Read the full article by Noluthando Ngcakani for food for Mzansi

Africa is filled with “super foods” that have been used as sustenance and medicine by generations across history, believes Mpho Tshukudu, a Johannesburg-born registered dietician who dreams of a day when people will, once again, consume the delicacies of their ancestors.

Tshukudu told Food For Mzansi that this could be the answer to various lifestyle ailments, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers. “I have seen the magic of what is possible. This is why I have dedicated my career to honouring our cultures.”

Historically, African food was labelled as “poverty food.” But the world has grown more aware of the healing properties in foods from the continent, Tshukudu adds.

“When the world talks about gluten free grains, they are talking about African grains. These are sorghum, teff, millet and fonio. We need to understand, as Africans, that the whole world is looking at our resources. If we don’t take advantage of them, innovate and do interesting things with them, we will lose them,” she warns.


Finger Millet idly batter (See the method for making the batter)
Green chilly – 1 finely chopped
Ginger – finely chopped
Turmeric powder
Red chilly powder
Garam masala powder
Potato – Boiled and mashed
Coriander leaves


For finger millet idly batter:

Idly rice – 2 cups
whole black gram (skinned) – 1/2 cups
Finger millet flour – 1 cup
Grind black gram and rice separately. Mix them together and leave it to ferment for 8 hours.

For Potato masala:
In a pan add oil, cumin, onion, green chilly, ginger, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, mashed potato. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Grease the Idly pan with oil and add a layer of batter

Spread the potato masala on top of the batter and top it with a layer of batter

Steam it for 15 minutes and serve it with chutney