Some Traditional South African recipes


This dish can be made from fresh snoek, dried salted snoek or even smoked snoek. If your fish is fresh, steam until cooked, or braai.
1 dried, salted snoek
800g potatoes
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 red pepper, pitted and chopped
1 red chilli, pitted and finely chopped
1 Tbsp crushed root ginger, optional
2 cloves garlic, optional
1 Tbsp lemon juice
freshly ground white pepper to taste
15ml butter

1. Cover the dried, salted snoek with fresh, cold water and soak it for about 12 hours. Pour the water off, then rinse the snoek again in cold water.

2. Cut the snoek into smaller portions to fit your pan. Cover with water, bring to boil and cook slowly for 10 – 12 minutes until cooked. Drain, keeping 1 cup of stock for later use.

3. Flake the fish using 2 forks, making sure all the bones are removed.

4. Boil the potatoes in salted water and when cooked, remove the skins and dice. Sauté the onions with the coriander, pepper, chilli, ginger and garlic.

5. Add the snoek and potatoes to the onions together with the cup of snoek stock. Pour in the lemon juice and grind some white pepper over the fish.

6. Add a lump of butter and lightly stir it through. Replace the lid and simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavours. Adjust the salt according to your taste. Serve on rice.
Beef Frikkadels

These frikkadels can be made with beef mince only, but to add a different flavour use 650g of beef mince and 350g of pork mince (sausages with the skins removed).
1 kg beef mince
3 slices of bread, crusts removed and soaked in water
125ml grated onion
125ml uncooked oats
1 carrot, very finely grated
5ml salt
2.5ml freshly ground black pepper
5ml coriander
5ml mace
30ml finely chopped parsley
15ml Worcester sauce
15ml sugar
30ml vinegar
2 eggs, beaten
20ml butter

1. Place the mince in a mixing bowl. Press the water out of the bread and crumble the soaked bread over the mince.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the butter, and mix lightly to combine all the ingredients. Roll the frikkadels between the floured palms of your hands. Place them in a buttered oven dish.

3. Place dabs of butter between them and bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 180°C. If preferred, you can fry the frikkadels in a heavy-based frying pan.

4. Serve on a bed of rice or with mashed potato and a fresh salad. You should get 24 frikkadels or 60 bite-sized frikkadels.
Old-Fashioned Bobotie

This recipe is made with mutton. You can also use beef.
Meat and Spice Mixture
60ml mutton fat
1 onion, finely chopped
30ml brown sugar
1 kg cooked, finely chopped mutton
125ml meat sauce
15ml ginger powder
15ml turmeric
10ml salt
1.25ml pepper
500ml grated green apple
125ml raisins
125ml blanched almonds
125ml apricot jam
80ml vinegar
2 slices of bread, crusts removed, soaked in water then squeezed
For Baking
180ml milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
2.5ml turmeric
4 fresh lemon leaves or bay leaves

1. Melt the mutton fat in a large pot, toss in the onion and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Sauté until the mixture changes colour.

2. Add the chopped meat and meat sauce and heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir thoroughly and let it cook through well.

3. Taste the mixture. Adapt your seasoning to get the taste of sweet and sour to your liking. Put the mixture into a buttered oven dish.

4. Beat the milk, eggs and turmeric together and pour this over the meat. Roll the lemon leaves lengthways and press them like spears into the bobotie.

5. Bake for 50 minutes at 180°C. When the custard topping starts to puff out a little and changes colour, the dish is ready.

6. Serve with yellow rice and salad.
Cape Chicken Pie

1 large onion, chopped
30ml cooking oil
350g chopped mushrooms
2.5kg uncooked chicken portions
2.5ml mace
2 bay leaves
2 pieces of cassia
6 cloves
12 black peppercorns
5ml salt
a grating of fresh nutmeg
250ml chicken stock
250ml white wine
15ml sago
lukewarm water to cover
1 egg yolk
juice of 1 lemon
30ml brandy
4 thin slices of ham
2 hardboiled eggs, sliced
250g flaky pastry
1 egg yolk
15ml milk

1.Saute the chopped onion in the cooking oil. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry. Empty into a bowl.

