Main Meals


15 minutes
30 minutes–1 hour

This versatile plant-based bredie can be made with any meat substitute, lentils, shiitake mushrooms or brinjals – or even meat if you’re not vegan. It’s featured in Parusha Naidoo’s Afro-Asian plant-based digital cookbook,  Least Effort Most Reward. “The origin of the word bredie is contested,” explains Parusha. “Some say it comes from a Madagascan word, others a Portuguese word and others a Malaysian word. The dish itself is an invention of enslaved peoples at the Cape, in South Africa. Bredie reminds me of an Indian curry but with a different spice set. Many ancestors of those who are today known as Cape Muslims were captured from Indonesia and India mainly, not Malaysia, as is often assumed. Many of those brought as slaves to the Cape were not Muslim or Christian to begin with but converted, either willingly or unwillingly, to these religions. Bredie is a dish that can be stretched easily to feed many mouths, unexpected guests, friends and family. It’s an example of what is known locally as “langsouskos” (long-sauce food). So, add more potatoes or more vegetables to stretch it out if necessary.

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  • 3 T oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into discs
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ½ t paprika
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • ½ t black pepper
  • ½ t oregano
  • 6 potatoes, quartered
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • salt, to taste
  • rice, for serving
  • atchar, for serving
  • pickles, for serving

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Fry the onions until golden brown. Add the celery, garlic, green pepper and carrot. Stir occasionally.

2. Add all the spices and brown over a low heat. Add the meat substitute or lentils and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

3. Add the potatoes, cabbage and water. Cook until the potatoes are soft and cabbage is browned, stirring often. Add a little more water if necessary to avoid burning. Serve with rice and atchar or pickles of your choice.

Find more vegan recipes here.

Extracted with permission from the digital cookbook Least Effort Most Reward, written and illustrated by Parusha Naidoo. To find out more about the book, visit Parusha’s blog at Click here to go to the blog. 

Parusha Naidoo

Recipe by: Parusha Naidoo

Born and raised in South Africa, Parusha was working as a graphic designer at an advertising agency in Berlin when she started a pop-up vegan restaurant at a friend’s bar. Since returning to SA, she has made a name for herself as a vegan chef, artist and food writer. In 2021, she published an Afro-Asian plant-based digital cookbook, 'Least Effort Most Reward', containing 21 simple vegan recipes, featuring her own illustrations.

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