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South African Food – A Culinary Safari

November 25, 2014

Nothing in the world beats a Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich, but that won’t stop us from traveling the world to try and find something even better.

Once a month during the school year, we post an online activity for our group.  This month we ask that the students traveling to South Africa with us read this article, pick at least one of the recipes we share, shop for the groceries, and make a South African dish at home.  When they’re done, we want them to come back here and share (in the comments section) what the experience was like.

I love travel. There’s something about facing the unknown with each and every adventure we’ve had that is unbelievably exciting to me. There are always a few things we know we’re going to do, of course – the big monuments, landmarks, famous churches, important historical sites, cool museums… But the real fun comes for me when we don’t have a script or an itinerary to follow.

The best time for exploring, for trying something new, for facing that unknown is lunch time. At lunch time, the TAP teachers always do their best to find the food you’re not going to be able to get anywhere else. The regional delicacies, the local delights, the culinary gems…

I call it the “Portillo’s Factor.” The way I see it, every time I have friends or family from out of town come in, they don’t want to go to the local McDonald’s, Chili’s, or Chipotle – that’s the same food they can get at home. What you want to show them is regional Chicago food like Portillo’s for Italian beef (yes, it’s Chicago food, they don’t have it in Italy, New York, or anywhere else) or Chicago style hot dogs, or to get some Chicago style pizza – either deep dish where my favorite is Lou Malnati’s or Chicago style thin crust (yes, that’s a thing) where I think the best is Vito and Nick’s. I really want my guests to experience real Chicago food, stuff they can’t get at home.

Caccio y Pepe – Spaghetti with cheese and black pepper. Sounds so simple, but I swear that when I had this in Rome, I found out what Heaven tastes like.

I feel the same way when I travel. I want to find the “Portillo’s” of every place I go – whether it’s Primanti Brother’s sandwiches in Pittsburgh, the Juicy Lucy burger in Minneapolis, toasted ravioli in St. Louis, or Caccio y Pepe in Rome, Patissiere de Belum in Lisbon, or souvlaki in Athens. I want the good stuff.  (By the way, you should eat all of the things I just listed – they are some of the best foods I’ve ever had).

Sometimes, to get to know the local cuisines before we get there, I like to find some regional recipes online and try that out at home. That’s exactly what I’ve done in preparation for our trip to South Africa. I talked to some friends, did some Googling, and found seven recipes I wanted to try before we traveled to Africa.

What I found is that South African food is incredibly diverse. A lot like American food, it takes from a ton of different cultures. Of course there’s an influence from the indigenous tribes, but there’s also a particular flavor that comes from the Dutch settlers, some from the English, a lot of Portuguese, and even some from India and central Asia, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering trading routes from Europe to India is what led the Portuguese explorers and the Dutch and English settlers to land in South Africa in the first place. What this has resulted in is an incredibly diverse and amazingly flavorful cuisine loaded with amazing dishes for us to try.

The first thing I decided to make was…

Boerewors being cooked on the braai.  I didn’t quite make mine look like that.

Boerewors Burgers and Monkey Gland Sauce (click on the name of the dish for the recipe)

Boer is an Afrikaans word for farmer. Wors, is kind of like the South African version of wurst (think bratwurst, currywurst, liverwurst…), which just means sausage. So, boerewors is just farmer’s sausage, and I’m assuming it’s made by farmers, rather than from farmers. Boerewors is a popular sausage in South Africa and there are some pretty strict rules about what it has to be made of to be called boerewors. It has to be 90% meat – always beef mixed with lamb, pork, or lamb and pork. The other 10% of the sausage is made up of spices like coriander, pepper, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg) and other ingredients that give it a flavor that’s very different from the Italian, Polish, and German sausages we’re used to around here.

Now, the tricky part to making Boerewors was the fact that I’d never made sausage before. I don’t have a machine to get the meat inside the casing, and I don’t have a clue where to even get sausage casings. Instead, I decided to make the meat into Boerewors burgers instead.  I figured that way I’d at least get the authentic flavors if not the right textures.  (In a very similar way, I tried to make homemade gyros after we went to Greece. I couldn’t get the right texture, so instead I decided to make a Sloppy Joe type dish with the gyros seasonings, lamb, and beef – I called it Sloppy Zeus.  It was really good.) 

