29 Easy South African Recipes For Your Kitchen

South African Bobotie Recipe

The history of South African recipes reflects the country’s complicated past, which has seen colonialism, slavery, apartheid, and liberation movements. South African cuisine is a unique blend of flavors and influences from the country’s diverse cultural heritage, including indigenous African, Dutch, Malay, Indian, and British.

Before European colonization, South African food was based on a hunter-gatherer culture, with traditional dishes consisting of game meat, fruits, and vegetables. The arrival of Dutch settlers in the 17th century brought about significant changes in the local cuisine. The Dutch introduced farming and livestock, which led to the introduction of South African recipes such as biltong (dried, cured meat), boerewors (sausage), and potjiekos (stew).

The Dutch also brought slaves from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Madagascar, who introduced their own cuisine to South Africa. One of the most significant contributions was the Cape Malay cuisine, which originated from the Cape Muslim community. This South African food is known for its use of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric, as well as the use of fruit in savory dishes.

Indian laborers were also brought to South Africa in the 19th century to work on sugarcane plantations. They brought with them their own foods, which included curries, biryanis, and samoosas. Today, Indian cuisine is an integral part of South African food, and South African recipes such as bunny chow (a hollowed-out bread loaf filled with curry) and breyani (spicy rice dish) are popular across the country.

The arrival of British colonizers in the 19th century also had an impact on South African recipes. British cuisine was introduced, which included dishes such as roast beef, fish and chips, and pudding. However, the British also brought their love of tea, which became a popular beverage in South Africa and is still enjoyed today.

During the apartheid era, South African recipes divided along racial lines. White South Africans continued to eat European-style food, while black South Africans were restricted to traditional African cuisine. However, in the 1970s, black South Africans began to reclaim their cultural heritage through food. Restaurants such as Wandie’s Place in Soweto began serving traditional African cuisine, and today, dishes such as pap (a porridge made from maize meal) and chakalaka (a spicy relish) are enjoyed across the country.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South African recipe influence has undergone a revival, with chefs blending traditional recipes with modern techniques and international flavors. The South African recipes have become a source of pride, with local ingredients such as rooibos tea, biltong, and boerewors being used in innovative ways.

One example of a modern South African recipe is braai (barbecue), which is a popular social activity in the country. Braai involves grilling meat over an open flame, and the meat is often served with pap, chakalaka, and a tomato and onion relish known as sous.

South African recipes are a melting pot of flavors and influences from different cultures, reflecting the country’s complex history. Traditional South African recipes coexist with Dutch, Malay, Indian, and British-inspired cuisine, and modern South African chefs are blending these influences with innovative techniques and international flavors.

The result of these South African recipe infusions are a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that is a source of national pride.

Want more ideas to round-out your Recipe Box?
A lot of great options are in these posts!

29 South African Recipes - South African Chicken Curry

29 Easy South African Recipes For Your Kitchen


1. South African Lamb Sosaties Recipe

The South African Lamb Sosaties Recipe

The South African Lamb Sosaties Recipe is a traditional dish with a rich history and a delicious taste. These skewered lamb kebabs are marinated in a flavorful mixture of spices, dried fruits, and vinegar, creating a unique and savory flavor profile.

Historically, sosaties have deep roots in South African cuisine, particularly among the Cape Malay community. They are believed to have originated from Indonesian and Malay influences during the spice trade era. The name “sosatie” is derived from the Indonesian word “sate,” which means skewered meat, reflecting the dish’s Indonesian origins.

2. South African Spiced Shakshuka RecipeSouth African Spiced Shakshuka Recipe

South African Spiced Shakshuka is a captivating dish that brings together the vibrant flavors of North Africa and the unique spices of South Africa. It has gained recognition for its harmonious blend of tastes and textures, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

The South African version of Shakshuka distinguishes itself with its skillful use of rich and aromatic spices, which contribute depth and complexity to the dish while preserving its simplicity. Typically enjoyed during breakfast or brunch, South African Spiced Shakshuka represents the successful amalgamation of two culinary traditions, resulting in a distinctive and satisfying meal experience.

