This Heritage Day take a break from the braai … and try these fabulous South African recipes

18 min read

This Heritage Day (September 24), why not take a break from the braai and rather whip up some tasty South African treats that friends and family are guaranteed to enoy and come back for seconds and even thirds!

We asked several chef lecturers and alumni from Capsicum Culinary Studio, one of the largest chef schools in South Africa, with campuses in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Boksburg, for some inspirational ideas and recipes and the response was overwhelming. Here’s what they sent us:

Charl Botha, who lectures at Capsicum’s Cape Town campus says: “My heritage is a combination of a few European cultures including Dutch, French and German. Being an Afrikaans-speaking South African though, braais and family has always a big part of growing up and Braai Broodjies have always been on the table. But through the years I have played around with the recipe and come up with these scrumptious rolls that can be enjoyed with any meal.”

Charl Botha’s Camembert, Fig & Bacon Rolls


1⅓ cups warm water

2 tsp honey

10g active yeast

3½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup oil

2 tsp flaky salt

250g Camembert cheese

500g bacon, cooked

Whole fig preserve

Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses, grated


Pre-heat oven to 190ºC. Add the yeast and the honey to the water and leave to stand for a few minutes until frothy. Sift the flour in a bowl, add the salt, then make a well in the centre not which you pour the water and then mix. When all is combined, use the oil and add little at a time to your hands. Knead the dough until all the oil has been incorporated into the dough. Place in bowl, cover with clingwrap and leave to prove for an hour. Meanwhile cut the Camembert cheese and the figs into slices. After an hour or so remove the dough from the bowl and place on countertop surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Pack the Camembert, figs and bacon onto the dough then roll up like a Swiss roll. Cut into 3cm-4cm slices, cover and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. Brush with milk and bake for about 15 min. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake further until cheese has melted and is slightly browned. Remove from heat and serve with your braai.

Chef’s notes: One can play around with fillings and use sundried tomatoes, basil and ricotta, chopped parsley, garlic, chilli etc.

Lungile Makiza, a chef at Capsicum’s Pretoria campus, reveals that one of her favourite Heritage Day dishes is tshotlo which is a Setswana delicacy. “I’ll make as well as some steamed bread or a samp dish to enjoy with my husband and children,” she says.

Lungile’s Tshohlo
1kg beef, bone-in (I use chuck shoulder)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 bay leaves
Beef stock, enough to cover the meat
Tomato puree
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger

Heat oven to 180ºC. Place the meat in an ovenproof pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour the beef stock over the meat and add the bay leaves. Cook for 2-3 hours, checking on the meat after 2½ hours. If it falls off the bone easily, it’s about done. If it’s still clinging to the bone, give it some more time. The aim is to make sure it is tender and falling from the bone. When cooked, remove the meat from the oven and serve with pap or dombolo (steamed bread).

Springs resident Lerato Panyane lectures at Capsicum’s Boksburg campus and says she will be celebrating her Basotho culture this Heritage Day with a lamb stew and steamed bread to mop of the juices.
Lerato’s Steamed Bread
480g cake flour
240g mealie meal
10ml salt
10ml sugar
10g dry yeast
750ml lukewarm water
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the lukewarm water and mix to a soft dough. Remove from the bowl and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic then form into a ball, cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Knock the dough down, form again into a ball and place in a greased dish. Knot a cloth around the bowl and place it into a pot of boiling water. Place the lid on the pot and boil gently for one hour. Poke a a knife or skewer into the middle to see if it’s cooked, then serve and enjoy with any meat or poultry stew.

Senior lecturer at Capsicum’s Pretoria campus, Charne Wylie says for her Heritage Day means “Celebrating our one-of-a-kind nation, getting all South Africans together no matter what their race, gender or culture, and enjoying some great food. This year it’s going to be even better as we’ll also be cheering on the Springboks as they take on Argentina.”

