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WATCH: Oprah Winfrey celebrates Thanksgiving, Mzansi style

Bunny chow. Picture: Dawie Verwey

Bunny chow. Picture: Dawie Verwey

Published Nov 26, 2021


Thanksgiving 2021 was celebrated on November 25. The festival celebrates the harvest and blessings of the past year. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, this American holiday is observed with a lot of rituals.

It is also one of the busiest days for the country, as families and friends get together to celebrate Thanksgiving and speak of everything that they are grateful for. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner comprises turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie – but with author and television host Oprah Winfrey, she had it different this year as she indulged in South African favourites.

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Taking to Instagram, Winfrey wrote that she had a pre-Thanksgiving feast with her daughters, where they indulged in delicious South African cuisine prepared by chef Raymond Weber.

“We had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our house. South African cuisine 🇿🇦 to welcome my girls home. And yes, there was malva pudding for dessert. All deliciously prepared by Chef @raymond_weber. Thanks for giving my daughter girls a taste of Home”, she wrote.

On the menu, there was chakalaka, slow-cooked bobotie, peri-peri chicken, peri-peri shrimp, bunny chow, samp and beans, and yellow rice.

South African food is vibrant, cosmopolitan, and truly unique — just like the country’s people and culture. A mixture of African, Dutch, French, and Malay, among others, has influenced South African cuisine through the decades.

Below, we share a recipe of one of the dishes Winfrey and her family indulged in that you can whip up at home.

Butter bean bunny chow

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Serves: 4


½ packet (250g) butter beans, soaked overnight, or three cans (400g each) butter beans, drained and rinsed

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For curry

Vegetable oil

½ tsp each whole mustard seeds,

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Cumin seeds and fennel seeds

10-15 curry leaves

1 onion, halved and sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp each ground cumin and


½ tsp each ground turmeric and

Cayenne pepper

3 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Salt and milled pepper

4 large white bread rolls or one bread loaf

For sambal

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1 chilli, finely chopped

½ onion, finely chopped

Handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped


Simmer butter beans in plenty of water until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heat a generous glug of oil in a pan and fry whole spices until they stop spluttering.

Tip in the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until lightly browned.

Add ground spices and fry for another minute.

Add tomatoes, garam masala, and lemon juice. Season.

Add butter beans, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Cut tops off rolls (or slice bread into four equal chunks).

Remove fluffy centres from bread or rolls. Spoon curry into hollows.

Toss sambal ingredients together and spoon over curry rolls. If using bread, sandwich closed with bread lids and serve.