3. South African Chakalaka RecipeSouth African Chakalaka Recipe

The South African Chakalaka Recipe is a traditional and flavorful dish that holds a special place in South African cuisine. It is known for its rich combination of ingredients and bold flavors. Chakalaka is typically made from a base of sautéed onions, garlic, and green peppers, which are cooked until they become tender and aromatic.

One of the key elements of this dish is the addition of various vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes. These vegetables are finely chopped and added to the sautéed mixture, enhancing both the texture and taste of the dish. Spices play a crucial role in Chakalaka, with the inclusion of ingredients like curry powder, chili flakes, and paprika, which give it a distinct and spicy flavor profile.

4. South African Pepper Steak Pie Recipe

South African Pepper Steak Pie Recipe

The South African Pepper Steak Pie Recipe is a traditional dish from the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of South Africa. This flavorful recipe is known for its rich history and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. South Africa, with its blend of cultures and traditions, has given rise to a unique fusion of flavors in its cuisine. One of the standout dishes in this culinary tapestry is the South African Pepper Steak Pie Recipe. This dish holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of many South Africans, reflecting the country’s diverse heritage.

Additionally, the South African Pepper Steak Pie Recipe often features a variety of vegetables and protein sources such as beef, lamb, or chicken. These ingredients contribute to a well-balanced meal that provides essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals. The use of aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom not only enhances the flavor but may also offer health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties.

5. South African Cheeza Recipe

The South African Cheeza Recipe, also known as South African Cheese and Corn Bread, is a delightful culinary creation with a rich history and some health benefits worth noting. This dish is a fusion of flavors and cultures, combining elements from both African and European culinary traditions.

The combination of corn and cheese in this dish creates a satisfying and flavorful meal that’s not only delicious but also provides essential nutrients. However, it’s important to enjoy it in moderation, especially if you’re watching your calorie intake.

6. South African Lemon Meringue Tart

South African Lemon Meringue Tart Recipe

The South African Lemon Meringue Tart recipe is a dessert that holds a special place in South African cuisine. This exquisite treat combines the zesty tang of lemons with the sweetness of meringue in a balance of flavors and textures. Its creation and popularity are deeply ingrained in South African culture. The South African Lemon Meringue Tart recipe a delightful experience with a touch of history and potential health benefits.

7. South African Pumpkin Fritters 

South African Pumpkin Fritters Recipe

South African Pumpkin Fritters recipes are a delightful dish that holds a special place in South African culture. These fritters, commonly known as “Pampoenkoekies” in Afrikaans, are a part of the country’s heritage. Their history dates back to the early Dutch settlers who brought their cooking traditions to the region in the 17th century.

The South African Pumpkin Fritters recipe is made from a simple yet wholesome combination of grated pumpkin, flour, sugar, and a hint of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. These ingredients are mixed together to form a thick batter, which is then spooned into hot oil and fried until golden brown. The result is a crispy, golden exterior that encases a soft and tender interior.

8. South African Cheese Scones RecipeSouth African Cheese Scones Recipe

South African Cheese Scones recipes are a baked pastry often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. They are characterized by their fluffy texture and cheesy, slightly tangy taste.

Historically, South Africa’s traditions have been influenced by various cultures, including Dutch, British, Indian, and indigenous African cuisines. The cheese scone recipe is a testament to this fusion. The use of cheese, a staple in many Western diets, combines with indigenous ingredients and techniques, creating a unique South African twist on a classic British pastry.

9. South African Biltong RecipeSouth African Biltong Recipe

South African Biltong recipe are used to create a traditional South African snack. This dried meat delicacy is not only a popular snack but also a reflection of South African culture, history, and even offers some health benefits.

Originating in South Africa, Biltong has a history dating back centuries. It was initially created as a way to preserve meat in a harsh climate where refrigeration was not readily available. The process involves marinating thin slices of meat, often beef or game meats, in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and various spices, such as coriander and pepper. This marinated meat is then air-dried, allowing it to gradually dehydrate and develop a distinctive flavor and texture.

