Seswaa recipe from Botswana

African Food is much more than just food, it is a way of life, a celebration and provides an understanding of the people. We dedicated an issue to food in ReAfrica magazine.

A popular dish from Botswana is Seswaa.

Seswaa also known as chotlho is a traditional meat dish made of  boiled then pounded beef, lamb or chicken. It is a popular offering at big events including ceremonies, weddings and celebrations. This big event dish would normally be prepared in traditional three legged pots over an open wood fire. In fact, this is a dish that is prepared mainly by men who can put a bit of muscle into pounding and shredding the beef once cooked. The butcher would recommend ox cheek, but any type of slow cooking or casserole meat will do.

Ingredients:  Serves four

  • 800g slow cooking beef
  • 1 whole onion (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Water (enough to just cover the meat)


1. Pre heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cut meat into large chunks then brown in a dish suitable for slow cooking in the oven, I used a cast iron casserole dish.

2. Add whole peeled onion, salt, cracked black pepper, water and leaves. Bring to the boil then cover and place into the oven for 4 hours.

3. After 4 hours, remove from oven and place onto stove burner in order to cook off remaining liquid. Use a wooden spoon to pound or mash up the meat, the meat should fall apart quite easily. and will appear shredded. You may brown the meat further if desired.

4. Check seasoning then serve with polenta or the more traditional pap (sadza/thick corn meal porridge) and a side of green vegetables.

(Recipe, Courtesy The Guardian)

What is new in ReAfrica magazine?

Discover more African Food in the food issue of ReAfrica magazine, where we discover different parts of Africa through its food and the people.

Botswana in the news

This recipe from Botswana makes us look forward to discovering a bit more about this country and its history from the new movie A United Kingdom staring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. The movie is the story of Seretse Khama , who in 1965 became independent Botswana’s first president.