Heritage recipes

Heritage Recipes

One of the things that we love at Tribes and Nations is age-old recipes that reflect the food and background of its culture. The following recipes by and large come direct from people who use them week in week out partly as a remembrance of their culture and the other part because they plain love it!

Originally compiled as something of a "bachelor's guide to looking like a better cook than you are". As such, most of them are simple "throw it in and leave it to cook" in order to produce great tasting food with fewer pans to wash and less time labouring over the stove.

Notella (the home version of the famous hazelnut/choc spread)


250g hazelnuts

150g honey

150ml water                    

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

4 tablespoons almond/hazelnut oil

10 tablespoons dark cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 1800C and toast hazelnuts for about eight mns or smelling roasted.
  • Blend nuts at high speed for 30 seconds (medium bowl)
  • Mix the honey, water, vanilla, salt and oil.
  • Add honey mixture and cocoa and process for 2 minutes until a thick, smooth puree (there will small, visible pieces of nut).
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.


Makes about 400g (2 x small jars).

Spread on toast, Corn Thins or Almond Bread…


Oumies Rice

Our recipe for the quarter is from Bea who hails from South Africa. Bea writes…

"Oumies rice" literally translated "Grandmas rice"

My Oumie made it for me when I was a kid because my parents raised me as a vegetarian and she wanted to make sure I had adequate nutrition. This dish is quite heavy on butter - but it simply doesn't taste the same with oil.
It is very near to my heart and I would be delighted if others tasted it!
( This grandma is now 100 years old as of Jan 2016.)

The recipe is as follows:

- boil 3 large cups of brown rice
- stir fry chopped onion, green capsicum ( finely chopped), chopped mushroom, grated carrot, 3 sprigs celery ( chopped) and a cup full of sunflower seeds a large amount of butter.
- add the rice and stir the veggies through till golden.

Serve hot as accompaniment to meat for example ," Boerewors sausage" ( a South African sausage available from Woolworths) - or simply with a light garden salad.


Ajiaco, Colombian chicken and potato soup (from Camillo of Baulkham Hills)   

With its origins high in the mountains of Bogota, this soup has what it takes to get you through a cold winter! It is one of Colombia’s most famous dishes. Our instant coffee comes from here and many of our other coffees and cocoa from their immediate neighbours. Enjoy!

For the soup:

1.5kg skinless chicken (can be chicken thighs or a whole chicken)

2 ears of fresh corn cut into quarters

1 big onion cut in 1/8s

1 leek, cut the mostly solid parts into roughly 2 cm pieces

1 Capsicum cut into bite-size pieces

2 large carrots cut into 2 cm pieces

2 sticks of celery, cut into 2 cm pieces

1.5 KG of potatoes cut into 2 cm cubes (the Colombians use a range of different potatoes)

6 cloves garlic, peeled (or 6 teaspoons of crushed garlic)

1/2 cup fresh corriander leaves

2 chicken stock cubes (or any stock cube if you don’t have these)

1 tablespoon of sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


put the chicken into a large pot and bring to the boil.

Reduce to a strong simmer for about 15 minutes skimming off the foam that floats to the surface every 5 minutes or so (you can do this at the end just once if you wish)

add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil again then cover and allow to simmer for about one to one and a half hours


1 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt

2 ripe avocados, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped chilies or capers

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

mix all of this together and serve in a bowl to be added to the soup to taste.


the chunkiness of this soup is one of its hallmarks so leave the pieces as they are and try and put at least one piece of corn cob in each bowl. Enjoy!


Chocolate Brownies from Jane of Girraween

Who is able to resist a brownie? You can ‘bachelorise’ this recipe via mixing everything in the tin you are about to bake it in. Less washing up!

