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Traditional South African Food Recipes

Updated on September 22, 2014
Potjie Kos
Potjie Kos

Potjie Kos

4 stars from 5 ratings of Potjie Kos

Traditional South African Food

Potjie Kos is I think is a much later tradition but is cooked when people come together on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or while watching the rugby or cricket game. I want to share with you my favorite recipe, but first I want to share a bean soup recipe which my grandmother and my mother made.

Bean Soup

Bean Soup Boontjie Sop
Bean Soup Boontjie Sop | Source

Basic Prep and Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 3 hours
Ready in: 4 hours
Yields: 6 persons


  • 200 g (250 ml) dried beans
  • 500 g soup meat
  • 1 marrow bone
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • i piece pork fat back
  • 2 ℓ cold water
  • 3 large potatoes, , coarsely grated
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 140 g ( 250 ml) cake flour
  • 10 ml lbaking powder
  • 2.5 ml ml salt
  • 15 ml butter or margarine
  • 125 ml milk


  1. 1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water. 2. Cook the beans, soup meat, onion, bacon and water 1 hour. 3. Add the potatoes and tomatos and cook until everything is tender - about 2 hours. 4. Puree the soup, or press the vegetables finely and cut the meat fine, or leave as it is to savor the bean texture. 5. Add salt and pepper to taste. 6. Simmer the soup and add spoon fulls of dumpling dough and simmer until dumplings are cooked. Add another little water if too thick.
  2. DUMPLINGS 7. Mix the dry ingredients. 8. mix the butter or margarine into the dry ingredients. 9. Add the milk and mix until it forms a stiff dough.
  3. When the dumplings are cooked, dish up and enjoy.

Lamb Potjie Kos

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 portion
Calories 165
Calories from Fat54
% Daily Value *
Fat 6 g9%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Carbohydrates 27 g9%
Protein 3 g6%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Potjie Kos Video

Nutrition information

Nutrition summary:





There are 165 calories in 1 serving of Lamb Potjiekos.Calorie breakdown: 31% fat , 62% carbs, 7% protein.


Potjie Kos Video

A video demonstrating how to make Potjie Kos


The method to make this is to bring the water and a pinch of salt in a pot to boil and then add mealie meal in a mound in the water without stirring , something like a volcano in the water , three holes are pushed through it to the bottom to allow the water to boil through .
It is allowed to simmer until the dry mealie meal is cooked , then a three prong fork is pushed in underneath this mound and is continually lifted not stirred until loose pieces are formed similar to rice but a little bigger.

Putu Or Krummel Pap

With the potjie kos is served either rice or pap ( stiff porridge ), pot bread and a salad.The pap is made from mealie meal and unlike porridge less water is used resulting in a stiffer mixture. .
There is another version of this porridge, made by the Sotho people and they call it Putu, and the white South Africans named it krummel pap, (crumbly porridge) .

Potjie Kos

Potjie Kos can be cooked in a normal flat bottom pot inside on the stove, but traditonaly in a three leg round belly cast iron pot, out side over coals, or on a home made grid as in the picture below. It has round holes in the grid to allow the pot to sit in it. At the same time meat can be braaied ( grilled) as well.

Barbecue grill

Barbecue meat on grill
Barbecue meat on grill


2.5 kg oxtail

A few baby onions

10 baby potatoes

3 chopped carrots or small baby carrots

pack button mushrooms

30 ml olive oil

salt pepper and seasoning to taste

crushed cloves


A bit of oil is poured into the pot and then the meat is put in and fried a bit to get gravy then water is added and allowed to simmer until soft . Then the veggies and seasoning is added and allowed to simmer until tender .
There are many varieties, different meat and different veggies . My favorite is oxtail for the meat and for the veggies, button mushrooms, small onions, baby potatoes, baby carrots , baby marrows , etc etc .
And adding dumplings on top is also delicious .

Apron for the BBQ

Apron with Baobab tree image for the BBQ
Apron with Baobab tree image for the BBQ

Apron For The BBQ

Pot Bread

Pot bread is a traditional bread served with the Potjie Kos. An oval flat bottom cast iron pot with a loose lid is used to bake the bread. You can make your own bread dough but ready made dough can be bought at the supermarket bakery. The bread dough is put in the cast iron pot and allowed rise. A small hole is dug in the ground, a little bit larger than the pot .Hot coals from the barbecue fire are placed in the bottom of the hole, the pot inserted and covered with more coals and hot ash and allowed to cook for about an hour .
This pot bread is buttered with farm style butter and is a delicious meal on its own

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