A recently launched online South African dictionary, Mzansi Taal, not only provides definitions of local lingo but through its choice of words and sayings offers a unique perspective of South African culture. A great example of this is the inclusion of the phrase, “seven colours”. To outsiders these words won’t really mean anything at all, but to many South Africans those two words conjure up mouth watering images of the best lunch you can imagine!
Traditionally served on a Sunday, or special occasion, a traditional ‘seven colours’ plate consists of meat, gravy, rice or pap, spinach, pumpkin, beetroot, cabbage (boiled, fried or in coleslaw), and a bean or potato salad.
Not everyone may know the term but everyone knows the meal. Speaking of this famous family meal, Sbu Nhleko, who now works as chef, says
I grew up in Empangeni and as a kid we never used that name, but we definitely had that meal. During the week, my sisters did all the cooking, but on a Sunday my mother would go into the kitchen and make roast chicken, with ujeqe, roasted butternut, potatoes, beetroot, coleslaw and gravy.
In fact seven colours has become such an iconic meal that when Lucky Star decided to compile a cookbook they named it Cooking Seven Colours with Lucky Star, and having a seven colours meal on your menu is a sure fire way to drum up business for your restaurant.
So if you’re at a loss as to what to do this weekend, why not spend some time in the kitchen cooking up some tasty meals and great family memories!
Image courtesy of www.eatout.co.za