I wanted to have Monkey Gland Sauce, a popular South African condiment with my burgers. A friend of mine who is from South Africa originally told me that Monkey Gland Sauce is the go-to condiment for chicken, burgers, sausage, steaks, and pork chops. I was a little concerned about buying, preparing, and eating glands from a monkey, but it turned out that the name is just a funny name – there’s no monkey parts at all in monkey gland sauce. It’s made up onion, garlic, ginger, fruit, mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and wine. The most popular theory about the name is that around the time the recipe was being developed, there were a lot of news stories about monkey glands being used as medicines that would help keep you young.

Making monkey gland sauce was pretty time consuming, with all the chopping and stuff, but it was incredible. I used it on the Boerewors burgers the first night, then used the leftovers on steaks, chicken, and then made the last bit into a South African Sloppy Joe the last night. Everything was incredible, and my kids keep asking me to make more monkey gland sauce.  Even though it took quite a bit of effort to make, it was worth it, because it lasted for 5-6 meals.

The Boerewors burgers were actually really simple to make. They had a really nice flavor, and I’d make them again sometime for sure.  I know I didn’t quite get the authentic South African experience with my burgers, so I’m really looking forward to trying some real boerewors when we get to Johannesburg.

 

Piri Piri Chicken and Chakalaka

Nando’s famous Piri Piri chicken. We’ll be sure to find a Nando’s while we’re in South Africa.

The first recipe my South African friend told me to try was something called piri piri sauce. When I looked for recipes, I kept finding piri piri chicken, and it kept talking about a chicken restaurant called Nando’s. I remember seeing a Nando’s in Nottingham, England, and one of the students that was with me at the time really wanted to go there, because it was the favorite restaurant of one of the One Direction boys. We didn’t go it, because it looked like it might be a slower paced restaurant than we had time for. Now I’m kicking myself, because I wish I’d had a chance to try the authentic piri piri chicken Nando’s is famous for. The restaurant chain started in South Africa (they also have locations in England, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and the East Coast of the United States), so I’m hoping we have a chance to try it while we’re on the trip.

I couldn't find Piri Piri sauce at the grocery store, but I found it in the gift shop at the Brookfield Zoo.  As odd as that is, it was even weirder that it was in the gift shop near the North American animals, far far away from Rhinos, Lions, or Zebras.

I couldn’t find Piri Piri sauce at the grocery store, but I found it in the gift shop at the Brookfield Zoo. As odd as that is, it was even weirder that it was in the gift shop near the North American animals, far far away from Rhinos, Lions, or Zebras.

Making piri piri chicken was actually pretty easy, but I’m not sure how authentic it is, because I couldn’t find African piri piri chili peppers at the store. The recipes I looked at online must have known that pepper wasn’t going to be easy to find in the US, so they gave alternatives to get a similar flavor and amount of heat. All I had to do was marinate the chicken in the piri piri sauce mixture overnight, then grill the chicken. All in all, it was pretty simple.

This summer, while I was at the Brookfield Zoo with my South African friend, I noticed one of the gift shops (the one by the Great Bear Wilderness) was selling piri piri sauce. My friend had just told me about the recipe, so that’s probably why it caught my eye.  I bought a mild and a hot version, but for this I made my own sauce homemade.  A few weeks later, I made some chicken with the bottled mild piri piri sauce.  It was good, but the home made stuff was much better.

Chakalaka, on the other hand, was a little more time consuming, just because there was a bunch of chopping to do. It was worth it, though. Chakalaka is essentially a South African bean dish that’s like American baked beans on super African steroids. It was delicious. I found a lot of recipes that were just sort of like a vegetable relish to put on top of bread or meat, but when I found the one that was more of a bean side dish, I knew that’s what I wanted to try. Basically it’s garlic, onions, chili peppers, and ginger all chopped up and fried in a pan for a bit, then some spices like the Indian spice garam masala and coriander thrown in, which makes it smell absolutely incredible. Next, you toss in tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and your can of baked beans. It was my favorite dish that I made for this project, and my kids loved it. So good.  Every year my kids’ school has a start of the year picnic and people bring a dish to share – next fall I’m making Chakalaka, and that will be the true test, because there are two families at the school that are originally from South Africa.  I can’t wait to see what they think of my version of their dish.

