South African Food: Traditional Dishes



Introduction: MUCH more than just meat-loaf!! A Cape Malay dish seasoned with curry and spices, topped with a golden, savory custard. A personal favorite; this recipe is more fruity yet spicy than other bobotie dishes I have sampled!


  • 1 kg minced lamb or beef
  • 1 thick slice white bread
  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 30 ml butter
  • 30 ml turmeric
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml green ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 30 ml brown sugar
  • 20 ml apricot jam
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 50 g seedless raisins
  • 10 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 ml nutmeg
  • 5 ml all-spice
  • 30 g flaked or chopped almonds salt
  • Lemon or bay leaves
  • 3 eggs

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Sauté onions until transparent. Add curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilli and brown sugar. Cook until all liquid has evaporated, then set aside. Soak bread in half milk, then mix with meat, onion mix and all remaining ingredients except eggs, the left-over milk, and the leaves. Season with salt. Spoon this mixture into shallow, greased casserole, smooth surface & press in a few leaves.
Beat remaining milk & eggs and pour over meat. Bake for approximately 45minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve with yellow rice, chutney, coconut and onion sambal. Serves 8

Geel rys (yellow rice)


Yellow rice, normally eaten with bobotie.


  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 TS butter
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 ts turmeric
  • 1 cup raisins

Melt butter over moderate heat in heavy pot. Add rice, and stir until each grain is well coated. Add cinnamon, salt and turmeric, plus 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer (20 - 30 minutes) until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in raisons and heat another minute before serving.



Introduction: Pap is a kind of porridge made with mealie meal. It distinguishes a South African braai from any other barbeque. This is the "crumbly" version of pap.


  • 750 ml (3 cups) water
  • 10 ml (2 ts) salt
  • 600 g (4 cups) mealie meal
  • (or commercially available pap)

Bring water to boil in a pot (or potjie). Pour in the mealie meal to form a cone in the center of the pot but do not stir. Reduce the heat, put the lid on pot and let pap simmer the 5 minutes, until a skin forms. Stir with a fork until pap is fine and crumbly. Cover again and let pap simmer for another 45 minutes. Serves 6



Introduction: This is a different version of the previous krummelpap. It is more lumpy.


  • 1 liter (4 cups) water
  • 10 ml (2 ts) salt
  • 30 ml (2 TS) butter
  • 375 g (2 1/2 cups) mealie meal (or commercially available pap)

Pour water into pot or potjie; add the salt and butter and bring to the boil. Pour in mealie meal to form cone in the center of pot but do not stir. Reduce heat, cover pot and let pap simmer for 5 minutes. Stir gently with fork, then cover again and simmer for an hour. Serves 6

Tomato sauce for pap


Introduction:The favorite side dish with pap!


  • 30 ml (2 ts) cooking oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 x 410g can tomato puree
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 10 ml (2 ts) freshly chopped herbs
  • 10 ml (2 ts) brown sugar
  • 5 ml (1 ts) salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat cooking oil in small pot. Fry onions and green pepper gently until onion is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and let sauce simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve hot with pap. Serves 8

Tomato bredie


Introduction: Easy yet delicious traditional "tomato stew"


  • 1,5 kg breast of lamb, cut into bite-sized portions
  • 15 ml cake flour
  • 15 ml cooking oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 15 ml salt
  • 1 ml black pepper
  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, skinned & chopped
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 5 ml sugar
  • 2 onions, chopped

Roll meat in flour and brown in heated cooking oil. Add the onion and sauté until transparent. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer util meat is tender. Serves 6