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Seswaa is the national dish of Botswana, and is a perfect example of unique Botswana Cuisine.  Seswaa is a simple meat stew served over thick polenta or “Bogobe” (also called, “Slap-Pap”) – a thick and stiff cornmeal porridge. The meat is boiled with onions and (optional) peppers, until falling-apart tender. That’s all there is to it. To add anything more is frowned upon as an invasive violation.


(Photo Attributed to Author: Kalanga)

Seswaa Recipe-

  • 16 oz. stewing beef (chuck roast works well), chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, and diced small (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  1. Place the beef, onion, bell pepper (if using) and salt, into a large cooking pot.
  2. Pour in water to a height of 2″ inches above the meat.
  3. Turn burner to medium flame, and cook until the meat is soft – about 2-2½ hours should do it. (Note: Add more water, as needed, when it cooks down, just enough to cover the meat during the last 15-20 minutes so it will cook even further down)
  4. Remove meat from fire and drain; reserve the juices to use for gravy. Remove the bones, if there are any.
  5. Put the meat into a heavy-duty, clean plastic bag, and place bag on a clean wooden board, or clean flat working surface.
  6. Pound the meat with a meat mallet or heavy-duty wooden spoon until it is flaky and flattened.
  7. Put the meat back into the cooking pot and simmer to further reduce the liquid. Add about 1 tablespoon of flour, mixed in well, to further thicken the liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve Seswaa with cooked vegetables and Bogobe.

For those who are visual learners, here is a well-done video presentation on how Seswaa is prepared.

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