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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / South African Recipes
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    49 recipes in

    South African Recipes

    These are South African recipes. Traditional recipes always have as many variations as there are cooks! But the basics will be the same. It is best not to try substitions unless absolutely unavoidable, but do taste and adjust to your personal taste! If you have any comments (apart from reviews), whether positive, negative, suggestions or requests, mail me!!
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    9 Reviews |  By Zurie

    This, like all Cape Malay curries, has as many interpretations as there are cooks! Cape Malay curries are usually not biting and strong, but rather an aromatic mixture of spices. Naturally this depends on the individual cooks, and the curry can be made much stronger by adding more chillis (hot peppers). This recipe is my way of cooking a chicken curry, more or less: it took some discipline to measure and write down how much of each spice I use! So obviously this is a dish you change to your taste. About salt: I like using a natural sea salt, like Maldon flakes or our own Khoisan sea salt. But if you use these natural salts you need more of it than when using processed table salts. Please adjust to taste. Do not expect the burning curries of India! If you can manage my spice mixture this is a most delicious dish, and the longer it stands, the better it gets, so is perfect for making a day ahead, chilling, and re-heating. But I know that across ponds these recipes are often "lost in translation"!!

    Recipe #319570

    1 Reviews |  By Zurie

    This is served as a starter in a 4 star hotel in Soweto. This hotel succeeds in combining international sophistication with traditional African foods. It is originally a recipe from North Africa. The hotel serves it in fine-dining fashion as a starter, garnished with cilantro and chakalaka. (Soweto is the sprawling African township on the edge of Johannesburg. Chakalaka, which we usually buy canned, is a combo of tomatoes, green hot peppers and spices. Use a hot Mexican-type salsa instead). Recipe from Food & Home, Aug 2008.

    Recipe #320339

    1 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Posted for "Look to Africa", African Cooking Forum, Jan 2009. This is the real African staple food (in Central and Southern Africa). And if you think it's straighforward, nope! This cornmeal (maize, polenta) recipe is changed to form a consistency varying from dry and crumbly ("krummelpap" in South Africa) to various stages of firmness and smoothness. It is a bland porridge which forms a basis for a tomato-onion sauce or a soupy stew. Traditionally, in deeply rural areas, everyone sits around the cooking fire. There will be two black, three-legged iron pots: one with pap, and one with the sauce or stew. The pap is taken with the fingers, formed into a ball, and dipped into the stew. SADZA is the Shona (in Zimbabwe) word for it, it is called UGALI in Kenya and Tanzania, NSHIMA in Zambia and Malawi, and POSHO in Uganda. In West, East and areas of Central Africa the generic staple is FUFU -- a close relation to PAP. FUFU is called GHAAT in Eritrea and Ethiopia. FUFU is made rather arduously by pounding starchy root vegetables like cassava or yams in large vessels (much like a pestle and mortar). In Ghana, for example, FUFU is often made from boiled cassava and unripe plantains beaten together. It's also made from cocoyam and yam. These products are now also made into powder form, which can be mixed with hot water to obtain the porridge-like final product, eliminating the hard work. The following is a basic PAP recipe.

    Recipe #345562

    Posted for "Looking to Africa", African Cooking Forum, Jan 2009. This is an example of the simple sauce which is made to serve as a "salsa" or topping for cornmeal porridge or "pap", a staple food, in almost all of Africa except the far eastern and western parts. Of course there are many variations, and if you have any leftover gravy, add it to this basic sauce while it cooks. If you can spare a handful of ground beef, that goes in too. For many rural people "pap en sous" (thick cornmeal mush and this salsa) might be their entire meal. As enough "pap" is made, tummies do get full. This recipe is smallish and will serve 3 - 4. Easily doubled, and exact ingredients do not matter.

    Recipe #345682

    Posted for "Look to Africa in 2009", African Cooking Forum. This ancient recipe, which dates back several hundred years, was a treat which I grew up with. It's a wonderful supper for children, and also for adults !! My maternal granny, who was certainly not wealthy, but rich in love and good cheer, used to make this for us, and my mom did too. It's a wonderful comfort food when cold winds are howling outside, and it makes you sleep like a baby! Do not be tempted to use commercial pasta. It is not the same by any means. This is so easy and quick to make from scratch. Explanation of the orange/lemon/nartjie peel seasoning (which can be subbed with orange or lemon cake essence at a pinch): even today cooks and bakers like to dry the loose peels of the nartjie, or tangerine (cousin to the mandarin orange). This peel is fragrantly citrussy, and the dried peel is chopped finely and used in baked desserts and in cookies. Whenever we ate nartjies as children, Mom would remind us that she wanted the peels to dry. When fully dry she kept them in a canning bottle. It's a delighful seasoning. The butter might seem extravagant, but this recipe comes from times when almost everyone had a cow and made their own butter, so it was not the expensive ingredient it is now! Note that prep time does not include the 30 mins resting the dough.

