The Diverse Flavors of South African Cuisine

Potjiekos dish.
Photo by cindycrazycatlady from Pixabay

Africa is a continent full of many exciting flavors, such as those from West Africa, and food from the south is no exception. South African cuisine is a mix of vibrant, diverse flavors because South African culture has been influenced by nations such as India, Malaysia, and France. There are a couple of countries that make up South Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Botswana.

South Africa — Koeksisters

Koeksister is a seared dough mixture that is contorted then dunked in syrup. Koeksisters originates from the Dutch word “koek,” which means cake. The dish resembles a doughnut, albeit an extremely sweet and clingy one. 

Namibia — Potjiekos

Potjeikos is a term for a customary South African stew usually made outdoors in a three-legged iron pot called the potjie. The meat and vegetables are combined in the potjie and cooked over coals for long periods of time. The traditional recipe has meat such as lamb, chicken, pork, or venison and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, pumpkin, and many more.

Lesotho — Lekhotloane

Lekhotloane is bashed beef that’s usually served with potatoes. The main ingredients are oil, onions, and beef stock cubes. After the beef is boiled until it becomes extremely tender, it is cut into portions then pounded. The onions are sautéed in oil with the meat and stock and then simmered until the sauce becomes thick. The potatoes are served with a sauce containing spinach, spring onions, water, salt, pepper, and peanut butter.

Botswana — Matemekwane

Matemekwane is a type of dumpling that is one of the most popular dishes in Botswana and a household staple. Matemekwane is stuffed with meat, vegetables, and seasoning. Matemekwane is usually paired with a hot dip or hot soup such as mahangu soup.