Say whaaat? Water flowers what? Huh?
Yip, that was about the same response I gave my hubby when he asked me to make him his favourite meal for his birthday a few years back. I had never heard of the dish, let alone the supposed flower?
‘Waterblommetjiebredie is a stew. The name comes from the Afrikaans language and literally means ‘small water flower stew’. It is made of meat, typically lamb, stewed together with the waterblommetjies (Aponogeton distachyos flowers, commonly known as Cape pondweed, Cape hawthorn or Cape asparagus) which are found in the dams and marshes of the Western Cape of South Africa. The buds of Aponogeton distachyos are usually ready to be picked in the southern midwinter months of July and August, leading to their use in winter stews such as waterblommetjiebredie.’
I wasted no time in getting the recipe from my now mother-in-law to get cracking on this dish, whom is happy for me to share this recipe handed down from generation. Dankie Ma Alta 🙂
A few years down the line, I have to say this has become one of my favourite dishes to make. What I love most about it, is it’s simplicity, how little ingredients go into this meal and how incredibly well all the flavours come together. It has also recently become such a hit with my Portuguese family whom had also never previouly heard of the dish.
It really is the perfect winter comforting meal and beats any stew I have ever tasted – sorry Mae! You will need to hurry though, they are in season for a very short period and are usually sold out quite quickly! So next time you are out stocking up on your veggies, be sure to look out for these beauties so you can give this recipe a go! I can assure you, it will soon become a favourite in your household too!
600g Lamb stew pieces
2 Granny smith apple
4 Potatoes – diced
Juice of 2 lemons
Braise onion with garlic, set aside.
Add onions, Juice of lemon, apple, Salt & Pepper.
Cook for 1hr, Add potatoes.
Cook another 20min.
Add waterblomme, cook another 20min.
Serve with rice
Depending on your meat, I sometimes like to cook my meat for 2 hours, get it nice and tender and really let the flavours settle.
Ideally you want fatty pieces of meat, but for a healthy option, you can get leaner pieces and for an even healthy option, you can even leave out the potatoes and rice.
My hubby is a typical Afrikaaner and loves his ‘rys ‘n vluis’, I prefer to omit these and it is still just as good and comforting.
So you missed the winter season and missed out on the waterblommetjies or you just can’t seem to find them anywhere, try replacing them with green beans. I tried this once during summer when we both had such a craving for the dish and surprisingly enough, it came out really, really well.