Seswaa: Botswana’s National Dish

Seswaa
Image: Taste Atlas

Original article published at TasteAtlas.

Botswana’s national dish is almost always found at special occasions, weddings, and during the country’s celebration of the independence day. The dish is called seswaa, also known as chotlho, denoting a slow-cooked beef stew. Once the meat is cooked, it is pounded with large wooden pestles, shredded, then heavily salted to add some flavor.

Seswaa is usually prepared by men due to the physical extortion during the preparation process, since the meat is cooked in traditional, three-legged pots (called potjie) over an open fire. Onions and peppers are sometimes added to the stew, and after the dish is done it is usually served over thick polenta. Lamb or goat meat can be used instead of beef, although beef is the most popular option in Botswana. It seems like a simple-tasting dish, but the slow cooking process that makes the meat similar to pulled pork and the smoky taste that develops during cooking make it a unique delicacy.