 

Bredie (South African Stew)

Honestly, this bredie looks way more appetizing than what I made. Mine would not win any beauty contests, but it tasted great.

A bredie is a traditional South Africa dish – the word itself is an Afrikaans word that means stew, and the style of cooking actually comes from Malaysian slaves that were brought to South Africa during the years of colonization.

A basic bredie is made of lamb (although you could use beef if you wanted), onion, potatoes, wine, and a few seasonings. Usually a few extra vegetables are added – tomatoes (called a tamatiebredie), cabbage (Koolbredie), and green beans (Groenboontjiebredie) are the most popular. When I made my bredie, I decided to add all three vegetables, because… well, why not?  So what I had was a Tamatiekoolgroenboontjiebredie!

It’s a pretty simple dish, but takes a while to cook properly. The lamb (or beef) is cooked slowly in the wine, onions, and seasonings for about an hour and a half to really make the meat tender to the point that it’s just about falling apart.  I didn’t think my kids would like this one, because, honestly, it’s a really ugly looking dish – it’s all brown and unappealing – so I made it when they were visiting grandma.  I loved it, and it was even better as leftovers then next couple of days after all the flavors had a chance to really meld together.  I think it’s a really good dish for those bitterly cold winter days.

 

Someone please make a Bobotie that looks like that. Mine wasn’t even close, and I really want to try a good one.

Bobotie and Yellow Rice

Bobotie is a South African meatloaf. Made with raisins, fruit chutney, and sometimes nuts, it’s entirely different from the meatloafs we make here at home. Bobotie also has an egg custard over the top, that gives the dish a variety of textures and flavors. The recipe was likely brought to South Africa from Dutch settlers who spent time in the Dutch Indonesian colonies, so it’s a combination of Indonesian, Dutch, and South African cooking styles.

A lot of time when I cook, I only sort-of follow the recipe – adding and subtracting what I want, making the dish my own. With bobotie, I followed the recipe exactly, and it did not turn out well at all. The custard slid right off the top of the meat into the seams along the edge of the pan. The cooking time was way too long, which led to really dry, kind of burnt meat. The flavors were really good, and I can guess how it was supposed to taste, but my attempt at Bobotie was a fail. It was good enough, though, even as messed up as it was, that I will try it again.

Yellow rice is a popular side dish in South Africa. It is another recipe from the Cape Malays (those Malaysian slaves). It’s really easy to make – just plain rice with salt, turmeric, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and raisins mixed in. I did not like this one. One of the comments on the recipe page I read said that it was overly sweet, and I agree. The cinnamon, raisins, and sugar gave it a flavor that tasted like really good oatmeal, but it wasn’t oatmeal, it was rice. The texture was what got me – it tasted like oatmeal, but had the rice consistency. I wouldn’t have minded something that sweet for breakfast, but as a side dish with my burnt, dry meatloaf, it wasn’t good. Nobody ate more than a few bites of it. However, I hope we do get to try some in South Africa so I can see at least if I made it right.

Since my attempts at Bobotie an Yellow Rice didn’t go so well, I’m not posting a video or recipe, but I’d love it if one of you tried to make these dishes and shared your culinary adventure with all of us.  If you find a good recipe or make an awesome video, we’ll add it to this post where my video/recipe would have gone.

 


 

Overall, I’m really excited about eating in South Africa. Almost everything I made was delicious, so I can’t wait to try the real thing, and the recipes that didn’t work so well, I’m eager to see them made the right way. In the end, I don’t think there’s a better way to experience a new culture than through their food. Think about it, just through the seven recipes I tried, I learned about South Africa being influenced by indigenous tribes, Malaysian slaves, Indian immigrants, English colonists, Dutch traders, and Portuguese explorers. It was like a history lesson on a plate.

Now it’s your turn. Sometime in the next few weeks we’d like you to try one (or more) of these recipes. Take some pictures, shoot some video, write up a reflection or a narrative of the shopping/cooking/eating process and share it with us on this site. Let us know about your experience cooking and what you thought of South African food. Happy eating.

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71 Comments leave one →
  1. Maddy Trouvais permalink
    November 28, 2014 11:40 am

    Im going to try to make the Chakalaka first. Then, just for fun, im going to make the bobotie just to see how that turns out.