150g butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa (T&N fair-trade, of course)

Preheat oven at 150 degrees celsius. Grease 19cm square cake tin, line base with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined between additions. Stir in flour and cocoa. Spread mixture into prepared tin. Bake in oven for about 30mins, cool in tin. Remove and cut into small squares.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long)

Suitable to freeze

Brandy Butter (for serving with any pudding or ice cream)

Some of the recipes of the subcontinent have colonial origins but have been adapted and enjoyed by the locals for over a century. The Sri Lankan version follows.


1 cup of icing sugar, 100g butter,  1 ½ tablespoons of  brandy

Once this mix is prepared proceed to one of the older members of the family who enjoys a spiritual drink (i.e. he enjoys his spirits). Ask them to taste the brandy butter and to let you know if it should have more brandy or not. Mostly you will find that it will take 3 or 4 attempts before you get it to the “right” amount. It is then up to your discretion as to whether you allow the under 18’s to indulge in this or not.


Ghana Peanut Soup  

Built for the cook who loves flavour and culture but with little time on their hands, the Heritage recipe brings a corner of the world into our kitchens. This season’s straight forward recipe comes from Ghana where my good friend Robert left his family of 6 some 20 years ago. He travelled all over South East Asia, compliments of his boxing talent, married a Filipino then settled in Penrith where we met! He invites you to enjoy this with your family and friends!


1kg           cubed lamb or beef

1 can         diced tomato or two large tomatoes diced

2tbsp         tomato paste

1             onion (chopped)

1/4 tsp       chili powder (or according to taste)

1tsp          salt (or according to taste)

3tbsp         peanut butter (smooth)

7 cups        water

4 leaves      basil



Put all the ingredients together in a pot and bring to the boil for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.  Season and garnish according to taste.  Serve with rice. This may be cooked in a slow cooker on high for around 3 hours.


Filipino Pancit (stir fried noodles)

½ kg diced cooked chicken breast (you can cook this in the microwave for a few minutes or stir fry before you start this recipe)
250g dried rice noodles (these come packaged in Asian stores/sections)
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 tsp of garlic (or 3 cloves grated/minced)
1 onion, diced

1 small cabbage, finely sliced
4 carrots, sliced about 3 cm long and thin
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 lemons - cut into wedges, for garnish

1 tsp of chilli pieces (or to taste)


1.       Cover the rice noodles with hot water in a large bowl. When soft, drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a fry pan or wok over medium heat. Fry onion and garlic until soft. Stir in chicken, cabbage, carrots and soy sauce. Cook until cabbage begins to soften. Toss in noodles and chilli and cook until heated through, stirring constantly. Transfer Pancit to a serving dish and squeeze lemon over or simply leave on the side of the plate. Eat quickly to enjoy the firmness of the noodles. Light a candle, sit outside and pretend you are in an open market.


If you are trying to impress friends with your meal, the correct pronunciation of the ‘c’ in Pancit is ‘s’.


Sri Lankan Dahl

This new section of our newsletter is dedicated to home grown simple recipes from every corner of the globe. Dedicated to the over worked cooks, time poor parents and minimally skilled bachelors, these recipes will be simple, nutritious, cultural/home based and mostly cheap. Enjoy!


2 cups of Dahl (Red Lentils), rinse in cold water, and discard anything that floats.

1 coarsely chopped tomato

½ large onion chopped finely

¼ cup of soy/coconut/cows milk

1 clove or tspn of garlic chopped finely

Handful of Bok Choy or Spinach, coarsely chopped

½ tspn of turmeric (no more)

If an accompaniment the ingredients stop here. If a stand alone meal with rice, add ONE of the following.

Water (covering dhal by about 2.5 cm)

1 can of Kidney beans 375g or…..

2 teaspoons of Maldive Fish or sprats finely chopped (or a dash of fish sauce)

 3 or 4 large potatoes cubed small if added late and big if added early


Add the first column to a pot and bring to the boil, stir then turn down to half the heat for 10 mins. Add more water if it is already thickening.
Add second column and mix in, cover then turn the heat off (if on an electric stove) leaving pot on the stove in order to cook slowly. The end consistency should be like porridge. If on gas, continue to cook on low for an extra 5 mins. Add salt to taste.
Serve with rice, when having a curry.
Optional 1. Add 1 chicken cube when starting in column 1.
2. Add some chopped coriander leaves when cooking has finished for added flavor.