She shares her recipe for Milktart Jaffles


2 slices of white bread, buttered

milk tart filling of your choice (cooled)

2 eggs

½ cup sugar

500ml milk

2 tbs butter

30ml corn flour

20ml flour


1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup castor sugar

1 tsp cinnamon


Heat the milk in a saucepan. Mix the rest of the ingredients together (except the castor sugar and cinnamon) and whisk in with the milk. Whisk on medium heat to achieve a thick consistency. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Set aside to cool. Heat the jaffle iron on a gas burner and spray both sides with non-stick spray. Arrange one slice of bread (with butter on the outside) on a flat surface and spoon on some of the milk tart mix. Cover with the other slice of bread (again, with butter on the outside) and place in the jaffle iron. Close and cut off excess crusts. Cook each side on gas flame to get even grid marks. Mix the castor sugar and cinnamon, then roll jaffle in the mix while still hot.

One of Lerato Zondi’s goals in life is to challenge her community and culture to be more open minded to food around the world, but more importantly to introduce the world to South African flavours.
The 25-year-old chef, who graduated from Capsicum Culinary Studio in 2014 and lives in Thornton, Cape Town, says: “I want to demonstrate how local ingredients can be used in many different ways to create dishes that are unique, exciting, tasty and quintessentially South African.
“I celebrate my beautiful Zulu culture every day, but I think Heritage Day is a great reminder of the richness that is my culture and I am proud to call myself a Zulu. It’s also just so beautiful to acknowledge how blessed we all are to have such diversity and it’s so important to celebrate who we are and where we come from.”

Zondi shares three Heritage Day recipes:

Beef stew


1,2kg beef

2 onions, diced

2 celery stalks, with the tops

4 carrots
2 tbs toasted and ground cumin
2 tbs toasted and ground coriander
1 tbs salt
1 tsp pepper
125ml ginger
6 cloves garlic, mashed

300ml tomato puree

4 tbs of sugar

3 bay leaves

2 chillies (optional)

Bunch of fresh coriander

1 litre of liquid beef stock 


Cut beef into cubes, season with salt and pepper and allow to marinade for 1 hour. Dice onion, chop carrots and celery and set aside. Blend tomato puree with ginger and garlic (and the chilli if using). In a large pot heat oil and seal off the beef on medium heat, then set aside. In the same pot sauté the onions until translucent then add carrots and celery. Place the beef back into the pot and add the spices and bay leaves then mix. Add the blended tomato puree and beef, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove lid and 1 hour to reduce the liquid. Add chopped fresh coriander and adjust seasoning



1 cup raw red beans

1 tsp salt

2 heaped tbs butter

½ onion, diced

3 cups maize meal

2 tbs Aromat


Soak the beans in 4 cups of hot water for an hour till they double in size. It’s important they stay covered in water to avoid uneven cooking. Once soaked drain excess water. Dice the onion and place them in a large, deep pot. Add the beans, the salt and 2 litres of water and cook over medium heat until soft then lower the heat. In a separate bowl mix 2 cups of maize meal and 2 cups of water. Mix well then slowly pour into the pot of beans and mix with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Once the mixture starts to thicken slightly add the rest of the dry maize stirring in slowly. Steam is what cooks this dish so spread the mixture in the pot creating a seal to trap in the steam then close the lid and cook for 45 minutes checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes. It’s okay if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pot as long as it isn’t burning. Once cooked add the butter and the Aromat then taste. You can serve as is but to take it a step further turn them into balls.

To make the balls you will need maize meal and 2 beaten eggs (add more if you want more balls). Mould the cooled sgwaqane into balls and coat well in maize meal, beaten eggs then maize meal again. Deep fry in 1,5 litres of hot oil over medium heat. Fry until golden yellow. Serve with the Beef Stew.

You can also turn theIsigwaqane into canapés: Cut the tops off the fried balls and hollow out half of the sgwaqane mixture. Chop up the meat and carrots to size. Layer the sauce in first the add the meat and sauce until full.

Amadumbe Crisps & Sriracha Dipping Sauce

10 amadumbe
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ sprig rosemary
1 onion, chopped
Cooking oil
Salt & pepper
Siracha to taste
Thoroughly wash the amadumbe then peel and discard the skin. Shave the peeled amadumbe into very fine strips, rinse in cold water until the water runs clear and pat dry, making sure they are as dry as possible. Heat oil in a pot over medium temperature. Test the oil by dropping in a shaving. When it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. Drop a handful of shavings into the oil at a time, moving them around with a slotted spoon. Once they are crispy and golden, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
For the sauce
Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and rosemary in a little oil. When the onions are translucent, add the whole peeled tomatoes and simmer until they start to break down. Remove and blend with a hand blender then pour the mix back into the pot until the residual liquid starts to reduce into a thicker paste. Add the sriracha and salt to taste.

