Fair food, fine food with Shereen Nanjiani

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Shereen Nanjiani is one the best known faces – and voices – in Scottish broadcasting so the BIG dinner team was delighted when she signed up to host a BIG dinner, and even happier when she invited us along to film the preparations for her very special meal.

Not surprisingly for someone who has been to Africa many times to cover major events such as Make Poverty History to South Africa’s first multi-racial election, Shereen decided to make her BIG dinner a fair trade one.

Picture: Donald MacLeod

Picture: Donald MacLeod

“I have seen for myself the difference a charity like 500 miles and fair trade can make to peoples’ lives, so I thought I would support two good causes,” she explains.

And where better to get her fair trade products than Just Trading Scotland (JTS), which imports and distributes fair trade products from its base in Paisley.

One of its most popular products is Kilombero rice, from the Karonga district in Malawi. And the BIG dinner team are delighted that JTS are donating a share of its Kilombero rice sales to the 500 miles campaign.

“Karonga is in the north of Malawi and is one of the areas that benefits from 500 miles,” John Riches, founder of JTS, explains to Shereen as she picks up her BIG dinner meal kit.

JTS has special BIG dinner packs on sale that include Kilombero rice, fair trade sauces, chutneys and sweets. You can buy them – and many other tasty products - on the JTS website and from fair trade shops across Scotland.

You can also find out about the JTS’s Rice Challenge on their website. John wants organisations such as schools and churches to sell 90kg of Kilombero rice – because the profit from each 90 kg sale will pay for a Malawi child to go to secondary school for one year.

Shereen did not need 90 kg of rice for her BIG dinner, but she did need some help from Gisela Hans at Veldt Deli in Glasgow to make her chosen dish of bobotie. Veldt Deli is Scotland’s only Scottish/South African fusion deli, and offers mouthwatering products such as biltong and boerewors that are an irresistible mix of fresh Scottish produce with the warm taste of South Africa.

Bobotie is an unusual dish, combining curried mince with a savoury egg custard, served with, of course, Kilembero rice.

Gisela has shared her recipe with the BIG dinner team as well as Shereen, so you can make an authentic taste of South Africa for your BIG dinner – using fair trade products from JTS of course.

To join Shereen in supporting 500 miles and its work in Africa, then sign up for a BIG dinner here.

Bobotie with Yellow Rice

Ingredients:

Group A

2 tsp mild curry powder

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp salt

generous pinch of pepper

1 large onion

1 tbs grated fresh ginger

2 tbs of rapeseed oil

Group B

1 slice of day old white bread soaked in milk

500grams beef mince

1 tbs Mrs Balls Chutney

1 tbs Eswatini Hot Mango Chutney

1 tbs malt vinegar

1 tbs worcester sauce

1 tbs tomato paste

2 tbs Eswatini Mild Curry Sauce

Group C

300ml milk

75ml double cream

3 eggs

Method

Heat group A’s spices in a heavy saucepan to release its flavour.

Add onions, grated ginger and oil and saute until soft.

Squeeze milk from bread and add group B ingredients to the onion mix.

Simmer mixture for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

Pile into a buttered casserole dish

Mix group C’s ingredients together, pour over dish.

Add bay, lemon or curry leaves to the topping. Press in lightly.

Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes

Yellow Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup of Malawi Kitchen Kilombero Rice

½ tsp tumeric

2 cups of water

¼ tsp salt

2 tbs raisins

2tbs flaked almonds (optional)

Method

Put all ingredients together in a pan with the 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, turn

down heat and simmer for about 10mins, till all water has cooked away. Don’t stir rice

whilst cooking. Rice is ready once fluffy

Serve with condiments such as Eswatini Lime Pickle or Eswatini FireSauce