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.


The South African pumpkin fritters also known as “Pampoenkoekies”

South-African-pumpkin-frittersThis delicious South African dish is reasonably inexpensive since the main ingredient of this meal is pumpkin. Try and find a sunny place where you can grow this vegetable. It is a standby all-year-round.
Make pumpkin fritters the way grandmother used to do and serve them piping hot. These South African made fritters can be eaten as a desert or with your main meal as an enhancement.

The famous South African boer pumpkins are kept on the roof of the farm house. You can imagine how handy these pumpkins are when you need something for a Sunday afternoon meal.

Pumpkins are founded all over South African e.g.  Western Cape, Karoo, North Western Province, Orange Free State, and the old Transvaal, today it’s called Gauteng. Pumpkins are especially found in dry areas and are therefore reasonably cheap. Most house wife’s have their own recipe since pumpkins can be cooked in many ways. Here is such a traditional South African fritter recipe.

Recipe for Pumpkin Fritters

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients to make South African pumpkin fritters

  • 450 g peeled pumpkin
  • A pinch of salt and sugar
  • 60g flour
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • Milk (optional)
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) sunflower oil
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) butter
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

For the cinnamon sugar

  • 100g sugar
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) cinnamon

Steam the pumpkin over boiling water in a vegetable steamer with little salt and sugar until it is just done.
Mix the pumpkin, flour, baking powder and eggs to form a batter of dropping consistency.
Add a little milk if it’s too stiff
Fry spoonful’s in the mixed, heated oil and butter in a big heavy-based oil frying pan.
Drain the fritters on brown paper.
Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and serve hot with wedges of lemon on the side.

Famous South African Venison

South african venisonIn South African we have a large selection of meats to choose from. It could be beef, mutton, lamb, pork or chicken. They are all farmed all over this great country, but lately we also have farms that produce venison for commercial use. When I was a child my grandfather and all the farms that were nearby had the yearly shoot somewhere in June/July, but I guess it was not an easy thing for him to do – the hunting season always happened during our winter school holidays, now can you imagine and he had only girls for grandchildren. There would always be a few tears before and after the kill.

The following South African recipe is for Pot Roast Leg or Shoulder of Lamb

This recipe will serve 4

  • 1 small leg or shoulder of venison layered with bacon
  • 1 Carton of 500ml buttermilk
  • 500 grams of mixed dried sherry
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Onion halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 10 Juniper berries bruised
  • 30 ml (tablespoon) of Oil
  • 2 plumb garlic cloves, bruised, peeled and crushed
  • 1 carrot, scraped and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250 ml (1 cup) meat stock
  • Fresh or dried out naartjie peel


  1. Place the meat in a enamel casserole dish and pour the butter milk over the meat.
  2. Cover the dish with cling warp and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Spoon the dried fruit, wine, cloves and cinnamon into a mixing bowl.  Cover with cling wrap and leave to stand overnight.
  4. Remove the meat from the marinade, wipe it clean and pat dry with kitchen paper.  Season well with salt and paper and rub juniper berries in all over.
  5. Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan and fry the onions, garlic and carrot for 3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and keep it aside for now.
  6. Fry the meat in the same saucepan until browned all over. Return the onion mixture and add the leaves.
  7. Pour off the liquid if any from the dried fruit and add it to the stock.
  8. Add the stock mixture to the meat.
  9. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add the little bit of water or more stock if you think it is necessary.
  10. Add the soaked fruit cinnamon, cloves and naartjie peel and pot roast uncovered for a further 30 min.

Chargrilling South African style

grilled-porkneckBarbecuing meat is a national pastime of South Africa. The outdoors is very popular with South Africans and therefore you often find South African taking chops, sausages and other meats on their jaunts into the wild.  Other meats that are used for example can be rump steak and pork braai chops. A very simple meal is pork neck steak on the coals.

Use steak instead of chops. Steak is without the bone when compared with chops. Mustard can be used as flavoring since it already contains salt, sugar and other traditional South African spices. Another ingredient that you can use is matured white cheddar (300g.)

Finally Portuguese bread-rolls will complement the Pork neck steaks.
Braai the Pork neck steaks over moderate-warm coals for about 10 – 15 minutes until the meat is medium rare. Both sides are sealed by the heat of the fire. Apply the mustard to meat. Finally you divide the cheese to each piece of meat and let the heat melt the cheese.

The bread rolls are cut in the middle and you place the pork neck steaks with the mustard and the melted cheese together. There you have a delicious and simple South African meal.

Buttermilk Pudding

This pudding hail from the West Coast of South African round about Lambersbay, and has no frills and it an easy pudding to make. Buttermilk results when milk and cream is separated, and part of the process results in buttermilk. (a true saffa favorite)

Recipe for Buttermilk Pudding

  • 60ml(4 tablespoons) butter
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) sugar
  • 30 ml(2 tablespoons) cake flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 500ml (2 cups) Buttermilk
  • 500 ml (2 cups) Fresh Milk

Melt the butter, add sugar and beat
Add the Cake Flour and mix
Make a hole in the middle and break the eggs there in. Beat it again.
Add both the buttermilk and fresh milk and beat again.
Ladle into a prepared dish and place into a bigger dish half filled with boiling water.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hrs at 180C until the pudding is set.
Dish up with green figs or some watermelon pieces.

Traditional South African Fresh Pear Pie

pear-pie-recipeThis traditional South African recipe was found in a gourmet magazine round about 1980 at the library and since we have pears in Cape Town, South Africa at a reasonable price from February onwards it was a good idea to make the pie. If you find the baking time to long and at the expensive of you electricity bill, put together a casserole and use the hot oven for both.

How to make Fresh Pear Pie

  1. Prep Time: 50min
  2. Baking time: 60 – 65 minutes
  3. Preheat you’re over to 400F or 204 Celsius
  4. Make 8 Servings

Pie Filling Ingredients

  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of Allspice
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 6 cups peeled sliced pears
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Never fail Crust

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoons granulated sugar


In a large bowl combine brown sugar, flour, spices and salt. Add pear slices, lemon juice and vanilla. Toss gently until well mixed. Set this delicious concoction aside.

How to make the never fail crust

Preheat the oven to 204 Celsius.
In a large bowl combine flour and salt.
With a pastry blender or 2 knives cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl you can now combine the egg, water and vinegar.
Add all at once to the flour mixture.
Stir until pastry is moist enough to hold together. Now shape it into a ball.
Divide pastry in to 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other.
On a lightly floured surface roll larger piece into an 11 inch circle.
Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry.
Trim, leaving about a 3 inch circle, now set it aside.

Spoon fruit into pastry lined pie dish, mounting in the middle.
Dot it with butter.
Lightly brush rim of bottom crust with water.
Cover with top crust and fold in edge.
Decorate top with leftover pastry if desired.
Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 min, reduce temperature to 375F.
Bake for 45 to 50 min, remove until crust is golden and juice being to bubble.