Clare and Fiona Ras get creative with a mortar and pestle and produce flavours with flair, adding some spice to your life this summer.

Thai sweet and spicy dipping sauce


150 ml rice wine vinegar

60 ml caster sugar

1 garlic clove – peeled

2 green chillies

1 bunch coriander root

30 ml chopped coriander

3 ml salt


Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. In the mortar and pestle, grind the peeled garlic, roughly chopped chillies and coriander with the salt.

Grind to a smooth paste and pour in the hot vinegar. Scrape into a bowl and cool

Note: This serves as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, steamed fish fillets and chicken.



16 garlic cloves

2 free-range eggs

juice of 2 lemons

salt and white pepper to taste

600 ml extra virgin olive oil


Peel and crush the garlic, place in the mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and grind to a paste.

Transfer to a bowl and add the eggs, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Whisk well and slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking until it reaches a thick, dropping consistency.

Check the seasoning and store in the fridge until needed.

Note: Aïoli is a great dip served alongside fish, shellfish, potato wedges, crudités and olives.


Poached Garlic Sauce


6 bulbs of garlic

300 ml milk

30 ml olive oil

30 ml sherry vinegar

salt and black pepper


Break up the bulbs into individual cloves, place them (unpeeled) into a saucepan and cover with milk.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the garlic is soft.

Drain the garlic, reserving the liquid. Peel the cloves then place them in the mortar and grind to a paste while slowly adding 180 ml of the warm, garlic infused milk, grinding constantly.

Slowly pour in the olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Note: This sauce goes extremely well with roast lamb and grilled asparagus and is also delicious on sandwiches.


Herb and Spice salt


5 ml coriander seeds

2 bay leaves

120 g sea salt

20 ml celery salt


Place the coriander in the mortar and crumble in the bay leaves. Grind to a fine powder and add the salt and celery salt.

Stir to combine. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool dry area.

Note: This is a great seasoning for all types of food. Heap into a ceramic bowl and put on the table so that guests can add liberal pinches to their food.

Recipes first published in Issue 47. Production Luanne Toms – Photos Russel Wasserfall

More sumptuous summer recipes here!