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Heritage Month: South African Chefs Share Their Favorite Dishes

  • 4 min read

September is the month where we celebrate our individual cultures and heritage, and it all comes to a head on 24 September, Heritage Day. From braais with our families to embracing our traditional wear, there are endless ways to celebrate the different cultures that make up our beautiful country. In the spirit of putting a spotlight on our heritage, there is nothing that hits closer to home than our meals. Below are two recipes by South African chefs Fatima Sydow and Chef Nonhlanhla Mabaso from BON Hotel Waterfront Richards Bay, which we guarantee will be a treat to serve up for your loved ones this Heritage Day.

The perfect sweet treat

One of South Africa’s most beloved chefs, Fatima Sydow, has become synonymous with comfort food that warms the soul. Her Heritage Day recipe is a Sunday favourite among many in Cape Town – the koeksister. With memories of her mother waking her up to a tray of tea and a bowl of warm, sugary koeksisters, these delicious bites are perfect at any time of the day.

Pro tip: get your ingredients delivered straight to your door and cut out the long queues at stores. Yebo Fresh even offers combos that include many of the ingredients needed for this delicious recipe.



4 & ½ cups of cake flour

1 tsp of baking powder

10 grams of instant yeast

1 tbsp of caster sugar

3 tbsp of melted butter

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of soft mashed potatoes

3 tsp of naartjie peel powder or zest

1 & ½ tbsp of freshly grated ginger

1 tsp of mix spice

2 tbsp of aniseed

2 tsp of fine cinnamon

½ a tsp of ground cardamom seeds

1 & ½ cups of lukewarm water

1 large egg

3 cups of sugar

3 cups of water

5 pieces of stick cinnamon


In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Knead the dough for 10 minutes – the dough will be quite sticky so do not be tempted to add any more flour, just use some oil on your hands when kneading. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to rise for 90 minutes in a warm and dark area of your kitchen.

Next, knock down the dough and, using a little oil on your hands, shape little oblong shapes and deep fry in oil in a deep saucepan on a medium to high heat until brown on both sides. Remove from the oil.

To make the syrup, in a large saucepan, boil the water, sugar and cinnamon sticks until bubbling.

Dip the koeksisters into the warm sugar syrup and allow soaking for a minute. Using a slotted spoon place koeksisters in a bowl and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

The ultimate crowd pleaser

One dish that will remain a firm favourite is the potjie. With origins dating back to the 1600s and Dutch settlers, it has remained a staple at all kinds of family gatherings and friendly celebrations. Nonhlanhla  has added a special kick to this recipe that will leave the crowd happy.

Recipe (you may multiply quantities according to the number of guests)

1kg of chicken serves 8 to 10 guests


 1kg cubed game (springbok/kudu)

 1tsp ground cumin

 ½ tsp ground jeera

 ½ tsp roasted coriander seeds

 2 tbsp paprika

 1tsp nutmeg

 3 bay leaves

 2tsp dried mixed herbs

 ½ tsp black pepper

 1 tbsp brown sugar

 ½ cup fruit chutney

 3/4 cup red wine

 50 ml (2 tots) Amarula Gold

 1x med onion

 2tsp garlic

 1 bunch (0.03g) fresh coriander

 3 tbsp bacon fat

 2 cups plain yoghurt

 700ml vegetable stock

500g root vegetables of your choice


Wash the venison and coat with yoghurt and leave in the fridge overnight.

Remove the meat from the yoghurt and rub with all the spices. Leave to stand while heating up your iron-based pan.

Brown your meat and add bacon lard, bay leaves, onions and garlic. Fry a little; then add your wine and vegetable stock.

Cook on a slow heat for about 2 hours (until soft and tender)

Add your Amarula Gold and fresh root vegetables and let it simmer for about 10-15 more minutes.

Remove from heat and add your fresh coriander.

Serves well with: yellow rice and raisins