2. Lightly brown the chicken portions in the pot. Place the mushrooms and onions back in with the chicken and add all the spices, stock and wine and cook until the chicken is tender. Lift out the bones and remove the bay leaves and cloves. Shred the chicken into fine threads.

3. For the filling, soak the sago in a little lukewarm water to swell, then add it to the chicken. Let it slowly simmer until the sago appears translucent. Adjust salt to taste. Remove the pot from the stove. Beat the egg yolk with the lemon juice and brandy and stir into the chicken mixture. This will thicken the filling. Put the chicken mixture into a buttered pie dish.

4. Place the ham over the chicken and follow this with slices of hard-boiled eggs.

5. Roll out the flaky pastry until it is 5mm thick and lay it carefully over the chicken mixture. Firmly press down the edges and cut off the excess pieces. Use a fork to pierce holes over the dough so that the steam can escape.

6. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush over the pastry. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 30 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden brown.

Flaky Pastry
This is enough for this chicken pie and also for a milk tart (see next publication for this recipe). It sounds complicated, but is really very easy. Remember to work quickly with dough. It has to be kept as cold as possible.

500g flour
375g butter
10ml salt
60ml cooking oil
250ml iced water
2 egg yolks

1.Use a small bowl and a spoon and work about a quarter cup of flour into the butter to make a spreadable butter-flour mixture. Divide this spreading mixture into three equal portions and set aside. Add the salt to the remainder of the flour and work in the cooking oil by bit using your fingertips, so that the mixture eventually looks like fine breadcrumbs.

2. Beat the egg yolks with the ice water and gradually add to the dough. Press the dough together. If it sticks to your fingers it is too moist and you will need to add a little more flour. Form a ball with the dough – don’t worry if the mixture is not that smooth, it will correct itself later on. Wrap the dough in wax paper and place in a plastic bag. Press all the air out of the bag and place in the fridge. After about an hour, add the first third of the butter spread mixture. Proceed as follows:- Sprinkle flour over your hands and press the dough to flatten and stretch it. Form a rectangle of 50o x 20 cm. Don’t roll out the dough – it’s not ready for this yet. Place the dough lengthways in front of you. Spread the butter mixture over 2/3 of the right side of the dough, leaving the left side untouched. Leave a 1 cm frame clear around the edges, or the butter will ooze out later. Fold the unspread left side over the middle, covered third. Fold the right hand side over the middle. This is the first fold. The dough will be folded a total of four times. You now have three layers of dough with two layers of butter between. Use your rolling pin to roll over the length of the dough, but work carefully so that the dough does not break.

3. Roll the dough into a rectangle 50 x 20 cm and spread again with the butter mixture, then fold. This is your second fold. Wrap the dough in wax paper, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or at least for 1 hour.

4. Sprinkle some flour over the dough and begin your third fold. Roll into a rectangle and spread as before with the remaining butter mixture. Turn the dough so that the narrow side is closest to you and roll the dough into a larger rectangle. Fold the top and bottom thirds over each other as before. This is the fourth fold. Wrap in wax paper and plastic and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight. The dough is now ready to use.
Cape Chicken Curry

1.5kg chicken portions
4 cloves of garlic
15ml root ginger
1 large onion
15ml smooth apricot jam
10ml curry powder
5ml turmeric
4 pieces of cassia
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2.5ml fine coriander
10ml salt
4 potatoes, peeled
60ml boiling water

1. Crush the cloves of garlic and root ginger together and sauté them with the onion in the cooking oil. Set aside.

2. Add more oil to the pot if necessary and fry the chicken portions. Stir frequently to prevent them from sticking to the pot.

3. When the chicken portions are browned, but still raw, spread the onion mixture over them, followed by the apricot jam.

4. Mix the curry powder, turmeric, cassia, cardamom pods, coriander and salt and sprinkle over the chicken. Cut the potatoes in half or quarter, depending on size and add them to the pot. Mix everything well and add a quarter cup of boiling water. Replace the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
Tomato Bredie

2 onions, finely chopped
60ml sunflower oil
1.2 kg mutton (knuckles, neck, rib) or lamb
15ml crushed root ginger
5ml cloves, coarsely crushed
5ml black peppercorns
5 cardamom pods, cracked
2 pieces of cassia
1 green chilli, pitted and finely crushed
125ml boiling water
6 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
2 tins (410g) tomato puree
1 tin (410g) chopped tomato
15ml sugar
10ml salt
3 fresh bay leaves

1. Heat half the oil in a pan, add the onions and cover. Sauté slowly until the onions are translucent. Remove the lid and fry the onions until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in the same pot and braise the meat until brown on all sides.