Alternatively; use a microwave bowl in the microwave on high for 5 mins then stir. Cook for another 5 mins then add 2nd column and cook for 3 minutes at a time till you have a porridge consistency. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes then serve. Times will vary according to the power/age of your microwave.

PS Your microwave bowl will take on a yellow look from the turmeric. Keep this bowl a side for other Asian microwave dishes.


Irish Christmas Cake

Who better to give us a great Christmas cake recipe than the Irish?

This easy recipe is complimented by an ingredients list that even a bachelor could shop for!

It uses only two bowls and one cake tin, pleasing the washing up minimalist in us all!

We pass it on exactly  as produced (with all the FAIRTRADE references included) by the Dublin City Council.


 “This alternative to buying or making an ordinary Christmas cake is just packed with lots of FAIRTRADE Mark ingredients.


250g/9oz self raising flour

1½tsp FAIRTRADE mixed spice

½tsp FAIRTRADE ground cinnamon

¼tsp FAIRTRADE ground cloves

50g/1¾oz FAIRTRADE ground almonds

350g/12oz Of each FAIRTRADE raisins, FAIRTRADE currants and FAIRTRADE sultanas

50g/1¾oz Mixed peel

50g/1¾oz FAIRTRADE dried apricots, chopped

50g/1¾oz walnuts, roughly chopped

50g/1¾oz whole (unblanched) almonds, roughly chopped

250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened

200g/7oz FAIRTRADE dark sugar

1 the juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

5 large free range eggs

100ml/3½fl oz brandy (plus extra for 'feeding') or you can use FAIRTRADE Rum


1.Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

2.Sift the flour, spices and almonds into a bowl, then add the raisins ins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, dried apricots, nuts and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a teaspoon of the flour mixture with each egg. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with the lemon juice and brandy.

3.Spoon into the prepared tin. Level the top and bake for two

hours. Very loosely cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and continue to bake for another one hour, making three hours in total, but test for readiness after two and three quarter hours' cooking. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the sides have begun to shrink from the edges of the tin.

4.Remove to a wire rack. Once completely cold, wrap in foil and store in an airtight container until Christmas, removing every two weeks to 'feed': unwrap, prick the top with a long skewer and spoon over one to two tablespoons brandy. Reseal as before.”

From Dublin City Council who went Fairtrade in 2008



Chilli con Carne

From the hills of Mexico we bring you Chilli con carne!  This full-flavoured and nutritious recipe came from my mum.  She boasts no Mexican heritage, but once you taste this dish you may doubt that!  In line with the inaugural heritage recipe it is culturally based, simple and quick to cook. Enjoy!


What you need                1 kg mince

                                                ¾ cup tomato sauce

                                                1 cup tomato paste

                                                1 x 730g tin of red kidney beans


                                                ½ tbsp Mexican chilli powder

                                                ½ tsp cayenne pepper

                                                3 tbsp oil

                                                1 large onion

                                                1 cup water

                                                ¾ tsp chilli sauce (Tabasco or ?)


What you do                      Brown the mince in the oil.  Add the onion and cook till tender.                                                 Add everything else, stir it all up, cover it and simmer it for an hour.

                                                Add more water if you need it.  Serve it with boiled rice, sour

                                                cream and salad, or just as it is. 


Other ingredients, as suggested by Wikipedia “Cooks may also include sweet corn, peanut butter, pineapples, bananas, oranges, tomatillos, chorizo, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, tequila, cola, honey, cinnamon, allspice, saffron, molasses, vinegar, wine (usually red), beer, whiskey, bourbon, and/or others. Cornstarch is frequently used as a thickener, as is masa. Dark chocolate provides an authentic richness akin to that found in Mexican molé sauce (negro, rojo, or poblano varieties)”