South-Africa Food and Language
Cape Dutch and Cape Malay
A very distinctive regional style of South African cooking is often referred to as “Cape Dutch”. This cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as nutmeg, allspice and chili peppers. The Cape Dutch cookery style owes at least as much to the cookery of the slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company to the Cape from Bengal, Java and Malaysia as it does to the European styles of cookery imported by settlers from the Netherlands, and this is reflected in the use of eastern spices and the names given to many of these dishes.
The Cape Malay influence has brought spicy curries, sambals, pickled fish, and variety of fish stews.
Bobotie is a South African dish that has Cape Malay origins. It consists of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. Of the many dishes common to South Africa, Bobotie is perhaps closest to being the national dish, because it isn’t found in any other country. The recipe originates from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia, with the name derived from the Indonesian bobotok. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight “tang”. It is often served with sambal, a hint of its origins from the Malay Archipelago.
South African yellow rice, a sweet dish made with raisins, cinnamon and sugar, also has its origins in Cape Malay cookery, often being referred to as Cape Malay yellow rice.
An example of bunny chow served in Durban, originated in the Indian South African community.
Curried dishes are popular with lemon juice in South Africa among people of all ethnic origins; many dishes came to the country with the thousands of Indian labourers brought to South Africa in the nineteenth century. The Indians have introduced a different line of culinary practices, including a variety of curries, sweets, chutneys, fried snacks such as samosa, and other savoury foods. Bunny chow, a dish from Durban (which has a large Indian community) consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, has adapted into mainstream South African cuisine and has become quite popular.
Typical South African foods and dishes:
– Amasi, fermented milk. (Similar to Buttermilk) / Pron: aaah-maah-zee
– Biltong, a salty dried meat (typically seasoned with coriander seeds and salt) although the meat used is most commonly beef different variants also exist such as springbok, kudu, eland, chicken and ostrich. (Similar to Jerky)
– Biryani (sometimes spelt, briyani) and Indian rice dish.
– Bobotie, a dish of Malay descent, is like meatloaf with raisins and with crust on top, and is often served with yellow rice, sambals, coconut, banana slices, and chutney./ pron: baw-boo-tee
– Boeber, is a traditional Cape Malay sweet, milk drink, made with vermicelli, sago, sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, stick cinnamon and rose water./ Pron: boo-birr
– Boerewors, a sausage that is traditionally braaied (barbecued). A 100% South African sausage, made with pork, beef and lamb and flavoured mainly with coriander, cumin. / Pron: boo-rre-voh’rrs
– Bunny chow, curry stuffed into a hollowed-out loaf of bread. A bunny chow is called Kota by the locals. Also 100% South African Indian.
– Braai South African version of BBQ. Mainly, boerewors, lamb chops, steak, corn cobs, and salads
– Chakalaka, a spicy South African vegetable relish. Similar to any atchar.
– Chutney, or blatjang, a sweet sauce made from fruit that is usually served with meat and curries. / Pron: blutt-young
– Dombolo flour bread usually made steamed in a pot.
– Frikkadelle – meatballs. Not similar to Swedish Meatballs.
– Gatsby, food mainly popular in Cape Town, comes in the form of a long roll with fillings of anything ranging from polony to chicken or steak and hot chips.
– Gesmoorde vis, salted cod or snoek with potatoes and tomatoes and sometimes served with apricot or moskonfyt (grape must) jam. Delicious!!!! / Pron: (guttural) guh- smoor-de- viss & moss-con-fate
– Hertzoggie, a tartlet with an apricot jam filling and desiccated coconut meringue topping./ Pron: hertz-saw-gee
– Hoenderpastei, chicken pie, traditional Afrikaans fare./ pron: hoon-der-pas-stay
– Isidudu, pumpkin pap. Pumpkin added to grits
– Kaiings, a chewy traditional delicacy often served as a topping over “pap”. Kaiings are made from small cubes of pork in a cast iron pot over a “slow” fire and are the leftover pieces of pork after extracting the pork fat. Kaiings partly resembles pork cracklings. The skin is not as puffy and crispy as a crackling, and a small piece of meat is usually left on the skin and fat. / Pron: kai-ings
– Koeksisters come in two forms and are a sweet delicacy. Afrikaans koeksisters are twisted pastries, deep-fried and heavily sweetened. Koesister is found on the Cape Flats are sweet and spicy, shaped like large eggs, and deep-fried, and originate in Malaysia & Indonesia. / Pron: cook-sister & koo-sister.
