Exploring Botswanan Cuisine: 15 Traditional Dishes To Try

Unique cultural influences and ingredients combine to create the hearty cuisine of Botswana, which is a favorite among travelers. These 15 dishes offer a smorgasbord of delicious flavors, and every meal will remind you why you wanted to come visit Botswana.


Seswaa (Kalanga/Wikimedia Commons)

1. Seswaa

This boiled meat dish is considered a favorite traditional Botswana recipe. The meat can be shredded or pounded, and it’s usually served on a base of corn meal for added flavor.

curry buffet


2. Serobe

Goat or cow intestines make up this popular dish, which normally accompanies porridge. Salt is a must-have seasoning for the recipe, but other spices such as curry powder provide a distinctive flavor.

(DougsTech/Wikimedia Commons)

(DougsTech/Wikimedia Commons)

3. Mofago

Boiled chicken is the main ingredient in this easy-to-prepare dish. Spicy peppers or chillies bring heat to the overall flavor without overpowering the salted meat.

Beef biltong

Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

4. Segwapa

This dried meat, the Botswanan version of South African biltong, has its origins in the colonial days, when drying and curing meat was the only way to preserve it. After drying, the segwapa can be carried for a quick snack, or enjoyed as its own meal.

5. Bogobe

The porridge features ground sorghum (also known as mealie meal) boiled with sour milk or just water. It can be eaten as is, or various other ingredients can be added to create subtle flavors. Bogobe is a starchy staple that is normally served alongside vegetable and/or meat dishes.


(Drywontonmee/Wikipedia Commons)

(Drywontonmee/Wikipedia Commons)

6. Dikgobe

A savory mix of peas and beans make up this seasonal Botswana dish. Maize meal or samp are added to the vegetables to produce a porridge that can be eaten alone or as a side dish.

Wild Amaranth

Wild Amaranth (Xufanc/Wikimedia Commons)

7. Wild Amaranth

This well-liked crop offers a flavor similar to spinach. Its green leaves can be eaten after cooking or quickly dried for later servings. The plant’s great taste makes it the perfect addition to many recipes.


Okra (gerard cohen/Wikimedia Commons)

8. Delele

Okra is a main ingredient in this traditional recipe, also known as derere. A mixture of flour and spices provide a flavorful coating to the vegetable, which stays on during frying.


Dumpling (Kcdtsg/Wikimedia Commons)

9. Matemekwane

This dish involves a seasoned dumpling that can be served with a soup or dip. Instant yeast helps the dumpling form faster than traditional recipes. Serve instantly after preparation for the best flavor.

Deep Frying

Deep Frying (Emna Mizouni/Wikimedia Commons)

10. Mmasekuku

Bread baked over firewood gives this recipe a unique flavor. Its solid texture and well defined shape makes it a great option for dips or as a side to large stews.

11. Phaphatha

Flour and yeast are the main ingredients in this traditional bread recipe. The larger serving size resembles a biscuit which can be used in sandwiches or as a complement to large meals.


magwinya (attiem/wikimedia commons)

12. Magwinya

The thick texture of this dough resembles a pastry or dessert item. Many people eat it for breakfast or as a side to other breakfast foods. Sugar is a major ingredient that gives the food its sweet flavor.

Sour Milk

Sour Milk (Maciarka/Wikimedia Commons)

13. Madila

Madila is a plain treat that can be eaten alone for snack that tastes similar to yogurt. The sour milk is used in some recipes such as breads and puddings.

morogo stir fry

morogo stir fry (Kcdtsg/Wikimedia Commons)

14. Morogo

This vegetable is also known as wil d spinach and features strong green leaves that are full of nutrients. Cook the leaves in a pan with just a few drops of oil or dry the leaves for later use.


Vetkoek (User:victorgrigas/Wikimedia Commons)

15. Vetkoek

This fried dough bread — also borrowed from South Africa — is often is often used as a way to serve mince beef, but it can be its own meal. Paired with jams or jellies, it also makes for a special dessert or a treat between courses.

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