Cooking in Namibia Part 2

Sunday Taco night! 

Again I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, but hopefully I’ll get better at this.  I do have food pictures from the market we visited though.  On Sunday morning, we boarded Ministry of Education vans and drove to the neighborhood Katatura to visit the Single Quarter Market.  Katatura is a gigantic neighborhood that is part of Windhoek but is more on the outskirts of town.  During Apartheid black Namibians from Windhoek were forced into this neighborhood to segregate and continue to marginalize them.  It remains a black neighborhood and is continues to expand rapidly.  It’s very diverse in the type of housing, the income level of residents, and ethnicity.  Different parts of the neighborhood are known by the ethnic group that lives there.  Around the market are housing and apartment buildings for rising middle class residents.  On the outskirts of Katatura is what looks like hundreds of squatter settlements dotting the foothills for miles.  These homes are smaller and made with wood posts and corrugated metal.  Unlike slums in other major cities, the houses are spread out.  The government very occasionally removes some of these “illegal” homesteads but at seems more focused on trying to keep up with the development and provide toilets and water to prevent the spread of illness.

When we arrived at the market, Bret gave each of us an item to find and information to learn about the product, primarily how it’s made and what it costs.  Items included a traditional Ovambo dress or Herero dress, fat cakes, salon services, and oshifima.  We also got 10 dollars for a group of 4 of us to spend and most of that went to fat cakes (pictured below)!  I also found a delicious salad that tasted similar to pica de gallo.  It was chopped tomatoes, peppers, and onions flavored with vinegar, oil, and braai spice (an amazing mixture of spices that I can’t identify but it’s spicy and usually flavors meat, but I’ve discovered it’s very multipurpose).


spinach and oshifima


mmm… fried dough


so colorful!

It’s our last week together in Windhoek so tacos were our last team cooked meal.  Taco night was of course my suggestion.  It was a huge success!  Everyone was stoked and it was still talked about the next day.  Okay enough bragging- here is all we made for the taco bar:



¼ cup chopped onion

Pack of melrose cheese (Kraft singles style-but I’d recommend white American cheese if you are recreating)

Large block of chedder cheese, grated

¼ cup and 2/3 cup plain yogurt (*the recipe actually called for half and half or whole milk but we substituted)

2 chopped roma tomatoes

1 hot chile pepper, diced (I don’t know which type we used but jalapeño would be great!)

(*Cilantro would be a nice topping but it wasn’t available for us)

In a sauce pan heat the oil and add onions and pepper, cooking until softened and reduce to medium-low.  Add cheese and ¼ of yogurt (or half and half or milk) and stir until melted.  Add the remaining tomatoes, yogurt, and cilantro.  Best served warm!

Tortilla chips

Pack of 8 tortillas chopped into many triangles


Fill the bottom of a frying pan with several inches of oil and heat until hot enough to fry.  Fry the tortilla triangles in batches.  Watch the pan carefully because it only takes a few batches for it to get very hot.  The tortillas will brown fast and must be taken back out almost as soon as they are dropped in.


3 cans various beans (we used white, brown, and red kidney beans)

1 chopped onion


Drain the beans and rinse with water.  Cook the onion in oil and add beans, continue to cook on low until warm.

Ground meat

Again I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the meat cooking but I’m sure it was similar to the process for the chili.  First cook onions in oil, add meat and braai spice until it is cooked through and the right level of spicy.

“Pico de Gallo”

6 diced tomatoes

2 diced onions

1 diced belled pepper (*we only had red which is disappointing because the salad was less colorful!)

1 tablespoon of vinegar

1 tablespoon braai spice

Mix all the above ingredients.


4 avocados

2 chopped tomatoes

1 diced onion

4 minced garlic cloves

Mash the above ingredients together.  (It will be much better if you have a lime but we were lacking citrus).

Other fixings: chopped lettuce, warm tortillas, rice, and hot sauce!

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