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Home > News4Stews > Galley Goddess: South African Foods

Galley Goddess: South African Foods

South Africa is not just all about boerewors, biltong and Mrs Balls as our colonial cousins, the adorable Yarpies would have us believe…….Ja, I reckon it’s a bit of a delusion, don’t get me wrong, massive slabs of lekker meat are being chucked on the braai over there in Cape Town, but they’re dancing a whole different jol over in Durbs.

Yes, fellow sailors, we all have a South African on board these days, don’t we? The cheerful Saffas are almost endemic to the yachting industry, happily howziting us all and enthusiastically boring us all with the rugby score. They have so much to offer, Table mountain, the legacy of Nelson Mandela and shame, that infamous old wag, Jacob Zuma.


With roots tracing back to the Dutch, French, Indian, Malaysian and England, South Africa, such a land of diversity, it’s people, landscapes, cultures and languages offer a melting pot of intrigue and excitement. Also a unique fusion of many different external cultural influences and, ja an exciting and excellent example of colonisation driven fusion.

A star in its own right, Bobotie (Bobotje), is sort of the South African take on a Aussie meat pie, packed with great curry flavour. Back in the 17th century, the Cape Malay slaves were brought to South Africa and, hello, they knew a thing or two about food. They took the bland Dutch meat dish and infused it with exotic spices like curry powder, turmeric and sweet dried fruit. I don’t know about you china, but to be brutally honest, initially I thought to myself, ‘meat and custard combo?’ , ag, that sounds a bit kak, but the truth be known, it’s a little bit decadant and totally delish.



3 slices white bread, crusts removed, roughly chopped

1 cup low fat milk

2 tablespoons cooling oil

2 onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

4 garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)

Dried spices

1 tablespoon plus and addition teaspoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch cayenne pepper

Other ingredients

450g ground lamb

450g ground beef

1 cup grated carrots

1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated

1/3 cup golden raisins

3 tablespoons apricot preserves

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

5 bay leaves


1 and a half cups buttermilk

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch pepper

toasted slivered almonds



Preheat your oven to 180C. Put chopped bread into a small shallow bowl and pour milk on top. Press bread into milk and leave for a min.

Measure out all the spices, except bay leaves into a small bowl and also set aside.

Then, heat oil in large frying pan and saute the onions on medium heat low heat for 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Chuck in garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add spices and cook stirring for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Scrape mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Gently squeeze most of the milk from the bread and add the bread to the

onions, discard left over milk. Add lamb, beef, carrots, apples, raisins, apricot preserves, lemon juice, salt and pepper and using your hands get right in there and mash everything together until just combined. Press mixture evenly into a casserole dish (2 and half litre) and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven, leaving the oven on and carefully pour off any fat. Meat will have shrunken and pulled away from the sides of the casserole.

Using the back of a spatula, press meat down so it expands to touch the side of the casserole dish. Insert bay leaves evenly across surface (slit meat with a knife if necessary), tucking them halfway in so they flavour the meat but are still visible for easy removal before serving. Beat custard ingredients and pour over meat. Bake your Babotie in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, until the custard is set and starting to brown.

Top with slivered almonds. Serve with rice or sweet potatoes. Lovely, gorgeous comfort food……


Bunny Chow, is a South African street food, ja I’m not sure whether to

apologise for this or boast about it…..thankfully it’s not made with bunnies as it’s misleading name might suggest but with aromatic spices, meat, chickpeas and potatoes served in hollowed out bread. ´The term ‘bunny’ is a variation from the word ‘Bania’, an Indian class of traders who sold this tasty snack back then.

Unique, portable and popular, these fiery gems came about because, back in the day, under apartheid laws, Indian restaurant owners were not allowed to seat black customers and could only sell them take aways. They invented Bunny Chow so they could still sell them a proper serving of curry from the back door of restaurants. Probably not the snack to serve to your owner on the aft deck as there is no elegant way to eat a Bunny Chow as it’s messy, but versatile finger meal.


Bunny Chow

450g of chicken thighs or breast cut in bite size pieces

1/2 cup cooking oil

2-3 curry leaves

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons good quality curry powder (mild or strong)

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium tomatoes diced

1 cinnamon stick

1 and 1/2 teaspoons paprika

3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

8 ounce or less potatoes peeled and cut into cubes

1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 and 1/2 cup chicken stock

Salt and pepper


In a large pan heat up oil and add onions, garlic, cinnamon stick, curry

leaves, cardamom pods and curry powder. Stir occasionally for about 2 or 3 minutes until onions are translucent and the spices are fragrant.

Add tomatoes followed by the chicken, stir and saute for 2-3 minutes, add chicken stock. Add the chickpeas, chicken stock and potatoes, bring to boil and let simmer until sauce thickens, about 25 minutes. Adjust your seasoning and make sure your bunny is a thick stew consistency. Warm you from the inside out and great on a cold winters day, just be careful of the deck!


Totsiens, Uhambe Kuhle, Hamba Kakuhle, Sepela Gabotse, Tsamaya

Hantle,Tsamaya Sentle, Hamba Kahle, Kha Vha Sale Zwavhudi, Salani,



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Galley Goddess