In 2007, we had the chance to go back to South Africa. We stayed there for about six months. We really had the best of time. We love the people we met and became friends with. We love the stunning scenery especially the game parks. And of course, the food, the glorious food we enjoyed tremendously.
One of the ladies in the church that we attended in Pretoria prepared this yummy South African Meatball dish for us. I can’t remember exactly the name of this dish though I know that they call their meatballs Frikkadels. Once I tasted it, I had to have the recipe. She doesn’t make any measurements in her cooking (she just knows how much to put here and there and she is that good!) so she just gave me her ingredients and tried to describe more or less how much she used. I did some experimentation and thought that this is as close a version I can come up with. Just learning her technique and using all the spices she used, I just knew that it would be the tastiest meatballs ever! To give it a little Asian flavor, I added some coconut milk to the mix and the taste was unbelievable. We have many favorite dishes but this tops them all. We often have this to remind us of the lovely stay we had in South Africa. One day, we’ll be back!
While we are remembering South Africa, here’s one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen – two big rhinos sparring at Pilanesberg National Park. Somebody told me that they do this for hours on end, just moving back and forth, eyeing each other, perhaps just trying to intimidate the other animal to leave. I didn’t know who won or what happened afterwards. I couldn’t wait that long but it was really something to behold.
Below is a photo taken during a Night Drive at the Kruger National Park. Yes, we were that near! The Lions go out hunting at night so they were all over the place. We stayed at the campsite where there were always some lion sighting.
For the Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 plum tomatoes, diced or 2 (14 oz) canned diced tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves
1 can coconut milk (optional)
2-3 tsp curry powder (mild)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
Heat oil in a deep/large oven proof pan (like a
Dutch oven). Sauté
the garlic and onions until tender about 5 mins.
Bring to a boil then simmer covered until the
meatballs are ready. Adjust to taste.
For the Meatballs
1 kilo or 2.2 lbs ground beef
1 cup oatmeal
Spices: 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp fruit chutney (pref. Mrs. Ball’s South African chutney)*
1/8 cup rice vinegar
*May be replaced with apricot jam or your favorite fruit chutney. I buy my Mrs. Ball’s Chutney from the World Market, in case you want to know where it can be purchased.
the meatballs while the sauce is simmering.
Mix all the ingredients and form into giant
meatballs (about 2-2 ½ inches in
Place the meatballs in the sauce. Cover the pan and bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with rice or noodles. Oh, yummingtons! As always, even better the next day!
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