tastily touring: visiting botswana with a seswaa recipe (porridge with beef stew)

Our next stop on our world tour is Botswana, a land-locked country situated on the southern tip of the African continent.

Our next stop on our world tour is Botswana, a land-locked country situated on the southern tip of the African continent. It is surrounded by Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. Botswana is mostly subtropical and is primarily desert and savanna. With a subtropical climate and terrain that is mostly desert or savanna; Botswana boasts some of the continents best wildlife areas with almost 40% of the country appropriated for national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas.

Most people have heard of “Bushmen”. They have lived in Botswana for thousands of years. Bantu peoples lived in the area about two thousand years ago and then the Tswana arrived around three hundred years ago. In 1885 the area became a British protectorate called Bechuanaland. It was in 1966 when the country gained independence that “Botswana” was adopted as its name.

Botswana has a thriving economy, one of the best on the entire African continent. Diamond mining is a primary source of income and tourism has become increasingly important as people from around the world travel to Botswana to view the amazing wildlife.

There are over 2 million people living in Botswana. Over 70% of the people are ethnically Tswana. English is the official language and Christianity is the dominant religion. The emphasis on a nonethnic government and policies has served Botswana well. And, while there may have been some discrimination against minority tribes, it seems that Botswana has avoided the pitfalls of tribal feuding in order to create a more democratic and peaceful society.

The staple food of Botswana is porridge made of either sorghum or corn meal. It is eaten in the morning as a thin, soupier version of the heavy, thick version called bogobe that is eaten at the midday meal and usually served with meat. Seswaa is a simply prepared dish of simmered beef that is pounded with salt and served over bogobe. Seswaa is a traditional meal.

Water melons, marula and lerotse (another melon) are grown in Botswana. Factories produce soft drinks (Fanta and Coca Cola). And, in some areas of the country people enjoy morama (root vegetable) and mopane worm…a grub that looks like a furry caterpillar which is dried, fried or boiled.

Since our local grocer had just run out of mopane (darn) we settled on making one of the more popular and appetizing dishes served in Botswana: Seswaa served over bogobe.

Note: The photos were taken of this meal in an appetizer form. It was just more fun to photograph in that manner then to heap a plate with bogobe and beef. I made the bogobe a bit thicker to form the scoop shape.

Seswaa

Ingredients

3 lbs. bone-in beef chuck
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped

Instructions

1. Place the beef, the onion and seasoning in a saucepan. Cover with water and cook about 2½ hours until soft.

2. Drain liquid* and pound the meat until flaky. Remove the bones. Serve with corn meal or sorghum porridge.

Note: I saved some of the liquid and made gravy. This is an easily prepared meal when using a crock pot.


Photography Data:
Featured Photographer
Camille A.
Sony DSC-H50
F 3.2
RGB Color Space
Exposure Time 1/100

  • rss
  • flickr
  • twitter
  • facebook

46 comments

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:24 am //

    Such interesting dish and sound simple too ,i don’t know much about african cuisine,I only tried one,etiopian !!

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:24 am //

    Such interesting dish and sound simple too ,i don’t know much about african cuisine,I only tried one,etiopian !!

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:36 am //

    I am originally from South Africa. Your post is very interesting. In South Africa, the Afrikaans people called that porridge – mielie pap (pronounced: meely pup). Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:27 am //

      You are from South Africa? We’d love to hear about what it was like growing up there? Are you fond of the porridge?

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:36 am //

    I am originally from South Africa. Your post is very interesting. In South Africa, the Afrikaans people called that porridge – mielie pap (pronounced: meely pup). Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:27 am //

      You are from South Africa? We’d love to hear about what it was like growing up there? Are you fond of the porridge?

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm //

    Simple and delicious. It is so easy to put together and yields such great results. Love it.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:32 am //

      Thank you so much Baker Street, I love meals that use very little ingredients and something you can whip up in a jiffy!

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm //

    Simple and delicious. It is so easy to put together and yields such great results. Love it.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:32 am //

      Thank you so much Baker Street, I love meals that use very little ingredients and something you can whip up in a jiffy!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:31 am //

      Thank you Stephanie, it has a porridge base, which I love (polenta, cream of wheat..love, love cream of wheat)!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:31 am //

      Thank you Stephanie, it has a porridge base, which I love (polenta, cream of wheat..love, love cream of wheat)!

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm //

    This looks amazing and I love the color combinations too. Too bad about the mopane eh, LOL.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:31 am //

      Thank you Suzi, yes, but I think it’s a bit hard to find too? Can you find it at your local grocer?

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm //

    This looks amazing and I love the color combinations too. Too bad about the mopane eh, LOL.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:31 am //

      Thank you Suzi, yes, but I think it’s a bit hard to find too? Can you find it at your local grocer?

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm //

    What an easy meal and so delicious! Just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of ingredients for something to be good. I’m with you on the gravy – gotta have it! Looks delicious!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:30 am //

      Thank you = ) I’m really fond of porridge type meals, polenta, cream of wheat = )

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm //

    What an easy meal and so delicious! Just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of ingredients for something to be good. I’m with you on the gravy – gotta have it! Looks delicious!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:30 am //

      Thank you = ) I’m really fond of porridge type meals, polenta, cream of wheat = )

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm //

    It’s been cold and rainy here and this would be perfect! What a gorgeous plate of food and so easy, too!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:29 am //

      It is rainy here as well, but warm and muggy the day before, almost hot even, the weather is really strange, I feel like the earth is going through some sort of “change”

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm //

    It’s been cold and rainy here and this would be perfect! What a gorgeous plate of food and so easy, too!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:29 am //

      It is rainy here as well, but warm and muggy the day before, almost hot even, the weather is really strange, I feel like the earth is going through some sort of “change”

  • April 26, 2012 at 2:48 am //

    What a delicious dish!! Thanks for sharing.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you = )

  • April 26, 2012 at 2:48 am //

    What a delicious dish!! Thanks for sharing.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you = )

  • April 26, 2012 at 3:31 am //

    This looks delicious–I think I would love it over polenta.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you Cucina = )

  • April 26, 2012 at 3:31 am //

    This looks delicious–I think I would love it over polenta.

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you Cucina = )

  • April 26, 2012 at 3:56 am //

    Oh this porridge is intriguing!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you.

  • April 26, 2012 at 3:56 am //

    Oh this porridge is intriguing!

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am //

      Thank you.

  • April 26, 2012 at 11:35 am //

    Incredible interesting history and amazing looking dish!

  • April 26, 2012 at 11:35 am //

    Incredible interesting history and amazing looking dish!

  • April 27, 2012 at 9:58 am //

    Interesting recipe!
    I’ve never had African cuisine yet. There”s one African restaurant somewhere around downtown Los Angeles, never get a chance to try~

  • April 27, 2012 at 9:58 am //

    Interesting recipe!
    I’ve never had African cuisine yet. There”s one African restaurant somewhere around downtown Los Angeles, never get a chance to try~

  • April 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm //

    I’ve had the corn meal in other Africa countries, and with a meat stew it is awesome.

    • April 30, 2012 at 7:45 am //

      Wonderful Mzungu, thank you so much for commenting = )

  • April 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm //

    I’ve had the corn meal in other Africa countries, and with a meat stew it is awesome.

    • April 30, 2012 at 7:45 am //

      Wonderful Mzungu, thank you so much for commenting = )