    • November 28, 2014 9:41 pm

      I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. My bobotie was not good at all. I’m eager to see what someone else makes.

  2. Maddy Trouvais permalink
    November 28, 2014 8:48 pm

    The shopping experience was quite hectic. There was a lot of running around the store scrambling to find everything. We went in each aisle more than once and we found almost everything. But we haven’t started cooking yet so lets see how this goes. We are cooking both at the same time.

    • November 28, 2014 9:42 pm

      Did you seriously go out to shop for this stuff on Black Friday??? You’re either brave or crazy, maybe both.

  3. November 29, 2014 6:22 pm

    I think the Boerowors burgers sound really good. Sometime during the week, I’ll try to get my family to attempt making them.

    • November 29, 2014 6:23 pm

      Make that Boerewors

      • November 30, 2014 9:52 am

        Don’t worry, I spelled it Boerswors about a thousand times before I realized it was wrong. Foreign words can be tricky, although, having been to five different foreign countries with us last year, you know that.

    • November 30, 2014 9:50 am

      They were really good, and really simple to make. I highly recommend them.

  4. Maddy Trouvais permalink
    November 30, 2014 9:59 am

    So, the food was amazing. Both tasted so good and they were very flavorful. The bobotie was my favorite out of the 2. The food that they make in South Africa is really quite interesting and im really excited to try some other things there and see how they make it.

    • November 30, 2014 10:19 am

      Can you describe the process of putting it all together? What you thought it’d taste like as you were making it? What did it taste like in the end? What foods that we have here in America would you compare it to?

      • Maddy Trouvais permalink
        December 8, 2014 9:13 pm

        The process of putting them together was tricky at some points. We had to mix one of the spices needed for one of the dishes by hand and that took some time. Mixing the certain ingredients quickly so it didn’t ruin it was probably the hardest part, since we don’t usually make things that quickly. When we were making the bobotie, I thought it was going to taste like a quiche sort of thing. But it didn’t. It actually tasted kind of like a meat and vegetable casserole. I thought the chakalaka was going to taste like a chili, which it yet again, didn’t. To me, it tasted like a bean dip. A food that you could compare the bobotie to here in America is probably a quiche. The chakalaka, im not really sure. But they were both fantastic and I cant wait to try some of the other foods there.

        • December 10, 2014 6:39 am

          Although my bobotie wasn’t very good, I thought it was kind of like quiche and meatloaf had a baby.

  5. Brian Cottingim permalink
    December 2, 2014 3:59 pm

    Is it ok if we try a different food instead? I want to make pap.

  6. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    December 4, 2014 8:58 am

    I’m going to make Piri Piri Chicken this weekend! It looks so good!

    • December 5, 2014 12:33 pm

      That was my kids’ favorite. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

  7. erin seymour permalink
    December 6, 2014 6:26 pm

    The south african stew looks good and I really think my whole family will like it. I’m going to make that tomorrow night

    • December 7, 2014 1:21 pm

      Can’t wait to see what you thought of it, Erin. It’s probably a great choice for a really cold day like this.

  8. Hannah Breier permalink
    December 7, 2014 10:09 am

    I’ve decided to make Piri Piri chicken tomorrow for dinner. I’m excited to see if it compares to lemon seed chicken that my parents make a lot.

    • December 7, 2014 1:22 pm

      Now you’ve got me wanting to try lemon seed chicken.

    • Stephanie Melendez permalink
      December 7, 2014 1:46 pm

      I’m making that too! I think were having mind connections today! This is why were best friends!

  9. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    December 7, 2014 1:49 pm

    That comment was in reply to Hannah! LOL

  10. Hannah Breier permalink
    December 7, 2014 5:30 pm

    the shopping trip was interesting, I usually don’t look for spices and garlic. It took a lot of patience lol! Going to marinade it over night!!

    • December 8, 2014 10:16 am

      How hard can the spices be? They put them in alphabetical order, Hannah!!!

  11. Brian Cottingim permalink
    December 8, 2014 6:41 pm

    Well overall pap was…interesting. We went to Mariano’s and just had to go pick up corn flour. We went to Mariano’s because they have lots of foreign ingredients. Cooking was very simple. Boiling water, dropping in flour and letting it sit. My mom makes a similar porridge made out of wheat flour. It didn’t taste much different from the wheat one. But it was almost flavorless, you would just taste a hint of cornbread. I dumped all the flour at once, so there were clumps. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t ambrosia ether. I’d recommend it.

