Feeling Peckish? Here Are Our Best South African Recipes

Plates of food on a table

5.18min read

Published 6 April 2020


There’s nothing like a good South African recipe. South Africa is a melting pot of delicious flavours, food and tastes. We all have our favourite recipes – whether it’s Ouma’s secret recipe or one you created in a moment of inspiration.

Here is a collection of our team’s favourite recipes they’re making right now. We’ve got you covered, whether you have a sweet tooth or a hankering for something savoury.

Homemade Vetkoek 'Magwinya' - Nhlanhla Litabe
Local is lekker with homemade vetkoek 'magwinya' says Nhlanhla Litabe.

“No measurements for the diva, measure with the heart,” says our sassy chef.

You'll need flour, a pinch of salt, a bit of sugar, instant yeast, lukewarm water and oil for deep frying.

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add water gradually until the dough is soft. Place dough in a warm place so it can rise quicker. After an hour, dip your hands in water and/or oil so the dough doesn't stick, then roll the dough into balls and place in a deep-fryer or pot of hot oil. Turn until the vetkoek shine a golden brown.

“You can enjoy them with atchaar, polony and cheese!”

Peppermint Crisp Tart - Antoinette Turner


  • • 380gm caramel condensed milk
  • • 500ml cream
  • • 35gm peppermint crisp chocolate
  • • 1 packet of thin tennis biscuits


  • 1. Whip cream till thick.
  • 2. Add caramel and mix well until combined.
  • 3. In a suitable dish (preferably square or rectangular) place a layer of biscuits - don't worry if there are small spaces in-between. Spoon a little bit of the caramel mixture over the biscuits to cover completely. Grate a piece of the chocolate over the caramel mixture. Repeat by layering biscuits, caramel and grated chocolate until finished, ending with a caramel and chocolate layer.
  • 4. Place in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight if you can.


A peppermint crisp sitting on a table

Boerewors and Caramelised Onion Frittata - Kim Forbes


  • • 1 small pack boerewors
  • • 1 brown onion
  • • 1 round feta cheese
  • • 250ml sour cream
  • • 8 eggs
  • • Fresh herbs


  • 1. Pre-cook boerewors and slice.
  • 2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • 3. Slice onion into rings and fry until nicely browned.
  • 4. Layer boerewors, onion and feta in an oven proof dish.
  • 5. Whisk eggs with sour cream, fresh herbs (I use parsley, thyme and oregano but you can use whatever you like) and salt and pepper to taste.
  • 6. Pour egg mixture over your boerewors and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Gourmet Potato Salad - Zaheera Suliman

• 5 medium potatoes
• Salt
• 2 tbsp butter
• Black pepper
• Green chilli (optional)

Boil and mash your potatoes with the butter, salt, chilli and pepper. Allow to cool.

To make the sauce:
• 1 tin Nestle cream
• 4 tbsp brown sugar (I only use half of this actually)
• Half a cup of mayo
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Salt to taste
• Green chilli (optional)

Mix the sauce together.


1. Roll cooled mash into balls
2. Push a toothpick through the top and set on platter.
3. Dip them in the sauce and sprinkle chopped coriander on top and cubed peppers.
P.S.  The sauce is great on a pasta salad as well!


A bowl of potato salad on a table

Devil’s Food Cake - Rachel Naidoo

Not typically South African, but this one is too delicious not to share! It’s a great one to make with your kids, as Rachel does.

• 1 ½ cup cake and pastry flour
• 1 ⅓ cup superfine (quick dissolve) sugar
• ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ cup cool, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• ½ cup hot, strong brewed coffee
• ½ cup milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs, room temperature

Fudge Frosting
• 12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 ¾ cup whipping cream
• ½ cup sour cream
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease the cake pan. Beat ingredients together until few lumps remain. Pop into cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Koeksisters - Lee-ann Harmse

“Hubby and I made Koeksisters for the first time! Super easy recipe and they taste amazing!” says Lee-ann.


• 250ml water (1 cup)
• 625ml white sugar (2 1/2 cups)
• 12 1⁄2ml lemon juice (2 1/2 tsp.)
• 5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp.)

• 375ml cake flour (1 1/2 cups)
• 22ml baking powder (4 1/2 tsp)
• 1ml salt (1/4 tsp.)
• 20g butter or 20g margarine
• 150ml milk (the vanilla soy milk gives added flavour - 5/8 cup or 150 ml vanilla-flavoured soymilk.
• 750ml canola oil (3 cups)

1. Put the water and sugar in a pot and bring to boil on low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 7 minutes.
2. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla essence. Put the pot into the fridge.
3. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Break the butter or margarine into small pieces and add to the four mixture. Add the milk. Mix well until a dough is formed.
4. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 5 mm (+ or - 1/4 in.). Cut the dough into thin (+ or - 10 mm or 1/2 in.) strips. Take 3 strips and join their ends on one side. Braid the strips to desired koeksister length and join other ends.
5. Heat the oil in a pot until fairly hot. Put about 3 koeksisters (or what can fit) at a time into the oil and fry them on both sides until they turn a golden-brown colour. As you remove the koeksisters from the oil, place them directly into the syrup from the fridge. It is important to keep the syrup cool, so between soakings, return the syrup to the fridge to maintain its coolness.
6. Remove the koeksisters from the syrup and allow the excess syrup to drip off. Place them in the refrigerator to cool and then eat!

