South Africa is filled with rich culture. One of the main things that define South African culture is the variety of different food. Part of South Africa’s culture around food is that cooking is social and often brings multiple cultures together around the dinner table. If it is braaiing outside with family and friends – all sitting around the fire to keep warm, or having a few friends over for some drinking, cooking and eating, South Africans of all backgrounds love to share this together. Food creates a sense of community amongst South Africans which can be shared amongst family, friends and neighbourhoods. The OurHood team has tried to showcase some uniquely South African dishes to try out.






  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower oil
  • 500 g beef or lamb mince
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) curry powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) turmeric
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • ½ C (125 ml) chopped dried apricots
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) chutney
  • 1 slice bread, soaked in ¼ C (60 ml) beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 C (250 ml) buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 bay leaves

Minted Yoghurt

  • 2 C (500 ml) plain yoghurt
  • a handful of mint leaves


Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the mince in batches. Keep the meat to one side.

Add a little more oil and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger with the curry powder and turmeric until soft and fragrant. Add the apple and apricots and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the mince to the pot together with the chutney and soaked bread and mix until well combined. Season to taste.

Press the mince mixture into 6 greased ovenproof bowls or ramekins, or into a 20 cm square baking dish.

Topping Easy Bobotie Recipe
Whisk the buttermilk and eggs together and season. Top the mince with a layer of the egg mixture and stick the bay leaves into the top of the bobotie.

If using ramekins, bake for 20 minutes. For a large bobotie, bake for about 30 minutes.

Minted Yoghurt
Blend the yoghurt and mint in a food processor until well combined, and chill until ready to serve.

Serve with minted yoghurt and a cucumber salad made with sliced cucumber, red onion and parsley.






  • ¼ C (60 ml) desiccated coconut, for dusting
  • 2 C (500 ml) flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 C (500 ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 120 g butter
  • 1 C (250 ml) milk


  • 2 x 360 g tins Caramel Treat
  • 1 ½ C (375 ml) cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 200 g Peppermint Crisp slabs, roughly crushed
  • Peppermint Crisp chocolate shards, for garnish
  • fresh mint, for garnish



Preheat the oven to 190 °C.

Lightly grease 3 x 20 cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.

Dust the rims of the pans with the desiccated coconut and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together for about 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is creamy and pale in colour and has tripled in volume.

Place the butter and milk into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture alternating with the warm milk liquid until a smooth batter is formed.

Pour into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. When a toothpick is inserted into the centre of the cake it should come out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for a couple of minutes, before carefully tipping out onto a cooling rack.

Allow the cakes to cool completely. Note: The cakes may need to be trimmed if they have peaked slightly. They should be flat on top to ensure even assembly.

To Assemble

Remove the caramel from the tins and whisk until smooth.

Place one cake round onto a cake stand/plate and smear with a generous amount of caramel, follow with a layer of whipped cream and a good sprinkle of crushed Peppermint Crisp. Repeat until all three layers have been stacked. Top with a final layer of caramel and cream.

Garnish with Peppermint Crisp shards and fresh mint and serve.





1.5 kg whole lightly salted snoek, butterflied

Basting for Snoek

100 ml apricot jam
2 red chillies, chopped
4 cloves garlic
4 lemons, juiced
100 g butter


Brush the snoek skin with oil to prevent from sticking. Open the snoek up and place on braai grid.

Baste the open side of the fish well with apricot jam basting and place on hot fire skin side down.

Cook skin side for about 6-8 minutes. Keep a close eye as it can burn quickly, watch flames as the butter and sugar in the basting will provide extra fuel for flames.

Turn and continue to cook flesh side down for a further 6-8 minutes.

Turn again, keep basting and checking until cooked through. The snoek will cook quickly, so watch not to overcook.

Serve with braaied buttered sweet potatoes.





You’ll need a 26 cm springform cake tin.

The Biscuit Base

  • 2 packets (400 g) Tennis biscuits
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
  • 200 g butter, melted

The Egg Mix

  • 2 C (500 ml) fresh full cream milk
  • 6 heaped Tbsp cake flour
  • 6 heaped Tbsp Maizena (cornflour)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) good quality vanilla essence
  • 6 large eggs

The Filling

  • 2 x (385 g) tins of condensed milk
  • 4 C (1 litre) full cream milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter

To Serve

  • cinnamon, for sprinkling
  • ½ C (125 g) coconut flakes, toasted (optional)


The Biscuit Base

Using a food processor or hand blender, blitz the biscuits to a fine crumb. Add the cinnamon and melted butter and mix with a spoon until combined. Place half of the biscuit crumbs onto the base of a 26 cm springform pan and evenly cover the base of the pan. Use a tumbler glass to press and compact the crumbs into place. Then use the other half of the mix around the side of the tin to create an even wall around the pan. Cover the entire wall of the pan. Place the pan into the fridge for 30 minutes to set. Blind bake the base for 8 minutes at 180 °C then remove and allow to cool completely. (Note: you can use a smaller springform pan – you may just have a little extra filling at the end – the easy solution is to set it in a separate dish and eat when no-ones looking).

