Tomato Bredie is not just a delicious meal…it’s a dish that requires ceremony. It demands time, usually spent with loved ones, while it bubbles and boils its way to absolute perfection. Most South Africans are very fond of Tomato Bredie, but for those who don’t quite know what it is; Tomato Bredie is a South African stew. It’s commonly called “Tamatiebredie” on home soil and is made of a concoction of tomato, mutton, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, and chilli, stewed together over a few hours. Sometimes pumpkin, waterblommetjies, and green beans are also included.
Tamatiebredie: The History
Where does Tomato Bredie come from? Is it a truly South African meal or does it hail from abroad? The truth can be found in the stew’s history…While this particular South African stew recipe is considered “local”, it actually comes from Dutch origins. It is said that it was introduced to the Cape by the Malaysians brought into the country as slaves in in the 1700s…and it stuck! Now Tomato Bredie isn’t a stew that is enjoyed by only the Cape Malays, but something that is widely enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Every South African loves Tamatiebredie and your new colleagues and friends will too!
South African Tomato Bredie
If you’re spending the majority of your time on foreign soil (or new home soil abroad), you might want to still delve into the flavours and aromas of home. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a familiar meal when everything around you is strange, foreign, and unusual (regardless of how settled or exciting your new life may be), is there? Making your own Tomato Bredie could be a good way to do that. If you want to whip up your own Tamatiebredie, you need to be armed with a fail-proof recipe. You’ve already guessed it; we’re about to share one of our best South African Tomato Bredie recipes with you (drum roll please!). This recipe serves 5 – 6 people.
What You Need
While these are the common ingredients to use, some do include a few extra veggies to the pot for added flavour and bulk. Here’s what you will need:
- 1kg of mutton (cut into bite size portions)
- 2 onions chopped
- 3 potatoes diced
- 2 teaspoons of garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 cans of peeled and chopped tomatoes (you can also use 1kg of peeled and chopped ripe fresh tomatoes)
- 70g packet or tin of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour
What to Do
Making Tomato Bredie is fairly simple to do, however, it will take some time to make. In fact, it can take several hours. Most families gather round, enjoy each others company and relax while the bredie cooks to utter perfection. It’s the perfect reason to invite a few people over and get to know them a little better. What could be more alluring than “Tamatiebredie night”?! Here’s what you have to do:
- Melt the butter in the oil in a large pot and fry the onions until they start to turn golden brown. 5 to 10 minutes should be just fine.
- Add the meat, salt, and garlic paste to the onions and braise over medium heat for around half an hour.
- Stir occasionally to ensure that the meat doesn’t stick. Add a small amount of water as needed as you go.
- Turn down the head and add the tinned tomato, tomato paste, chilli powder, and sugar and simmer slowly for a further half hour.
- Add the diced potato to the pot, stir in and then allow to simmer slowly for a further 30 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour with a small amount of water and add it to the pot to thicken the gravy.
- Once the gravy is thick and the potatoes are cooked through, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to stand.
If you can get your hands on some waterblommetjies and green beans, add them to the pot at the same time as you add the potatoes and let their flavours simmer in together. You won’t regret these 2 simple additions! Some who are a little more adventurous in the kitchen have even used chicken or beef in their Tamatiebredie with great success.
It is said that Tomato Bredie is better the next day as it is allowed to settle and mature. Leave the bredie in the fridge over night and then reheat it the next day to serve. Tamatiebredie is best served with brown rice or fluffy white rice. If rice isn’t really your thing, fresh crispy rolls slathered in butter are just as good, especially when dipped into the thick saucy gravy. Yum!
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