Recipe: Seswaa– A Traditional Beef Dish from Botswana

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Seswaa, also known as chotlho, is Botswana’s national dish, consisting of beef on the bone cooked in a slow cooker with bay leaves, salt, onion, and black pepper. Once the meat has cooked, it’s pounded with large wooden pestles and then served over pap.

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Usually, you have to cook the beef in a traditional three-legged pot over an open fire. You can use lamb, mutton, or beef, although beef is the most popular option in Botswana.

Seswaa is uniquely served on special occasions, at weddings, and during Botswana’s independence day celebration. 

How to Prepare Seswaa

Beef for making seswaa.
Beef for Seswaa. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • ½ tbsp of black pepper
  • 2 Kilos of beef, bone-in
  • 2 cups of beef broth or water

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Instructions

  1. Season the beef with salt and black pepper and leave it for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker, add the bay leaves, and cook the beef until tender. This will take about 1-2 hours. 
  3. You’ll know the beef is ready if it falls off the bone after the cooking time. Other than that, leave it to slow cook for 30 more minutes.
  4. When the beef is tender, transfer it to a clean bowl and let it cool.
  5. Transfer to a mortar and pound with a pestle to shred it. Alternatively, you can use a fork to pull the meat apart to shred it.
  6. Transfer to a clean plate, and prepare pap to eat it with.

How to Make Pap

Locals in Botswana eat Seswaa with a corn meal called pap. It’s a simple yet delicate meal that you’ll love. In Dutch, the word “pap” simply means porridge. You can make pap soft or stiff depending on the consistency you prefer.

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Below is the recipe for pap.

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Two onions minced
  • 2  cups of water
  • 1 cup of white cornmeal

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a saucepan, add the salt, and bring it to boil
  2. Add a handful of cornmeal to the water and stir. 
  3. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow to boil.
  4. Remove the lid and give it a stir with a wooden spoon
  5. Add the remaining cornmeal slowly and stir continuously until it stiffens.
  6. Stir the cornmeal, mashing the mixture on the side of the saucepan.
  7. Continue to stir-mash until there are no visible lumps.
  8. Add a little hot water if it’s too hard for you.
  9. Cover and leave it to steam for 10 minutes
  10. Remove the lip and stir-mash again
  11. Add the butter and stir evenly
  12. Turn off the heat and let the pap cool
  13. Serve with seswaa

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Seswaa served with pap
Seswaa served with pap: Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Video Credit: Mama Boi’s Kitchen

Mama Boi’s Kitchen YouTube channel shares the recipes she’s learned over the years.

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Seswaa served with pap

Seswaa (Botswana Beef Dish)

Botswana
Recipe: Seswaa– A Traditional Beef Dish from BotswanaSedi Djentuh
Seswaa, also known as chotlho, is Botswana’s national dish, consisting of beef on the bone cooked in a slow cooker with bay leaves, salt, onion, and black pepper. Once the meat has cooked, it’s pounded with large wooden pestles and then served over pap.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Servings 4
Calories 310 kcal

Equipment

Cooking Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • ½ tbsp of black pepper
  • 2 Kilos of beef bone-in
  • 2 cups of beef broth or water

Instructions
 

  • Season the beef with salt and black pepper and leave it for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker, add the bay leaves, and cook the beef until tender. This will take about 1-2 hours.
  • You’ll know the beef is ready if it falls off the bone after the cooking time. Other than that, leave it to slow cook for 30 more minutes.
  • When the beef is tender, transfer it to a clean bowl and let it cool.
  • Transfer to a mortar and pound with a pestle to shred it. Alternatively, you can use a fork to pull the meat apart to shred it.
  • Transfer to a clean plate, and prepare pap to eat it with.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 17.6gProtein: 34.6gFat: 10.9gSodium: 130mg
Keyword Beef Stew, Pap, Seswaa

 

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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