Top 10 Popular South African Dishes

3 min

South Africans do love their dishes with some meat. I mean, can you blame them? I consider it an outrage if my plate doesn’t have some meat on it. Anyway, these are the the top 10 popular South African dishes that are loved by the countrymen.

Side note, I genuinely want to try out some of these dishes despite them having some weird names.

10. Chakalaka

Chakalaka is a traditional food with a classic relish of tomatoes, carrots, baked beans and chillies with hot curry powder that is served with almost every meal. It is also said that Chakalaka is a required component for serving barbecues. Can a South African native confirm this for me?

Also, can we address the elephant in the room? When I hear the word Chakalaka, I just want to say ” Boom Chakalaka!” I’m so sure I’m not the only one who thought of this.

9. Potjiekos

These dishes have some interesting names; I can tell you that much. Potjiekos is essentially a meat-and-vegetable meal of the Boers and while it looks like stew, it is not a stew and certainly isn’t prepared like stew. The dish is slowly cooked in a three-legged cast-iron pot over coals.

8. Vetkoek

Vetkoek is a traditional South African pastry which is essentially dough deep-fried in cooking oil. You can fill the dough with cooked mince or spread with syrup, honey, or jam. Vetkoek is actually passed for a dessert rather than a main dish.

7. Mealie

Mealie forms part of South Africa’s staple food and a quick meal for the masses and those on a tight budget. It’s like instant noodles only difference being that mealie is a healthier choice. It can be served hot or cold with milk and sugar for breakfast or with meat and tomato stew for a complete meal.

6. Boerewors

I’m sure this dish also exists in Kenya. Boerewors is made with seasoned pork or from coarsely minced beef and spices; and can be prepared by grilling or baking in an oven.

I wouldn’t mind trying it out; I love anything that has meat on it.

5. Bredie

This is a heavily spiced stew incorporating meat and vegetables. The most common variant of the bredie is the tomato bredie, a traditional South African lamb, vegetable and tomato stew.

To be honest, the image of the dish looks mouth watering but my tummy can’t tolerate spicy foods. Shame.

4. Frikkadel

Simply put, this is the South African version of the meatball. Again, South African dishes have interesting names. Frikkadel is mainly made of baked, or sometimes deep-fried meatballs prepared with onion, bread, eggs, vinegar and spices.

Apparently, the secret of a perfect Frikkadel is to mix the mixture gently with two forks. That’s it, no adding of ingredients; just using two forks. If there was a way to prove this theory right.

3. Sosaties

This is another dish I actually want to try. Wait, I think I have tried it before. Sosaties is a meat-based food which could be lamb or mutton which is marinated and skewered and barbecued shish-kebab style cooked on skewers.

2. Bobotie

Bobotie is reported to be the national dish of South Africa. It is made of dried fruit, spiced beef or lamb and within an egg-based topping. Uhm, that’s a lot of protein in one dish but okay. The dish can be prepared with a variety of flavors making Bobotie a complex dish.

Simply put, having a Bobotie in one’s home will probably not taste the same in another person’s home.

1. Biltong

This is South Africa’s most popular and best-known food. Many different types of meat are used in its making, ranging from beef through game meats to fillets of ostrich. The typical process of preparation involves cutting strips of raw fillets of meat following the grain of the muscle after which is air-dryed.

Which other dishes have we left out? Is it also possible that there are almost no vegans in South Africa because of their love of meat? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

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Elvis Mwangi

Just an ordinary human being like you telling you facts that will shock and amaze you. I'm also a lover of music and life.