    Recipe #346854

    4 Reviews |  By Zurie

    This ancient, delicious dessert got its name this way: in the time of party-line phones (which still exist in some farming areas) this recipe was apparently passed on from cook to cook by phone, and didn't have a proper name. So it became "Telephone Pudding". The recipe is not in our best-known older cookbooks such as "Cook and Enjoy It" (the cooking bible of many young brides!!), and neither could I find it in my considerable stack of old cookbooks, so it's almost lost now!! I was given the recipe by my husband's aunt, who is now 86. Lovely, sinful winter dessert!! Funny method -- but just try it! (It's getting rather tedious to correct the wrong assumptions: Jan 25, 2009: the review comment is wrong. If you want the lovely Roly Poly pudding recipe, it's either recipe #235004 or recipe #253994. On Feb 6, 2009: Dear reviewer, maybe it tastes vaguely like Malva Pudding, but here is the genuine Malva pudding: recipe #118545).

    Recipe #348551

    2 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Now can anything be easier than this cold dessert!! Ideal for beginner cooks, who would like to impress guests!! Not mine, but the "owner" is unknown except that it was apparently first made by a cook in a Cape Town suburb. I suspect that using a coconut liqueur instead or orange juice would taste great too.

    Recipe #348552

    This recipe does not pretend to be anything but plain and fairly bland, like mashed potatoes. It is absolutely ideal for diabetics, kids, invalids and people who need to lose weight, as it can be used instead of a carbohydrate side dish. It is filling, but low in calories and starches, and combine two nutritious veggies in one dish. You can add your own mix of seasonings to the puree -- mine's what I used, and are only suggestions. I am indebted to the cauliflower puree recipes on Zaar, for the idea. It's ideal to serve with strongly-flavoured, sauced chicken dishes. It's so easy to boil baby potatoes as another side, and to add a mixed salad for starters. I did not add butter or any extra fat except that mentioned, and even that can be left out. And this is a large recipe, as I wanted to freeze half. You could halve the recipe for 3 - 4 people. Cooking time is mine: I left it to steam with the lid on and went about my business.(ADDED on 27.1.09: I made it tonight without the spinach, but with about 1 cup roughly-chopped Italian parsley and 1 cup chopped spring/green onions. Just as delicious, and myyyy, what a way to trick a dieter or a kid into thinking it's mashed potatoes! :))

    Recipe #349523

    1 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Oh dear, this can be addictive, depending on your personal tastes!! The real thing can only be made with African Birds' Eye Chilis, but there is not that much difference between a good red hot pepper and an African Birds' Eye Chili! I made up this recipe yesterday (cut from our local FEMINA magazine of April 09). I added a few extra hints here. By the way, shrimps and prawns are the same thing, except we call tiny shrimps, "shrimps" (LOL!) and the larger shrimps which range in size to Jumbo or King Prawns, "prawns"!! LOL! Also, this is not a dish for icky-picky eaters. The prawns are cleaned as usual, but NOT peeled. You can order your heaped plate of LM Prawns with Peri-Peri Sauce in Mozambique, especially in the capital, Maputo ... (use your atlas, Patricia!). This sauce is ideally used with large shrimps caught in the open sea -- not the sickly, tastless "farmed" shrimps. It is served heaped on a plate, with rice. You can peel it yourself, but the heads can safely be crunched ... Usually, if ordered, they ask you whether you want "hot", "medium", "mild", or with lemon butter. The lemon butter is for nerds, naturally, LOL!! You can use the entire recipe to throw in the pan and fry the prawns in, or as I do, skim off oil from the sauce mixture and fry the prawns in that, and then serve the rest of the sauce as a dipping sauce. Damp cloths and bowls for peels needed ... ! (LM Prawns in this case refers back to the time when the Portuguese ruled Mozambique, and Maputo was called Lourenço Marques).

