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Namibia is officially the Republic of Namibia.

20151012_201811It was originally German South West Africa, and then South West Africa. It borders with the Atlantic Ocean and is currently in Southern Africa. It shares its border with Angola – where we previously visited and the dinner from that area was delicious – and Zambia in the North, In the East Botswana and South Africa to the South and East. Independence was gained in 1990, 21st March from South Africa following the Namibian War of Independence. Windhoek is the capital and is also the largest city.

Since early times Namibia has been inhabited buy Damara, Namaqua and San. Since the 14th century AD by Bantu and they came with the Bantu expansion.  In around 1884 most of the country became German and remained a German settlement until the end of WWI. In 1920 the country was handed to RSA (South Africa), which  levied laws and from around 1948 its apartheid policy.

Food plays a huge part in all civilisations in the world and for Namibia it is no exclusion. However it is a bit more complex when it comes to Namibia because it entertains eleven different ethnic groups; hence no one particular dish can be considered individual. However, Food/cuisine of Namibia is very much affected by the two cultural threads. Firstly cooking/cookery provided by the native folk of Namibia, the San, Himba and Herero people. Secondly there is cookery and cooking by the people who have settled in Namibia, this began a colonial period and the settlers were of British, German and Afrikaner ancestry.

OK – so looking for dinner tonight – another school night so needed to hearty, wholesome, quick and easy..Therefore when looking and examining Namibian food recipes it was very, very plain to see that there is a mix between Europe and Africa…. We could have opted for some of the “more off the beaten track kind of dinner” but not sure other family members would have land which makes fruit and vegetables especially expensive, menus tend to be heavy on the meat.Here are a few examples of speciality dishes:

Biltong (an air-dried meat, which is a bar snack staple, usually made from beef or kudu).
Rauchfleisch (smoked meat).
• Game such as antelope, ostrich or zebra cooked on a braai (barbecue).
Potjiekos (one-pot bush stew, usually cooked over a camp fire, and made with just about anything although chicken and vegetable is common).
• Seafood, especially oysters, on the coast.
• Kalahari truffles (a distant cousin of the European black and white truffle varieties found on Swakopmund restaurant menus, served up thinly sliced and drizzled with olive oil alongside a thick ostrich steak.)

So what to have for dinner?…..

We opted for a Potjiekos – obviously not cooked over a camp fire and also not being able to get antelope, ostrich or Zebra at the butchers today, we opted for lamb and found a simple recipe for a Lamb Potjiekos 

As I walked through the door, Ian had started to cook and sauté the onions and garlic, adding the suggested spices ( curry powder turmeric ground cloves fresh ginger, grated ) he had already browned up the lamb and was sitting ready to be added back to the casserole. Added back the smell began to intensify and the lamb began to cook to lovely, tender, bite size pieces..Potato and carrot were added and the potjie was stirred round  every so often.

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The recipe suggested this was served with brown rice, so this is what we did. I love brown rice as I love the “aldente” bite of brown rice, the rest of the family not a huge fan but ate it anyway.

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Family Verdict: Easy to cook and prepare…Amazing flavours, the lamb was tender, warming, great super for the winter…very “clovey”. Don’t necessarily need to have it with rice, you could add more vegetables and serve with a gorgeous crusty loaf…

I – personally – loved it and would certainly be having it again.

So we take a beak for a couple of day, due to evening activities, but will be back on Friday and we are having a dinner party.. Russia is the chosen destination – Увидимся та …

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