Relish is a cooked or pickled product made of chopped vegetable (or fruit) that is often used as a condiment, to enhance a staple food.
In our society, meat or gravy (soup) is often eaten as a relish. But a Motswana woman, Nkata Seleka, has created what is probably the first of its kind specialised premium relish product, called Sleek Relish. Seleka says that Sleek relish is suited to the Botswana palate because it contains no sugar and does not have a lot of oil. “I have observed that many Batswana do not enjoy a taste that overwhelms their taste buds. I used to make homemade relish for my family, particularly my husband, who doesn’t like store bought sauces. I like entertaining at home, so I would cook for my guests and also serve them my relish.
The feedback was positive and this spurred me to produce it on a commercial scale,” she explains. Sleek relish was one of the exhibitors at the Fresh Food pop up market, held at the Three Chiefs Dikgosi monument park this past Saturday. The lifestyle event, which is slowly making a mark, attracts different local entrepreneurs under one roof who market and sell their products to fashionistas, foodies and lovers of fine living. Sleek Relish offers local foodies a distinct experience. Seleka explains that there is a difference between relish and sauces or atchaar, which some people use a relish.
She also points out that unlike the factory-made products bought off the shelf, Sleek relish has no added preservatives, colourants, thickeners or chemicals. “When you read the labelling of other products, you will see a long list of ingredients, some with words that you cannot even pronounce. Have you asked yourself, what effect those things have on our bodies? I also used olive oil as opposed to vegetable oil because I use a health conscious approach. Nowadays there are many illnesses and people are more informed and conscious about what they eat. Good taste should not compromise health.” Sleek comes in four flavours: lemon and herb, mild and hot – the ingredients include simple onion, beans, carrots and chillies, as well as the olive oil. Seleka says that Sleek relish can be used as a marinade, during the cooking, as a dip or bread spread.
“Sleek relish is made from only vegetables and olive oil so it is also perfect for vegetarians,” she says. Below is a recipe for the Sleek scrambled eggs, which I prepared in my kitchen. It is a simple and affordable dish.
*One tablespoon of oil or margarine
*A pinch of aromat or salt
*One tablespoon of Sleek relish
Preparation - Warm up the oil or margarine, and scramble your eggs. Add the aromat or salt. Remove from the stove and serve on bread. You can add a side scramble of vegetables (I made a mix of onions, garlic, red onion, beans and cucumber). Add the relish on top. Bon appétit!
*Sleek relish is available at most leading supermarket outlets in Gaborone.