Seswaa Recipe|Botswana Pounded Meat


If you have been part of any event in Botswana, you have probably heard of or tasted Seswaa. The dish is usually prepared by men and treasured among the Batswana. Unlike most foods that are prepared with lots of ingredients, the Seswaa recipe is simple. The delicacy is usually prepared with meat, salt, and pepper. The stew should be heavily salted, and adding anything else in the stew aside from the normal ingredients is a taboo.

Traditionally, the dish was prepared over a three-legged pot and served over pap or polenta. As per African culture, women take part in the cooking, but for Seswaa, only men are allowed to do the cooking. The dish is prepared for big events such as weddings and even during national holidays. Although the recipe is known to be indigenous to Botswana, it has spread to other neighboring countries due to its flavor and nutritional value. And today we bring you this special dish. But first, let’s have a look at Botswana’s dining culture. 

Botswana’s dining culture

In Botswana, most of the main meals are made up of maize and beef. However, the cuisine is so diverse and vary from one sub-tribe to another, with most dishes having Southern Africa influence. Usually, the main dish is taken during lunchtime. Any leftovers like tea or bread are enjoyed at dinner.

It is a practice for families to take their meals together. This is a practice that is believed to encourage the spirit of togetherness as they share what they have. Prayers before and after taking the meal are common. The host does prayers conducted before taking the meal. After the meal, one person can also pray while thanking the person that prepared the meal or the host.

In Botswana, the main dish is taken during lunch time and any leftovers of tea and bread are eaten at dinner Click To Tweet


In the past, one only needed to have three ingredients (beef, salt, and bones) to come up with the dish. Over the years, people have included other ingredients to improve the taste.

Serves; 2


400 grams of slow cooking beef



1 onion

Black pepper

2 bay leaves


  1. Cut the meat into large pieces, put in a dish, and place in a pot.
  2. Add the peeled onion, black pepper, salt to taste, the bay leaves, and water, then leave to boil for 4 hours.
  3. Remove the meat for pounding and leave the remaining liquid on the stove to continue cooking. Use a wooden stick to pound the meat until soft.
  4. Serve with a corn-meal with a side of greens.

Although this might be a basic process you can use to prepare Seswaa, you can still add more ingredients to customize it to your preferences. 

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