Pilchard cottage pie
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The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen

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The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen


Pilchard cottage pie

Recipe By Mogau Seshoene
Photographs By Craig Fraser


4 – 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
4 Tbsp milk
1 medium onion, chopped
Oil, for frying
2 tsp curry powder
400g tin pilchards in sweet chilli sauce
100 g tin mixed vegetables, drained
½ cup soft breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

This recipe came about during my varsity days, when I shared a flat with two other girls and we took turns making dinner on weeknights. It’s great, not just because it’s affordable but also because it’s a lifesaver on days when you forget to “take out the meat” to defrost it. It’s a winner, too, for busy moms who need to whip up something quick for impatient little tummies that are always craving something new. Basically, it’s a handy way to put a delicious dinner on the table in minutes.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a casserole dish and set aside. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until soft. Drain well and mash with butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a different saucepan, sauté the onion in oil and add curry powder. Add the pilchards with the sauce and break them up into large chunks. Gently mix in the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the pilchard and vegetable mixture into the casserole dish and top with the mashed potato. Scatter the breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until crunchy and golden.

About the Author

Mogau Seshoene founded The Lazy Makoti in 2014 after leaving the corporate world to focus on her love for food. What began as lessons for a friend, a bride-to-be who was afraid of being labelled “The Lazy Makoti” (the lazy daughter-in-law) because she couldn’t cook, evolved into a business, and inspired its name. Through The Lazy Makoti, Mogau offers a series of cooking classes targeted at young, modern Afropolitans who have a keen interest in learning to navigate the kitchen with ease and flair. In addition to being in demand for her real-live lessons, Mogau has become Instagram-famous, with thousands of foodie followers.

In line with her desire to promote the role of food in maintaining South African culture and heritage, she hosted a season of a TV show entitled Cooks For Life on which she demonstrated easier and healthier ways to prepare African and South African cuisine.

Mogau was on the M&G top 200 Young SA list in 2015, has taken part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at the University of Wisconsin, Stout, in the US and has made the Forbes Africa 30 under 30s list. She is a Brand SA Play your Part Ambassador, and in May 2018 received a USIBA Creative and Cultural Industries Award. Mogau has a diploma in Culinary Arts from the Chefs Training and Innovation Academy in Centurion and completed the industry training under Chef Werner at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg. She is a contributing food editor for the weekly newspaper, Sunday World.

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