Chef Marlon De Freitas from the Cape Town campus says: “Heritage Day celebrates our culture as a rainbow nation and it’s important that we embrace our history. Food plays a huge role in this as it showcases the many different cultures we have in South Africa which in turn illustrates how so many families have unique way of preparing and cooking dishes. Ultimately though it still all comes down to the tastes and flavours we know and love. De Freitas shares two classic SA dishes:

Cape Malay Koeksisters


4 cups cake flour

2 cups self-raising flour
⅓ cup sugar
2.5ml salt
10g instant yeast
10ml fine cardamom
10ml fine ginger
10ml fine cinnamon
10ml aniseed
1 large egg
15ml oil
30ml butter
1½ cups hot water
1½ cups milk
Oil for deep frying
Desiccated coconut for sprinkling

For the Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamon pods


Mix flour with spices, sugar, yeast and salt. Melt butter in hot water and mix milk. To the dry ingredients add the egg, oil and milk-water mixture. Mix thoroughly to form a soft smooth dough. Leave to rise for about 1-2 hours in a warm place. Once risen, moisten hands with oil and roll dough into a sausage shape and cut into 2cm slices. Set aside to rise again.
Lightly stretch slices to form an oval shape and deep fry in medium hot oil until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
For the syrup – place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a slow boil, stirring to ensure sugar does not burn. Stir until the sugar syrup becomes slightly sticky. Boil the koeksisters in it for 1-2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and serve hot.

Cape Bobotie

1 large onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic minced

⅔ cup raisins

3 tablespoons apricot jam

2 slices white bread, crusts removed

½ cup full cream milk

2 tablespoons flaked almonds

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons curry powder mild

1 teaspoon dried oregano and basil mix

pepper to taste

salt to taste

For the egg custard

3 eggs

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground cumin

salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 185°C. Take 2 bowls. Soak the crustless slices of bread in the milk. Soak the raisins in water. Set both bowls aside. In a large pan or skillet, heat cooking oil and sauté the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes until translucent. Add all the spices, minced garlic and ground beef while stirring regularly to break down into small grains. Cook for about 10 minutes until brown. Add the apricot jam and mix well. Meanwhile, squeeze the milk out of the bread with your hands, but preserve the milk in a separate bowl to use for the egg topping. Drain the water from the raisins. Add the raisins, bread and almond flakes to the mixture and stir well together. Cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Transfer the mixture into an oven dish. Use the back of a spoon to press the beef mixture down and flatten well to make the top smooth. The egg topping needs to stay on top and not disappear into the meat. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, turmeric, cumin, salt and the milk that was used to soak the bread. Pour the egg mixture over the meat, arrange the bay leaves on top. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the egg custard is set.

Serve immediately with yellow rice and tomato salad.

Cape Town Capsicum student Imtiyaaz Hart says: “I love that we can all come together and accept and appreciate one another’s diversity. Our nation is a mixture of Ubuntu brought together like a delicious trifle! 

Hart gives his take on Koesisters and Bobotie but with a decidedly different twist.

Koesister Ice-Cream Sandwiches

For the Koesister ice-cream


3 cups cream

2 cups milk

12 egg yolks

1½ cups sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

6 cloves

6 cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

zest of 2 naartjies

pinch of salt


Simmer the cream, milk, spices and sugar together, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to steep for 30 minutes before bringing to a simmer. Strain the cream mixture and slowly add it to your yolk mixture (This is called tempering as you don’t want to scramble the eggs so you slowly bring it up to temperature before combining). Once combined,

bring back to heat and simmer. The temperature you’re looking for is 80ºC but you’ll know it’s ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add to an ice-cream churner for 60min and then freeze until ready to use.