    • December 10, 2014 6:36 am

      I think you’re going to have to explain to us what pap is. I have no clue, and it doesn’t sound very appealing.

      • Brian Cottingim permalink
        February 20, 2015 4:23 pm

        Pap is a corn porridge that is made by boiling corn flower until it gets thick. I make mine with a grain made out of wheat, I eat it for breakfast and is really good with sugar.

  12. Hannah Breier permalink
    December 8, 2014 7:25 pm

    oh they do!!!!

  13. Hannah Breier permalink
    December 8, 2014 7:33 pm

    My family really liked the Piri Piri chicken. In compare to the lemon pepper chicken, it was still amazing but a tad bit spicier. It was fun to try something new. As I was making it, I can worried that all of my younger siblings would think it was beyond spicy. I followed all the instructions (it didn’t take long at all!!) and they all loved it! The chicken tasted like something you would have in another country. Yes, you could put a whole bunch of spices in the marinade and call it spicy american chicken, but there was something different about this spicy chicken. It is from south African culture and is pieced together carefully. I really hope i get the chance to try this in South Africa, and maybe even try another dish on here before i leave. Overall, I really enjoyed the process of making, eating, and learning about south African food!!

    • December 10, 2014 6:38 am

      We’re glad you enjoyed trying something different. I felt the same way as you, Hannah, while I was making Piri Piri Chicken, I thought it’d be really spicy for my kids. Turns out they loved the unique flavors and we’ve had it twice since.
      Let us know if you try something else.

  14. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    December 9, 2014 4:54 pm

    Over the weekend I decided to make Piri Piri Chicken for my family. The whole experience from buying the ingredients, to making the dish, to eating it was quite extraordinary! To start off, I went to Walmart to buy all of the ingredients that I needed for the Piri Piri Chicken. For the most part it was really easy to find all of the spices and other ingredients that I needed. My mom had no clue what a garlic clove was until I showed her! That was mainly the only issue we had when finding the ingredients. Next, when I got home from the store I decided to start making my dish. The Piri Piri Chicken dish requires to make a sauce to marinate the chicken in. I put all of the main ingredients in a bowl which consisted of mainly spices. When they were all in the bowl, I mixed it until it was all combined together. By then my mouth was already watering because the sauce smelled so good! Then, I put my chicken and the sauce into a bag and put it in the fridge to let it marinate overnight. When I got home from school the next day, it was time to get this chicken cooking! While the chicken was cooking my mouth began to water and water! I can’t even describe how good it smelt. Last, it was time to eat my magnificent dish that I spent so much time on! Piri Piri Chicken is one of the best things I have ever eaten in my whole entire life! I loved how it was kind of spicy because I love spicy foods! To be honest South African isn’t much different from American food. They pretty much have similar tastes. Sinced I enjoyed this meal so much, I surely can’t wait to taste all the new foods that we’re going to try in South Africa!

    • December 10, 2014 6:41 am

      Really glad your culinary adventure was a success, Stephanie. You did a great job describing to us how the process went, and you made me crave more Piri Piri Chicken.

  15. Kelsie Stanley permalink
    December 10, 2014 4:40 pm

    I decided to make the Piri Prir chicken. It was easy to gather most of the ingredients because we had most of them already except the lemons and ginger. I made the marinade yesterday and let the chicken sit overnight. When I was making the sauce, it smelled really good and I couldn’t wait to try it! Today we actually cooked it for dinner and it was so good! All the spices added tons of flavor without being overly spicy. The flavor of the chicken reminded me of tacos. Overall, the process was super easy and it tasted great! I can’t wait to try other foods in South Africa!

    • December 10, 2014 8:34 pm

      Anything on this list you’re looking forward to trying while we’re there, Kelsie?

      • Kelsie Stanley permalink
        December 11, 2014 6:45 am

        Out of the recipes above, I think the chakalaka and yellow would also be really good. I might try to make those too.

        • December 11, 2014 6:21 pm

          If you make the yellow rice, come back and post about it. I tried it and it was really weird, so I’d love to see what someone else thinks of it.

