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An African treat

Ace South African chef Martin Kobald shares his food philosophy and his love for Indian cuisine with us

india Updated: Nov 30, 2012 01:40 IST
Snigdha Ahuja

He is one of the most renowned names from the South African culinary world, having cooked for the likes of Nelson Mandela and Will Smith, and when chef Martin Kobald spoke to us while in the Capital recently, he revealed that he can’t get enough of Indian food.

“The last time I visited India was in 2009, when I had gone to Hyderabad. Indian delicacies are mouth-smacking, so I indulged in local cuisine with fellow chefs. In the past few years, I have seen a lot of change as far as innovative presentation of food is concerned, which is worth appreciating,” he said.

Of Austrian origin, Kobald shifted to South Africa in 1988, and in 1995, opened his own outlet called Kobald’s Catering, which offered delicacies from his native land.

Apart from being the president of South African Chefs Association, Kobald has spent years promoting South African cuisine across the globe.

“The most important factor for every chef is to learn about every kind of cuisine,” said Kobald, who was in the city to judge the trade tests for Chef Awards 2012, hosted by Indian Culinary Forum. When asked if he likes conventional recipes or experimenting with food and creating fusion dishes, he said: “One needs to respect his own culinary heritage before experimenting with other cuisine. Basics must be understood in order to relish the results of experimentation.”

AppleApple Strudel


300 gm bread flour

Pinch of salt

30 ml vegetable oil

2 kg apples

150 gm granulated sugar

30ml dark rum

150 gm raisins

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2 lemons (juice and peel)

300 gm butter (unsalted)

300 gm bread crumbs


Knead flour, salt, oil and water into a medium-firm dough. Divide into three small round loaves, brush each loaf with melted butter and let sit for an hour. Peel, core and slice apples. Mix in granulated sugar, raisins, grated lemon peel, lemon juice, rum and cinnamon. Roast butter and bread crumbs. Roll the dough loaves with a rolling pin, then stretch roll the dough on a strudel sheet with the back of your hands. Coat 2/3 of dough sheet with buttered breadcrumbs and spread apple filling over remaining 1/3 of dough. Tear off edges, shape strudel into roll by lifting strudel sheet. Place strudel on a buttered baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake strudel for 60 to 90 minutes in a 400 degrees F to 425 degrees F (200 to 220 degrees Celsius) oven. If you want to bake a delicious Apple Strudel, the dough has to be rolled out very thin. You can also buy the finished dough, which tastes good as well.

More on Martin Kobald
Kobald is the president of the South African Chefs Association. Earlier this year, he was appointed Hunger Advocate of UN World Food Programme. A big fan of Indian food, the chef believes in retaining the cultural heritage of food while playing around with textures and flavours.

An Indian Dinner With South African Touch
We asked the chef to tell us what would make for a perfect dinner that would include Indian cuisine with a smattering of South African food. He told us: “For starters: South Indian with my special Cape Maley Fruit Curry Sauce. For Main Course: traditional Indian Lamb Curry with my special South African Fruit Chutney called Chakalaka, and for dessert: Chum-Chum with my special Amrula (African fruit) Cream Sauce.”