One of my favourite things to watch growing up were cooking shows, including Jamie Oliver and Nigella. Every Sunday afternoon on SABC 3 I would cross my legs in front of my grandmother’s boxy TV, remote in hand, as a microphone repeating what Jamie & Nigella said. I could only make tea and scrambled eggs, but whenever I did it, it would be a show! There I’d be walking around the kitchen showing “my audience” how to make a cup of tea.
Fast ward to my matric, when I applied to a culinary arts program at the International Hotel School. One of the requirements was an interview where I had to share a family recipe and how I made it special. I chose my grandmother’s Jeqe (steam bread) recipe. It was a simple old-school recipe which I tried to modernise. I added a few new ingredients. I was worried that they would not like it because I’d completely changed what was supposed to be a simple traditional meal. I was so thrilled that the recipe was accepted and got me admitted to the programme. Here it is below. Enjoy!


1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ Teaspoon salt
1 ½ Teaspoon yeast
1 spoonful each of Mixed herbs and Origanum
2 Grated carrots
½ a red and yellow pepper, diced.
250g Garlic butter
1 cup of lukewarm water


Step 1
Mix, flour, salt, sugar, yeast, herbs, and origanum together. Add the carrots and peppers.

Step 2
Rub garlic butter into the mixture.

Step 3
Add enough lukewarm water to the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Add about 20 – 30 ml extra water, should it be necessary. The dough must not be too stiff.

Step 4
Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover with greased plastic and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Step 5
Once rested, knock down the dough.

Step 6
Place dough into a greased pan.

Step 7
Prepare a pot of boiling water and place greased pan with dough inside and cover with a lid until cooked.

Step 8
Carefully lift the pan from the pot and place onto a cooling rack. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes, then loosen the sides with a butter knife, pulling it away gently from the side of the pan. Turn out onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice and serve with a delicious hearty stew.

Tell us: Do you like Jeqe and who in your family makes it best?