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South African Food (10 Best Dishes from South Africa)

Step into the kitchen and experience these ten delicious dishes from South Africa

South Africa offers adventure, wine, a wealth of natural attractions, diverse cultures, and even gold. The different cultures contribute to the unique, tasty and flavorful cuisine of the Rainbow Nation.

Best South African Food – Top 10 Dishes

This list contains ten of the best South African food. Their flavorful and unique texture provide quite an experience for your taste buds.

Bon Appétit!

Boerewors

Boerewors

A staple in South African cuisine, Boerewors is a type of sausage. Boerewors contain lamb, beef, pork, and spices. South Africans braai, bake or fry boerewors.

An interesting fact about preparing Boerewors is that no additional oils may be used to prepare it. Just prick the Boerewors in a few places and enough fat will provide enough fat in which to fry it.

A combination of meats, fat and spices, Boerewors make for a full meal though not a healthy one. Preparing Boerewors is an art in South Africa and they even go as far as having competitions to determine the person who best prepares Boerewors.

Biltong

Biltong

Biltong is a South African snack that goes way back. This snack is dried cured meat. It is somewhat similar to Beef Jerky but not as sweet.

Different types of meat can be used to make biltong. The most important part is the spices which help to give the meat its flavor.

Some ingredients used in preparation include coriander, salt, paprika, nutmeg, lemon juice and many others. It makes for a savory garnish from soups, salads, and vegetables.

Pap

Pap South African Food

Pap is Afrikaans for porridge. It can be prepared in different ways. In South Africa, this porridge is prepared with milk, sugar, and butter and served as breakfast.

Another way to prepare it is with a thick consistency. South Africans call it stywe pap and serve it with meat or tomato stew.

If you attend a braai while in South Africa, you will find that stywe pap with tomato, cheese, mushroom sauce is a part of almost every meal.

A common meal is Pap served with Borewors. Poor people serve Pap with vegetables. The best thing about Pap is that it can be served with just about anything you like.

Sosaties

Sosaties

Sosaties is one of the best South African dishes. Preparers of this succulent dish marinate the meat, usually lamb, in tamarind juices, fried garlic and curry leaves overnight.

He then threads pieces of lamb on a skewer then braai or pan-fry to make sosaties. Oh and if you do not know, braai is Afrikaans for barbecue.

On the skewers, you may also find mushrooms, sliced peppers, dried apricot or prunes. Yes, South African dishes combine flavors which may for very interesting dishes

Tomato Bredie

Tomato Bredie

Now this Tomato Bredie is a stew. The Bredie comes from the Malays who came to South Africa as slaves.

Tamatiebredie, Africaans for Tomato Bredie, is usually made with mutton and seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and a little chili to make things interesting.

There are other variations of Bredie. There is Green Bean Bredie, Cabbage Breddie and you are free to use whichever meat is on hand.

Potjiekos

Potjiekos

Potjiekos is a one-pot South African dish. Do not call it a stew though as traditional South African cooks will surely give you a severe frown. They are quick to point out that Potjiekos is cooked with very little water and is not stirred.

In the preparation of Potjiekos, the cook places a potjie, a cast iron, three-legged pot, on an outside fire. Meat, potatoes, vegetable, a few spices and a little alcohol go in the pot in a precise order. During all of this, the cook does not stir the pot and adds little to no water.

The potjiekos takes from 3-6 hours and when completed is served with rice or pasta.

Bobotie

Bobotie

Another of South Africa’s most popular and certainly tasty dish is the Bobotie. It is just not any other dish but the national dish of South Africa.

The dish combines a plethora of flavors that perfectly come together to delight even the most discriminating epicurean palate.

The Bototie consists of curry minced meat and bread soaked in water. A mixture of eggs and milk seasoned with spices is poured over the meat.

It is then baked and garnished with raisins, sultanas, walnuts, and banana. The varying flavors allow for a very complex texture to be savored with every bite.

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow South African Food

No. This South African food does not include cute bunny rabbits. Instead, Bunny Chow is the South African fast food. This is another dish that was contributed by Durban Indian community.

Bunny, as locals call it, is a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curries made with mutton, chicken or beans and chips.

One story says that the bunny chow originated as an easy way of serving Indians who were not allowed to enter restaurants.

Another story states that it came about because Indian golf caddies were not allowed to carry cutlery during Apartheid. Lastly, some persons simply say that it served as a replacement for roti.

Durban Chicken Curry

Durban Chicken Curry

South Africa’s cuisine shows the diverse groups that call the country home. One of these dishes is the Durban Chicken Curry.

The word curry should tell you that the popular and tasty Durban Chicken Curry is a dish contributed by the Indians who settled in early South Africa.

This aromatic South African food consists of chicken simmered in gravy seasoned with garamasla, finely chopped onions and tomatoes, curry leaves and coriander.

The smells that come from the pot during preparation will have you salivating.

Chakalaka

Chakalaka

In South Africa, Chakalaka is the relish that you bring to the barbecue. It is a spicy vegetable relish served with stews, bread or curries.

A South African legend says that this very tasty dish was concocted by miners who worked in the gold mines around Johannesburg.

There are many variations of this meal but it is traditionally created with any vegetable on hand, tomatoes, baked beans, onion, ginger and garlic and a dash of spices like curry and bouillon powder. Do not forget to add some chili peppers for the spice.

What to read next: Mouth Watering Nigerian Cuisine – Top 10 Dishes

Written by Oban

Mechanical Engineering student. Born and raised in Africa. Likes to take things apart and put them back together. Runs on music and good African food. Loves to see good people succeed. Hopes to open up his own school one day.

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