Traditional South African Recipes for a Festive Student Feast

December 18, 2023

The holiday season is FINALLY upon us, and we know that there's something magical about the idea of a home-cooked meal that evokes memories and a sense of comfort.

Why not shock the family this December by preparing some festive and cherished meals?

Let’s dive into some classic South African recipes that will add a touch of home to your holiday celebrations.

Firstly, let’s create some appetisers – also known as starters. What better way to start the show than with biltong and crackers?

Biltong and Cheese Platter: A South African Snack Sensation


  • Biltong, sliced
  • Various South African cheeses (Gouda, Boerenkaas, etc.)
  • Fresh figs or preserves
  • Melba toast or those Bakers crackers


  • Arrange sliced biltong and an assortment of cheeses on a platter.
  • Add fresh figs or preserves for a sweet contrast.
  • Serve with melba toast or crackers.

Now onto our entree (also referred to as the ‘main dish’)

Honestly, we have quite a lot of recipes to show here and don’t want to limit your flow, so we figured we just name drop and you’ll just dala what you can – let the internet be your friend!

Some baked chicken with the classic sides of beetroot, green salad, coleslaw and you can choose a variety of starches (wena pap, wena dumpling, wena rice, wena potato bake or the healthier side of things, some polenta or chickpeas), Potjiekos with a side of your fave starches, Creamy samp with some braai vleis, Gammon with your most fave sides, In all you do, don’t forget the chakalaka!

South African Christmas isn’t Christmas without malva pudding; because this is our native dessert, this is our fighter!

Malva Pudding: A Sweet South African Treat


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup milk
  • For the sauce: 1 cup cream, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter


  • Beat sugar, egg, and apricot jam.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, add vinegar, and mix with dry ingredients.
  • Add the egg mixture and milk, combining well.
  • Pour into a greased dish and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.
  • For the sauce, heat cream, sugar, and butter until melted.
  • Pour the sauce over the pudding while it’s still hot.

Don’t let this heatwave catch you Ricky, how about you quench your thirst with some Rooibos? Yes, you heard that right!

Rooibos Punch: A Refreshing Twist on Tradition


  • 4 Rooibos tea bags
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup honey (or sugar, because have you seen the price of honey these days? YOH!)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves


  • Steep Rooibos tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags and stir in honey/sugar until dissolved.
  • Allow the tea to cool.
  • Combine the cooled tea with orange juice and pineapple juice.
  • Add lemon slices and fresh mint leaves.
  • Chill in the fridge and serve over ice.

These recipes are more than just a combination of ingredients; they’re a connection to South African culture, family traditions, and the warmth of home. So, gather your family, put on some lekker tunes, and create a feast that not only tantalises the taste buds but also brings to your festive celebrations.

Wishing you a delicious and nostalgic holiday season!

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