10. South African Bunny Chow RecipeSouth African Bunny Chow Recipe

The South African Bunny Chow recipe is a South African culinary delight deeply rooted in the country’s diverse culture and history. This beloved dish, which originated in the Indian community of Durban, showcases the rich tapestry of South African cuisine. It is a testament to the fusion of flavors and traditions that make South African culture so unique.

At its core, a South African Bunny Chow recipe consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a flavorful curry. The bread serves as both a vessel and an accompaniment to the aromatic and spicy curry, creating a satisfying and hearty meal. This dish perfectly embodies the idea of using simple ingredients to create something extraordinary.

11. South African Pickled Fish RecipeSouth African Pickled Fish Recipe

Historically, pickled fish has its origins in the Cape Malay community, whose ancestors were brought to South Africa as slaves by the Dutch in the 17th century. Over time, the dish evolved as a fusion of various culinary traditions, incorporating spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. These aromatic spices were introduced by the Cape Malays and became essential elements of pickled fish recipes. The preparation often includes onions and sometimes a touch of sugar to balance the flavors.

12. South African Sweetcorn Pap and Chunky Tomato RecipeSouth African Sweetcorn Pap and Tomato Relish Recipe

The South African Sweetcorn Pap and Tomato Relish recipe is a delightful creation. Sweetcorn Pap, also known as “mieliepap,” is a staple food in South Africa. It is made from maize meal and water, resulting in a thick, porridge-like consistency. This dish traces its roots back to indigenous African cooking methods, where maize was a vital crop.

The Tomato Relish that accompanies the pap is a vibrant and tangy condiment. It consists of ripe tomatoes, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. The relish is simmered to perfection, creating a savory-sweet concoction that complements the subtle flavors of the pap.

13. South African Beef Curry Recipes

South African Beef Curry Recipe

The South African Beef Curry recipe is a savory dish deeply rooted in the country’s diverse culinary heritage. It holds a special place in South African cuisine, reflecting the fusion of various influences that have shaped the nation’s food culture over centuries.

Historically, the origins of this dish can be traced back to the arrival of Indian indentured laborers in South Africa during the 19th century. These laborers brought with them a rich tapestry of spices and cooking techniques, which intermingled with the local ingredients and traditions. The result was the birth of South African Beef Curry, a unique blend of Indian flavors and South African ingredients.

14. South African Koeksisters  Recipe

South African Koeksisters Recipe

The South African Koeksisters recipe for these sweet treats is deeply rooted in South African culture and have a history that dates back to the Dutch colonial era.

Koeksisters are made from a simple dough consisting of flour, sugar, butter or margarine, and milk. The dough is mixed and then braided into distinctive shapes, usually twisted or plaited, before being deep-fried to a golden brown perfection. Once fried, they are immediately immersed in a syrup made from sugar, water, and sometimes a hint of lemon juice or cinnamon, creating a sticky, sweet coating.

15. South African Avocado Smash Cream RecipeSouth African Avocado Smash Cream Recipe

The South African Avocado Smash Cream Recipe is a popular and delectable dish that reflects the diverse and vibrant South African culture. This culinary delight combines the rich flavors of avocados with various ingredients, creating a unique and tasty experience for the palate.

Avocado is an essential ingredient in this recipe, and it holds a special place in South African cuisine. Avocado trees thrive in the country’s favorable climate, making avocados easily accessible and a staple in many South African households. The use of avocados in this dish showcases South Africa’s abundant agricultural resources.

16. South African Oxtail Potjiekos RecipeSouth African Oxtail Potjiekos recipe

The South African Oxtail Potjiekos recipe is a renowned and flavorful dish rooted in the country’s culinary heritage. This hearty and aromatic dish has a history dating back to the early days of Dutch settlers in South Africa, and it continues to be a beloved choice for gatherings and special occasions across the nation. Oxtail Potjiekos, often simply referred to as “Potjiekos,” embodies the essence of South African cuisine, showcasing a richblend of flavors and a cooking method that brings people together around a communal pot.

