Food Spotlight: 5 Amazing Dishes from South Africa

Getting Around By Christine Wardlaw January 15, 2017

If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, you’re surely in for a culinary treat. South Africa’s cuisine has a remarkable mix of flavors, with recipes founded in African ingredients, with Dutch, British, Portuguese, German, Southeast Asian, and Indian influences.

Want to try one of these amazing recipes? We’ve got you covered! Here are five amazing dishes from South Africa that reflect the diversity of both its heritage and its people.

1. Malva Pudding

Similar to Britain’s sticky toffee pudding, this Dutch import to South Africa is a simple and sweet baked sponge pudding with apricot jam, smothered in a hot cream sauce. It’s traditionally baked at home for Sunday lunch, but is also popular in restaurants throughout the country!

2. Bobotie

The spices in this dish are said to have been introduced to South Africa by settlers all the way back in the 17th century! Bobotie is a baked minced meat dish simmered with spices such as curry powder, herbs, and dried fruit, then topped with a mixture of egg and milk. It’s even the national dish of South Africa, so it’s definitely a great recipe to start with! It’s commonly cooked and served in homes and restaurants so don’t be shy – start making bobotie yourself today!

3. Cape Malay Chicken Curry

Cape Malay Chicken Curry gets its delightful, aromatic flavor from Indonesian, Indian, and Malaysian influences. Wonderful spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, and chili create delicious, fragrant curries and stews that are still well-loved today. For the perfect complement, serve it with a side of rice and it will be the quintessential South African meal!

4. Boerewors

The word “boerewors” is a combination of the Afrikaans and Dutch words “boer” (farmer) and “wors” (sausage). This traditional sausage is made from beef, mixed with pork or lamb and spices. It’s traditionally served in a coiled shape and grilled on a braai (barbecue). Typically side dishes for this delightful entrée are toebroodjies, which means, “closed bread,” and they are cheese sandwiches packed with whatever you’re craving at the moment.

5. Chakalaka & Pap

Chakalaka is a standard vegetable dish in South Africa, made of tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, beans, and spices, usually served cold. It’s often paired with Pap, or “porridge”, a starchy dish made from white corn maize. The two can complement a number of main dishes, including braaied (barbecued) meat, salads, stews, and breads.

If you’re visiting South Africa anytime soon, be sure to indulge in these 5 dishes for a culinary journey through the country’s rich and diverse history. If you’ve already been there, share your favorite South African entree in the comments!