– Kota, Skhambana, a quarter of a loaf of bread usually stuffed with Atchar, and chips.
– Mafi sour milk, often consumed with pap or drank alone.
– Mageu, a drink made from fermented mealie pap. (grits)
– Mala Mogodu, a local dish equivalent of tripe. The locals usually enjoy mala mogodu with hot pap and spinach./ pron: mala moh-gho-doo (guttural g)
– Malva pudding, a sweet spongy apricot pudding of Dutch origin. YUM! /Pron: mahl-fah
– Marog. A spinach like wild plant often seen by the casual observer as a weed of sorts. Traditionally boiled and served with “pap”. Sometimes dried in small lumps for extended “shelf life”. The traditional preparation usually incorporates either onion or potato or both./ Pron: mah-rogg (guttural g)
– Mashonzha, made from the mopane worm.Melktert (milk tart), a milk-based tart or dessert, but not made like a milk tart. / Pron: mel’k-tah’rt (a as in tacky)
– Melkkos (milk food), another milk-based dessert. Traditionally served as a standalone dish for supper and for lunch in some instances. (Famous traditional cookbooks such as the “Kook en Geniet” don’t refer to this a dessert though)
– Mealie-bread, a sweet bread baked with sweetcorn.
– Mielie-meal, one of the staple foods, often used in baking but predominantly cooked into pap or phutu. (grits)/ Pron: mee-lee-meal / pah’p / poo-too
– Monkey gland sauce 100% South African invention for steaks. Made up of chopped onion, garlic and ginger, with a combination of chutney, soy sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and wine.
– Mosbolletjies, a sweet-bun made with aniseed and a grape juice leavening agent from the wine-making region of South Africa./ Pron: moss-ball-lee-keys
– Ostrich is an increasingly popular protein source as it has a low cholesterol content; it is either used in a stew or filleted and grilled. Very delicious.
– Pampoenkoekies (pumpkin fritters), flour has been supplemented with or replaced by pumpkin. Some variants of the “Pampoenkoekie” are, among other, the “Patatkoekie” (Sweet potato fritter), “Aartappelkoekie” (potato fritter), “ryskoekie” (rice fritter), etc., where the pumpkin is replaced with either sweet potato or potato or rice. The name of the fritter being derived from the vegetable being used.
– Potbrood (pot bread or boerbrood), savoury bread baked over coals in cast-iron pots.
– Potjiekos, a traditional Afrikaans stew, made with meat and vegetables and cooked over coals in cast-iron pots./ Pron: poy-key-koss
– Rooibos, a herbal tea that is indigenous to South Africa. (Japanese biggest consumers)
– Rusks, a rectangular, hard, dry biscuit eaten after being dunked in tea or coffee; they are either home-baked or shop-bought (with the most popular brand being Ouma Rusks).
– Samosa, or samoosa, is a savoury stuffed Indian pastry that is fried.
– Samp and beans. Samp is an African food consisting of dried corn kernels that have been stamped and chopped until broken but not as fine as grits. The coating around the kernel loosens and is removed during the pounding and stamping process. … Samp is often served with beans, as in “samp and beans”. Mainly white beans.
– Skilpadjies, lamb’s liver wrapped in netvet and braaied (bbq’d) over hot coals./ pron: skil-pie-keys (lit. little tortoises) as they’re wrapped in intestines.
– Amagwinya, fat cakes.
– Smoked or braai’ed snoek, a regional gamefish.
– Sosatie, kebab, grilled marinated meat on a skewer. Usually with onion and fruit pieces. / pron: soh-sah-tee
– Tomato bredie, Green bean bredie a lamb and tomato/ or green bean stew. Of Malaysian origins….it is a dry stew. /Pron: bree-dee
– Trotters and Beans, from the Cape, made from boiled pig’s or sheep’s trotters and onions and beansU qombothi, a type of beer made from fermented maize and sorghum.
