A taste of South Africa

South African Tourism has partnered with how-to guru and classically trained chef Warren Mendes to launch an instructional cooking competition designed to whet Australians’ appetites for future travel to the destination.

While the tourism body’s ongoing #MeetSouthAfrica campaign has been revised to #MeetSouthAfricaLater in recent months, this initiative gives entrants the opportunity to #EatSouthAfricaNow. Launching this week across South African Tourism’s Facebook and Instagram channels, the six-part video-recipe series is specially curated to take home cooks on a culinary journey across South Africa. Each week Warren Mendes explains how to make some of the country’s best-loved dishes and give audiences a taste of the destination.


Thanks to a melting pot of different cultures and traditions, the South African food scene is hailed by food critics, chefs and travellers alike as one of the most vibrant in the world. From Bunny Chow, with its origins stemming from Durban’s Indian community, through to the profound influence of the Cape Malay community on exquisitely flavoursome dishes, #EatSouthAfricaNow will offer a delicious insight into why the country came to be known as the Rainbow Nation.

What’s more, home cooks will be called on to recreate the recipes and post their pictures on social media with the hashtag #EatSouthAfricaNow. Those who nail it will have a chance to win the ultimate South African hamper, filled with South African wines and goodies – everything Aussies need for the extra time they’re spending at home.

Week 1: Bobotie
A taste of South Africa’s Malay culture is on offer, with the first session focusing on Bobotie – pronounced ‘ba-boor-tea’. Known as the national dish of South Africa, this is a delicious mixture of curried meat and fruit with a creamy golden topping, not dissimilar to Moussaka. Imported from Indonesia and adapted by the Cape Malay community, the dish is easy to make at home as it uses pantry staples such as curry powder and sultanas.

Week 2: Melktert
Melktert (Afrikaans for ‘milk tart’), is a delicate but decadent dessert with a flaky crust and topped with a generous dusting of cinnamon, is creamy and luxurious – a traditional sweet pie that South Africans love. Known to have stirred the tastebuds of other famous chefs, too – such as Jamie Oliver who recreated the tart in 2014 and poured golden caramel over the top for extra crunch.

Week 3: Bunny Chow
A budget-friendly dish that comprises curry in a hollowed-out bread loaf and is loved for its portability and rich and hearty flavours. Originating from a large Indian community in Durban, this is now one of South Africa’s go-to street foods.

Week 4: Koeksisters
These crisp doughnut plaits are a sweet South African delicacy. Fried and dipped in an aromatic syrup, it’s not hard to understand why South Africans love to indulge in this sweet treat.

Week 5: Chakalaka, Boerewors and Pap
Chakalaka is a refreshing tomato bean relish made with a dash of spicy Portuguese flair, served with boerewors sausages and ‘Pap’ which is typically made from cornmeal or maize. It’s a much-loved meal in South Africa and a firm favourite at a braai (or what Aussies refer to as a barbecue!).

Week 6: Malva Pudding
Malva Pudding is perfect for preparing at home, thanks to its simple ingredients of jam, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and a surprise ingredient – vinegar. This Nelson Mandela favourite (also loved by Oprah Winfrey), with its humble origins, represents how to enjoy the simple things in life with its easy-to-find and affordable ingredients. Maggie Pepler – an entirely self-taught cook – brought the recipe to fame in the 1970s and it’s been a firm favourite in the country ever since.

Budding chefs can taste the Rainbow Nation on Facebook and Instagram with a new video posted weekly at 5pm. Or visit www.southafrica.net for more inspiration.

Would you try these recipes? Or have you eaten these dishes before?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Related articles:


Kay’s life-changing South African safari

Kay O'Sullivan shares her life-changing South African Safari experience.

South Africa: Dairne John puts into pictures what she can’t say in words

Taking the road less travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

African Peasant Stew

Don't let the name fool you, this African Peasant Stew is a kingly dish.