Taking a Deep Dive into Mzansi's Favourite Saucy Affair: Tomato Bredie
Eish, where to begin with our beloved Tomato Bredie? Or, as the oumas and oupas might say, 'tamatiebredie'? Ja, this isn't just any stew, my friend—it's like the Springboks of the culinary world: world-famous, full of character, and can tackle your hunger like no other! Originating from the kitchens of the Malays (who, mind you, came to the Cape way before it was the hip place to be), this dish has been serving up lekker vibes for ages.
Now, 'Bredie' might sound like that uncle who tells the same jokes at every braai, but it's got some foreign flair! It’s originally a Malaysian term referring to oriental spinach. But Mzansi being Mzansi, we thought, "Why not throw in tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans, and even waterblommetjies?" And just like that, the bredie family grew bigger and more colourful.
From the warm hum of cinnamon and ginger to the cheeky kick of chilli, this stew knows how to jol. And whether it's cuddling a mound of rice or being the star at Sunday kos, Tomato Bredie is not just a dish—it's a vibe, a story, a lekker South African legend! So, pull in, grab a spoon, and let's dive deep into the saucy tales and tastes of our iconic Tomato Bredie.
Recipe By Charlé Visser
Getting Everything Ready:
- Prep: 30 minutes
- Cooking: 2 hours
Full Potjie Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Feeds: A hungry crowd of 8
Perfect for: Family get-togethers, Sunday kos, Main meal
Flavours: Authentically Cape Malay, Purely South African
Tips for the Tech-Savvy:
Keep your screen from dozing off while you're in the middle of the magic.
Ingredients – Everything You Need:
- 1.5 kg Lamb or Mutton – nice hearty chunks
- 200 g onions – chopped fine like the sands of Camps Bay
- 20 g garlic – minced up good
- 180 g tomato paste – for that rich tomatoey goodness
- 1 kg tomatoes, chopped – fresh from the garden or tinned
- 750 g potatoes – roughly 6 big ones, peeled and chopped into quarters
- 2 litres water or stock – keep some extra on standby
- 1 fresh chilli pepper – for that little "kick"
- A lekker mix of spices: coriander seeds, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, chilli flakes, bay leaves
- Coriander Seeds - 2 grams, or about a teaspoon - just enough to add a lekker kick.
- 4 in total. Remember, like that one chommie at the braai, a little goes a long way.
- Allspice Berries - A teaspoon, or roughly 2 grams. It's like the secret handshake of spices.
- Cinnamon Stick - About half of one – or a piece you've 'borrowed' from Ouma's spice rack.
- Black Peppercorns - A hearty tablespoon, or around 4 grams. Because life's too short for bland food.
- Chilli Flakes - Another teaspoon, or 2 grams, for those who like their bredie with a little extra va-va-voom.
- Bay Leaves - Four of them, handpicked with love (or from the store, we won't judge).
- 40 g sugar – just a touch of sweetness
- 18 g salt – for that perfect balance
Let’s Get Cooking – The Steps:
1. Get those spices toasting in a pan until they release their aroma. Once cooled, pop them in a muslin cloth or spice bag.
2. Give that meat a good browning in some oil. Remember, we want a nice sear, not a burn. Take the meat out and set it aside, discarding excess fat. Dont let it sit in its own juices.
3. Throw in your onions, fresh chilli and bay leaves. Cook until those onions are soft and glossy. A splash of water will help lift all those tasty bits from the pan.
4. Mix in your salt and tomato paste, cooking until that fresh tomato aroma fills the air. Make sure you cook you tomato paste well unitl th eraw flavor disappears.
5. In go your chopped tomatoes, sugar, and water or stock. If you've got bones, now's the time to add them.
6. Add your spice bundle – don't just chuck them in willy-nilly, we don’t want to chomp on whole spices.
7. Let it all simmer nicely. Seal it with a lid, drop the heat to low, or slide it into the oven at 150°C. Give it a peek now and then to ensure it's not burning and to check if it needs more liquid.
8. After the meat's soft and juicy, pop in your potatoes. Add more water if you need to and let it all stew together.
9. Check on those potatoes by poking them with a knife. Once they're soft and ready, you're almost there.
Give it one last taste, tweak the seasoning, and serve it up lekker hot. Or let it cool and save it for later – if you can resist!