10 South African foods to try this Heritage Day

Posted on 22 September 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

Heritage Day is all about celebrating South Africa’s rich and diverse history, culture, and heritage.

What better way to enjoy the festivities than indulging in some delectable South African foods this 25 September?

1. Milk tart

South African foods

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Why not start your Heritage Day with a strong cup of rooibos tea and a creamy slice of milk tart? This sweet pastry filled with a ‘cinnamony’ custard filling was first created in the Cape by Dutch settlers and is a well-loved South African dessert.

2. Cape Malay curry

Cape Malay Curry is a fragrant curry, mildly spiced, and served with roti or rice. It originated from the Cape Malay Community and has spread throughout the country as it has grown in popularity.

3. Amagwinya

South African foods

Amagwinya and spinach are served to guests by Mamma Swartbooi after a tour of Kayamandi. – Picture: Vuyi Qubeka

This fried dough bread is a warm and filling treat that is either stuffed with a savoury curried meat filling after being fried or the meat is sealed in the dough before being fried. Amagwinya means ‘fat cake’ in Zulu and can be found pretty much anywhere where people gather.

4. Chakalaka

chakalaka recipe

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Chakalaka is a spicy dish with strong influences from Indian, Zulu, English, and Dutch cultures. It’s a vegetable relish made from bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and chili that’s enjoyed as a side dish.

5. Bunny Chow

South African foods

Picture: Getaway Gallery

Bunny Chow was born out of the Indian community of Durban, and it’s safe to say we could not be more grateful that it did. Visitors feel a trip to Durban isn’t complete without a bunny chow meal. The dish consists of a hollowed-out loaf of white bread filled with a spicy curry.

6. Koeksisters

Koeksisters are a firm favourite sticky treat in South Africa. They are made by soaking twisted doughnuts in syrup and are perfect for anybody with a sweet tooth.

7. Bredie

Picture: Tibor Keleman

Bredie is a slow-cooked meaty stew (usually mutton or lamb) cooked with vegetables and heavily flavoured with spices and herbs. This form of cooking is of Malaysian origin and was introduced by the Cape Malay community.

8. Umngqusho

Umngqusho is a traditional Xhosa dish and has been described as a dish that ‘warms the soul.’ It is made from samp and sugar beans and can be served with onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, and potatoes.

9. Biltong

South African foods

Picture: Unsplash

Biltong is one of those foods South Africans deeply miss when they immigrate. This South African treasure originated as early as the 1600s to preserve meat. Beef or game meat is spiced and/or marinaded and dried out and is enjoyed as a snack or ingredient to a meal.

10. Samoosas

South African foods

Picture: Unsplash

Samoosas are of Indian origin and are crispy pastries filled with various ingredients, some of which are vegetables, corn, potatoes, and spiced meat.

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