Guide to South African Cuisine

South Africa is a melting pot of different cultures, each adding to South Africa's cuisine. You will be spoiled for choice sampling the diverse range of mouthwatering dishes during your South Africa holiday.

Due to South Africa's multi-racial nation and diverse population, the country is not short of variety and exquisite foods. East meets west and the north meets the south. Spicy Indian cuisine to traditional English meat pies and Dutch soups and cookies. Culinary contrasts truly reflect the culture, history and geography of this vast land.

What is a Braai ?

A Braai, short for Braaivleis (meaning roasted meat), is an authentic South African term, or more like a culture. South Africans are not likely to refer to this outdoor spectacle as a "barbeque". To them, a braai is a whole lot more than just a barbeque. This is truly a South African event. A typical South African braai consists of hotdogs, steaks, sometimes pork (depending on religion), mashed potatoes, beans and "pap", a soft maize savory pudding. Meat is "braai-ed" /cooked over hot charcoal while people socialize and drink local lager around the braai area. If you ever have the chance to experience a real braai with South Africans, you will learn why it's such a national social occasion.

Traditional African Meals

African meals are quite delicious and healthy.

  • Inkuku yasekya nama qeselengwane: Zulu chicken with mealie dumplings. This dish is a delightful blend of chicken, maize flour balls and gravy served with veggies.
  • Matebelekwane: Steamed bread is made with bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt and takes a long time to prepare. But once it is done, it is quite worthwhile. Steamed bread is usually served with meat stew, potatoes and spinach.
  • Samp is another sumptuous dish. A beans and gravy dish, meat chunks can be thrown in or not. Depending what you feel like!

English Dishes

With a large number of English speaking White South Africans, most descendants of Britain, they brought with them traditional English pie recipes and much more.

  • Sunday Roast Turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes are conventionally served with a side plate of boiled veggies.
  • Traditional English Pie - stuffed with sliced meat and potato in a crispy golden brown pastry.

Indian Dishes

Spicy, hot and colourful. Indian foods in South Africa are very popular. Especially in Durban, with a large Indian community, the city definitely has the best Indian foods outside of India.

  • Kebabs and Roti
    Spicy meatballs in strong tomato based chutney wrapped around Roti, a round bread made from a simple recipe. Bread flour, hot water, salt and a little oil.
  • Curries
    There are probably a thousand different ways of cooking curries. Using different ingredients, varying in colour and chilliness. Lamb curries are a favourite. Spicy with thick gravy. Curries are normally served with rice and crispy potato on the side also salads.

Afrikaans Dishes

  • Potjiekos
    Potjiekos is a delicious easy cooking meat and vegetable stew, which is traditionally cooked on an open fire in a special "potjie pot". A cast iron pot varying in size. A potjie can also be a chicken type or a delicious seafood mix. Bobotie undefined
  • Bobotie is an Afrikaans dish consisting of minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. The recipe originates from Dutch East India Company colonies. It is also made with spice and curry powder leaving it with a slightly Malaysian influence. Koeksistersundefined
  • Koeksister is the Afrikaans version of the Cape Malay Koeksister. It is a cake or donut that is plaited, deep fried then dipped in sweet, sticky syrup. You can then roll the plaits in coconut or for more indulgence sprinkle chocolate pieces. These are delightful!undefined

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