  16. Jordan Springer permalink
    December 19, 2014 10:21 am

    I made the Boerewors burgers a few days ago and they were amazing. Rather than actual meat, they tasted like a collection of spices. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the Monkey Gland Sauce, but I thought they were excellent even without it.

    • December 19, 2014 12:12 pm

      I’d be interested to hear what you think about South African food compared to the food we had in Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic last year. What’s better Boerewors or Zapiekanki?

      • Jordan Springer permalink
        December 19, 2014 12:33 pm

        Honestly, I don’t know.
        The burgers were unique, even more so than the Zapiekanki. Both were unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. However, everything foreign we try is awesome, and I don’t think I can pick a favorite.

        • December 19, 2014 1:10 pm

          I can pick a favorite, but I have to do it by country. My favorite food in each country TAP has been to:
          Germany – Bratwurst on a pretzel roll with spicy mustard in Nuremburg.
          Greece – Souvlaki in Mykonos. Still one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten.
          Italy – Gelato in Rome in a small shop near the Spanish Steps. It was so good that when I went back to Rome 6 years later I remembered the same shop. That’s tied with arista – a roast pork dish I ate three days in a row in Florence. I wrote about it on this site – https://minookatap.com/2013/12/12/best-thing-i-ate/
          Vatican City – We didn’t eat there, but I think I may have had a tic-tac while in the Sistine Chapel.
          Ireland – Irish stew on a cold, rainy day in Kilkenny.
          Northern Ireland – The only thing I ate in N. Ireland was a sandwich that fell in the ocean. It wasn’t that good.
          Japan – Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes – although they have nothing in common with pancakes) in Osaka.
          Spain – Seafood paella in Seville. Unreal.
          Portugal – Cookies in the Belem district of Lisbon. Seriously, I would sell my children for more of those cookies. I wrote about them – https://minookatap.com/2011/07/05/portuguese-cookies-a-pastry-from-heaven/
          Gibraltar – Fish and chips.
          Morocco – We only ate one meal there, and it was ok.
          England – Also fish and chips. This time in Canterbury.
          Wales – Pasties. Like a Hot Pocket, only not made of weird toxic meat.
          Poland – Pierogies or Potato Pancakes in Krakow at the market
          Slovakia – Kebabs. Loved those.
          Austria – Tiroler Grostl. Potato and bacon dish we had the first night in Vienna.
          Czech Republic – Also kebabs. You can get them all over Europe. We need them here.

          I’ve also been to Paris (a pizza with an egg and a cheeseburger on it – seriously), Rome another time (Caccio y pepe – the best pasta ever), and China (great experience eating in a mall. Don’t know what I ate, but it was unbelievable).

          Anyone else have any favorites?

          • December 19, 2014 1:12 pm

            Now I’m hungry.

          • Jordan Springer permalink
            December 19, 2014 1:18 pm

            Now that you have given me some examples, I am able to remember some of my favorites from the trip. My first favorite is the kebab we had in the Kraków market, closely followed by schnitzel and strudel in Austria. I also really like the Polish drink Kamil recommended, Czarna Porcezcka (I think I spelled that close to correctly.) Now I’m hungry too.

  17. Ronnie Stovall permalink
    December 23, 2014 10:46 am

    I decided to make the Piri Piri chicken. It looked New and something my family.would enjoy. Also it looked easy to make

    • December 23, 2014 10:52 am

      It is awesome, Ronnie. We can’t wait to hear what you think of the experience.

  18. Dylan Blough permalink
    December 28, 2014 8:41 am

    My family and I tried the Piri Piri Chicken and Chakalaka. We all thought the chicken was excellent. We especially liked the bit of heat to the chicken, but I think next time it could use a bit more Cayenne pepper. On the other hand, none of us were big on the Chakalaka. We thought it left a bad after taste. This culinary experience is making us consider trying more of the recipes on this post as well as to try new foods that we wouldn’t think to try.

    • December 29, 2014 3:41 pm

      Glad you guys enjoyed the chicken. Hopefully you can find something else South African that you want to try before we go.

  19. Kelsie Stanley permalink
    February 19, 2015 11:28 am

    I have done a little bit of research and malva pudding is something else that looks tasty. The pictures look like cornbread with sauce soaked in. It is supposed to be a thick pudding with a sweet sauce on top. I think I will try to make it this weekend.

