A South African New year

It is almost New Years eve and I am very excited. I am excited about what 2015 will bring. I am thankful for the year that’s passed but cannot wait for 2015.

It is summer in South Africa and it is HOT.

My hubby and I are going to spend a quiet evening at home and wait for the new year.

We will have a braai. But not any kind of braai we will have a snoek braai. A snoek is a fish that is found in the waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

Here is a snoek braai recipe


  • 1  snoek
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 150 ml apricot jam
  • 100 ml butter or olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Using a small pot on the fire, or on a stove, lightly fry the onions.  Then add the apricot jam and lemon juice.

A snoek should be braaied ‘open’. Smear the skin side of the snoek with oil so that it does not stick to the grid and now place in the grid, skin side down. Grind salt and pepper onto the flesh side of the snoek and lightly pat it onto the meat. Pack tomatoes on the open snoek. Then add the apricot jam and onion mix.

Place the grill on a medium fire.

Braaiing time is about 15-20 minutes. If the flesh flakes, the snoek is ready.

Snoek is traditionaly eaten with soetpatats. (sweet sweet potato)


Sweet potatoes




  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into  blocks
  • Place butter and sugar in pot over medium heat.
  • Stir continuously till the sugar is lightly caramelised
  • Add sweet potato pieces, sprinkle with salt to your taste.
  • Turn the pieces once after about 15 – 20 min

Happy New year from South Africa!Flag_of_South_Africa.svg

Take a look at this Pinterest board it has a lot of pins and ideas for new years eve.

Christmas in South Africa…Recipes…Beer braai chicken

Beer braai chicken

Preparation time: 10 -20mins
Cooking time: 45-60 mins

  • Salt and other seasoning
  • 1 Can of beer
  • 1 whole chicken
Drink half of the beer and place the chicken on top it, standing up on the coals. It takes about an hour to cook. Sometimes the flesh on the thighs appear pink this is because some smoking takes place.

Cut up the meat and enjoy!

Boerekos: Bread part 2



This is the second post about bread. See the first post here.

A braai is nothing without a beer bread or braaibroodjie. Below you will find a beer bread recipe.

Every South African is familiar with Vetkoek. In different cultures it has different names but the essence is the same. My mom used to make it for us often and we ate it with jam or mince.

Beer Bread.

500 gram Self Raising flour.
1 large egg.
1 tin of Beer. Any kind will do.
2ml salt.

Mix everthing together and bake in an oven for 1 hour.

Add the following for variation.

Cheese alone or with chopped fresh herbs.
Cheese and bacon.
Garlic and herbs.
1 tin of whole pitted mealies (corn).


Keep some of the bread dough of yeast bread and form small balls about half of your handpalm. Spray with cooking spray and cover with cling wrap. Allow to double and fry in deep oil about the temp as used for chips/fries.

Enjoy with jam.

For more about Boerekos please click here. 

Boerekos: Bread


The bread of today will never taste like the bread of way back. They had to grind the grain by hand and used a sweet potato yeast. That was a long procedure to make the yeast and the bread soon got a sour taste. But the families and the appetites were big. They usually baked at least half a dozen a day. The bread was baked in an outdoor oven. The girls in the house usually started early morning.

Bread and beskuit (rusks) recipes are more or less the same. Rusks have added sugar and aniseed.

But let us start with the bread with a modern recipe.

First a few tips.
1. The bread and the yeast must be fresh. Use all purpose flour or bread flour.
2. Mix the yeast with luke warm water and not hot water.
3. Let the bread rise in a lukewarm place out of a draft.
4. If you want to add raisins etc to the bead use more liquid.
5. Preheat you oven to 200 degrees Celsuis and turn down to 190. Heat are lost when you put bread in the oven.
6. Use a food processor or if you are going to bake often buy a small breadmaker. You don’t have to get your hands dirty. The bread tastes the same.

1kg flour
2 packets instant yeast
10 ml salt
15ml sugar
625ml lukewarm water.
5ml vinegar
15ml sunflower oil


1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and mix the sugar and yeast well together with a wooden spoon.
2. Mix the lukewarm water and vinegar and add to dry mixture.
3. Start kneading with hand or machine and work the sunflower oil in until the dough is elastic and does not stick to your hands.
4. Make a round ball and cover with cling wrap after you sprayed the top with cooking spray.
5. Cover with blanket and allow to double in size.
6. Knea down carefully and place in sprayed pan. Pan only be half filled. Cover again with cling wrap after cooking spray on top. Cover with blanket and allow to double again.
7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place pan/s in middle of oven and turn oven down to 190 degrees.
8. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn bread out. It must sound hollow if you knock on it. If not return for another 10 to 15 minutes.
9. For soft crust cover with damp dishcloth while cooling.

For more about Boerekos please click here. 

Boerekos: Bean soup

With heritage day still fresh in mind we will continue to discuss South African food using the heritage of the different cultures.

Boerekos was the traditional food of the European farmers of way back. This means the food that they ate daily on the farm and was grown on the farm. Everybody worked hard and had a healthy appetite. They believed rather cook too much than too little so there were always food for unexpected guests.

We will start with soup. Not thin soup but a pot of thick healthy soup ate with home baked bread and thick butter. There were coal or wood stoves and the soup simmered slowly. Most likely the whole day.

Bean soup

The French Hugenotes brought Bean soup to the Cape. It had to be cooked with pork boontjiesopmeat preferably bacon. We still cook it the same way today but the modern sugar beans only soaked for an hour and the first cook only 20 min.

Way back the beans were soaked overnight and drained. It was then covered with fresh water, cooked and drained. This is important to prevent embarrassment due to gas forming.  Fresh water was added and the slowly cooked. The following is added for taste. Onions,  potatoes, carrots, pepper, pimento  and cloves.

Salt are always added last otherwise the beans does not cook soft if added earlier.  The beans must always cook slowly for the skins not to come off or the beans to burst.

For more information about SA food please click here

If you would like to read about Boerekos specifically click here.

Biltong and Rusks (2)

The way to the East to buy spices passed the Cape. Many sailors died due to a lack of fresh food anvocd Jan v Riebeeck was send by the VOC to start a halfway station and to produce fresh food for the ships to take in. The Dutch were now in control of the Cape and the elite ate food as  prepared in their motherland.

Poor v Riebeeck had a struggle. They planted vegetables and trees that could not grow in our climate. It was wet and windy and the local Khoi San refused to trade cattle with them. Later when they had cattle the Khoi San stole it. But the area had wild animals in abundace but they did not know how to hunt. They only managed to get some fish and wild ducks.

Later they inhabited more land and started more farms. Living improved. Slaves were brought in .

But alas nothing lasted and as Brittian ruled the waves they conquered the Cape and now the Elite ate Brittish cuisine.  Some families refused to be under British rule and the Great Trek began. The way people ate changed now to food that could last and this is where we will start. Biltong and Rusks ( beskuit) were made because it could last.


Biltong can be any tipe of meat cut into thin pieces and covered with salt and dried in the shade until dry. If spices like corriander and pepper was available it was added. These recipes were passed on and many families have so called family secrets .


Rusks were made like bread and if sugar was available added to make sweet rusk. Aniseed is also popular. The milk obtained after butter was made is also used. The so called buttermilk rusks. The rusks was formed in little balls and left to rise. When baked it was split and dried in the oven. Regarding the fact that they had outside ovens and large families it was quite a task.