Quick Recipes and Easy

South African Main Course Cuisine

The food from South Africa is as diverse as the people that live there, influenced by many countries and cultures over the centuries. They have been able to combine all the fantastic ingredients introduced to the country and making it their one, UNIQUE. Nothing tastes as fantastic as South African food! Maybe I am just bias, but why not try it and judge for yourself.

One huge influence on the choice of food must be the two bordering oceans, the Atlantic and Indian. Seafood plays a very vital role in any diet and can be loved in a fantastic variety of ways. Shell fish, rock lobster, crayfish, salt cod, kingklip and snoek (a pickled fish) are only a few of the fantastic dishes loved very often. They can be served with onions, lemon butter, chilli peppers or a fantastic curry. The crayfish are best served braised with onions and chillies and snoek must be barbecued.

If you are looking for variety, you won’t be disappointed! South African cuisine caters for all and no matter what you prefer, you will find something on the menu to suit your taste. The food is both elegant and glows with simplicity. If you are looking for a main course and you are not a seafood lover, don’t worry. Look at the following choices and see what you like the look of.

On the top of the menu is the fantastic Afrikaner “hoenderpastei”, or chicken pie, inspired by the British pastries, but really different and unique. This is a pastry pot, filled with chicken, sauce, bacon, green pepper and other “secret” ingredients with a pastry top, baked until light brown and crispy in a medium hot oven.

If you are looking for lamb or beef, try the fantastic bobotie from the Boere. This is a fantastic dish, inspired by spices from the Malay slaves with onions, raisons and topped with a custard, comprising of egg and milk. This is usually served with yellow rice, banana, blatjang and coconut. Make sure to include a fantastic vegetable side dish.

Maybe the warm sunshine is too inviting and you are looking to spend your days outside! If you are, you should certainly try a potjiekos, also a Boer dish. Throwing all the ingredients in a cast iron pot, letting the vegetables cook in the meat’s sauces for many, many hours. You can bake a “potbrood” (a lovely bread) at the same time, by placing the dough in another cast iron pot over the coals.

If the potjiekos isn’t for you, then why not try a braai (barbecue). Place some “boerewors” (a fantastic seasoned sausage made from beef), steak, sosaties (marinated meat on skewers) and braaidroodjies (toasted sandwiches) on the fire outside in your backyard. This is the way to live! Serve with potato salad and away you go.

Frikkadelle, basically small beef patties, are greatly seasoned and taste magnificent, being served with salads and vegetables. If you are looking for very warm and comfort food, try a bredie. The most well loved is a tomato or water lily bredie or stew. This is an all in one stew comprising of vegetables and mutton, with the juices from both, flavouring each other.

Bunny chow (curry stuffed in a hollow out loaf of bread) and curries have become very well loved because of the Indian influence and you can buy sweet, mild or hot curries, mostly serve with atjar (pickles) and blatjang. Blatjang is chutney, and served with EVERYTHING. All you have to do is cook local fruits with garlic, cold peppers and onions to mention just a few ingredients.

Local vegetables and fruit play a very vital role in the daily diet. Tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, mealies, green beans, sweet potatoes, spinach and pumpkin are the most loved by everyone. Sweet potato and pampoenkoekies (small pumpkin cookies, or fritters) are greatly loved dishes, served with cinnamon sugar or a sweet syrup. After your fantastic main course, you have to delight in desserts, snacks and drinks, but that will be discussed in the next article.

To be a guest in a South African home is a fantastic experience. They pride themselves on hospitality, making sure you are well fed, making you feel at home at all times and making an everlasting experience you will never, ever forget.

About the Author: Lizel Salter is a keen cooking fanatic, likes baking and she is the author of Simply South African, a traditional recipe cookbook. If you want to read more on South Africa, go to recipesfromsouthafrica.com recipesfromsouthafrica.com

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