Self-published cookbook author Reezwanah Seedat draws inspiration for her food blog, Treetz by Reez, from her four energetic sons. The 35-year-old admits that feeding her big family can be daunting, but once she discovered creative ways to keep their growling tummies happy the foodie within her was born.
“I’ve got four busy little bodies and that’s where my passion for food came about,” she says. Seedat worked as a teacher before dedicating her energy to her sons as a full–time mom in 2017.
“I have an honours degree in education. Every time I fell pregnant, I would leave after I gave birth. The last time I left was when I gave birth to my last-born son three years ago and that’s where my journey with home cooking began,” Seedat explains.
Born and raised in the town of Lydenburg in Mpumalanga, Seedat says she has always loved cooking. Her mother, Khaairoon Moosa, is a master of flavour and “the queen of aromatic spice blending”. “As a growing child I always assisted her in the kitchen and learned from her,” she says.
“My mom is such a passionate cook, to this day she has this love and passion for cooking. She takes all her time and effort to ensure the flavours are there, and the spices are there. Although I drew inspiration from her, I can still never ever get any of her dishes that I make to the exact same taste or texture that she does,” she adds, bursting into laughter.
The foodie has combined her mother’s teachings with those of her in–laws to create her food blog. Seedat says she has tried and tested and burned a few of her fingers and even her forearms developing the recipes she shares with her followers.
“A lot of my inspiration came after I got married. I came into a new home that cooked entirely differently from what I was taught. My sisters-in–law are very fond of baking and they have helped me take my hobby to a new level,” she says.
Never give up, even if you have a flop in the kitchen, carry on, tweak it a bit.
Her self-published cookbook, Treet Yourself, was launched in September 2019. As a self-published author Seedat uses her influence on social media to market and sell her book. She says the book has sparked huge interest amongst her 35 000 loyal followers who are looking for #dinspiration.
“I was born in South Africa and I love my country, so I looked for an opportunity where I could launch (the book) and I decided on Heritage Day. I even made a colourful South African flag salad for its release,” she says.
Her cookbook includes some of her favourite childhood recipes. She fondly remembers the best moments in the kitchen making poori bread – a deep-fried bread made from unleavened whole-wheat flour that originated on the Indian subcontinent – with her late grandmother, Hoorbhai Dawood Moosa.
“I remember she always loved how my pooris would turn out. I remember going to her place and we would make pooris and she would always get so excited at how beautifully they puffed up,” she reminisces.
It’s just something that I love doing, I have a passion, obviously having four boys I’m always busy looking for something to cook
Although Seedat is not professionally trained, she believes with a little passion you can reach new heights in the culinary industry. “It’s just something that I love doing, I have a passion, obviously having four boys I’m always busy looking for something to cook for them, something quick and easy,” she says.
She adds that once you add a little love in your cooking, your skills will keep growing. “Never give up, even if you have a flop in the kitchen, carry on, tweak it a bit. There is always room for new ideas, new recipes, new ingredients, so be creative, flop and try again!”
She has plans to release a second edition of her cookbook which will include more recipes and guidelines for stay–at–home moms, married women and beginner home cooks.