Putting together a truly South African Heritage Day braai

Posted by Imogen Searra on 22 September 2021

South Africa is not short of culture and unique cuisines. This Heritage Day, celebrate the delicious flavours with deep roots, by incorporating these dishes into your Braai Day meal.


If you’re making a delicious stew, dombolo or steamed bread makes for the perfect addition.

  • 270 g flour
  • 50 g bran
  • 3½ t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 t butter
  • ¾ cup milk


To make the dumplings, mix the dry ingredients together, then rub in the butter. Add the milk and knead to form a dough. Divide into 8–10 portions and shape into balls. Drop the dumplings on top of a stew, cover and cook over a low heat for 10–15 minutes.

Credit: Zola Nene


(Serves 8 to 10)

Umngqusho is a traditional Xhosa dish made with samp and beans. Samp needs to soak in water overnight, so start this dish the day before.


  • 500 g samp-and-bean mix
  • about 4 litres water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 125 g brown or white onion soup powder
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese


Soak the samp and beans overnight in a litre of water. Drain and rinse well the next morning. Put the soaked and rinsed samp and beans into a large potjie and add three litres of water (no salt). Bring to the boil and cook for two hours until almost soft. Control the heat by adding or removing coals so it’s not boiling rapidly, but it’s hotter than the very gentle simmer of oxtail potjie (let’s call it a medium-paced simmer). If at any stage it looks too dry, add a little more water.

Add the onion, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes, then simmer for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. It shouldn’t dry out – the water inside the potjie should be just visible between the samp and beans.

Gently stir in the onion soup powder until it’s well mixed. Continue to simmer uncovered for another five to 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick, hearty mixture.

Taste and season with salt if necessary (remember some onion soup powders are very salty already). Take it off the fire and stir in the cheese. Leave to stand for five minutes, then serve.


Serves 8

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) sunflower oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 3 small green peppers, finely sliced lengthways
  • 4 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or more, to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) grated fresh ginger
  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1 litre) tomato juice (the sort you’d use for a tomato cocktail)
  • 3 cups (750 ml) water or vegetable stock
  • 2 tins baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) medium-strength curry powder
  • 1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cumin
  • salt and milled black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley or coriander


Heat the oil in a large pot. Dice two of the carrots and set the others aside. Fry the diced carrots, pepper slices, onions, celery, chilli, ginger and garlic over a medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until softened but not brown. Roughly chop the tomatoes, place in a blender and pulse to form a rough purée. Pour the purée, the tomato juice and the stock into the pot and cook at a brisk bubble for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam as it rises. Stir in the baked beans, curry powder and cumin, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Curried vegetables 

30ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 knob fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
15ml (1 tablespoon) roasted masala curry powder (or medium/mild curry powder)
5ml (1 teaspoon) ground cumin
5ml (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
5ml (1 teaspoon) sugar

Veg of your choice

Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh coriander leaves to serve


Steam your vegetables in a pot. In a wide, deep pan or pot, add the oil and fry the onions until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds, then add the masala, cumin and turmeric and stir for a minute until the bottom of the pan goes dry. Add the coconut milk, sugar and vegetables, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, season generously with salt and pepper. Serve topped with fresh coriander.

Potato salad


  • 1 kg of potatoes
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp chopped chives
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 3 tsp olive oil


  1. Peel the papery outer layers of each garlic head, leaving the individual cloves intact, and slice off the top of each head of garlic, and about a quarter-centimetre of each clove.
  2. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, trying to ensure that it goes between the cloves.
  3. Wrap the garlic heads in tin-foil and roast them at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.
  4. While that’s going, cut potatoes into quarters and boil until soft, approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Once your garlic is browned and sticky (like in photo below), let it cool slightly and then carefully remove each clove, add to a bowl, and mash them with a fork.
  6. Add your sour cream, chives and mayonnaise to the roasted garlic paste, and mix well.
  7. Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, pour the roasted garlic mayo-mix over the top and mix well. Season to taste.
  8. Serve in a pretty bowl, with some chives for garnish if you’re fancy.
potato salad

A variety of braaibroodjies


Prepare a sandwich with sliced cheese, sliced tomato and onion, chutney and season. Butter the outside. Braai in a closed grid over mild coals until golden brown.

Breakfast braaibroodjies:

Fry eggs sunny-side up in a pan on the braai. When the braaibroodjies are finished gently open them and insert an egg into each one.

Boerewors braaibroodjies:

This is the best of both boerie rolls and braaibroodjies. While braaing your braaibroodjies, braai some thin boerewors. When both are done, gently open each braaibroodjie open and insert a few pieces of boerewors.


Cape Malay koesisters

Cape Malay koesisters are totally different to the plaited koeksisters you may know. For starters, they’re spelled (and pronounced) differently, dropping the ‘k’. The Cape Malay version is more like a doughnut, spiced with ginger, naartjie peel, cinnamon and aniseed, cooked in syrup and sprinkled with coconut.

Rukeya Gamiet’s Cape Malay Koesisters:


Makes 40 to 45 koesisters

  • 700 g cake flour
  • 50 g ground cinnamon
  • 20 g ground ginger
  • 10 ml ground aniseed
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 10 ml (dried and ground) naartjie peel
  • 100 g butter
  • 200 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • lukewarm water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut


Mix all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) together. Heat the milk and butter until lukewarm and then add the beaten egg. Add this mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and then add lukewarm water to form a soft dough. Cover and leave the dough to rise until double in size, and then take small amounts of dough and form into oval-shaped balls. Deep fry in oil on medium heat until evenly browned. Put them on kitchen towel and leave them to cool (around 30 minutes).

In the meantime, heat the sugar and two cups of water on a low heat, stirring continuously until a thick syrup forms. Once the koesisters are cool, boil them in syrup for one minute. Take them out and sprinkle with coconut.

Try: Koesisters with rose syrup

Malva Pudding

(Makes 8 portions)

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tblsp apricot jam
2½ cups flour
2 tsp bicarb
Pinch salt
4 tblsp melted butter
2 tblsp vinegar
250ml milk

Beat the eggs and sugar well until they are light and fluffy.
Add the apricot jam to the egg and sugar mixture.
Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt in a separate bowl.
Mix together the butter, vinegar and milk and add to the flour mixture. Combine this with the egg and sugar.

Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes

For the Sauce
500ml cream
250ml butter
250ml sugar
250ml water and orange juice with a tot or two (to taste) of sherry or brandy. Leave the alcohol out if you don’t drink.
Boil together, then pour over pudding when hot

Image credit: Getaway Gallery


Traditional bobotie recipe


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