The Waterblommetjie, also known as cape pondweed, grows in the Western Cape, normally flowering during winter and spring. The Waterblommetjie is used in a local, delicious lamb stew called Waterblommetjie Bredie (small water flower stew).
Here is the recipe for anyone that would like to try it out, serves 4-6 people:
1.2kg Lamb or mutton cut into pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
flour for dusting the meat
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
thumb size piece of green ginger, crushed
4 cardomom pods, crushed
2ml coriander seeds
2ml fennel seeds
15ml fresh thyme, chopped
15ml fresh marjoram, chopped
1ml grated nutmeg
1-2 small green chillies, seeded and sliced
5ml brown sugar
800ml waterblommetjies, trimmed and soaked in salt water
1 green apple, peeled and grated
Season the meat with pepper and dust with flour.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a large pot and brown the meat a few pieces at a time. Return the meat to the pot add the onion, ginger and garlic and braise over a high heat until the onion turns a nice golden brown.
Crush the cardamom, coriander and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to the pot with the thyme, marjoram, chilli, waterblommetjies and brown sugar. Season with salt. Cover the pot and turn stove down to a simmer. Simmer gently until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally. If the bredie becomes too dry, add a little stock or water. If it is too moist then remove the lid toward the end of the cooking time. This should be between 1 – 2 hours depending on the cut of the meat.
Serve with plain rice and boiled potatoes, or add the potatoes to the bredie in the last 30 minutes.