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Feb 14, 2008 07:12 PM

Recipe request for South African or Botswanan food

I am giving a party to show our photos of our recent Botswanan safari. I would like to cook food from the region. As I recall we had mostly stews in Botswana. Can anyone contribute some recipes for a "African" freast - preferably SA or Botswanan?

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  1. Don't know about the food of SA, but Botswana doesn't exactly sound like a gourmet tour de force. Boiled beef, porridge, and vegetable stews seem to be the staples. You;ll find a little information here:

    1. Sosatie (essentially South African/Cape Malay Satays) and other Cape Malay foods would be a good dishes to bring. Google will find you a bunch of recipes.

      1. My experience is South African, not Bots, but here's what I'd do (depending on the size of your group:
        sosaties (lamb brochettes witha curry/red wine/apricot marinade)
        boerewors (beef sausage, usually spiced with clove)
        piri piri grilled chicken
        yellow rice (tumeric, raisins, a couple of cinnamon sticks broken)
        chakalaka (I don't use beans)
        some good South African wines
        Castle Lager (although, if you can get it, get Windhoek, from Namibia - excellent lager)

        I don't know what the availability of African game is in SF area (where you seem to be located), but ostrich should be available, since we produce it in North America, and it's excellent. You can substitute it for the lamb in the sosaties. If you can het your hands on some kudu or zebra...mmmmm. Kudu is perhaps the best flesh I've tasted in my life. I quite like zebra, though it has a slightly odd flavour, not gamey, but... odd.

        Do you want the sosatie recipe?

        3 Replies
        1. re: hungry_pangolin

          Hungry pangolin- Those are some good ideas. The recipe for curry- apricot marinade would be helpful. Piri piri is that the Peri Peri sauce we had? What is chakalaka? The Castle beer and SA wine- I forgot! Just an aside- why don't they have more variey and better beer in SA?
          Abby, I do really want to do Botswanan food as that is where we went on Safari. We did visit SA too. I think I may combine ideas and do a mix Thank you both.

          1. re: zinfanatic

            1) I don't know about the beer in RSA. Castle and Black Label seemed to be pretty much it, and Windhoek was a similar style except that it had flavour, and tasted good. It was my go-to whenever I could get it.

            2) Piri=Peri The best brand I tasted was Nali's, from Malawi. The label said something like "The hottest sauce in Africa - Friend, take care". It wasn't insanely hot, actually.

            3) Chakalaka: This is real Sowetan chow. In a large pot, begin sauteeing onion in oil. Once translucent, add garlic and carrot (diced or in batons). After a minute or two, add curry powder, grated ginger root, stir and cook for a few minutes. Add roughly diced cabbage, a couple of roughly chopped tomatoes (both necessary) and green(bell) pepper (optional, but I like it). Cook until the cabbage has reached desired tenderness, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. No two recipes are the same. Many recipes call for beans or one variety or another, but I exclude them.

            You can actually get it tinned. All Gold brand is what I can get here (Toronto), and it's pretty good, but a bit oily. It's also, a bit confusingly, labelled "mild and spicy". Go fig. If you see it, pick it up, and use that as your 'base line'. My version is less oily, and less saucy. My preferred consistency is with the carrot and cabbage with some slight toothsomeness left, and the veg fully coated with sauce, but no sauce pooling on the plate.

            4) Marinade for sosaties. Again, no two recipes are alike.
            The volumes of course will vary according to the amount of lamb (or, ostrich) you will be making. But, assuming a large leg of lamb (2.5kg), you will bone, trim the fat and silver skin, rendering just under 2kg of meat. alternately, save yourself the grief, and by a boned leg of lamb.
            2 onions, skinned and quatered
            2 garlic cloves, minced
            125ml plain or white wine vinegar
            1/2 bottle dry red wine (pinotage, if you want to be a real bokkie)
            3tsp curry powder (use a good brand, like Bolst's)
            2tsp coriander seed, ground
            1/2-1tsp allspice, ground
            1/2-1tsp cumin seed, ground
            3 cardamom pods
            1 or 2 cinamon sticks, broken
            1Tbsp tamarind paste
            2-3Tbsp apricot jam
            2 bay leaves

            (This is a bit like building a curry.) Begin sauteeing the onions in olive oil, and once translucent, add, garlic, salt, curry powder, cumin, coriander, allspice, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, and stir. Allow it to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then deglaze with a few Tbsp red wine. Allow it to reduce, add some more wine, and add the jam and the tamarind paste, incorporating them fully. Add the wine and vinegar. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow it to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Your marinade is done.

            Cube lamb in to large pieces, about 1 1/2 inches. Place in a non-reactive container (glass or enamel), pour cooled marinade over top. Seal with cling film and place in refrigerator. Turn the meat a couple of times a day. Marinate for 48 hours.

            Resuscitate whole, dried apricots in some sherry.

            Assemble brochettes: lamb, onion from the marinade, and apricots.

            Grill, basting with the marinade, about 15 minutes.

            Get some good South African wines, especially pinotage (just to up the distinctly South African ante).

            I've done a "dessert shooter" called a springbok: 2 parts Amarula Cream, 1 part green creme de menthe. Float the creme de menthe over the Amarula Cream. As the creme de menthe bleeds into the Amarula, it looks like the green of the rugby jersy. Down in one.

            Have fun. Let us know what you end up doing, and how it worked out.


            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              Thanks so much Hungry for all your trouble. I went searching for ingredients today in the SF Bay Area with not much luck- but I am undeterred! I am looking for Peri Peri and beer- I know I can but wine and had some good wine while in SA. I think I will buy some ginger beer to serve also- though it will not be SA.

        2. My experience in Botwswa was not a lot of high cuisine. Mostly stewed beef over some sort of dumpling or sqaush. That said, Botswanans know how to party and no party in Botswana is complete without a brai - that is grilling meat on an open fire. If you want to throw a party like a true Botswanan host you'll grill a bunch of meat and serve it mixed-grill style.

          1. Here's a recipe for a spicy South African stew (Trinchado) from Leite's Culinaria that I have bookmarked. It's gotten very good reviews on the site.