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  • 6 – 8
  • Easy
  • 2 hours 15 minutes

"During wedding season, every Sunday was booked to capacity, and every hall was turned into a thing of beauty. Everyone dressed to the nines, elegant and dapper. Aunties, uncles, grannies and cousins, friends and neighbours. All that was missing was a big sign at the entrance saying, “Everyone is welcome” because that’s exactly how it was, no one was turned away. The aunties would gather around a table and break out into a song just before the servers walked out with platters and bowls full of food. One of those dishes was often the classic and very traditional Mavrou, made with cubes of steak and served on special occasions. " – Fatima Sydow


  • 4 T oil
  • 5 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5 chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 sticks cinnamon sticks
  • 2 kg steak, cut into cubes
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, grated
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T ground black pepper
  • 1 T sugar
  • salt, to taste

Cooking Instructions

1. In a very large pot, heat the oil and braise the onions, green peppers and chillies with all the whole spices until golden brown, for about 15 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and braise on a medium to low heat for 2 hours, adding just a little water now and then to prevent burning, and stirring when required.

3. Serve with mashed potatoes or yellow rice and vegetables like carrots, peas, sweetcorn and gem squash.

Extracted with permission from Fatima Sydow - Cape Malay Cooking My story, my heritage. It’s published by Human & Rousseau.

Find more South African recipes here. 


Fatima Sydow Recipe by: Fatima Sydow
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Fatima made her first 100-litre pot of curry at the age of 16 and has been sharing her popular recipes ever since. She built up a worldwide following with her Facebook page, Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow and is a cookbook author and TV cook.

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