Heritage Day on 24 September has come to be celebrated as “braai day” around the country.
Few things unite us like fresh meat and a crackling fire, but it doesn’t always have to be a carnivorous feast. Some of you might be horrified upon hearing the words “meat-free braai”, but then you probably have the wrong impression of vegetarian eating.
We’re not talking meat substitutes with the taste and texture of cardboard – there are tons of bursting-with-flavour vegetarian foods to pop on the grill and enjoy with friends and family.
For example, paneer – a firm Indian cheese that is typically marinated in aromatic spices and transformed into a mouthwatering paneer curry. In this recipe, Abigail coats paneer in a tikka masala mixture, which is then skewered and cooked to perfection over medium coals. Paneer is available from selected Woolies stores, but you can learn how to make your own paneer in just a few easy steps here. This recipe for tikka paneer with turmeric brinjals, chapattis and date atchar is sure to be a hit at your next braai!
Don’t get me started on brinjals on the braai – they’re a thing of beauty to be savoured s-lo-w-l-y. This brinjal marinade will transform them from bland to sublime and they’re great slightly charred on the grill.
Halloumi is another cheese you can try on the braai. Grilling halloumi is like magic – its firmness prevents it from melting too much. This mild cheese is chewy and creamy and picks up grill marks beautifully, leaving you with the same satisfaction you get when removing meat from the grill. They’re best skewered – and Hannah Lewry suggests serving them with olive tapenade and roasted cherry tomatoes to make the flavours pop. And of course no braai is complete without sides, so pick out your favourite vegetarian salads here.
Happy braaiing (and happy Heritage Day)!