Established Chef Zanele Van Zyl Shares Her Twist On The Renowned 7 Colours Dish On The Insider SA

Zanele van Zyl is a South African chef who needs no introduction. Having risen from an impoverished background, Zanele has worked hard to become a household name; having released an impressive cookbook and hosting a variety of cooking classes across the country.

In this week’s episode of The Insider SA, Zanele opens up about her culinary journey while sharing her twist on the popular 7 Colours dish with viewers. The dish has been a staple in Zanele’s home growing up. In fact, it was Zanele’s mother who motivated her love of food, where the then-aspiring chef would grow up watching her mom whipping up this popular dish.

For Zanele, 7 Colours is a dish that’s close to her family, both past and present – Zanele remarks that “I’m a very colourful girl, and 7 Colours has got all the colours you can think of – the textures, the taste, it’s balanced – and it reminds me of my childhood. We’d open our eyes and it was there – on Sundays or Christmas!”

Named for the assortment of colours it presents when served, 7 Colours is a traditional South African meal that would include rice, chicken or beef, and sides such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beetroot, cabbage, beans salad, potato salad, or coleslaw.

Dishes such as 7 Colours give Zanele the opportunity to do what she does best – to take her own spin on a classic meal. “Developing a recipe is very tricky”, says Zanele. “At culinary school, they taught us how to pair this with that – but it must always be here [in your mind]. You must always work around it, twist it, to see…. “You don’t have to be a chef to cook this meal – it’s something that will never go out of fashion!”

With a career and personality that’s as colourful as the meals she makes, the sky is the limit for Zanele – and she has no plans to stop anytime soon and aims to release her second cookbook in October this year.

Zanele’s 7 Colours Recipe:

Zanele’s Special Dumplings
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 spoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped spinach
Handful grated carrots

Mix all the ingredients and cook in steam-proved dish for 20 minutes.

Roast Chicken Recipe

Whole roast chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
125ml lemon juice
10ml whole grain mustard
10ml chicken spice
5ml paprika
15ml finely chopped fresh rosemary
15 finely chopped thyme
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and pepper

In an open bowl mix all the ingredients, marinate the whole chicken on the inside and outside. In a proved baking tray place the chicken, cover with a fold let it cook through for 45 minutes. Take the foil off let it cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to give it a nice golden and crispy on top. Serve with vegetables or rice.

Catch The Insider SA every Tuesday at 19h30 and the repeat every Saturday at 20h00 on SABC 3.

Connect with The Insider SA and follow the latest #TheInsiderSA news online:
Twitter:             @TheInsiderSA
Instagram:        @TheInsiderSA