  20. Dylan Blough permalink
    February 21, 2015 8:45 am

    My family and I tried bredie this weekend. We made it with carrots and cabbage. My mom is a vegetarian so we split the ingredients 50/50 between two pans, one with meat, one without. Both were really good, but the one with meat was better.

    • February 21, 2015 2:07 pm

      What kind of meat did you use? Did the other people in the family like it? What ingredients did you use? Anything that was new or unusual to you? What did it taste like?

  21. Kelsie Stanley permalink
    February 22, 2015 4:41 pm

    Tonight my mom and I made Piri Piri chicken for the second time and it still tasted great! Sometimes you make recipes once and then try it a second time and its not so great, but this one was still delicious. However, it was spicier than I remember it from before.

    • February 22, 2015 5:00 pm

      I like trying things a second time. I’ve made the Piri Piri Chicken three times now, and this week I’m going to make the Boerswors, only this time I’m going to make it into tacos with the Monkey Gland Sauce as the salsa and Chackalaka on the side. Sometimes it’s fun to make weird recipes into something sort of familiar at the same time.

  22. Brian Cottingim permalink
    February 22, 2015 5:03 pm

    Emily and I got together to make food, eat food, and watch a South African movie. We made a S. African doughnut called Vetkoeks. They are made out of cake flour, baking soda, salt, eggs, butter, sugar, and buttermilk. It made a spongy batter that we plopped in hot oil. After they were golden brown we dipped them in a simple syrup made out of sugar water, vanilla, and lemon juice. Then we sprinkled powdered sugar and ate it. They were super good and I ate a lot of them. They reminded me of campfire doughnuts. Which are just Pillsbury crescent roll dough fried. They were excellent!

    • February 22, 2015 8:01 pm

      It’s hard to go wrong with fried things covered with sugar! Now you’ve tried two South African foods that weren’t on our list – any chance you’re going to make one of the ones we talked about? Come on, be brave, give one of them a try.

      • Brian Cottingim permalink
        February 23, 2015 9:39 pm

        I feel like these are popular dishes I am going to eat in South Africa anyways. I feel like if I made something non-authentic like the hamburgers (which looked REEEALLY good) I’d get the wrong impression of South Africa. But I do plan on making something, probably something not as simple as doughnuts or porridge. I want to make the doughnut/bread thing again but make them bigger so it can hold meat, kinda like a sandwich.

  23. Emily Blenck permalink
    February 22, 2015 6:28 pm

    Waaaaaay back in November my Grandma and I got together and made the Piri Piri Chicken. At first, I was kind of skeptical on how it would turn out because the glaze(or whatever you wanted to call it) looked and tasted disgusting before it simmered into the chicken. (And before you ask yes I did take a big bite of the glaze because I thought it would be like a yummy kind of hot sauce but it ended with me coughing up chili powder) Anyways, the final product was so good and nearly everyone in my family finished it, getting up for second and third helpings. I just think it’s super cool that we all enjoyed something that I would never even imagine myself cooking, and in a way I felt more connected with South African culture as a whole. As for today, Brian and I made a South African desert called vetoeks, which are these mini doughnuts dipped in syrup. I might be a teensy bit biased because I’m partially in love with anything fired and dipped in sugar but these were incredible. (Although my stomach is kind of starting to hurt from all the sweetness) But overall through these two dishes I’ve already felt like I’ve experienced something that I couldn’t just buy in a package at the grocery store. And I didn’t even have to travel out of my kitchen in order to feel somewhat connected to a whole different culture. And it’s funny how something as simple as cooking could give me a view on a whole different set of people and cultures.

    • February 22, 2015 8:00 pm

      Now you know exactly why we did this lesson, and why yesterday (just four days after getting back from Paris), I cooked a French meal. Food is a great way to connect with different cultures. If you had time, what would you cook next? Is there anything your sister ate on her trip that she misses and wishes she could try at home?

      • Emily Blenck permalink
        February 23, 2015 5:09 pm

        To be honest, I’d probably just cook the piri piri chicken again because I loved it so much. And Meghan said she misses the paninis? I really don’t know what that is but whatever floats her boat I guess. She also said the salt and vinegar chips over there were the bomb.com and I told her we have some chips in the pantry and then she said that England’s tasted better. I don’t know. She can be weird.

