South African recipes on Heritage Day
South African recipes like Bunny Chow, for Heritage Day.

It’s Heritage Day in South Africa on Friday… and to help you celebrate we’ve put together a choice of meals that cover some of the Rainbow Nation’s varied cultures! So take your pick from Samp & Beans to Cape Malay Koeksisters and Milk Tart (or Melk Tert)…

1. Milk Tart


There is nothing like a proper homemade South African milk tart (melktert in Afrikaans). Quick and easy for tea or dessert! And it’s so South African it has its own National Day – 27th February!

View the Milk Tart Recipe

2. Rusks

Buttermilk rusks recipe

Buttermilk rusks are always a winner, especially when dunked in tea or coffee! While South Africans around the world yearn for and enjoy the well known Ouma Rusks, there’s something a bit special about homemade rusks. For those not in the know, rusks are kind of like biscotti, and a much loved South African treat.

View the Rusk Recipe | View the history of Ouma Rusks

3. Bobotie

bobotie recipe

Bobotie, is a South African dish (considered a national dish by many!) consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. This traditional bobotie recipe is sure to impress.

View the Bobotie Recipe

4. Pumpkin fritters

Pumpkin fritters

Pumpkin fritters – or Pampoen koekies in Afrikaans – are delicious for breakfast or dessert and it’s so quick and easy to make!

View the Pumpkin Fritter Recipe

5. Snoek Pate

Snoek pate South African recipe

With so much snoek in the Cape waters, few tastes capture Cape Town as tastefully as smoked snoek pâté.  It makes it a common dish for those living in and around Cape Town and along the coast. Usually best eaten with crackers or melba toast!

View the Snoek Pate Recipe

6. Curried Samp and Beans

Samp and Beans

Samp and Beans are made from crushed dry maize/corn kernels (a.k.a. samp) and slowly cooked sugar beans. The aroma that fills a kitchen as its cooking brings home cherished childhood memories for many South Africans. It was one of former President Nelson Mandela’s favourite meals. Samp and Beans were traditionally eaten in South Africa by Zulu and Xhosa people (who call it isistambu and umngqusho, respectively). Today it’s become so popular (and makes a great comfort food!) that it’s now pre-packed and mixed for easier preparation. It can be served as a starter, side dish or main meal. Some keep it simple and others love to mix in chillies or curry. You can add more flavour with meat (like lamb) and gravy. South Africans around the world love the meal for the memories it brings them of ‘home’. Apparently, it’s known as ‘hominy’ in the USA, ‘makande’ in Tanzania and of course in Afrikaans it’s called ‘Stamp en Boone’!

View the Curried Samp and Bean Recipe

7. Biltong

Homemade biltong recipe

For everyone far from home who misses this South African classic. (For the non-South Africans, It is air-cured meat marinated in vinegar and spices.) You can use many different types of meat – from beef to game meats and ostrich.

View the Biltong Recipe

8. Vetkoek

vetkoek recipe

Vetkoek – which literally means ‘fat cake’ in Afrikaans – is a proudly South African pastry. The ‘vet’ part of its name probably comes from the fact that it’s deep-fried in cooking oil (‘fat’)! Vetkoek is a dough that is light and crisp on the outside, whilst soft and bread-like on the inside. It can be served with deliciously cooked mince (ground beef)…or turned it into a dessert with wallops of syrup, honey or jam and cheese. In this version, SAPeople’s chef extraordinaire Faz has added chilli and chives. Feel free to make it plain and serve with mince, chicken or vegetables.

View the Vetkoek Recipe

9. Chilli Bites

chilli bites recipe

Chilli Bites are a scrumptious Indian snack, fast becoming a popular finger food at parties throughout South Africa. They’re also known by their Malay word dhaltjies or the Indian word Bhajias…but regardless of which name you prefer to call them, Chilli Bites always make a delicious vegetarian snack.

View the Chilli Bites Recipe

10. Traditional Malay Koeksisters

Koeksisters South African recipe

These traditional sticky spicy treats are so yummy! This recipe was one that Faz’s grandmother used to make when she was a little girl. It’s taken Faz a while to perfect…but now it’s so comforting on those cooler Sunday mornings!

View the Koeksister Recipe

11. Peppermint Crisp Tart

peppermint crisp tart recipe

Peppermint Crisp Tart is a South African classic. What makes this dessert so special has to be the mixed flavours of coconut, peppermint, caramel, and chocolate. It is also quick and easy to make.

View the Peppermint Crisp Tart Recipe

Bunny Chow

Homemade Bunny Chow recipe

Bunny Chow has become one of Durban’s most famous exports! It’s usually called a ‘bunny’ and brings back youthful memories for many Durbanites who used to stop for a bunny chow on their way home from late night clubbing. A bunny is basically made from half a loaf of bread (with the inside scooped out and kept to dip in the gravy). The hollow loaf is then filled with delicious authentic Indian curry – made from either Lamb Mutton or Vegetables. Beef, chicken or mince can also be used.

View Durban’s Famous Bunny Chow Recipe | View the Vegetable Bunny Chow Recipe

And if you like, here’s how to make a Brain Pie!

For all those leftovers…SuzelleDIY shows us how…

View more about Suzelle DIY and the Braai Pie Video