Traditional South African recipes for Cooking, Baking, Jam Making, Chutney and Preserves.

Traditional South African recipes for cooking, baking, jam making, chutney and preserves.

South African cooking has its origin in the pages of its history. The settlers from Europe, who were the foundations of the new nation, brought with them their national dishes. From the Far East came Malay dishes - curry and rice, and delicious condiments and flavorings.

As the nation developed, so its habitats and the demands of daily life had a considerable influence on the cooking and recipes of South Africa that evolved over time.

The hunters, who had to take enough food with them to last several weeks, the trekkers, whose home was a wagon, the big gatherings at "Nagmaal" - these were the dictates of the South African recipes and traditional South African dishes.

Here you will find an interesting collection of traditional dishes and recipes, many of which were handed down from generation to generation in old families, only to reappear here, for your enjoyment.


Fish Kedgeree Recipe

1/4 lb raw rice

2 - 3 cups cooked fish (Haddock works well)

2 hard boiled eggs

4 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper

cayenne pepper


Boil the rice in boiling, salted water until dry and cooked. Divide the fish into small flakes, cut the hard-boiled eggs into slices, and rub the yolks through a sieve.

Melt the butter in a pot and add to it the flaked fish, cooked rice, chopped whites of eggs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Stir together over a medium heat until very hot. Pile the mixture onto a hot serving dish. Decorate with the sieved egg yolks and a few sprigs of parsley.

Serve as hot as possible.

Penang Recipe (Fish Curry)

1 large or 2 medium onions

1 tablespoon butter

2 lbs fresh stockfish, or any other white fish

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

3 cups fish stock

1/4 lb rice


Slice the onions and fry them in the butter until browned. Fillet the fish and cut it into small pieces suitable for serving.

Add warm water (about 2 pints) to the fish bones and trimmings, and cook together for 1/2 hour to make the stock. Strain, and measure 3 cups into a clean pot.

Blend the curry powder, salt and sugar with the vinegar into a smooth paste, and gradually add the fish stock. Allow the curry sauce to come to the boil, them drop in the fillets of fish and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the rice in boiling salted water until cooked.

Serve with the fish curry when ready.

Perlemoen Recipe(Cape Shellfish)

1 teaspoon washing soda

Boiling water to cover the fish

6 large Cape Shellfish

6 tablespoons butter

1 teacupful fine white breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

salt and pepper


Add the washing soda to the boiling water, stir and then drop in the shellfish. Leave for a few minutes. The fish will begin to separate from the shell.

Remove the fish from the shells and wash thoroughly in cold water. Drain, then beat them with a wooden mallet or rolling pin.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot and add the cleaned, beaten fish. Simmer gently for about 1 hour, sirring occasionally. Do not add water as the fish makes its own gravy.

After about an hours cooking, add the remain 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until melted, and add the breadcrumbs. Add the ground mace, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook again for a little time and stir occasionally, until the fish is tender. Serve on their own with a salad or with mashed potatoes or rice.

Pickled Fish

2 lbs stockfish or Cape Salmon

3 cups vinegar

2 medium sliced onions, peeled and sliced

2 bay leaves

12 peppercorns

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Seasoned flour (2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper)

Hot oil for frying


Curry Sauce: Prepare this while the fish is frying. Put the vinegar, sliced onions, bay leaves and peppercorns into an enamel pot and bring to the boil. Cook until the onions are fairly soft. Blend the curry powder, sugar and salt into a thin paste with a little vinegar, and add it to the onion mixture in the pot.

Fillet the fish and cut into suitable serving pieces.

Dip the pieces into the seasoned flour and drop them into hot oil. Fry for about 10 minutes, turning to brown both sides. Drain the cooked fish on kitchen paper and then drop a few pieces at a time into the hot curry sauce.

Cook for 3-4 minutes to thoroughly soak the fish with the curry sauce, then remove the fish and remove to a warm jar or plastic container. Keep hot until all the fish has been cooked in the curry sauce for a few minutes.

Arrange some of the sliced, cooked onions between the layers of cooked fish. Pour the curry sauce over the fish, adding a little more vinegar if necessary to cover the fish. Stand until quite cold, then cover the jar or plastic container closely with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. The fish will keep for a considerable time.

Dutch Fish Mould

2 Cups of any cooked fish

1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

2 teaspoons anchovy essence

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup parsley sauce


Chop or flake the fish.

Mix the fish, breadcrumbs and seasonings together. Add the beaten eggs, anchovy essence and melted butter. Mix well.

Turn the mixture inot a well buttered mould, cover closely and steam gently for 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a hot serving plate, pour a little of the parsley sauce over it and serve the remaining sauce in a tureen.

Fish Fritters

1/2 lb fish, cooked

2 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons grated onion

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Oil for frying

Savoury mustard sauce


Mash the cooked fish and mix with the beaten egg yolks. Add the flour, salt, pepper, onion and chopped parsley, and mix well. Lastly, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Drop by the spoonfuls into deep, hot oil or fat and cook until nicely browned on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with a savoury mustard sauce.

Smoored Snoek (A Cape Dish)

1 lb smoked snoek

4 small onions

3 tablespoons butter

1 lb sliced ripe tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

6 small potatoes

salt and pepper


Soak the snoek overnight in cold water. Drain off the water and flake the fish with a fork. Slice the onions and fry them in butter until golden brown. Add the sliced tomatoes to the pan and sprinkle them with the sugar.

Cook the tomato onion mixture until fairly dry, stirring occasionally and making sure that the mixture doesn't burn.

Add the flaked snoek, parboiled potatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover closely, and simmer very gently until the potatoes have cooked.

For more South African recipes, see the links below.

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