        • February 24, 2015 7:15 am

          Paninis are a grilled sandwich. I don’t remember having any of those in England, but she might have. Also, she’s right – the chips, candy, and soda are better over there. Most other countries are not allowed to put all the weird chemically ingredients in their food that we put in stuff here. Almost everything is simpler and tastes better. You’ll see in a few months.

  24. Cameron Smith permalink
    February 23, 2015 7:19 pm

    I made the boerewors burgers and I think that they were really good. Making them was surprisingly quick and easy with minimal mess and they turned out delecious. These burgers were extremely salty I don’t know if it’s the way we made them if if there supposed to be like but of course different people might like or not like the saltiness. I would diffenitly reccomend putting some kind of sauce on it though it really makes it taste better.

  25. Kate Gall permalink
    March 1, 2015 6:47 pm

    My Mom and I made the Piri Piri Chicken & Chakalaka this weekend for my family to try. Everyone seemed to enjoy the chicken because it was spicy. However, no one cared for the Chakalaka. I think this was because you could taste the ginger spice which has a sweet taste. It was pretty to make and I would definitely make the chicken again. I look forward to trying it in South Africa.

    • March 1, 2015 6:49 pm

      How did you make the Piri Piri Chicken? What was the cooking process like for you? What was it that everyone liked about it?

  26. Kate Gall permalink
    March 2, 2015 5:35 pm

    We followed the recipe from the tap website for both of the dishes and it was fun to cook for my family. While I was cooking the Chakalaka it smelled really good and I couldn’t wait to try it. My family and I really like the chicken because it had chili powder on top of it. I am looking forward to cooking this dish again.

  27. cj moody permalink
    March 8, 2015 4:34 pm

    OK, so, for today i stuck with the Mieliepap that brian made. The only reason i made this is because its soft and won’t tear up my gums after having all my teeth pulled. Its a pretty basic recipe, so i had the ingredients. When i read through the list i realized that it sounded A LOT like grits, one of my favorite breakfasts. I started to make it and my brother even asked if it was grits from the smell. After mixing the butter, salt, corn flour, and water together so it was even with no lumps, i let it sit on medium heat, with the lid on for 30 minutes. After it was done, i got myself, my brother, and my dad a bowl. I served them it without the extra salt and butter to taste, and they both said it tastes basically like grits. They added salt and butter and really enjoyed it. I had a bowl of it with salt, and a bowl of it with sugar. Both were great, later in the week i will be making another South African food when my mouth is healed. Im really looking forward to that!

    • March 9, 2015 7:12 am

      Way to find a way to have the food experience even though you have a very good excuse not to. That’s the kind of ingenuity we like.

  28. Gianna Kriechbaum permalink
    March 22, 2015 1:10 pm

    Alright so I made the chakalaka and bobotie. Now shopping for everything was definitely hectic and crazy as we were running all over the place trying to find everything since it was scattered all over the place. But once we finally found everything, it was less stressful. Well once we got home we got the recipes up and started getting everything ready and preparing it. Most of it was quite easy but rushing to measure everything was hard because you had to get everything ready in a certain time while something else was cooking at you didn’t want it to overlook or anything. Once everything was done, I was so excited to try it. I didn’t really enjoy the chakalaka very much just for the fact that I’m not a huge fan of beans, but I reeaaallllyy loved the bobotie. I’m a huge fan of meat and that was so delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it.

    • March 23, 2015 7:19 am

      What was it about the bobotie that was so good? Did it remind you of anything more American that other people would know about?

  29. Haley Watson permalink
    March 23, 2015 6:28 pm

    Over the weekend, I made the Piri Piri chicken. It wasn’t that difficult to shop for or even make, because I had most of the ingredients already and the others weren’t anything to exotic that the grocery store didn’t have it. The process of making it was actually pretty simple. Not gonna lie, I cant touch raw chicken without wanting to vomit so I had my dad do that part for me. And im pretty sure I accidently put too much ginger in there, but it still turned out OK. It tasted pretty good (better than the Shake and Bake stuff my mom usually makes), although my mom and I agreed it was pretty spicy.

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