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If you like food that’s big on taste, you’re in for a treat with our top pick of South African food favourites. Now, we’re not saying that we’re experts in the food industry and we’re nowhere close to chefs, but we sure did enjoy whipping up a few South African snacks to get to the bottom of which are the best. And here you have it! The FinGlobal pick of the yummiest, scrummiest, lekkerste treats, hailing straight from good old SA:

  • Chip and Dip – Biltong Style (for the boere at heart)
  • Bobotie Roll (because that’s how we roll!)
  • Grilled Banana Smors (for those bananas about braais and sweet goodies)

And, of course, we’re not going to tease you with a simple list that leaves you salivating. We’re going to tell you how we made them too. So, get your apron on, don your homemade chef’s hat, and whip up a Saffa snack storm!

True South African snacks style

First place winner – biltong chip and dip

Full disclosure, we had to make this one more than a few times – just to see if it was really the best, that is (wink). And it was – it is! Once you’ve made this dip, be prepared to consume more chips than you ever have. As a side note, for those on a health kick, it tastes just as yummy when you dip celery, cucumber or other rabbit-style food into it – we promise!

What you need:

  • 1 tub of cottage cheese (choose between smooth and chunky based on your preferences)
  • 1 tablespoon of Hot English Mustard
  • Biltong dust or very finely cut biltong pieces (you can get this at your favourite biltong stand)
  • 3 tablespoons of your favourite mayo
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 serving bowl
  • 3 bags of your favourite chips

What to do:

  • Throw everything into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure everything is well combined, and then spoon the mixture into your serving bowl.
  • Serve with chips for dipping and greens for those watching their weight.

Second place winner – The most Rock ‘n Roll bobotie ever!

This one takes a little more time to make, but it’s a sure crowd-pleaser. So if you have about an hour to spare, it’s well worth your time!

What you need for the filling:

  • ¼ Nestle full cream instant milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or grated – your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 200g of beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon of apricot jam
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 4 to 5 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste

What you need for the rolls:

  • 1 and ½ cups of self-raising flour
  • ¾ cup of plain yoghurt (low fat)

What to do for the filling:

  • In a bowl, combine the milk powder with 1 cup of warm water – stir well to dissolve.
  • Place bread into the bowl and let it soak up the mixture – this will take a few minutes.
  • Using a non-stick pan over medium heat, cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes in oil until soft.
  • Add the mince to the pan along with the garlic and brown.
  • Add the curry powder and turmeric and cook for around 2 more minutes.
  • Now, gently squeeze the liquid out of the bread and crumble it into the mince mixture. Keep the excess milk mixture on one side.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and then add the jam, salt and pepper to it. Stir until well combined.

What to do for the rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and then grease a medium baking dish.
  • Mix the self-raising flour and yoghurt into a bowl and mix well to create a dough.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and then knead it until smooth (lightly flour a surface for this).
  • Divide the dough into 10 even-sized balls and then pack them into the baking dish.
  • Use a teaspoon back to press a hollow into each ball (this will create a bowl).
  • Bake for 10 minutes until the rolls become slightly firm to the touch and are lightly golden.

Putting it all together

  • Use the back of a spoon to push into the “bowl” section of the rolls to reduce any puffing.
  • Spoon the bobotie into the partially baked rolls.
  • Grab the leftover milk powder mixture and add the eggs to it. Beat well to combine, and then pour the mixture over the bobotie filling in each roll.
  • Sprinkle the bay leaves on top, and then place the baking tray back into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You will know when it is ready as the custard will be set.

Third place winner – The typical crowd-pleaser – grilled banana smores

Have you ever gone to a braai with authentic South African food and South African snacks and not been given a grilled banana smore? These are gourmet braai snacks for those who have a sweet tooth!

What you need:

  • 1 cup of Tennis biscuit crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 2 medium bananas (these should be firm but ripe)
  • 4 cups of mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips or your favourite chocolate cut up

What to do:

Remember, you’re cooking this on the braai, and these will be cooked over indirect medium heat (about 180 to 200 degrees Celsius – never higher).

  • Prepare the grill (we won’t tell a braai master how to prepare his/her own grill)
  • Combine the Tennis biscuits, 4 tablespoons of melted butter (save one tablespoon for later) and egg yolk in a mixing bowl.
  • Firmly press the biscuit mixture into a baking tray/pan (23cm x 23cm is a good size). Pop the pan onto the braai to firm the crust up – this should take about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the grill and set it aside so that it can cool (usually around 10 minutes).
  • In a small bowl, add 1 spoon of melted butter and the brown sugar. Mix well.
  • Cut the bananas open lengthwise without removing the skin. Essentially, you are simply slicing the skin to turn the banana into a pocket with the skin intact.
  • Brush the butter mixture generously on the outside of the banana skin.
  • Turn the bananas cut-side down onto the braai and cook them over direct heat for 2 to 4 minutes until they soften slightly.
  • Leave the bananas upside down, but let them cool. Sore them into slices, cutting just slightly into the peel.
  • Place half the marshmallows into the baking pan and make sure that they cover the crust evenly.
  • Using a teaspoon, scoop out the slices of grilled banana and the remaining marshmallows.
  • Put the baking tray over indirect medium heat, close the lid and cook until the marshmallows puff up and turn slightly brown (not usually longer than 7 minutes).
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and then continue the cooking process until they melt (2 minutes roughly).
  • Remove the baking tray from the braai and let cool for around 5 minutes. Then, spoon the bananas into serving bowls and serve!

Fresh cream or ideal milk is an exemplary accompaniment for this treat! Rumour has it that caramel drizzled over the top makes for an extra yummy treat too!

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Who says South African favourites are only food-related? Our services at FinGlobal are some of South Africa’s favourites too! Our various services are tailored to suit the unique needs of expats and soon-to-be expats. Here we can assist you with tax, pensions, retirement annuities, forex and much more. Contact the friendly FinGlobal team today to discuss your emigration requirements or even if you want to let us know that you tried one of our recipes and absolutely loved it! We’re happy for a chat either way. To discuss your unique needs with our team, simply get in touch with us. Give us a call at +27 28 312 2764 or send us an email at info@finglobal.com, and we will assist you promptly.