- 1 litre water
- 300 g maize meal
- 4 T vegetable oil
- 1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 10 g celery leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 large potato, cooked and cubed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup spinach, thinly sliced
- 2 T vegetable seasoning
- 50 g butter
- salt, to taste
1. Bring the water to the boil and stir in the maize meal. Stir rapidly, adding extra maize meal to thicken slightly if necessary. Season with salt. Set aside and keep warm until ready to use.
2. Heat a pan and add the vegetable oil. Sauté the cabbage, onion, celery leaves, potato, garlic and spinach over a medium-high heat, then add the seasoning. Allow the onions to soften and caramelise a bit. Check the seasoning.
3. Combine the maize meal with the sautéed vegetables and serve immediately. This is great on its own or a tasty side.
Cook's note: At home, we didn’t really eat umfino and I would only get to taste it when I played with the neighbours’ children after school. They ate it every day so I thought they loved it as much as I did, but it was really because this was the most affordable way to keep the family nourished. Today, I enjoy umfino with my gran’s frikkadels.
Photograph: Toby Murphy