Cookbook:Cuisine of South Africa

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Cuisines


The cuisine of South Africa reflects the diversity of the various ethnic groups that make up the population of South Africa. The variety of different culinary traditions combined with the great variety of fresh food present a cuisine that caters for every taste sensation. Although the historical traditions are evident in the cuisine, modern food trends also influence its development.

South African cuisine is strongly influenced by Dutch, German, English, French, Malaysian, Portuguese, Indonesian, Indian, Native African and even Asian cuisines. As a result, we have a great variety of dishes.

South African history's influence on culinary traditionEdit

The first European settlers in South Africa were the Dutch, who established a trading post in the Cape in 1652. Many men from Germany also came to work in the Cape. Towards the end of the 17th century, Malay slaves were imported. The French Huguenots, after fleeing their country due to religious persecution, came to South Africa and started our fine winemaking tradition. Britain gained control of the Cape in 1806. The discovery of gold and diamonds lead to further British colonizations in South Africa. Under their rule, Indian indentured labourers were imported as cheap labour. Later Britain gave South Africa its independence. The Portuguese influence came mostly from Mozambique and Angola, two of South Africa's neighbouring countries. Long ignored are also the African influences in South African cuisine, now much more popular since the passing of Apartheid.

Meat dishes are very popular, especially amongst European descendants commonly known as the Afrikaners. There's an old joke that states that a Boer eats mutton, beef and bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and when he feels like some vegetables, he eats chicken.

Braais (barbecues) are very popular.

Breakfast dishesEdit

  • Melk kos
  • Mieliepap (A porridge made from maize and water
  • Bacon and eggs with toast
  • Dry cereals
  • Oats

Soup & StewEdit

  • Waterblommetjiebredie
  • Groente sop
  • Boontjie sop


  • Snoek
  • Rock Lobster commonly called "crayfish" but it is not the same as crayfish in most other countries


Most South Africans enjoy chicken and include it in their braais (barbecues). Some say they eat everything but that's not true. However they do eat duck, ostrich and pigeon, which are very tasty. Most boys hunt for birds and cook then on a wire on top of a flame or fire.



  • Chakalaka (Spicy vegetable salad)
  • Morogo (Wild spinach)
  • Pap (Corn porridge)
  • Samosas
  • Samp and Beans
  • Setjetsa / isiJingi (Maize and Pumpkin)
  • Isidudu (Pumpkin Mash)
  • Umngqusho (Semolina and Black-eyed peas)
  • Umphokoqo (African dish made of corn meal)


  • Aartappel Poeding (Potato Pudding)
  • Asynpoeding (Vinegar Pudding)
  • Boeber
  • Bombay Crush
  • Cape Brandy Pudding
  • Cremora Tart
  • Crunchies
  • Hertzoggies
  • Jalebi
  • Koeksisters
  • Koesisters
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Malva Pudding
  • Melktart (Milk Tart)
  • Melkkos
  • Pampoenkoekie (Pumpkin Fritters)
  • Pannekoek (Pancakes)
  • Peppermint Crisp Tart
  • Pineapple Fridge Tart
  • Sago pudding
  • Sticky Date Pudding
  • Trifle


  • Rusks
  • Bread
  • Queen cake
  • Milo cake with condensed milk icing
  • Vetkoek
  • Stokbrood

Condiments & PreservesEdit


  • Amasi (soured milk)
  • Brandy and Coke
  • Don Pedro
  • Ginger Beer
  • Mageu (fermented corn meal)
  • Mampoer (fruit based moonshine, mostly peach or marula)
  • Pineapple Beer
  • Wine
  • Springbokkie
  • Umqombothi (sorghum beer)
  • Witblitz (grape based moonshine)