South African Recipes

My lovely husband is South African and also does a lot of the day to day cooking.  So needless to say we have a lot of African influences in our food. Butternuts are a main part of this diet so I thought I’d share some yummy recipes with you. Also coming from beautiful Durban I couldn’t not include bunny chow! (curry in bread)


Bunny Chow (serves 4) (not really bunny!!)
1 kg lamb, cubed
1 medium onion, sliced thinly into rings
2 large tomatoes or 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 curry leaves
1 stick cinnamon
4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1.5 tsp crushed ginger
1.5 tsp crushed garlic
4 tsp Durban masala (or substitute shop-bought curry powder,as hot or mild as you like)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
3-4 potatoes, cubed
1 or 2 (depending on the size) crusty, square loaves of bread
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Cube the meat and slice the onion; peel and dice the tomato.
Heat the oil and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, onion and curry leaves. Fry until the onion is light golden brown in colour.
Add the masala mix (or curry powder), turmeric, ginger, garlic and tomato.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a puree.
Add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the poatoes and about 1/4 cup of water.  Lower the heat and simmer over low heat until the meat is tender and the potatoes cooked.  Keep an eye on it to make sure the bottom of the pot does not burn.
When the meat is cooked through and the potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes), add the garam masala mixture. Test for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Simmer for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
In the meantime, take a fresh loaf of white bread  - it needs to be crusty on the outside with a nice, soft crumb.  Little farmouse loaves half the size of standard loaves are ideal.  Halve the loaf and scoop out the soft white crumb, leaving the crust to form a "bowl". 
Spoon the curry into the half loaf and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.  The soft crumb can be dipped into the curry and eaten as well.

Butternut Soup recipe
Butternut soup is a favourite South African starter. The butternut has a flavour all on its own and it is great to serve it as a starter before a good roast beef or lamb.

2 medium butternuts
1 apple
2 medium onions
50g butter/margarine (4T)
7 ml medium curry powder (1 ¼ t)
40 g cake flour (4 T)
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 chicken stock cubes
750 ml boiling water (3 c)
500 ml milk (2 c)
7 ml salt (1 ½ t)

Peel, seed and dice the butternuts. Peel, core and chop the apple. Peel the onions and chop roughly. In a large saucepan, saute the chopped onions in the butter/margarine. Add the curry powder and fry the mixture lightly. Add the butternut and apple and saute the mixture for a while. Add the flour and nutmeg and stir-fry lightly.

Dissolve the chicken stock cubes in the boiling water. Add the stock, together with the milk, and salt, to the butternut mixture. Boil, with the lid on, over moderate heat until the butternut pieces are soft. Stir the mixture occasionally. Puree or blend until smooth. The colour of the soup should be a deep yellow and the texture creamy. Serve the soup hot.

Each bowl of soup may be garnished with a teaspoon of cream and a little finely chopped parsley. For an interesting variation, replace the nutmeg with a little finely grated orange rind and add a few shreds of orange rind to the garnish.

Makes 2 litres

Now most of you don’t have a potjie (poi-key) or cauldron in your garden so this cooks great on stove!
 Chocolate potjie - the best kind in my opinion!
Mild lamb curry potjie recipe
The recipe serves six.

750g x 2 cubed lamb ( you can use half beef and half lamb, but it is nicer if you use only lamb)
4-5 sweet potatoes peeled and cut in large chunks
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons garam masala
1cm ginger peeled and grated
6 garlic cloves crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 ground turmeric
1 tablespoon oil
2 onions chopped
800g tin peeled tomatoes

Liquidize the tin peeled tomatoes in the food processor. Fry the onions in the oil remove the onions. Use the same pot to dry fry the herbs and spices for a moment. Add the onions and the liquidized tomatoes. Add the meat bring to boil. Cook for 1 hour on the stove top with the lid on the pot. If dry you can add half a cup of water. Add sweet potatoes cook for another hour or till sweet potatoes are tender. The sweet potato thickens the sauce. Eat and enjoy. The mild curry freezes well.


  1. Oh yum, I used to love potjiekos' when I was little :-D!

  2. Hi,

    I am very impressed after reading through parts of your blog. With your cooking skills I think you could be interested in this competition I have found. You cook your national dish and then you have the opportunity to win an iPad mini or money. It could also be a good chance for you to let more people know about your blog since you will be shown on their homepage and in a cookbook!
    Here's the presentation about the competition:
    Competition: Win iPad or Money
    And here's their facebook page:
    Facebook Page

    I hope you will be win..