– Umvubo, sour milk mixed with dry pap, commonly eaten by the Xhosa./ Pron: oom-voo-boVetkoek (fat cake, magwenya), deep-fried dough balls, typically stuffed with meat or served with snoek fish or jam./ Pron: feh’t-cook
– Walkie Talkies, grilled or deep-fried chicken feet and lamb’s head, most popular in townships and sold by street vendors, sometimes in industrial areas with high concentrations of workers.
– Waterblommetjie bredie (water flower stew), meat stewed with the flower of the Cape Pondweed. Very yummy! / Pron: vah-tir-blom-meh-key
SOUTH AFRICANESE !!!!
South African Slang Expressions You Need to Know…..understand, South Africans speak like this all the time…..so you need to learn these….or you’re lost!Local expressions :
This is the Afrikaans equivalent to “Oh man!” and is often used at the beginning of a sentence to express pity, resignation or irritation.
Example: “Ag, man!” / “Ag, no man!” / “Ag, shame man!”
Aikona – not on your life
A Zulu term used to express shock or disbelief when talking to friends or family.
Example: “Aikona, why did she do that?!” / “Haikona, when?! How?!”
Babbelas – hangover
This word is derived from the Zulu ‘ibhabhalazi’ and is used to describe a really bad hangover.
Example: “Eish, babbelas my bru!” (Geez brother….I’ve got a mother of a hangover)
Bliksem – to hit
This is a derogative term meaning to hit or punch someone.
Example: “I’ll bliksem you!”
Bitter koud — very cold
An Afrikaans phrase meaning ‘bitter cold’, often used to describe the cold weather during winter. / Pron: bitter-coat
Example: “Oh, my gosh! It’s bitter koud outside!”
Boet – brother / pron: boo’t
This term is usually used in reference to a male friend or companion.
Example: “Hey my boet, see you at the game tonight!”
Boetie – the way to address an equal age/younger Black man (meaning little brother)/ Pron: boo-tea
Bra / Bru – friend
This term is commonly used to call a friend, pal or buddy.
Chow – to eat / food
Often used when talking about food, this term can be used as a verb, meaning to eat, or when talking about the food itself.
Example: “Let’s chow my bru!” / “This chow is spicy!”
Chommie / China / Cuz – friend
Domkop – idiot
Similar to the German “dummkopf” or Dutch “domkop”, this term literally translates to “dumb head” and is a derogatory term used to describe someone who you think is stupid.
Example: “Ag! You domkop! You broke my cell phone!”
Eina! – ouch!
Usually expressed when someone experiences a sharp pain of some sort.
Eish! – an exclamation
[Ay-sh] or [ee-sh]
A Khoi term usually expressed when someone experiences surprise or shock.
Fok-off/ Fok jou
Fundi – expert or teacher
A term derived from the Nguni tribe, used to describe someone who is an expert at something.
Example: “He’s a fundi at that!”
Gatvol – fed up / had enough
Meaning ‘filled to the brim’ and is used to describe someone who is very angry or tired of the same thing happening over and over again.
Example: “I’m gatvol with that nonsense.” / “I’m gatvol that they keep losing all the time.”
Gogga – bug
[g-o-ga] (guttural g)
The ‘g’ is pronounced as ‘ch’ in the back of the throat (think Scottish “Loch”) and is used to describe a bug or insect.
Hayibo! – wow!
Derived from the Zulu word meaning “definitely not!” This word is usually expressed on its own, at the start or end of a sentence when something seems unbelievable.
Example: “Hayibo! Ha! Ha! I can’t believe that!”
Hoezit /Howzit – How is it going? How are you?
A common greeting which is often used instead of “hello” and “how are you?” It combines the two phrases into a simple, “Howzit”, thereby saving time.
Example: “Howzit my bru!”
Is it? – Is that so?
A basic conversational word that can be inserted at various points in any conversation, meaning “oh, wow!” or “Is that so?” It can also be used when you don’t really feel like talking and don’t want to be rude but want to seem as if you’re listening.