3. Add the spices and green chilli and stir-fry to release the spice flavours.

4. Pour boiling water into the pot, replace the lid and allow it to stew for about 45 minutes. Remember mutton will take longer than lamb to cook.

5. Spoon the onions over the meat and add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt and bay leaves. Replace the lid and cook for about 5 minutes to mix the flavours.

6. Taste and add more salt or sugar if necessary. Serve on a bed of white rice.
Fynvleis (Stringy Meat Stew)

2.3 kg venison, including bones
2 litre boiling water
5 cloves
15ml coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
2.5ml black peppercorns
30ml crushed root ginger
15ml salt
15ml Worcester sauce
60ml vinegar
15ml tomato paste

1. Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based pot and cook until the meat is falling off the bones and stringy. Venison must be cooked long and slowly. This dish cannot be overcooked.

2. In the olden days, people liked fatty meat. Venison is very lean, so they added a piece of speck to the pot.

3. The meat can either be served on it’s own, or made into a venison pie. To make a pie, place the fynvleis in a pie dish. Pack a layer of sliced boiled eggs over it followed by flaky pastry. Bake for 40 minutes.
Pumpkin Fritters

500ml (2 cups) cooked, mashed pumpkin
30ml sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1.25ml salt
185ml flour
15ml baking powder
oil for frying
To Serve
Cinnamon sugar
sliced lemon

1. Use a ripe, tasty pumpkin or butternut. Cook the pumpkin without adding water. A little water may be added to the butternut. Scoop the pumpkin out into a sieve and allow the liquid to drain off. The pumpkin fritter batter mustn’t be too watery.

2. Mix the mashed pumpkin with the rest of the ingredients, except for the oil. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight.

3. Heat the oil in a pan about 5 mm deep. Don’t stir the batter. Scoop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Turn the fritters with a palette knife, until both sides are deep, orange brown.

4. Pat the pumpkin fritters on paper towel. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, (80 ml cinnamon with 160 ml sugar). Squeeze some lemon juice over them and serve as a side dish or as a dessert.

2 kg sweet potatoes
250g brown sugar
250g butter
2 oranges, cut into slices
2 cinnamon sticks
5ml grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 50 mm thick slices. Melt the sugar and butter in a pot until caramelised. Add the orange slices and place the sweet potato slices on top. Scoop some of the butter-sugar syrup over the potatoes.

2. Add the spices, salt and pepper. Cook slowly, covered. shake the pot a little every now and then, but don’t stir the ingredients.

3. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked and caramel brown, remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes to brown some more. Be careful doing this, don’t let the syrup burn.

1 kg baby onions
10ml mustard
5ml cornflour
2.5ml turmeric
60ml cold water
500ml brown grape vinegar
180ml sugar
2.5ml salt
3 eggs

1. Cook the onion in boiling water until just done and translucent, but still firm. Drain though a sieve.

2. Mix the mustard, turmeric and cornflour in a little cold water making sure that there are no lumps. Mix with the vinegar and add it to the pot along with the sugar and salt.

3. Heat slowly until the sugar has melted and then let it cook, stirring occasionally.

4. Beat the eggs well in a mixing bowl, then slowly add the vinegar mixture to the beaten eggs, stirring all the time. An egg whisk can make this process easy.

5. Pour the mixture back into the pot. Heat slowly and stir continuously until the sauce thickens.

6. Pour the hot sauce over the onions. Allow to cool and store in the fridge. Serve with any meat dish.

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1 Response to Some Traditional South African recipes

  1. Della A. Amey says:

    These are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo awesome thank you sooooooooooooooo much!!!!~

    Many Thanks and Kind Regards
    Della Amey

    Data Process Controller
    Tel: 021 670 6920
    Fax: 086 636 7983

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