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Waterblommetjie.The crown of SA Stews

Posted on August 11, 2013 by in lamb

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Waterblommetjie


Waterblommetjie for those of you who don’t know are also commonly known as the  Cape pond weed and can be found mostly in the dams, ponds and marches of the Western Cape.

Waterblommetjie bredie is a stew made from the little flowers and can be directly translated as small flower stew! Waterblommetjie bredie is a seasonal thing and once a year, in the months of July and August,  people of South Africa and mostly the Western Cape feasts on this delicacy!

Waterblommetjie

As a child I did not like the taste and could not understand why people and especially tourists would go crazy over flowers harvested from a pond! The first time I cooked waterblommetjie bredie for my husband he looked in the pot while all the flowers still looked “wild” and that was the end of his supper….. I think he opted for a burger instead. A while after that incident, I made it again and he rather enjoyed the finished meal!People have described the taste as “the same as green beans with a little taste of pumpkin”. I am not sure about that description, but for me it is delicious and I feel kind of proud to share this delightful stew  from our region with guests.

Waterblommetjies can be used in a whole variety of dishes! Jane-Anne made this delicious Waterblommetjie and Pepper Feta Quiche and I  think this starter of Steamed Waterblommetjies with Lemon Aioli can be most interesting!Waterblommetjie soup is a sought after item on many of SA’s top restaurants during the winter months!

I know people cook the stew with springbok and beef and some even without any meat, but let the truth be known …. a proper waterblommetjie bredie is best done with lamb! When you buy meat, don’t go for the lean cuts either, this stew wants either lamb neck, lamb knuckles or even the tail end of the lamb will do!

While I am in a preaching kind of mood, keep the stew simple with humble ingredients, no fancy stuff like soup powders, sauces and condiments, all it needs is TIME! Let’s cook!

Waterblommetjie

Waterblommetjie Bredie

serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

1 kg lamb – knuckles, neck or rib

1 large onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – crushed

30 ml olive oil

20 ml crushed coriander seeds

4 cloves

1 kg waterblommetjies – cleaned and dirty bits cut off

500 g potatoes – peeled and cubed

250  – 400 ml lamb stock

1 lemon

salt and pepper

Method

Heat a cast iron or heavy based pot on the stove and add the oil. As soon as the oil is hot, brown the meat in batches until it has a golden brown color. Remove the meat from the pot and in the same pot saute the onion, garlic and spices until the onions are soft. Add the meat and stock to the pot and on a very slow simmer cook the meat until soft. This take up to an hour! I  put my meat in the oven, because it yields a lovely flavor and color to the final dish. After about 1 hour, add the waterblommetjies and potatoes to the pot and if it needs more stock, add a little, just enough for the vegetables to steam until cook. You do not want a watery stew.

When ready to serve, adjust the salt and pepper if needed, add a little lemon juice and serve on fluffy white rice and a sweet and sour cucumber salad on the side!

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24 Responses to “Waterblommetjie.The crown of SA Stews”

  1. Mari-Lise Rabie 15 August 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Ek het gister waterblommetjie-bredie met lamsvleis gemaak! Ideale winterkos en ek is mal oor waterblommetjies. Gaan bietjie jou resep ook probeer! Ek koop gewoonlik genoeg waterblommetjies dat dit veronderstel is om tot die volgende winter om te hou (vrieskas)…ongelukkig hou dit nooit so lank nie!

    • Johan Swarts 14 October 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Hi daar
      Eet julle die waterblommetjies op of raak dit af foor die jaar om is?

  2. Aletia 19 August 2013 at 9:16 am #

    I am desperately looking to buy waterblommetjies. I live in JHB and will pay for them to be sent to me.

    • Bernadette 20 August 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Aletia, I found waterblommetjies at the Checkers in Northriding on Saturday. So maybe phone an outlet closest to you, they might just have.

