To truly enjoy South African food, you have to actually be in South Africa. It’s all about shared history, your surroundings, and the people with whom you’ve gathered to break braai with.

We’ve put together a list of all our favourite traditional foods that our Grandparents would make for us as little children, and today we’re making it for our own children.


This traditional Cape Malay dish comprises gently spiced minced lamb or beef topped with an egg-and-milk layer and browned in the oven. Some recipes call for the addition of apple, raisins or apricot jam and the sweetness works well with the curry powder and turmeric that lend the dish its golden colour.

The Recipe

Serves up to eight people


  • 1 fairly thick slice crustless bread (white or brown)
  • 375 ml milk
  • 25 ml oil
  • 10ml butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 ml curry powder
  • 10ml salt
  • 25ml chutney
  • 15ml smooth apricot jam
  • 15ml Worcester sauce
  • 5ml turmeric
  • 25ml brown vinegar
  • 1 kg raw mince
  • 100 ml sultanas (don’t replace with raisins – they are too sweet; sultanas are much better for this recipe)
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch each salt and turmeric
  • bay leaves

Cooking method

    1. Soak bread in milk. Heat oil and butter in large pan and fry onions and garlic.
    2. When onions are soft, add curry powder, salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, turmeric and vinegar and mix well.
    3. Drain and mash bread and reserve milk. Add bread to pan together with mince and sultanas.
    4. Cook over low heat, stirring, and when meat loses its pinkness, remove from stove. Add 1 beaten egg, mix well, then spoon into a greased, 28 x 16 cm baking dish and level the top. Beat remaining eggs with reserved milk (you should have 300ml, or a little more) and the salt and turmeric. Pour over meat mixture and put a few bay leaves on top. Stand dish in a larger pan of water (this is important to prevent drying out) and bake, uncovered, at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour or until set. Serve with rice, coconut, chutney, nuts and bananas.


Commonly made with lamb and waterblommetjies or beef and tomato. Bredie is a slow-cooked comforting stew. Our Grandparents would make either cauliflower bredie, tomatoe bredie or even english stew (peas and carrots food) and it would feed and fill the entire family. The smell of the braising onions and sizzling meat filling the kitchen, only brings back delicious memories! Once the sizzling becomes a gentle simmer and the chemistry happens, the mouth starts to water as the table is laid with white or yellow rice and beetroot.

The Recipe

Serves 6 people 
  • 1 kg beef or shoulder of mutton cut in small chunks
  • 2 tbles oil
  • 1 tbles butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 2 tsps salt
  • Ripe red tomatoes (approx 1 kg peeled and chopped) or 2 cans peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 70 g tin tomato paste
  • 1 tbles sugar
  • ½ tsp.chilli powder
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbles cornflour

Cooking Method

  1. Braise the onions in heated oil and butter until golden for approx 5-10mins.
  2. Add meat, salt and garlic paste and simmer over medium heat for approx 30 minutes, stirring from time to time adding very small quantities of water if needed.
  3. Add tomatoes,tomato paste, sugar, chilli powder and simmer very slowly for a further 30 mins
  4. Add the cubed potatoes and continue simmering for another half an hour.
  5. Thicken the gravy with a little cornflour mixed with water.
  6. The bredie improves with keeping.
  7. Prepare a day in advance and leave to mature in the refrigerator.
  8. Reheat and serve with fluffy steamed white rice


Potjiekos refers to a stew of sorts made up of meat and a mix of vegetables. Traditionally, a potjie is cooked slowly on a fire, with cuts of lamb neck and ox tail. Athough a vegetable potjiekos is also DELICIOUS! It can be served with plain white rice or slice of bread with butter.

The Recipe

Serves: 8-10 people
  • 500gfresh oxtails
  • ½ cup flour, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 115g tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 4 large leeks, chopped coarsely
  • 2 large onions, chopped coarsely
  • 6 large carrots, 2chopped coarsely and 4 diced finely
  • 20 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic


  1. Wipe the oxtails dry with a paper towel.
  2. Put seasoned flour in a resealable plastic bag, then add the Oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in the potjie
  4. Add the oxtail to the pot and brown. When each piece is browned all over, remove and drain on paper towels while keeping warm.
  5. Add the 4 finely diced carrots to the pot together with the chopped onions and the leeks, and sautée until softened.
  6. Return the oxtail to the pot and add the bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, and beef stock.
  7. Bring slowly to the boil. Cover tightly with a lid and allow to cook undisturbed for 4 hours.
  8. One hour before serving, add the remaining carrots and mushrooms and continue cooking slowly, without stirring.