Amadumbe dumplings, chakalaka, pickled carrot

Rate this recipe


Preparation info

  • Serves 8

    starter portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About

While travelling the country with MKRSA we have been fortunate to meet many great families and friends. One of those teams really stands out for me – Mini and T… two Zulu women from KZN. Their passion for life and their desire to show their heritage in food were very special. I have taken one of their dishes and given it a twist of my own. Thanks Mini and T, for the inspiration.


Amadumbe dumplings

  • 750 g amadumbe500 g cooked weight
  • salted water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 120 g flour


  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 125 g carrots
  • 40 ml olive oil/canola blend
  • ½ red chilli – finely chopped
  • 7 g garlic – grated on a microplane
  • 5 g ginger – grated on a microplane
  • 15 g wet seafood masala
  • 200 g tinned baked beans
  • salt and pepper

English spinach

  • 50 g English (baby) spinach leaves – washed and dried

Pickled baby carrots

  • 200 ml water
  • 150 ml white wine vinegar
  • 40 g salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 16 baby carrots
  • 48 baby carrot tops – washed, dried and trimmed – for garnish


Peel the amadumbe and boil in salted water until soft enough to pass through a tamis (drum sieve). Once cooked, drain, weigh out 500 g and pass through the tamis immediately. While still warm but not hot enough to cook the egg yolks, combine the sieved amadumbe with the egg yolks and flour until a soft dough is formed. Let the dough rest, while bringing a pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Roll out the dough to form long thin cylinders. Cut the dough into 2.5 cm-wide pieces and press down slightly to form a rectangular shape (essentially gnocchi). Drop the dumplings in boiling water until they begin floating to the top. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the water and set aside. When ready to serve, drop the dumplings into simmering salted water for a minute.

Dice the onion and tomatoes and julienne the red pepper and carrots. Add the oil to a pot and when hot, add the chilli, garlic, ginger and seafood masala and fry. Add the onion and red pepper and cook until soft, followed by the tomatoes. Continue to cook until the tomatoes have softened slightly. Add the carrots and baked beans and cover with a cartouche (paper or silicone lid). Simmer gently until slightly thickened and the carrots are al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stack the spinach leaves tightly. Cut the stack into a chiffonade of very thin ribbons and plate immediately.

Bring all the ingredients except the carrots to a simmer and leave for 1 hour to infuse. Add the carrots and chill for 24 hours.

To assemble, place 7 warm dumplings on each plate and top with 30 g chakalaka. Place about 6 g baby spinach chiffonade in between. Garnish with 2 pickled baby carrots and 6 carrot top leaves.