Shisa nyama with Tanya

Shisa nyama is a Zulu phrase that literally means to ‘burn meat’, but usually refers to the gathering of friends and family for a braai. For her shisa nyama, Tanya uses cheaper cuts of meat like blade or brisket seasoned with a little steak and chops spice, and some balsamic vinegar. This is set aside for about half an hour, then braaied on a very hot fire for about six minutes on each side. The idea is to find meat with a lot of fat on it – definitely not for dieting days – and to serve the meat chopped up, with salt and chilli sauce for dipping.


Nundus (apparently the Swahili word for ‘hump’, as in the hump of a cow) are very thin slices of brisket that are lightly spiced with braai spice and then cooked on a hot fire for a few minutes, if that. (Ask your butcher to cut thin slices of brisket for you.) Tanya tried out these tasty morsels for her shisa nyama and was instantly hooked. When it’s braaied, cut the meat up on a board and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Chicken satay

Staying with quick-cooking meat, try these easy chicken skewers done on the braai in just a few minutes.

4 chicken breasts, cut into long, thin strips
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Satay sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 can coconut cream
A squeeze of lemon juice

Marinate the chicken in a dash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper for about an hour. Concertina the chicken onto skewers. (If using wooden skewers, soak them in water first to stop them from burning.) Braai over hot coals until cooked through and browned. For the sauce, add the chilli flakes to a small saucepan and heat them to release the flavour, then add the garlic, soya sauce and sugar, and then the peanut butter. Slowly mix in the coconut cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with the chicken kebabs.

The Gardener