African Pepper Mix

This is the spice mix I use in my tomato and cashew South African curry (recipe to follow soon!). I found this recipe online but I wanted a much more peppery version so I changed it quite radically to create this mix.

The grains of paradise and voatsiperifery pepper can be replaced with black pepper if you don’t have them but they add a complex aromatic woody note that helps make the recipe distinctive and delicious!


  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp grains of paradise
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp voatsiperifery pepper
  • 1 clove
  • 1cm2 cinnamon bark
  • 8 smoked birds eye chillies


Combine all ingredients and grind to a powder. You can use a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder.

We have an electric spice grinder which is much easier than grinding manually and results in a fine even powder that’s easy to use.


Tofu Ayib (Ethiopian lemony cheese)

When creating our very own Ethiopian feast, we adapted this Ayib recipe that is usually made with cottage cheese, to make a tasty vegan version.

Lemon rind is what makes this dish distinctive, while soy sauce adds depth of flavour. We didn’t add soya yoghurt because John hates it, but you could try adding some when you make it – let us know how you get on!

This alternative to cottage cheese is crumbly and fresh

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