The Egg Mix

Place the milk, cake flour, cornflour and vanilla essence (i.e. everything except the eggs), into a large bowl. Blitz with a hand blender until well combined. Make sure that there are no lumps or you will have lumpy milk tart. The eggs will be added just before the mixture is added to the filling mixture. For now, set aside until needed.

The Filling

Place the condensed milk, milk and butter for the filling into a large saucepan over a medium heat. Heat the mixture very slowly while stirring, until it reaches boiling point. The easiest way to monitor the temperature is with a digital thermometer if you have one. As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove the saucepan from the heat.

Now add the eggs to the mix of flour and milk (the egg mix above) and whisk well to combine.

Remove from the heat and slowly add the egg mix to the filling milk, constantly whisking to combine. Once all of the egg mix is incorporated, return the saucepan to the heat. Whisk the mixture constantly as it heats up. The mixture will start to slowly thicken from the 70 º C mark. Cook the mixture until you have a semi-thick but still pourable custard. Do not let the temperature go above 80 º C or the custard will scramble – cook it slowly, it’s really important to take your time.

Immediately pour the custard into the biscuit base and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Dust with cinnamon and leave to cool completely before lightly covering with foil and placing in the fridge. Allow the tart to set overnight. Note: You may find that there is a little extra filling, especially if your springform tin is a little smaller – our advice is to simply set the balance of the filling in a separate dish. You can eat this when no-one’s looking.

To Serve

Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.

Photo Credits: Eat Out





  • 6¾ cups flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  • Cooking oil (for frying)


The Dough

Mix sugar and yeast with some lukewarm water and leave to foam.
Sift flour and salt.
Pour yeast in flour and knead.
Keep adding water and knead until you have a consistency like a bread dough.
Leave the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with a cloth.
Leave the dough to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes until it is about double its original size.

The Vetkoek

Pour the cooking oil into a frying pan to have about 3 or 4cm of oil in the pan. Heat the oil to about 375°F (200°C).
Divide the dough into balls about the size of a tennis ball.
Flatten the dough until it is about 3 centimetres thick and about the size of your palm.
Place two or three pieces of the flattened dough at a time into the oil. Fry each side until golden brown.
Serve with savoury mince, cheese or jam. Yum, yum, yum!
(This may be the best Vetkoek recipe ever, but here’s another recipe for mini padkos vetkoek. You decide.)

Photo Credits: MyKitchen





  • 1kg lamb pieces
  • Little oil to cover the base of the pot
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed green chillies
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbles crushed ginger and garlic mix
  • 1 tbles vinegar (your choice on type) I normally use white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 level tsp medium chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dhania-jeeru powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tomatoes, blended
  • 5 small to medium potatoes, quartered
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • salt to taste


Heat oil in the pot.
Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and fennel
Add curry leaves, chillies, onion, turmeric, ginger and garlic
Braise for 3-4 minutes
Add garam masala and spices to pot. Then vinegar and sugar. mix well
Add the meat and salt
Mix until the meat is coated with masala
Cover saucepan and cook/braise on moderate heat for a few minutes.
Stir from time to time until the meat is well braised. Add potatoes.
Add water whenever needed-don’t let it burn out. When potatoes are ¾ cooked add the chopped tomatoes.
When potatoes are cooked, stir and add coriander
Serve with salad

To assemble the bunny

Hollow out the inner, keep intact. Scoop meat, potato or sugar beans to your delight– garnish with more greens. Seal the bunny with the bread retrieved. Place bunny in a large platter and serve with tomato/onion salad, beetroot, mango achar and freshly sliced red onion rings, for the brave guys… Fiery hot fresh chilli and dashings of Tabasco sauce …

Photo Credits: Indian Delights South Africa





  • 375 ml (1 ½ C) basmati rice
  • 1.5 lt. (6 C) water
  • salt
  • 500 g prawn tails, shelled and deveined
  • 1 x 410 g can Rhodes Tomato Indian Style
  • 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 65 ml (¼ C) chopped coriander leaves


Rinse the basmati rice in cold water to remove the starch. Place the rinsed rice in a medium saucepan and cover with the 1.5 lt. (6 C) water and some salt. Bring the rice to the boil and cook for 10 minutes until just about tender and drain. In a large saucepan bring the Rhodes Tomato Indian Style and the coconut milk to the boil. Add the prawns to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the drained rice to the curry sauce and stir gently to mix. Simmer over a low heat for a further ten minutes or until the rice and prawns are cooked through. Stir in the coriander and serve.