    • Angy 22 August 2013 at 8:00 am #

      You can buy them in a tin army spar. My mom would be delighted. All clean and pre cooked. I just add them last of the veg so they cook through. Angy PE

    • Vanessa 6 October 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Currently Impala Fruit and Veg have them in stock, on Beyers Naude Drive, a block from Northcliff corner.

    • Yvette 7 October 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Jy kan gaan koop in Parkview by die fruit en veg winkel langs die spar!!!

    • Louis 16 October 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Hi, you can get them at the Jasmyn farmers market near hartebeespoort dam, look for the big windmill on the left side about 5 km from the dam.

    • W Naylor 26 October 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      If you have not managed to find it ask your local Fruit and Veg city to get it for you> I am sure they can>

  3. Sheena Mathew 20 August 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Hi Nina, I cook Waterblommetjie bredie at least once a week and I have mastered the bredie by now. Your recipe with coriander seeds and cloves is a new twist and sounds excellent. Will prepare your recipe and let you know. Best regards Sheena

  4. Chowder Singh 22 August 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Lovely recipe. First time I’ve heard about Waterblommetjie.

  5. Sharon Osborn 24 August 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Ooh .. thank you Nina .. my local F&V City in Shelly Beach, KZN has just got some lovely fresh waterblommetjies in. I can’t wait to try them steamed per your suggestion.

  6. Koos 30 September 2013 at 11:13 am #

    I am desperately looking for waterblommetjies (fresh or tinned) I am in the randburg area.

  7. Phil Pienaar 14 June 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Ek het groot geword met Waterblommetjies. Geluk in die vleie waar Thornton nou is en ook waar Table Veiw nou is.Daar het ons laas 1960 blommetjies gepluk. Ek gaan werklik volgende keer jou “oongedagte” doen.My resep bevat nie naeltjies en koljander nie, maar ek sal volgende keer prober en kyk hoe dit in die smaak van ons gesin val. Waar kan ek jou ertjiesop opspoor. Ek ontvang jou eposse, maar kan nie daardie resep kry op jou webblad nie. Ek kook vandag jou boontjiesop. Dit reen lekker te Hermanus.

    • Issie Booyens 20 August 2014 at 9:30 am #

      I bought waterblommetjies yesterday, first time I am going to cook it today. Is there a special way to clean the waterblommetjies or cut it? Can I just clean it with water and add to meat as per your recipe?

      • nerinatimm 20 August 2014 at 4:19 pm #

        Ek sny altyd die stukkie van die stingel onder af, daar waar dit gepluk is en dan ook al die lelike harde blare, nie te veel nie! Was goed af in bietjie sout water, soms as jy self gepluk het, kan daar wurmpies in wees!

  8. Belinda 5 August 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Thanks for this!

    Am going to try mine in the slow cooker and add the waterblommetjies an hour before serving.

    Not so sure about the direct translation though… Directly translated it’s waterflower stew?

    Thanks,

    Belinda

    • Rudi Olivier 27 September 2018 at 9:06 am #

      Ek dink nie jy kan Waterblommetjiesvertaal nie. Dit is soos LEKKER.

  9. cobus nel 28 March 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    waar kan ek plantjies koop

  10. Marian 9 October 2015 at 11:32 am #

    So het iemand al hierdie weergawe probeer met die koljander en die naeltjies? Ek is baie nuuskierig om te weet hoe dit smaak…
    So has anybody tried this version with the coriander and cloves…I am really curious to know what it tastes like, cause it is a real break from the traditional waterblommetjie bredie…

    • nerinatimm 12 October 2015 at 10:27 am #

      Marian, ek het grootgeword met daardie geure in enige bredie. Koljander gee daai lekker vleis geur en naeltjies laat my na ouma verlang, dis glad nie oordonnerend nie.

  11. Erica Goodall 27 October 2016 at 8:35 am #

    Where in the Northern Suburb ( Cape Town )
    can i buy Waterblommetjies ? (Not Tinned )

    Regards
    Erica.

    • nerinatimm 6 November 2016 at 9:13 am #

      Thank you Erica, I replied via email!


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