Example: “Last week we went on a game drive! Sho my bru! We saw loads of antelope!” “Is it, hey!”
Ja, Nee – Yes, No
Often used in succession, these two words are used to express agreement or confirmation with someone or something.
Example: “Ja, Nee, I’m fine thanks.”
Jislaaik – an expression of surprise
This is usually said when trying to express surprise or wonder.
Example: “Jislaaik, you gave me a fright!”
Jol – party / to have fun
Similar to ‘kiff’ or ‘kief’, jol can be used in any context to express having a good time.
Example: “I’m going to a jol tonight!” / “I’m having a jol!” / “It was such a jol!”
Kiff / Kief – cool/ wicked
Derived from the Arabic kayf, meaning enjoyment or well-being, kiff or kief is most often used to convey similar feelings of nice, cool, great.
Example: “This chow is kiff my bru!”
Laaitie – a young male
This term is used to describe a male in his teens or early twenties.
Laduma! – he scores!
This term is usually screamed out when a soccer team scores a goal. Extend any of the syllables for full effect.
Lekker – great / tasty / cool
An Afrikaans word that has multiple meanings and which can be used in various contexts to describe many things from people to food to inanimate objects. It is used to convey the meaning of great, delicious, nice or fun. Make sure to roll the ‘r’ when pronouncing the word.
Example: “That new movie is lekker!” / “That bunny chow was lekker!” / “I’m lekker, bru!”
Mama – African expression, address an older African woman.
Now Now – immediately / soon (or at any time) !!
A confusing phrase for non-locals meaning sometime soon – sooner than just now but quicker than right now.
Example: “We’re going to the beach now now!” (But first we have to pack our swimming gear, stop at gas station and maybe get some snacks…).
Oke / Ou – guy
[oak] / [oh]
South Africa’s most common word for a man or guy and is similar in meaning to ‘china’, ‘bru’ or ‘boet’.
Oom – older man of authority / Uncle
Used in reference to an older uncle or even someone who is not your uncle but in an authority position. Usually expressed with respect.
Padkos – food for the journey
Food that you will pack and take on the road – some sandwiches, drinks, chips, fruit and biltong and you have your padkos!
Sarmie – sandwich
A slang word for sandwich. (UK & Australia say: sarnie)
Shame (hey, man) used constantly, when you’re telling a story of someone’s illness, misfortune etc.
You say: Danny’s mom died yesterday….”ag, shame hey”
Shongololo – millipede
A term used to describe a large brown millipede. It is derived from the isiZulu word ‘ukushonga’, meaning to roll up.
Shebeen – an unlicensed bar
These are unlicensed bars usually found in low-income suburbs located outside of the major towns and cities, more commonly known as ‘the townships’. These arose during apartheid, when everything closed from 5pm daily, and all weekend. So, you ran out of drink, you went to a shabeen!
Sissie – an African term, meaning sister, when you address a younger African woman/girl ( hello sissie…… “sissie how much is this?”).
Skebenga / Skelm – a crook / gangster
A Zulu word for gangster.
Slap chips – French fries
An Afrikaans word meaning limp and describing soft, fat French fries. These are usually mixed with tomato sauce and vinegar.
Tannie – aunty, also used to express respect for an older person.
Ubuntu – compassion, kindness, humanity
An ancient African word used to describe common philosophical feeling of humanity and family, meaning “I am because we are”.
Voetsek! – Go away!/ Piss-off!
Usually said with an angry tone when telling someone to go away or get lost. You don’t want to be saying this to a local or worse, if a local says this to you – you’ve really angered them!
Yebo – yes
Often expressed as a double positive by combining it with the English “yes” in “Yebo, Yes!” or as an extremely expressive “Yeeebo!” This Zulu word is used regularly in South Africa to show agreement or approval with something or someone.
mngqusho, a dish made from white maize and sugar beans, a staple food for the Xhosa people. (Hard to pronounce due to click sounds)
Umphokoqo, an African salad made of maize meal. (grits)
South Africanese is almost like a completely new language! It is unique to say the least, and reflects the Rainbow Nation at it’s best! A veritable “mix-up-in-a-dixie”.