How did you get into cooking?
When I was around 16, we were living in Durban and my mom was travelling between Johannesburg and Durban almost weekly for work. I can’t tell you what we’d eat when she was away because I honestly don’t remember, my best guess would be takeaways. We’d eagerly await her return because her food was the best. So much so that she’d have been in meetings all day, caught an afternoon flight home and still have to prepare supper because we (my sister and I) couldn’t cook! One evening, she just reached a breaking point and gave me an ultimatum, either I start learning to cook or we go hungry. The first thing I learned how to make was hand-cut hot chips and I’ve never looked back!
Which proudly South African dishes hold a special place in your heart ?
I grew up eating samp and beans, real Cape Town fish and chips parcels, pap, chops and tomato chutney and an assortment of South Indian dishes because my gran was Tamil. My fondest memory would have to be my gran having to prepare a small pot of stew just for me because the curries were always “too strong”. Looking back now, I just think I enjoyed being made a fuss of.
What’s one traditional dish you still make on the regular?
It would be my gran’s curry and roti (chicken or lamb). The secret is to marinate the meat in yogurt, garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander, cumin, garam masala and Kashmiri curry powder at least an hour before you start cooking. It tenderizes the meat and takes the flavors to another level.
With summer coming, which dishes are non-negotiable on your braai menu?
Definitely MY potato salad, spicy chicken wings and I can’t forget the braaibroodjies with a special twist.
What’s your favourite braai tune?
Tender Love by Sha Sha ft. Maphorisa & Kabza De Small
What’s your ultimate braai pudding?
A s’more bake with layers of gooey chocolate chip cookie, melted dark chocolate and toasted marshmallows.
Find Tayla’s recipe for cinnamon rolls here.
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