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© Syd Wachs / Unsplash
© Syd Wachs / Unsplash

These are Products You'll Find in a South African Kitchen

Picture of Shubnum Khan
Updated: 2 March 2017

South Africa is a melting pot of cultures and its food can vary quite a bit from sweet milk tarts to savoury bunny chows. But no matter if you’re Zulu, Indian or of Dutch descent, you’ll find these firm South African favourites in any South African kitchen.

Nando’s peri peri sauce

This peri peri sauce made by South Africa’s famous local takeaway franchise, Nandos, packs a little punch. Made with lemons, garlic and African Birds Eye Chillies, it’s a firm favourite at braais (the local equivalent of barbecues) and any event that involves food. It comes in mild, medium and hot and every South African carries a bottle with them when travelling overseas (although a number of supermarkets around the world are now stocking it).

Bottles of Nandos peri peri sauce| © Praveen / Flickr

Bottles of Nandos peri peri sauce| © Praveen / Flickr


South Africans like taste in their food so it’s no surprise that this little red and yellow bottle can be found in almost every spice cupboard in the country. This flavoured salt is added to almost everything from popcorn, mielies (corn on the cob), over eggs and on any meal.

Condensed milk

Nestle condensed milk is a staple in a South African pantry. This sweet treat is used for desserts like milk tarts and malva puddings.

Condensed milk | © TheUjulala/Pixabay

Condensed milk | © TheUjulala/Pixabay

KOO Baked Beans

Most kids will remember getting KOO Baked Beans for lunch or supper. These basic canned beans became famous in South Africa, especially with parents who didn’t have enough time to cook a proper meal. It’s always in the pantry and kept around for a snack on toast, casseroles, salads or for a light supper.

Mrs Balls Chutney

Mrs Balls Chutney has found a variety of uses in many South African kitchens. This fruity and spicy chutney made from apricots and peaches is used to add chunky flavour to marinades, stews or just as an accompaniment to meals.

Rooibos tea

This tea is made from leaves from a plant growing in South Africa’s fynbos. It makes for a popular, soothing herbal tea with a number of health benefits. Most South Africans drink cups of it daily (usually with a slice of lemon and some honey).


Often referred by its Indian name, dhania, coriander is not only popular with Indians but all South Africans. This fragrant green plant adds its unique taste to potjkies, stews, curries and is used as a popular garnish on just about any meal.

Coriander is a common South African ingredient for stews, curries and garnishes | © missbossy / Flickr

Coriander is a common South African ingredient for stews, curries and garnishes | © missbossy / Flickr

Marie biscuits

A favourite with the Rooibos tea above are Marie biscuits. This basic round biscuit is made of eggs, wheat flour, sugar, palm oil and is typically vanilla-flavoured. It’s best eaten when buttered and sandwiched and dunked in tea until it can barely hold its shape.