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South African: Potjie Kos

South African: Potjie Kos

Potjiekos is a traditional South African dish that ignites the spirit of adventure and the celebration of the joy of communal cooking. The word "potjie" means "small pot" in Afrikaans, and "kos" means "food," showing the origins of this culinary delight. The dish had been in existence for many centuries before the arrival of the Europeans.

Southern Africans used similar methods of cooking stews in clay pot over open fires using readily available ingredients from the land such as wild game, herbs and vegetables, before the Europeans introduced the cast-iron cooking pot. Potjiekos is now one of the beloved culinary traditions in South Africa that have been passed down through different generations with a tough of the unique recipe.

Preparation Time

2 hours and 10 minutes.


  • Beef, lamb or chicken (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Vegetable oil 
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Garlic cloves (minced)
  • Carrots (chopped)
  • Corn kernels
  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef or chicken broth
  • Curry powder
  • Paprika 
  • Ground cumin
  • Thyme, rosemary or bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red wine
  • Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Green beans


  • Place the meat in the vegetable oil over medium heat until the meat turns brown and remove the meat.
  • Pour the chopped onions and garlic into the pot and Sauté for some time.
  • Add the ground cumin, curry powder, and tomato paste and stir until the onions and garlic are coated well with the spices.
  • Add the meat into the pot with the chopped tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans and corn.
  • Pour the beef or chicken broth and the red wine, and add water. Add salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and allow it to simmer over low heat for about 2 hours.
  • Serve hot.