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sosaties recipe

Cape Malay Sosaties


A true classic and a source of many great childhood memories. The recipe is inspired by Louis Leipold, Hildagonda Duckett and a dear great-grandmother. The longer they are left in the marinade, the better they become. The marinade also works well with lamb chops.

  • Serves: 6-8 |
    6-8 servings
  • Rating:

  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 3 mins |
  • Cook Time : 20 mins
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3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter

3 large onions, sliced

3 Tbsp (45 ml) curry powder

3 Tbsp  (45 ml) whole coriander seeds

3 whole all spice

3 Tbsp (45ml) soft brown sugar

Juice of 3 lemons

1 ½ C (375 ml) brown vinegar or tamarind water*

1.5 kg leg of lamb, cut into 5 cm blocks

24 dried peaches or apricots, soaked in warm water

24 fresh lemon leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. Melt the butter and fry the onions until soft. Add the curry powder, coriander seeds and all spice. Fry until fragrant. Add the soft brown sugar and fry for another 3 minutes, whilst the sugar caramelises. Add the lemon juice and the vinegar or tamarind water. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool.

In the mean time, prepare the meat, removing any sinew and bone. Leave as much fat as you prefer.  Skewer the meat, alternating with peaches or apricots and fresh lemon leaves. Season to taste and arrange in one layer preferably, in a glass, plastic or ceramic container.

Once the marinade has cooled, pour over the meat. Marinate in the fridge overnight, turning two or three times.  Leave in the marinade up to 3 days for the best flavour. The sosaties also freeze well, uncooked and in the marinade.

Allow to thaw if frozen, and bring to room temperature before braaiing. Braai over moderate coals for about 20 minutes – the meat should be browned on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.

*to make tamarind water, soak  100 g compressed tamarind in 2 C (500 ml) warm water. Once soft, strain through a sieve to remove all of the fibres and seeds. Tamarind is available from Asian grocers and adds a fruity acidity to the marinade.