As a young boy in the Transkei, one of Nelson Mandela’s favourite snacks was fresh mealies cooked over an open fire – you can just imagine the kernels bursting with warm goodness, some slightly charred and nutty.
There is something so visceral about eating food with one’s hands – some people do this so well that they can ‘get away with it’ at the most posh of restaurants. Mealies, though, are the great leveller – you HAVE TO eat them with your hands.
- 4 Mealies – normally one per person
- 200g Butter
- Handful Fresh Mint – an easy herb that grows prolifically in a herb garden
- Cook the mealies to your taste – If we are braaing, we normally cut each mealie into 3 and cook 4 (12 pieces) in the microwave for 8 minutes. Then we turn them on the fire to get the ‘gap toothed one or two kernels charred’ look.
- Finely chop the fresh mint and add to butter – melt butter by whizzing in the microwave. Purists may melt the butter on the stove and mix the mint in to get a cloudy nutty butter mix which does go much better with the mealies.
- Drizzle mint butter over mealies and serve.
Time: 15 minutes