The South African Oxtail Potjiekos recipe is a South African dish with Dutch origins. Oxtail, a flavorful and gelatinous meat, is slow-cooked in a traditional cast-iron potjie over an open flame. This dish’s charm lies in its rich flavors, blending spices like cloves and bay leaves with tomatoes and red wine, creating a mouthwatering sauce that clings to the tender oxtail.

17. South African Braai Broodjie RecipeSouth African Braai Broodjie Recipe

The South African Braai Broodjie Recipe is a fusion of South African culinary traditions that combines grilled sandwiches, known as “broodjies..” This unique culinary creation has deep roots in South African culture and cuisine, offering a delightful blend of flavors and textures. In this description, we will explore the essence of this dish, its cultural significance, and the key components that contribute to its popularity in South Africa.

18. South African Curry Powder RecipeSouth African Curry Powder Recipe

South African Curry Powder recipe typically consists of a mixture of ground spices, including coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and cloves, among others. The combination varies from one recipe to another, but these spices are essential in creating the characteristic flavor profile of South African curries. Each spice brings its unique aroma and taste to the blend, creating a  balanced flavor that is both savory and mildly spicy.

19. South African Carrot Cake RecipeSouth African Carrot Cake Recipe

South African Carrot Cake recipe is a delectable dessert deeply rooted in South African culture. This beloved treat has found its way into the hearts and homes of many, reflecting the rich tapestry of South African culinary heritage. This cake combines the simplicity of ingredients with a burst of flavors, making it a cherished dessert on any occasion.

Historically, the South African Carrot Cake has its origins in the Cape Malay community. The Cape Malays, descendants of Indonesian, Malaysian, and African slaves, brought with them a culinary tradition that fused various cultural elements. Carrots, initially introduced by Dutch settlers, became a staple ingredient due to their availability and natural sweetness. Over time, this cake evolved into a unique fusion of flavors, representing the diverse history of South Africa.

20. South African Potato Mushroom Bake RecipeSouth African Potato Mushroom Bake Recipe

The South African Potato Mushroom Bake recipe is a combination of thinly sliced potatoes and sautéed mushrooms The South African Potato Mushroom Bake recipe showcases South African comfort food. The potatoes provide a substantial base, while the mushrooms infuse the dish with a robust, earthy flavor. Prepared without elaborate seasonings, this straightforward recipe highlights the natural tastes and textures of these ingredients. Once baked to perfection, it emerges as a hearty and comforting dish, embodying the simplicity and warmth that South African cuisine is celebrated for.

21. South African Boerewors Sausage Recipe

South African Boerewors Sausage Recipe

The South African Boerewors sausage recipe is a popular dish known for its distinctive South African heritage. This sausage boasts a rich history and is famous for its unique blend of spices and seasonings. It’s a staple in South African cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide for its delicious taste.

Boerewors, in general, is known for its coiled shape, and the South African Boerewors sausage recipe is no exception. The sausage is typically prepared in a spiral shape, which not only adds to its visual appeal but also ensures even cooking and flavor distribution when grilled or cooked.

Can you can see the Dutch influence in the South African language an culture in the name?

22. South African Chicken Curry Recipe

Fijian Chicken Curry recipe

The South African Chicken Curry recipe is a popular dish known for its rich and aromatic flavors. It comes originally from the southern region of India, where it is a staple in many households. This curry is well known there for its diverse range of spices and seasonings, each contributing to its distinct taste profile.

The South African Chicken Curry recipe combines a blend of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chili powder. These spices not only enhance the flavor but also give the curry its vibrant and appetizing color. Additionally, the use of fresh curry leaves and mustard seeds adds a unique and earthy dimension to the dish.

23. South African Traditional Vetkoek Recipes

South African Traditional Vetkoek Recipe

The South African Traditional Vetkoek recipe is an iconic food from South Africa. This golden-fried delight is known for its round, doughy texture and enticing aroma. Vetkoek is typically enjoyed as a versatile accompaniment to various dishes, both sweet and savory.

