Recipes for reconciliation

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first great culinary masters of this land, and we are lucky to be living in a time when native ingredients are finally making their delicious way on to our plates in restaurants and kitchens across the country. 

Here is a collection of recipes for reconciliation, by both First Nations and non-Indigenous chefs, that include native ingredients to challenge and delight you in the kitchen. Share your meal with friends and loved ones, and don’t forget to show the world, too, on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram with #NRW2020 and #InThisTogether2020. 

Cooking with Aunty Beryl  Van Oploo

Gamilaroi Elder Aunty Beryl is an educator, mentor, businesswoman and role model. With a passion for healthy and affordable cooking, Aunty Beryl also brings her love of community into the kitchen, where she mentors many talented chefs, through her role as founder of NCIE’s Job Ready program. 

See more of Aunty Beryl’s recipes on the NCIE website.



2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon dried lemon myrtle

¾ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1 beaten egg


Sift flour and lemon myrtle into a bowl

Rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs

Add sugar and beaten egg and mix into a stiff dough. Place onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 180oC

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until it is about 5mm thick. Use a small biscuit cutter or glass to cut into circular biscuits

Place on a greased baking tray and place in oven for about 12-15 minutes until golden

Place on rack to cool. Enjoy!

Aunty Beryl’s Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

2 leeks

2 brown onions

2kg sweet potato

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 ½ cups of cream

2L water

Olive oil


Remove outer green part of leek and throw away, wash to remove any dirt. Roughly chop leek

Dice onion and sweet potato in 2cm cubes

In a large pot, fry garlic, onion, leek and thyme in olive oil until soft

Add sweet potato and 2L of water in the pot and bring to the boil

Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potato is tender

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a blender, liquidise soup until smooth

Reheat the soup on the stove. Add in cream and season with salt and pepper

Serve with crusty bread, or Aunty Beryl’s damper!

Pasta two-ways 

Dwayne Bannon-Harrison, chef and owner of Mirritya Mundya on the South Coast, and Ben Shewry, chef and owner of the restaurant Attica in Melbourne, have paired up to use native ingredients in two delicious pastas. 

Dwayne, a Yuin man, and Ben, from New Zealand originally, are old mates and foster their frienship through mutual respect, cooking, and a bit of light-hearted ribbing whenever the opportunity affords. Dwayne says “connecting to that main spirit with a bit of banter and acknowledging where we both come from is what I really value”.


1 x Half Red Chilli – finely chopped

3/4 cup butter – cubed in 2cm pieces 

1x teaspoon – Ground Cinnamon Myrtle (Lemon Myrtle also works) 

1/2 Pack (Serves-2) Dry Medium Spaghetti 

1 x Red Onion – Finely chopped

3 x cloves garlic – Chopped finely or grated

200-300g Warrigal Greens (Baby spinach alternative) 

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts

Teaspoon medium ground pepper & rock salt

2 x Tablespoons fresh coriander

1 x teaspoon of ground pepperleaf (pepperberry leaf)

3 x table spoons of Parmesan Cheese – either grated or full and grate when finished

Olive oil

Pinch of salt (for water)

  1. Heat a fry pan & toast Pine nuts for approx 2-3 mins over a medium heat. Remove from pan and keep in a small bowl.
  2. Bring approx 4- 6 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan or pot. Add a good pinch of salt & a splash of olive oil. Once water is boiling add pasta. Toss & turn pasta every 2 mins. Cook for approx 8 mins until al dente. Make sure you save 2 cups of pasta water.
  3. Reheat fry pan heat & put in olive oil, add the onions and cook for 2 mins. Add garlic with a splash of water (to help sweat) 5 mins.
  4. Add salt, pepper & pepperleaf, then coriander & chilli – 2 mins- add warrigal greens and another splash (or 2) of water to help cooking process. 2-3 mins keep turning until wilted down – add half the Cinnamon Myrtle & Butter (you can also combine this from the start if you like) stir 2 mins until melted through – taste and add salt or pepper to taste if needed. Turn off heat
  5. With some tongs start moving the pasta into the pan tossing through to mix through until all in the pan- then add the rest of the Cinnamon Myrtle butter until melted & worked through the pasta evenly.
  6. Serve pasta in 2 large bowls (4 small bowls) sprinkle pine nuts & add Parmesan cheese – Enjoy 🙂
Ben’s spicy roo bolognese

Serves 4-6 plus Bolognese left over for another day

500g beef mince

500g kangaroo fillets – finelly chopped or minced with a knife

50ml canola oil

3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

1 small onion – finely chopped

1 small carrot – peeled and finely diced

1 heaped tbsp ground bush tomato (available from indigiearth)

1 heaped tbsp ground pepper berry (available from indigiearth)

2 tbsp Mardanggich spice mix (available from Maningrida Wild Foods)

1 bunch fresh wild thyme

1kg tinned tomato – pureed

400ml water

Pinch of sugar

Salt to taste

Packet of spaghetti – cooked in boiling salted water

Grated parmesan to finish


Heat a large frypan over high heat. Add a little oil and fry beef with a pinch of salt until browned. 

Do the same with the kangaroo. Place browned mince in a large saucepan and add oniuon, garlic and carrot and sweat (cook without browning) gently for 5 minutes. 

Add tomato, water, bush tomato, pepper berry and Mardanggich spice mix and stir well. Bring to a simmer and add a small pinch of sugar. Check seasoning and add a little salt if necessary. Simmer for 1 hour. Check seasoning before serving. 

Place spaghetti in a warm pasta bowl and generously spoon the Bolognese over the top. Scatter with native thyme leaves and finish with parmesan. 

Share this page via

Reconciliation Australia also wishes to thank all partners, organisations, governments and individuals who are striving for a more just, equitable and reconciled Australia, without whose efforts we could not bring people Australians together in advancing our reconciliation in our nation.

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away
Copyright 2020 © All Rights Reserved
Site by I-Nex


Reconciliation Australia acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.