles for nothing! Those little buggers pack a sting that keeps burning for what feels like a long time. If you do happen to get stung, rub on some aloe vera or an anti-allergy cream like Allergex. Put the nettles in a bowl with cold water to clean them well before cooking. Drain, and (with gloves on) pull the leaves off or chop the whole stem up if they are still young and soft.
- 1 Kg stewing beef
- 1 Large onion
- 2 Cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup of packed nettles
- 2 to 3 Tomatoes peeled and chopped.
- 2 Medium potatoes peeled and cut into cubes.
- 500 g of a fresh vegetable mix of your choice. Choose from:
- Green beans
- 2 Tablespoons curry masala
- 1 Teaspoon garam masala
- 1 Small cinnamon stick
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 Teaspoon fresh turmeric very finely chopped
- or a levelled teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ¼ Teaspoon ground fennel
- ¼ Teaspoon ground coriander
- Chilies or chilli powder if you like it hot
- 1 Star aniseed
Brown the meat in some oil.
Add the onions ad fry until they start turning brown.
Add all the spices and fry briefly to release the favour.
Add garlic and chopped tomatoes.
Add enough water to cover the meat, and bring to a boil. Stir often.
Slowly simmer for an hour, stirring now and then.
Add the potatoes, vegetable mix and nettles, and a bit of water if needed.
Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the veggies are cooked and the sauce is thickening.
Serve with rice or mieliepap.
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