This September is Heritage Month when we celebrate South Africa’s vibrant and diverse cultures and
traditions. Among the heritage brands that South Africans hold dear, is Rooibos – a tisane which you’ll
find in almost every South African household.

Rooibos certainly holds a special place in the hearts of those with personal or cultural connections to
it. The act of enjoying a cup of Rooibos can evoke memories and emotions associated with its
consumption, making it a sentimental beverage for many.

Here’s why Rooibos might evoke a sense of nostalgia:

  • Cultural and family traditions: In South Africa, Rooibos has deep cultural and familial roots.
    Many South Africans have grown up drinking Rooibos as part of their daily routines or in
    family gatherings.
  • Childhood memories: For some, Rooibos may be associated with childhood. It could be the
    first type of tisane/tea they were introduced to or a comforting beverage served by caregivers.
    Such childhood memories often carry a strong sense of nostalgia.
  • Comfort and relaxation: Rooibos is known for its soothing and calming properties. People
    often turn to it for comfort during stressful or difficult times. The act of sipping on Rooibos can
    become a comforting ritual, making it a source of nostalgia in moments of need.
  • National pride: South Africans take pride in Rooibos and see it as a symbol of their country’s
    heritage and culture. For South Africans living abroad, Rooibos can be a reminder of home
    and a way to stay connected to their roots.
  • Unique flavour: Rooibos has a distinct flavour profile that is not easily replicated by other
    teas or herbal tisanes.

This Heritage Month, we have selected a handful of traditional South African dishes – each with a
unique Rooibos twist to evoke some nostalgia.

Rooibos bobotie
cups of strong Rooibos
cup of buttermilk
of olive oil
finely chopped onions
1 tbsp
of finely grated fresh ginger
crushed clove of garlic
grated sweet potato
tsp of curry powder
tsp of ground cumin
tsp of ground coriander
tsp of ground turmeric
cup of uncooked brown lentils
⅓ cup
of raisins
of vinegar (preferably red wine vinegar)
beaten eggs
small bay leaves
¼ cup
of flaked almonds
salt, lemon juice and black pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the onions, ginger and garlic.
  • Add in the sweet potato, the remainder of the spices and fry until you start to smell the
    aromas. Reduce the heat, add in the lentils and Rooibos.
  • Cover the mix with a lid and let it simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
    Preheat your oven to 180˚C.
  • Add in the raisins, vinegar, salt, lemon juice and pepper. Once well combined, spoon the lentil
    mix into an ovenproof dish.
  • In a medium-size bowl, mix the eggs and buttermilk together and pour it over the top of the
    lentil mixture.
  • Place a few bay leaves over the egg mix, sprinkle on the almonds and place it in the oven to
    bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven, let it cool slightly and enjoy!


  • This dish is best served with a side of vegetables, salad or yellow rice.
  • Prefer to enjoy Bobotie on its own? Add a delicious chunky salsa and enjoy!
  • Don’t like raisins? Leave them out!

Courtesy of Berea Mail

Rooibos milk tart



1.25 litres of milk
250ml of strong Laager Rooibos (made with four Rooibos teabags, left to brew in hot water)
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp corn flour
125ml sugar
6 eggs
2 cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon
1 pre-baked pastry case


  • Mix the flour and salt and rub the butter into the flour.
  • Combine the egg and water and mix with the flour and butter.
  • Mix into pastry and leave it in the fridge for an hour.
  • Roll out and blind bake (cover with baking paper and fill with dry beans or rice) in a
    tart dish at 145°C for half an hour.

Courtesy of Getaway

Rooibos koeksisters

500g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup strong Rooibos, lemon halved (juice only)
1 ½ cup self-raising flour
40 g cubed butter
½ cup milk
½ cup oil for deep frying

Heat the sugar, spices, Rooibos and lemon juice until dissolved.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

For the koeksisters
Sieve flour and rub butter in with fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and add enough milk to form a soft dough.
Knead gently until smooth. Roll out thinly, cut strips and plait to form small koeksisters.
Deep-fry until golden brown and immediately dip into the cold syrup.
Store koeksisters in the freezer to keep them crisp.

Courtesy of Food24

Click here for some more Rooibos recipes.