Cape Malay Sosaties

Soaked Lamb Kebabs

“Come over for a braai on Sunday afternoon and we’ll keep going until the sun goes down.”

What is it with South Africans and their fascination with charred meat? It seems to a qualifying trait of anyone belonging to the membership of the Southern Cross, Kiwis, Brazilians, South Africans..they all love outdoor eating and with their climate who can blame them. My last true South African meal starred the street food bunny chow a hollowed loaf of bread filled with curried lamb or chicken, the equivalent of our kebab. But Peter is a seasoned Chef de Barbecue, King of the Tongs and has been creating braais since he could walk. In total, he possesses four BBQ sets each with a different purpose for different occasions, some purely designed to heat coals to feed the fuel hungry barbecue stations, others required simply to keep food warm.

The feast was long and diverse with an endless supply chain of food. Chilli and honey glazed sweetcorn, shrimp skewers left the Maharani wide eyed with desire. However it was the Sosaties, a Cape Malay creation featuring lamb marinated in turmeric, sugar, curry powder and more, which helplessly fell of their wooden perches and awoke the gluttony monster. I had to have the recipe and threatened Peter with my own version of harikari featuring the bamboo skewers we’d just stripped clean. Now I know why braais are a cultural fixture in South African cuisine, the food’s just too good to miss out on.

Peter spared me the bamboo solution and shared the recipe for these Cape Malay kebabs.


How To Make Malay Sosaties

Makes 14+ skewers


  • 1kg boneless lamb cut into skewer-sized cubes (alternatives such as chicken, beef or pork can substituted)
  • Dried apricots (3 per skewer)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 large onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon hot Madras curry powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 125ml freshly squeezed lemon juice


In a large pan, fry the onions in oil until slightly brown. Add all the other ingredients and cook for 3 minutes over a low heat. Allow the marinade to cool and pour over the lamb and apricots. Cover and let the mix marinade in the fridge for 24 hours. 

Remove, drain and pin through pre-soaked skewers (if using bamboo) using a ratio of 3 meat pieces to 1 apricot. Grill over hot coals for approximately 4 minutes on each side ensuring they don’t dry out.

Serve the lamb Sosaties with salad or ginger flashed okra.

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