Saturday, April 13, 2013

A birthday on site

Last Saturday it was the birthday of Procurement manager, Dipin. As it poured with rain on that particular day, we postponed a celebration function for him until the weather improved.  In Africa most celebration meals are outdoors. The day finally dawned on Tuesday when we had a clear day, and although it drizzled during the afternoon, it cleared up at 4.30 and the sun came out in full force. 

When planning Dipin's birthday, I told Grant I was going to deviate from the ubiquitous BBQ/ braai; I wanted to have a Mongolian Braai instead. I set about explaining to the chefs how to prepare the food: cut strips of steak and chicken which had to lay in marinade for at least 24 hours. Chef Paul cleaned a packet of prawns as well. Then on the afternoon of the BBQ, they cut up the vegetables and set them out on trays.  I made the sauce here in my kitchen. 
A colorful array of meat and vegetables prepared by my GH kichen staff

I had the table set next to the grill for easy access

 The men sit and chat while waiting for some of the others to arrive from work: From left: Birthday boy, Dipin, Grant, Johan, Omid (facing away) and Jung

At first the men were a bit apprehensive and asked me how this specific method of BBQ worked so I demonstrated the method to them. I wiped the pan with a paper kitchen towel then added a splash of oil.  I loaded a dinner plate with prawns, chicken and vegetables; then I picked a up a a chicken strip, dipped it in the sauce which was bubbling on the stove. I placed this on the grill. I continued until I had placed all the meat on and then added the vegetables. Turning it, I added a ladle of sauce, waited a couple of minutes, turned it again and the food was ready. (Of course this was Grant's plate - he's the only man with a wife here to spoil him!
 Johan plays to the crowd, while Reggie moves into the place left by Omid

Soon Omid, our HR manager visiting from HO, followed my lead and Johan, the new regional plant manager started to cook his meal on the other side of the grill. As the other men saw and caught the aroma of the grilled food, they began to collect meat and vegetables on their plates and wait in line.

Dipin's plate of meat and veg ready to be grilled

Badu, Solomon and Jung enjoy the fruits of their labors at the grill! 

Mani and I are the only vegetarians on site, so we had a separate pot of sauce which hadn't had meat pieces swirled around in it! 

I'd baked a cake for Dipen 

Happy birthday to you; happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Dipin. Happy birthday to you! 

Great applause as he blows out the dozen candles I placed on the cake! 

All in all, this evening was a roaring success; the next day at lunch the men still spoke about the yummy food and the great atmosphere of the birthday party.  Earlier when Grant woke up, he said when he gets to SA, he's buying a Mongolian BBQ grill. They're available in gas in South Africa,  but as you see we made do with what we had here in wild Africa!

I hope you're all having a really wonderful weekend.


  1. I would enjoy the Mongolian themed BBQ. I love grilled chiken, veggies and shrimp. Though I don't normally eat shrimp I love them BBQ'd.

    Looks like Dipin had a wonderful birthday and it was sweet of you to bake his cake.

    Have a wonderful weekend. The rain has now returned here so it is a bit cold.

  2. Looks like a great birthday party and lots of great food!! How fun!

  3. How fun for everyone to try a different kind of braii. I look forward to trying your new Mongolian BBQ.

  4. Even when it comes to cooking you are very creative ! Sounds delicious !
    It seems to me that you have a lot of birthday parties going lately, lol !
    I will have my mini birthday party this evening !

  5. Gas may be fine but nothing tastes better than when it is cooked on hot coals. What next will you get up to after teaching men to cook?
    Jo, feel free to quote anything you like.


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