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Namibian Street Food: Kapana

Namibian Street Food: Kapana

In Namibia, notably in the nation's capital city of Windhoek, kapana is a well-liked street food dish. It's a tasty and hot grilled meat dish that both locals and tourists love.

The origins of Kapana can be found in Namibia's rich culinary history, which has been influenced by a variety of societies, including native African, European, and Asian cuisines. The phrase "kapana," which means to fry or grill in Oshiwambo, is taken from the name of the dish and describes how it is made.

The colonial history of Namibia is entwined with the history of Kapana, where European immigrants introduced the art of grilling meat to the area. As indigenous ingredients and spices merged with this culinary tradition over time, the outcome was the distinctive and savoury Kapana that we know today.

Kapana has become a common and inexpensive snack for residents and a must-try for tourists visiting Namibia's culinary scene thanks in large part to street vendors and marketplaces. It's a dish that captures the essence of social street cuisine, where people congregate to enjoy the tantalising fragrances and strong flavours.

Preparation Time

1 hour and 10 minutes


For the Meat:

500 grams of beef (thinly sliced)

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 small onion (chopped)

Salt and pepper 

1-2 teaspoons chili powder or peri-peri sauce 

1 teaspoon paprika

Lemon juice

For Serving:

Fresh bread rolls 

Sliced onions

Sliced cucumbers

Sliced pickles

Sliced tomatoes

Mustard and ketchup 


  • Combine the beef with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, chili powder or peri-peri sauce, paprika, and lemon or lime juice in a bowl, and mix them well. 
  • Allow it to marinate for about 30 minutes or more.
  • Preheat a grill or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cooking oil and let it heat up.
  • Add the marinated meat in a single layer. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • Grill the meat for a few minutes on each side until it's nicely browned.
  • While the meat is grilling, prepare your serving rolls.
  • Slice the rolls open and add slices of tomato, onion, cucumber, and pickles.
  • Place the grilled meat on top of the vegetable layers.
  • You can add some mustard and ketchup over the grilled meat.
  • Serve!