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Homegrown recipes that celebrate our heritage

On 24 September South Africans celebrate Heritage Day.  We’ve found three delicious homegrown recipes that not only embrace our rich heritage, but because they use ingredients such as seeds, flours, grains and beans, can help save our planet. Beans and other pulses are members of the legume family and can convert nitrogen from the air and ‘fix’ it into a form that can be readily used by plants.


Rusks are always a winner, especially when dipped in tea or coffee.

You will need: 

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7 cups self-raising flour
1½ cups sugar
5 cups All Bran flakes
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup mixed seeds eg, linseeds, poppy seeds
½ cup raisins
½ cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a large oven dish with butter.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Make a big hole in the centre and add the eggs, buttermilk and butter.
Mix well using a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a dough.
Place the dough into the oven dish and press evenly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Once ready, remove from the oven and immediately turn out on a working surface.
Cut into finger shapes and place back onto the oven dish.
Dry in a 100C oven overnight or for at least 8 hours, leaving the oven door slightly open for moisture to exit.
Store in an airtight container.

Samp and Beans

Samp and Beans were traditionally eaten in South Africa by Zulu and Xhosa people. It was one of former President Nelson Mandela’s favourite meals. Today it has become so popular that it’s now pre-packed and mixed for easier preparation. It can be served as a starter, side dish or main meal. Some keep it simple and others love to mix in chillies or curry. You can add more flavour with meat and gravy. South Africans around the world love the meal for the memories it brings them of home.

You will need

1 kg samp and bean mix, rinsed and soaked overnight
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 ml allspice
2 ml nutmeg
Salt and black pepper to taste

Pour off the water after soaking and place the samp and bean mix in a large saucepan. Cover with water and simmer slowly until the samp and beans are nearly soft and most of the water has evaporated.
Season well with salt.
In the meantime, sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft and add the allspice.
Add the onion mixture and continue to simmer until the samp mix is completely soft. Season with nutmeg and black pepper and extra salt to taste if necessary.
Serve hot with meat and gravy if desired.


Potjiekos is an Afrikaans term for food cooked in layers in a traditional three-legged cast-iron pot, but in essence it is a stew, not much different to the slow-simmered stews of beef, chicken and mutton and that are popular across Southern African countries. The difference between a potjie and a stew is that a potjie is never stirred during the cooking process and is always cooked slowly over hot coals in a cast iron pan. There is nothing more traditional than serving a delicious potjie at your next social event.

Curried Lamb and Bean Potjie

You will need:

1 cup red kidney beans
1 cup red speckled beans
1 kg lamb, sawn into portions
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
30 ml medium curry powder
5 ml turmeric
5 ml meat masala
1 x 410 g can whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
500 ml meat stock

Place beans in smaller potjie and cover with cold water.
Slowly bring to the boil then boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat but keep lid on and allow beans to soak for 1 hour, then drain.
Heat larger potjie well without adding oil or butter.
Brown meat a few pieces at a time.
Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and sauté until onion is transparent.
Add curry powder, turmeric and masala and fry for 2 minutes, stirring well.
Arrange beans on top of meat followed by tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper and heated stock.
Ensure the beans are well covered.
Cover and simmer for 2 – 3 hours or until beans and meat are tender.
Stir carefully to mix.

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