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Recipes for Love and Murder—Baking with Tannie Maria
Shalini Kunahlan baking

The Text marketing team received numerous tip-offs on the quality of the recipes featured at the end of Recipes for Love and Murder, an entertaining new crime novel published this week. Marketing Coordinator Shalini Kunahlan and Digital Manager Michelle Calligaro gave one of the recipes a shot last weekend.

Recipes for Love and Murder by South African author Sally Andrew features the irrepressible Tannie Maria, who is ‘short and soft (a bit too soft in the wrong places) with short brown curls and untidy Afrikaans’, and lives in the Klein Karoo, a beautiful semi-desert region near Cape Town.

Recipes for Love and Murder

Recipes for Love and Murder

Sally Andrew

Tannie Maria is a recipe columnist for the Klein Karoo Gazette. When head office decides they need an advice column instead, she ingeniously cooks up the Tannie Maria Love Advice and Recipe Column. It starts off innocently enough: frozen bananas, dipped in melted dark chocolate and rolled in nuts, for some much-needed sex ed. But then there’s a letter from Martine, whose husband beats her, and Tannie Maria feels a pang of recognition and dread, having been in a similar situation herself. She begins to realise that this is not a problem that can be solved merely by cooking.

Recipes for Love and Murder is a hugely enjoyable mystery, romance and exotic culinary adventure rolled into one: a cosy crime novel rich in detail that expertly evokes the wild Karoo plains and life in rural South Africa. While it pays tribute to the works of Alexander McCall Smith, it is also full of references to important contemporary social issues.

We decided to make one of Tannie Maria’s recipes listed at the back of the book. There’s a mouth-watering selection to choose from: Sambals, Mutton Curry (a winner, according to our sales team), Melk Tert,  Buttermilk Chocolate Cake. We settled on Karoo Farm Bread, for something a little different, and so our vegan Digital Manager could indulge in a treat. We were a little nervous at the start, as neither of us had baked bread before, but it turned out that this recipe was actually pretty easy—and delicious! Take a look at the Flipagram of photos from our cooking session at Michelle Calligaro’s lovely home, and the recipe, below.       




Karoo Farm Bread

4 1⁄2 cups brown bread flour (600g)

3 t salt

10g instant dried yeast

1 cup oats (80g)

1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds (80g)

1⁄4 cup molasses (80g)

1 T sunflower oil

2 1⁄2 cups lukewarm water

1 cup All Bran flakes (55g)


·      Grease a 12 × 25cm loaf tin.

·      Sift the flour (adding back the bran that is caught in the sieve) and mix in the salt, yeast, oats and sunflower seeds.

·      Add the molasses, oil and water and stir well.

·      Now add the All Bran flakes and mix well.

·      Spoon the batter into the tin and put in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.

·      Sprinkle the top with a few more sunflower seeds and bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 40–45 minutes.

·      Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Shalini Kunahlan


This bread stays fresh for up to a week. It is delicious with farm butter and apricot jam or thick slices of cheese.

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew is in bookshops this week. Find out more here.


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