For the Koesister


3 cups cake flour

4 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

5g instant yeast

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Zest of one naartjie

1 tbsp aniseed

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp butter

¾ cup boiling water

¾ cup milk


Mix the flour with the spices, sugar, yeast and zest. Melt the butter in boiling water then add the milk to the butter mixture. First add the egg and oil to the dry ingredients and then add the milk and butter mixture. Mix thoroughly to form a soft dough. It will be quite sticky but don’t panic! Leave to rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size. Once risen, moisten your hands with oil and make small balls in the palm of your hands. Set aside to rise again. Lightly stretch the balls and deep fry in medium hot oil. You can shape them as you see fit, I prefer a golf ball size. When ready to coat, bring a saucepan of equal amounts water and sugar with cinnamon sticks to a boil. Dip in your koesisters and roll in coconut. To assemble, cut your koesister in half and add your ice-cream, then sandwich.

Bobotie Gyoza with a Cape Malay Consommé

Cape Malay Consommé


250g beef marrow bones

1 red onion, diced small

2 carrots, diced small

4 celery sticks, diced small

2 star anise

6 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

4 cm fresh ginger, minced

5 bay leaves

¼ cup apricot jam

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cumin

5 water

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste


1 egg white, including the shell crunched up

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp water


Roast the bones with the olive oil for about 15 min at 200ºC. Add all the spices, onions, celery and carrots to a pot with the roasted bones and sauté until caramelised. Add the apricot jam and water, bring to a boil then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Make sure you remove all excess impurities during this time with a slotted spoon. Season and strain the mixture and add back to the pot. Mix your raft mixture and add to the strained broth. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. You’ll see the raft start to form – don’t be alarmed – the egg white mixture might look a bit sketchy but once you strain, you’ll be left with a delicious, full bodied and crystal-clear consommé!

Dumpling Dough


120g self-raising flour

5g ground turmeric

75ml boiling water

1 tsp salt.


Mix the salt with the water and add little by little to flour and turmeric. Mix well and knead until the dough is pliable. Rest for 20min and then roll into a long string. Cut out equal portions and roll as flat as you can before filling

Bobotie Filling


½ red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

500g mince of choice 

¼ cup raisins/sultanas

2 tbsp apricot jam

1 tbsp hot chutney

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

2 tbsp Cape Malay curry powder

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Olive Oil for frying


Sauté the onions and garlic and then mix everything together. Marinate for at least 1 hour before filling and assembling the dumplings. For frying, add canola oil to a medium hot pan and fry for about 4min before adding water then close the lid to let them steam for about 8 min longer. This allows it to first crisp up and then steam to fully cook the mince mixture. Serve with the Cape Malay consommé, dried apricots, pomegranates and slithers of omelette for that traditional eggy bobotie feel.

Chantel Williams, who lectures at the school’s Pretoria campus offers two fabulous salad recipes:

Cous-Cous Salad


1 butternut, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks

2 red peppers, sliced

2 aubergines, chopped

Fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, chopped

½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ lemon, zested

½ lime, zested

½ orange, zested (optional)

1 packet rocket

Olive oil

Salt & pepper


Place the butternut, red pepper and aubergine into a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter over the fresh rosemary and chopped garlic and roast until all veggies are tender. Meanwhile add oil to a pan and pan fry the red onion until soft and golden. Set aside to cool. Make the couscous as per instructions on the package. Once the couscous is ready, add the lemon, lime and orange zests as well as the feta cheese, pomegranate seeds and pan-fried red onion and mix until well combined. Once the veggies are roasted, let them cool and then drizzle over olive oil and season with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Add the veggies to the couscous and stir through. Fill a large platter with the rocket leaves and then spoon over the couscous and veggie mix.

Dorito Salad

“I love making this salad in spring or summer when having friends and family over.”


4 large tomatoes, sliced

2 avos, sliced

Large cup of grated cheese

500ml sour cream


In a square or rectangular platter, place a layer of tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Next add a layer of avo slices and season. Sprinkle over grated cheese then add a layer of sour cream. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Just before serving, crush a packed of Doritos Sweet Chilli chips on top, then dig in and enjoy.

Happy Heritage Day everyone!

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