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Duncan Welgemoed's Morogo

Duncan Welgemoed's Morogo

Prep 30 mins (plus resting overnight)

Cook 30 mins

Serves 4

Difficulty 3

“Morogo is the Tswana word for ‘vegetables’ and is the name for a wild leafy African spinach. In this recipe we are using kale because it’s wildly available,” says Duncan Welgemoed. “If you can’t find any kale, use large-leaf spinach. The spicy tomato gravy (seba) is one of the foundations of Southern African cooking, and the hellfire oil recipe was shamelessly stolen from Chin Chin’s Ben Cooper, who stole it from someone, who stole it from someone, and so on and so forth. You can also add dried spices or toasted coconut to this for variance. This is perfect to replace oils in dressings to spice things up.” The recipe for the oil makes 1.5 litres, so reduce quantities to make enough as desired.

1 garlic clove
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g canned chickpeas
350g kale


350 g dried Thai red chillies
300 g garlic cloves, peeled
200 g homemade deep-fried French shallots, oil reserved
100 g caster sugar
50 g sea salt
500 ml (2 cups) shallot oil (from the deep-fried shallots)
500 ml (2 cups) garlic oil
100 ml fish sauce


2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 or more garlic cloves, crushed
4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, or 400 g tin plum tomatoes, chopped (don’t drain)
1 roasted and skinned green capsicum
¼ tsp sugar
1 tsp curry powder
2 hot chillies, diced

1. For hellfire oil, pound the chillies, garlic, deep-fried shallots, sugar and salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle. Add to a saucepan with the shallot and garlic oils and the fish sauce and bring up to the boil, then set aside, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Allow to sit overnight before using. Will keep forever.

2. For sheba, lightly brown the onion in the oil in a saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients, season to taste and cook briskly, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. You’ll need 200ml, but any remaining can be cooled and refrigerated for a later use.

3. Bruise the garlic with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle, then pound into small pieces with the chilli, but not to a paste. Transfer to a hot frying pan with the olive oil and sweat it until the garlic is fragrant and translucent, then add the chickpeas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the kale and 2½ tbsp water and cook until the kale has wilted. Add 200ml sheba and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Serve greens on a large plate and drizzle over 80ml (1/3 cup) hellfire oil to finish.



Images and text have been extracted with permission from the book Africola by Duncan Welgemoed; food photography by Simon Bajada. Murdoch Books RRP $49.99.

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