Recipe: Lamb, butternut and spinach bredie

By Clarissa Hyman, December 12, 2011

This mild spicy stew, with a touch of sweetness, is a traditional South African dish usually made with mutton. Bredie is the Afrikaans word for "stew", but the dish is in fact of Cape Malay origin. I was intrigued to discover on a recent trip to Cape Town, a newly published book by Xoliswa Ndoyiya, who has cooked for Nelson Mandela for two decades. Among many fascinating stories, she reveals how her first employer in Johannesburg taught her to make traditional Jewish dishes such potato latkes. She then became the cook at a Jewish old-age home until leaving to work for Mandela. Latkes are one of his favourites - and they would go particularly well with this version of the rainbow nation classic.

Serves 4


● 4 onions, chopped
● 1kg casserole lamb (eg neck), chopped into pieces
● 5 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
● 1 heaped tsp ground allspice
● 2 cinnamon sticks
● 3 cardamom pods
● 5 cloves
● 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
● 3 tbsp honey
● Salt
● 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
● 120g baby spinach (washed)


● Slowly soften the onions in a large saucepan or stove-top dish in 4 tablespoons of oil until they start to brown.
● Brown the lamb in the remaining oil in another pan and set aside.
● Add the spices to the onions, stir to blend and add the lamb. Add the stock, honey and a little salt.
● Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for two hours. Add the squash in the last 45 minutes of cooking time. Just before serving, stir in the spinach - it only needs a moment to wilt.

'Ukutya Kwasekhay: Tastes from Nelson Mandela's Kitchen' by Xoliswa Ndoyiya with Anna Trapido (Real African Publishers)

Last updated: 11:53am, December 12 2011