With its crisp, golden-brown exterior, South African Vetkoek boasts a delectable contrast to its soft, fluffy interior. Its appearance is inviting, often served in a round or oval shape, appealing to the eye and the taste buds. It’s an essential part of South African comfort food, cherished by locals and celebrated by visitors.

24. South African Sweetcorn Bread Recipe

South African Sweetcorn Bread Recipe


The South African Sweetcorn Bread recipe is a popular dish known for its unique and delightful flavor. This bread, often served as a side dish, complements various meals and adds a touch of sweetness to the dining experience. Its distinctive taste is a result of a special combination of ingredients and cooking techniques. We had this everytime it was available on our trip to South Africa.

This bread has a golden-brown crust that cover the moist and slightly crumbly interior. It offers a sweet, yet not overpowering, flavor that comes from the inclusion of sweetcorn, which adds natural sweetness to the bread. The texture of this bread is both tender and slightly grainy, providing a satisfying contrast to many savory dishes.

25. South African Durban Chicken Recipe

South African Durban Chicken Curry recipe

The South African Durban Chicken Curry recipe is a popular dish that hails from the city of Durban, located on the eastern coast of South Africa. This dish is known for its rich history and cultural significance in the region.

This curry is best known for its distinctive blend of spices and aromatic flavors, which are a testament to the diverse culinary influences in South Africa. It is a dish that reflects the country’s multicultural heritage, with Indian, African, and British culinary traditions all contributing to its unique taste.

26. South African Pannekoek Recipe 

South African Pannekoek Recipe

The South African Pannekoek recipe is a dish known for its round, thin, and pancake-like appearance. It is a popular part of South African breakfast dishes and can double as a dessert. It can typically beserved as a versatile meal or snack. Pannekoeks are enjoyed across various regions of South Africa, and their simplicity and deliciousness have made them a top choice among locals and visitors alike.

These thin pancakes are often used as a base for both sweet and savory toppings, making them a useful to go with many other foods. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, making them suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The flexibility of Pannekoeks allows for a wide range of flavor combinations to suit different tastes.

27. South African Yellow Rice

South African Yellow Rice Recipe

The South African Yellow Rice recipe is a vibrant and aromatic dish that plays a prominent role in South African cuisine. Its distinctive golden-yellow color is achieved through the use of turmeric, a fragrant spice that infuses the rice with its earthy flavor.

This dish is a testament to the art of blending spices to create a flavorful and visually striking accompaniment. While I cannot provide the specific ingredients or cooking instructions, I can highlight that South African Yellow Rice is renowned for its unique hue and its role in enhancing the overall dining experience.

28. South African Bobotie Recipe

South African Bobotie Recipe

Imagine a dish where minced meat mingles with an assortment of spices to create a flavorful base. What sets it apart is the golden-brown topping, a creamy mixture of eggs and milk that adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory goodness below. Bobotie’s origins can be traced back to the Dutch East India Company’s influence on South Africa, infusing Indonesian and Dutch elements into the local cuisine. Over time, it has evolved into a South African classic, celebrated for its unique blend of influences.

29. South African Melktert Recipe

South African Melktert Recipe

The South African Melktert recipe is a South African dessert that holds a special place in the country’s heritage. It’s a creamy and delightful treat that has been enjoyed for generations. In South African households, Melktert is often prepared for special occasions and family gatherings. It’s a sweet and comforting dessert that brings people together.

This dessert has an interesting historical background. It is believed to have been influenced by Dutch and Indonesian culinary traditions, as these cultures have had a significant impact on South African cuisine. The name “Melktert” translates to “milk tart,” and this dish lives up to its name with its rich and creamy filling.

You May Want to Join Our Boondocking Group on Facebook For More Information

You May Want to Join Our Campfire Recipes Group on Facebook For More Information

For More Photos Visit Our Instagram at World Recipes Daily – Our Big Escape

Scroll to Top