Mosbolletjies or Must buns

Famous South African recipes and deserts

Must buns take a long time to prepare but the final product is definitely worth all the hard work. Obviously the Capetonians will insist that only real must can be used when making South African must-buns, but there is other ways to make must and that is to use raisins in your recipe.

Place raisins in the large screw top jar, add boiling water and let it cool until room temperature is reached. Leave enough space in the jar for the gases which will form at the top. Add yeast, close the lid and wait until the mixture becomes active. Nice and foamy and raisins floating on top. Strain through a sieve and use mixture as leavening.


  • 150 g (25 ml ) unused raisins, finely chopped
  • 625 ml (2 ½ cups) boiling water
  • ¼ cake of fresh yeast (7 g) or 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Dried yeast granules, dissolved in 50 ml (4 teaspoon) luke warm water(optional)
  • 240 g (500ml) cake flour


  • 625ml (2 ½ cups) lukewarm milk
  • 250g (1 cups) soft butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 25 ml (2 teaspoons) salt
  • 400g (2 cups) sugar
  • 15 ml (3 teaspoons) aniseed
  • 1 Packet (2.5 kg) cake flour

South African Chicken buriyani (breyani)

In South Africa one of the most popular recipes for entertaining is chicken buriyani. This is tradition and is well-known amongst the Cape Malay. A very good Malaysian cook is Cass Abraham. She says that breyani was traditionally served at the end of the Tamat ceremony. During this ceremony children symbolically celebrate their entrance into adult life. These days everyone eats this delicious rice dish.


South African honey and flavour

South-African-honeyHoney is found all over South African and is well-liked in the food culture of South Africa. Different kinds of honey are produced in the following areas for example:

Hopefield, Vredenburg and Piketberg is well known for the sandveld honey. Here fynbos will be the bee’s main plant for the producing of the honey.
In the Karoo thornbush –honey is cultivated from the thornbush.
To the eastern side of the Cape, South African honey is produced from flower farms in the Caledon region which we know as the Strandfontein.
To the west at places like Citrusdal and Clanwilliam we get honey produced by the bee’s using citrus blossoms as this is an Orange producing area.
In the Klein Karoo where much of our stone fruit grows like peaches, apricots and plums, I expect the honey is from the blossoms of these trees. All South African honey tastes different; you can actually taste honey of fynbos and citrus and notice the difference.
South Africa no doubt has a large array of different honeys, and we have only mentioned a few.
Honey can obviously be used for many purposes eg.

  • To put in your tea for sweetening purposes
  • To bake delicious bread
  • Honey be mixed with lemon juice for medicinal purposes
  • Can be used as a face pack
  • For baking purposes (cake and biscuits)
  • For sauces eg Ina Paarman’s salad dressing

South African Koeksiters and Melkkos

melkkos-imageKoeksister originated from the Netherlands, where they used the word “koeke” to describe a “koeksister”. The two versions of the South African koeksister are – The twisted koeksister made by Afrikaners and the dumpling made by the Cape Malay. The twisted koeksister is placed in oil; it’s then cooked and then dipped into cold sugar syrup. The Cape Malay-styled koeksister is spiced with ingredients like powdered cinnamon, aniseed, cardamom and ginger. You can also sprinkle it with dried coconut if you want to try something different.  The Koeksister are often found at church and school bazaars and even sold on the street by South African street vendors. Breakfasts are ideally suited for some strong coffee and a delicious koeksisters.

South African Melkkos – Also known as Milk Soup

To prepare milk-soup is quite easy. Add flour with the warm milk until lumps are formed. The idea is to thicken the milk with lumps. You can also use pasta for example macaroni or spaghetti. This is known as the lazy house wife’s milksoup.

An important ingredient for milk-soup is lots of cinnamon sugar – it definitely makes a difference.  This kind of food can be categorized as soul food that has an emotional connotations to South African people in that it reminds you of a warm kitchen and your mothers cooking.  It would be to your advantage if you live on a dairy farm and the provision of milk was no question. City people have to make do with supermarkets providing the milk. However there need not be any difference between the milk of the dairy and supermarket in the outcome of your recipe.
To make dough treads which are added to milk soup requires more work but it is definitely worth your while.  On a cold day, a South African family especially the children can partake in the making of the ingredients by sifting, mixing and rolling the dough. The delicious smell of the milk-soup combined with the cinnamon is an invitation to everybody to sit down and finish everything that’s on offer.