“Ask any South African the first thing they buy for a braai. They’ll tell you it’s boerewors,” says butcher Andy Fenner. Uniquely South African, boerewors is a sausage made from ground beef, roasted coriander seeds, salt, and vinegar, thrown on the grill and sometimes served in a bun. Instead of mustard or ketchup, Fenner opts for a homemade chakalaka, a spicy pepper relish local to the region.
Characteristic of the region’s curries, this intensely spicy one from chef Kevin Joseph of Durban’s The Oyster Box hotel gets its heat not from chiles, but pastes made of fresh garlic, ginger, and onions, plus lots of curry powder. Though not cooked long, the sauce is rich and thick thanks to heaps of ground spices and unsweetened coconut cream. Get the recipe for Chicken and Prawn Curry »
“I’ll always throw a few halved, stuffed butternuts straight on the coals at a braai,” says chef Ash Heeger of Ash restaurant. She uses buchu, a garlicky everygreen shrub indigenous to South Africa, to season them. You can get close with a combination of thyme and garlic. Buying similarly sized squash, and distributing the coals evenly beneath them, will ensure consistent results. Get the recipe for Grilled Butternut Squash »
This chilly treat is an adaptation of one served at the Royale Eatery, a burger and shake shop in Cape Town, South Africa. A simple purée of avocado, ice cream, mint leaves, and ice, it’s sweet, rich, and dense enough to stand a spoon in. Get the recipe for Avocado-Mint Shake »
Bunny chow, a hollowed out bread bowl with a spicy, meaty curried filling, is as delightfully messy as it sounds. You can eat every last morsel of this version from Hollywood Bets in Durban, including the curry-soaked bread from the bottom and sides. Get the recipe for Mutton Bunny Chow »
“You won’t find a more authentic braai dish than this,” says butcher Andy Fenner, who feeds guests these cheesy sandwiches when they crack their first beers. Braaibroodjie translates to “barbecue bread,” and this version stacks slices with cheddar, tomato, onions, and chutney before grilling. The chutney is key: Mrs. Ball’s, an iconic brand in South Africa, is made from dried fruits and vinegar, but any sweet and sour chutney will do. Get the recipe for South African Grilled Cheese (Braaibroodjie) »
This Cape Town specialty generally consists of spiced meat mixed with chutney and tamarind paste and milk-soaked bread, poured into a dish, topped with a custard of egg and milk, and baked until it’s golden on top. Get the recipe for Bobotie (South African Meat Pie) »
Samp and beans, a slow-braised dish of dried and often coarsely ground hominy with white beans, is a local staple in the rural communities of South Africa and a popular alternative to rice or potatoes at a braai. Andy Fenner, of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, renders his own smoked lard—a byproduct of smoking hams and bacon throughout the day—but at home, you can collect and use bacon drippings to the same effect. To amp up the porky flavors even more, crumble some crispy bacon into the final dish. Get the recipe for Samp and Beans with Smoked Pork Lard »