South African food is diverse and delicious, influenced by the culinary traditions of the many varied communities that live in the country. For a list of typical South African foods and dishes, check out this fantastic Wikipedia list. Otherwise, dip into some of the fantastic recipe books, below.
Dorah Sitole – 40 Years of Iconic Food [ISBN: 9780798180054]
40 Years of iconic food is the product of Dorah Sitole’s culinary journey, which began growing up in the townships and led to her becoming the exceptional food icon that she is today. Each chapter features various stages of Dorah’s fascinating life, with recipes to match: traditional African, Township, Pan-African and Western. Let this cookbook be your companion in the kitchen, lift your spirits, challenge you a bit or just simply make you smile!
Zola Nene – Simply Delicious [ISBN: 9781432304874 GoodReads]
In Simply Delicious, Zola’s culinary career is told through her recipes, interspersed with snippets and perspectives of her life journey, including tributes to the people who have inspired and influenced her cooking style.
Mogau Seshoene – The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen [ISBN: 9781928429135 GoodReads]
The Lazy Makoti’s Guide To The Kitchen by Mogau Seshone is an easy to use cookbook that uses simple and straightforward recipes for everyday favourites in the modern South African kitchen. It contains breakfast basics, show-stopper seven-colour Sunday lunches, heartwarming sups & stews, sweet cheas and even traditional African favourites, just like gogo (grandma) used to make them.
Anna Carolina Alberts – Botter en Liefde – Boerekos uit ‘n Plaaskombuis (Butter and Love – Boerekos from a Farm Kitchen) [ISBN: 9781928209966]
A funky, proudly Afrikaans cookbook, (in English) combining accounts of farm life, doilies, koeksisters and other Afrikaans icons. Anna Carolina draws on the myriad influences in South African urban culture to present something uniquely contemporary, celebrating a rich culinary heritage.
Ming-Cheau Lin – Just Add Rice. Stories and Recipes by a Taiwanese South African [ISBN: 9781928429029 GoodReads]
Just add rice is about Taiwanese cuisine, which seeks balance and harmony in taste, texture and nutritional value. But it’s also about home cooking, about familiarity and comfort and celebrating culture – recipes that connect the author to her parents when they lived in another city and in a distant country.
Ishay Govender-Ypma – Curry. Stories and Recipes Across South Africa. [ISBN: 9780798172370 GoodReads]
Ishay travelled around the country for a year, meeting, interviewing, cooking and eating with cooks from every province. These are their stories and recipes, as diverse as they are.
Karen Dudley – A Week in the Kitchen [ISBN: 9781431403370 GoodReads]
A collection of unique recipes that infuse Mediterranean and Asian flavours with a South African slant, this gorgeous book offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the Kitchen, an eatery in Cape Town, South Africa. This cookbook covers a full week at the restaurant, where menus change daily. With clean, natural flavours undisguised by rich sauces, these mouthwatering dishes were created by remarkable and dedicated chefs whose artistry ensures memorable meals—now accessible to the home chef.
Ilse Van der Merwe – Cape Mediterranean [ISBN: 9781432310226 GoodReads]
In contemporary South Africa, especially in the Western Cape, many of us love long lunch tables that start with breads and spreads, going into smaller bites or tapas, onto generous salads and vegetable dishes served alongside beautiful roasts or freshly grilled seafood. We savour the process of coming together around a table, many times next to a fire, sharing conversations and creating new memories. Cape Mediterranean focuses on these gatherings, not heritage food nor nostalgia. Cape Mediterranean cooking is a South African style of cooking and entertaining influenced by one of the oldest and arguably also the healthiest cuisines in the world. It has developed naturally within the Western Cape due to its Mediterranean climate and the abundance of classic Mediterranean-style local produce.
Leozette Roode – South African Vegan Cookbook [ISBN: 9780798177108 GoodReads]
The South African Vegan Cookbook is the first local cookbook that contains everything you need to know about the vegan diet. With easy recipes like chocolate granola, cauliflower bites, lasagne and stir-fry as well as South African favourites like milk tart, banana loaf, macaroni-and-cheese and burgers.
Fatima Sydow and Gadija Sydow Nordien – Kaap, Kerrie & Koesusters (Cape, Curry and Koeksusters) [ISBN: 9780798177726 GoodReads]
In Cape Curry & Koesisters, twin sisters Fatima and Gadija takes us on a Cape Malay food trip, which is also a journey of life, as the recipes are linked with memories of their childhood on the Cape Flats. They believe in home cooking and recipes that are quick, easy and affordable. Easy, yet never boring, there’s something for every taste and every occasion. Try your hand at their curries with sambals on the side and dhaltjies for a bit of bite.
The Great South African Cookbook [ISBN: 9781921743856 GoodReads]
The food we love from 67 of our finest cooks, chefs, bakers, farmers, foragers and local food heroes.
This month’s blog is curated by Jen Thorpe.
Jen Thorpe is a feminist writer. Her first novel, The Peculiars (2016), was long listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature (2016) and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize (2017). Her second novel, The Fall, was published in July 2020. Thorpe has edited three collections of feminist essays – My First Time: Stories of Sex and Sexuality from Women Like You (2012); Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth (2018) and Living While Feminist (2020). Her writing has been published in Brittle Paper, Saraba Magazine, Jalada, and Litro. Find out more via https://jen-thorpe.com. Jen is also the host of the Living While Feminist Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, or wherever you get your podcasts.