Cooking Tip

Take care not to stir the rice too much once it has been added to the sauce to prevent breaking it up.

Photo Credits: Woolworths Taste





  • 1kg Self-Raising Flour
  • 500g Buttermilk
  • 25ml Sunflower Oil
  • 250g Butter
  • 5ml Salt
  • 200ml Sugar
  • 1 Egg


Preheat oven to 180°C and grease an oven roasting pan.
Sieve the dry ingredients together and rub the butter into the dry ingredients.
Beat together the egg and oil, the mix in the Buttermilk.
Pour the wet mix onto the dry mix and combine thoroughly.
Roll the mixture into little buns and place them close together in the roasting pan.
Bake for 45 minutes then remove from oven and break into individual sections while still hot.
Place the sections onto a cooling rack, spaced well apart.
Leave to dry out in a warming oven overnight, or return to the oven and bake for 3 hours at 120°C

Cooking Tips

When cool, pack the rusks into an airtight container. Great with tea, coffee or hot chocolate!





For the syrup:

  • 800 ml water
  • 1,5 kg sugar
  • 12,5 ml cream of tartar
  • 40 ml lemon juice
  • for frying, sunflower oil

For the dough:

  • 4 x 250ml (500g) cake flour
  • 25ml baking powder
  • 20ml margarine
  • 1/2 large beaten egg
  • 245ml water


For the syrup:

Place the water, sugar and cream of tartar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the syrup starts to boil, add the lemon juice and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool the syrup to room temperature. Pour half of the syrup into a bowl and keep over ice to cool rapidly. Place the remaining syrup in the fridge to cool.

For the dough:

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and then rub in the margarine with your fingertips.

Add the beaten ½ egg to the water and whisk to incorporate.

Make a well in the centre of the fl our mixture. Pour in the water mixture and then start to mix until a smooth dough has formed. Knead thoroughly.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 5 hours. Heat the oil to 160 °C.

Using an oiled rolling pin, roll out the dough on an oiled surface to a thickness of 5 mm. Cut the dough into rectangles of 6 x 15 cm. Cut each rectangle lengthways into 3 strips, leaving one side uncut. Plait the 3 strips and press the cut ends together firmly.

Fry in batches of 6 in the hot oil for 6–7 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Drain them for a few seconds on paper towels. Keep the rest of the koeksisters covered to prevent them from drying out.

Dip the koeksisters into the ice-cold syrup while they are still hot. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack. The syrup will gradually become hot with use, so when you have done about half of the koeksisters take the remaining syrup from the fridge and use this for the balance.

Cooking Tip

For a yummy flavour, add a piece of dried ginger and a stick of cinnamon to the syrup when the lemon juice is added. The colder the syrup the better! Make it the day before and place in the fridge to ensure it is ice cold.






• 1000g bread flour
• 10ml salt
• 150g caster sugar
• 100g butter, soft
• 20g yeast
• 250ml grape juice
• 200ml milk, lukewarm
• 100ml water, lukewarm
• 20g aniseed


• 30g water
• 30g sugar



Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Sift flour and salt together. Add yeast, sugar and aniseed.
Heat butter and grape juice together, until butter melts. Do not boil – if the mixture gets too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Add the dry ingredients, then the lukewarm milk and water.
Mix to a soft dough and then knead for 15 minutes. If it is under kneaded, the gluten won’t develop and there will be no rise.
Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – over or under rising will result in collapse/heavy or split bread.
Knock dough down on a floured surface, and then shape into balls.
Place in tins and allow to rise a second time – do not over rise or bread will collapse.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Turn onto wire racks and glaze the top with syrup.


Dissolve ingredients to make syrup.


Invite your friends and neighbours around to have a proudly South African Bake-off. You can also organise a baking day with parents and kids or the retired members of the community. Food is something that everyone can relate to, so connect with your community with food. This will not only make a stronger community but also a safer and more connected one.

From your Friendly Neighbours at OurHood