Botswana is a country in the southern part of Africa, famed for its natural reserves of the big 5, boutique tourism, diamonds and dry landscapes. This country knows a thing or two on how to make a great African recipe.

Food is important in every culture and there is no doubt that Seswaa is on the VIP list as it is mainly cooked during special events, it also happens to be the National dish of Botswana. This meal is quite simple to make but requires a lot of time as the beef or meat choice is slow cooked in a cast iron three legged pot over an open fire with only water and salt. If you love meat infused with the taste of charcoal, you would love this.

However since I cannot use an open fire, the aim is to improvise with an oven based recipe and infuse the beef with chopped onion and bay leaves.

So if you like to try new things like I do, whip up your cooking tools and let’s get to work!

Cooking Time: 255 minutes

 Serves: 4-6

 Ingredients: 800g slow cooking beef

 1 whole onion (optional)

 3 bay leaves

 Salt to taste

 Black pepper (optional)

 Water (enough to just cover the meat & prepare the Sadza)

 Corn Flour

Cooking Method: Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Cut meat into large chunks then brown in a dish suitable for slow cooking in the oven, for example a cast iron casserole dish.


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.

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.


Check seasoning then serve.


Cooking Methods: Sadza

In a large pot, bring four cups of water to a boil. Remove about a quarter of the corn flour and set it aside. Place the remaining corn flour in a large bowl.


Mix the cornflour with four cups of cold water. Stir until the flour-water mixture is a thick paste.


Slowly add the flour-water paste to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Bring to a second boil, stirring constantly while the mixture thickens. Do not allow lumps to form and do not allow it to stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook and stir for a few minutes.

Slowly add the remaining flour. The mixture should be very thick and smooth, like extra-thick mashed potatoes. At this point the sadza should begin to pull away from the sides of the pot and form a large ball. Cook for a few minutes more.


Transfer the sadza to a large bowl. With wet hands, form the sadaz into one large ball (to serve family-style) or serving sized-portions.


Serve immediately with the Seswaa.

Recipe by Freedes

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Miriam Chiazor

Miriam Chiazor

Content Editor
Miriam is the cornerstone of content planning, fiercely dedicated to resolving the critical issues of the day. She loves a good challenge, thrives on deadlines, pressure and learning new things.
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor

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