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La Motte - Seasonal grape and cucumber sambal recipe – traditional and on-trend

Cooking with seasonal ingredients is something that has become fashionable again in recent years, but in the old days, cooking with what was available locally and fresh was the order of the day.

The Dutch stationed at the Cape had access to the wonderful produce from the Company’s Gardens and plainly carved them to serve as salads. Sambals developed from these grated and carved vegetable and fruit salads and today still make out an important part of Cape Winelands Cuisine.

With an abundance of grapes available on a wine estate during harvest time, Chef Michelle introduces all kinds of grape-inspirations to the menu. One of these is a deliciously piquant grape sambal served with a carrot fritter on the estate’s Harvest Tasting platter.

Cape piquant curry grape and cucumber sambal

Grape and cucumber sambal served on a carrot fritter as part of the La Motte Harvest Tasting.


Fresh grapes

Small cucumber balls

Home-made Cape mayonnaise (see below)

Cape Curry mix (see below)


Make the Cape Mayonnaise and then add some of the Cape Curry mix until you are happy with the strength of the sauce.

Mix with the grapes and cucumber balls and serve.

Recipe for Cape Mayonnaise

The history of the development of mayonnaise is uncertain. Anne Willan gives a plausible explanation for the origins of mayonnaise in her book Great cooks and their recipes, where she reasons that it originated in France as the name could have come from the Old French for eggs yolk (moyeu)

Cape Mayonnaise

MAKES: just over 2 cups (600ml)


3 egg yolks

1 Tbsp (15ml) lemon juice

1 tsp (15ml) Dijon mustard

Pinch of sugar

¼ tsp (1ml) salt

1 tsp (5ml) vinegar

2 cups (500ml) vegetable oil


Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt and vinegar in a bowl and whisk well.

Slowly trickle in the oil while beating vigorously. Make sure to add the oil very slowly for the first 7 Tbsp (105ml) to ensure a stable emulsion.

If the mayonnaise is too thick, add a few drops of water right at the end to thin it out.

The mayonnaise will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Curry mix 3 (For Meat) – Also available from the La Motte Farm Shop

Traditional Cape Curries available from the La Motte Farm Shop.

MAKES just over ½ cups (150ml)


90 g coriander seeds

90 g turmeric

30 g freshly ground black pepper

15 g cayenne pepper

15 g mustard powder

15 g ground ginger

15 g ground cardamom

15 g ground cinnamon

15 g cumin seeds


Mix all the ingredients together.

Store in an air tight container.

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