His and hers beer shandy - Lauren Mcewan

Beer + Sprite and mix to taste. “I personally take mine with ice and just a dash of sprite,” says Lauren.

Local is Lekker Bobotie - Chanele Allen

• 1kg lean mince
• 2 large onions (finely chopped)
• 2 tbsp oil
• 3 tbsp butter
• 6 slices of white bread
• 2 cups (500ml) water
• 1 box Spice Mecca Bobotie spice - I just used bobotie cook-in-sauce.
• 1 tbsp garlic
• ± 2 tsp salt
• 4 tbsp fruit chutney

Egg Wash:
2 eggs + 1 cup (250ml) milk (whisked lightly).

1. Wash and drain mince and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Braise onions in oil and butter until golden brown.
3. Soak bread in water and squeeze excess water from bread.
4. Add SpiceMecca Bobotie spice to the mince. Then add bread, braised onions, garlic and ginger paste, salt and chutney.
5. Mix well and spread into an ovenproof dish.
6. Insert lemon/bay leaves into the mince.
7. Bake at 180° C for 30 - 35 minutes.
8. Pour egg wash over mince and bake until egg mixture has set.
9. Serve with sweet yellow rice, mashed potatoes and beetroot salad.


No Guilt Vegetarian “Nachos” with Chakalaka - Angelique Cronje

• 1 Whole butternut
• 1 large or 2 smaller sweet potatoes
• 1 large onion
• Corn (we just added this as an extra touch on the sides)
• Butter
• Rosemary
• Origanum
• Salt
• Pepper
• Cheese
• 1 can of chakalaka of choice

1. Place the whole butternut in the oven to soften.
2. Cut the sweet potato into thin layers.
3. Roughly chop onion.
4. Take a baking tray or oven pan and line with foil or spray and cook.
5. Remove the butternut from the oven and slice up.
6. Layer the sweet potato, butternut and onion and spice in between with the spices according to taste.
7. Add butter (as much as you like).
8. Place in the oven until the sweet potatoes are nice and soft and you can smell the rosemary.
9. Add a layer of chakalaka.
10. Top it off with as much cheese as possible!
11. Bake for a further 10 minutes until the cheese starts crisping a bit.
12. Cool down, slice it up and enjoy.

*Tip: You can really go bos and even add the guacamole and cream after if you want, but it is just as good without it!

13. Serve & enjoy.

Homemade Chicken Pie - Genevieve Mahomed

• 2 chicken fillets cubed
• 1/2 onion sliced
• 1 cup of mixed veg (steamed)
• 1 packet puff pastry
• Spices:
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 1/4 tsp garam masala
• 1/4 tsp Jeera powder
• 1/4 tsp dhania powder
• Sauces:
• 3 tbsp tomato sauce
• 1 tbsp mayo
• 3 tbsp Sriracha
• 2 tbsp Mrs Ball’s chutney (the hot version obviously!)

1. Marinate chicken in spices and salt to your taste.
2. Heat 3 tbsp oil, cook chicken and onions together.
3. When its 3/4 way cooked add mixed veg, cook for an additional 5 min.
4. Add all your sauces and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Fill the pastry and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C 
6. Enjoy!


Boerebrood - Tertius Rall


• 500ml meel
• 5ml sout
• 5ml suiker
• 5g gis
• 15g botter
• 160ml lou warm water

1. Meng meel, sout, suiker saam.
2. Voeg botter by en vryf deur met vinger punte.
3. Voeg gis by.
4. Voeg genoeg lou warm water by om deeg te vorm.
5. Knieg deeg tot glad en elasties.
6. Laat rus vir 5 min.
7. Slaan deeg weer plat sit in broodpan. Maak toe met plastiek en laat rys vir uur.
8. Bak 30 min op 200 grade.

What to know what else we are eating?
“Cape Malay Curry” - Paolo Ferreira
“Stew and pancakes on rainy days!” - Chantelle Maritz

And of course, the good old South African braai.

“When you’re in lockdown... any day is Braai Day” - Nikki Casey

“Nothing like a good old braai! Even if it is on gas!” - Shirley Ann Henry

“What is better than a Braai?! Pork Chops, Wors, Pap, Tomato and Onion Relish, Braai Broodjies and Shooters! Jaa!” - Liza Rochholz

“A braai with homemade relish, braai pap and sirloin steak marinade” - Tamsyn Grundlingh

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