    Recipe #363283

    The food of Mauritius is a fascinating fusion of Chinese, Creole (island), French and Indian cuisine, also with input from South East Asia. France has had a strong influence here, and the main languages are Mauritian Creole and French. The food is either delicate, or spicy and hot. Fruits are used in abundance. This is a simple taste from that far-flung Indian Ocean island, a beloved holiday spot for South Africans. The coral-reef lagoons around most of the island is reminiscent of the Bahamas. I lifted the basic recipe from the local Sunday Times, but I tweaked it. As far as portions go, I always feel it depends on who's eating, and how hungry they are! You decide.

    Recipe #367380

    3 Reviews |  By Zurie

    As far as I recall this cake was published by Royal Baking Powder way back in the 50's. My mother made it regularly and it was our favourite cake. Do not substitute and do not cut down on the spices: rather choose another recipe! The spices are what makes this cake just that bit extra special! I lost the recipe, and recently found it again in a very old recipe book! I'm posting this as it was written, except I tried to make the directions a little clearer.

    Recipe #376504

    5 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Keep this recipe for cold days! Everone loves it, and in South Africa it is a traditional favourite. You must have this at hand, as it is easy and quick and a delight, served as is or with ice cream or custard. Please note that I did two step-by-step photographs, which you'll find if you click on "photos". One shows how to roll up the dough, and the 2nd what the pudding and sauce look like before going into the oven.

    Recipe #235004

    I've gotten hold of my mother's hoard of clipped and written recipes, and although our cooking has changed enormously from the 1940's and '50's to now, I do pick up some jewels here and there! This is one of those dishes which kids will love. It's easy and nutritious, and although I did not test it again, it seems to me it will work just fine. Mom is 90 and will be 91 in January. They did not always bother about exact ingredients then, although this recipe sounded fairly accurate. I'm sure you can make a white sauce by eyeballing some ingredients ...

    Recipe #402342

    2 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Sifting through my mother's falling-apart notebooks with recipes I came upon this one in my own hardwriting, and memories came flooding back. I got this from a Malay lady (Cape Muslim) when I was a young college student, and fascinated by the smells of the Bo-Kaap, the Malay Quarter of Cape Town. I do not guarantee this recipe, and would like feedback, should you try it. One has to smile at the amount of garlic she uses, and by no means do you have to use so much! I just did not want to change her ingredients. Do keep in mind that every Malay cook does her own interpretation of their aromatic dishes, so there are many variations!

    Recipe #402388

    This is one of my favourite cakes--one my mom would often makes. Bee sting cakes are popular in South Africa. Its a sponge cake which has a custard filling. Also this one is special because it has a almond topping as well. This cake takes some time but is well worth the effort.

    Recipe #187679

    2 Reviews |  By Zurie

    My late mother-in-law made pumpkin this way, and it's the only way (apart from pumpkin pie) I like pumpkin! It's awfully hard to give quantities: please use your own judgement too. I do not know what kinds of pumpkin you have: our most-used one is called Boer pumpkin and has orange flesh and white skin.

    Recipe #215892

    5 Reviews |  By Zurie

    Very traditional, very comforting! Rather don't use tapioca, which is similar but has much larger "beads" or grains. Tapioca would need soaking overnight.

    Recipe #216804

    1 Reviews |  By Zurie

    No, it's not ice fream, but a dessert my mom used to make when we were kids, ages back. It so quick and simple and do not be fooled by the plain ingredients: it's delicious!!! She used Sugar Frosted Flakes for the crust, but that is no longer available (at least not in South Africa).

    Recipe #167439

    1 Reviews |  By Zurie

    This is from "Culture & Cuisine of the Cape Malays" by Cass Abrahams, a well-known Malay cookery expert. It's not the way I would make it, but more traditional. I use the spices, but would make a meat main dish from it. Please note that Cass talks of mutton, although we make this dish in its many variations with chicken or beef or even pork (the latter is not eaten by Muslims). Her instructions are quite sparse, and you might have to use your own initiative here.

    Recipe #174295

    3 Reviews |  By Zurie

    With the right kind of potatoes, these are the best in the world. I've been known to make myself a plate of "Astrid" (type of tater) roast potatoes and just have that for dinner. But then, I'm not strong on self-discipline.

    Recipe #176382

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