What Is Oozies

A South African Delicacy

If you’re a food enthusiast residing in South Africa, you’ve likely encountered the delightful and flavorful treat known as Oozies. This traditional dish holds a special place in the hearts and palates of locals, captivating both locals and visitors alike. In this article, we will explore the origins, ingredients, preparation methods, and cultural significance of Oozies, highlighting why it has become a beloved part of South African cuisine.

The Origins of Oozies

Oozies can trace their roots back to the Cape Malay community, a group of people who settled in the Western Cape of South Africa during the 17th century. These individuals were brought to the country as slaves from various parts of Southeast Asia. With them, they brought their unique culinary heritage, including the beloved Oozies.

The Cape Malays infused their dishes with fragrant spices, resulting in a tantalizing blend of flavors. Over time, Oozies became an integral part of their cuisine, evolving and adapting to local ingredients and preferences.

Ingredients for Oozies

The main ingredients used in Oozies are mince (typically beef), potatoes, onions, and an array of aromatic spices. These spices commonly include turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. The combination of these ingredients creates a rich and savory filling for the Oozies.

What Is Oozies

Most recipes also call for a pastry dough to encase the filling, similar to a pie crust. The dough is typically made with flour, butter, water, and a pinch of salt. It is rolled out and carefully filled with the meat and potato mixture, before being sealed and cooked to perfection.

Preparing Oozies

Preparing Oozies is a labor of love, often involving multiple steps and attention to detail. Here is a breakdown of the typical preparation process:

  1. Start by browning the mince in a large skillet until it is cooked through.
  2. Add the onions, spices, and potatoes to the skillet, allowing them to sauté and infuse the meat with their incredible flavors.
  3. While the filling simmers, prepare the pastry dough, ensuring it is soft and pliable.
  4. Roll out the dough into small circles or rectangles, depending on your preference.
  5. Place a generous spoonful of the meat and potato filling onto one half of the dough and fold the other half over, creating a pocket.
  6. Seal the edges of the dough using a fork or by pinching them together.
  7. Place the Oozies onto a baking tray and brush them with a beaten egg for a beautiful golden finish.
  8. Bake the Oozies in a preheated oven until the pastry is golden and flaky.

Cultural Significance of Oozies

Oozies are not just a delicious treat; they hold cultural significance for the Cape Malay community and South Africa as a whole. These delightful parcels pay homage to the ancestors who brought their culinary traditions to the country, celebrating their vibrant heritage and influence.

During special occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals, Oozies are often prepared in large quantities to be shared among families and friends. They symbolize unity, generosity, and the importance of communal dining, bringing people together through the joy of food.


Oozies, with their rich history, fragrant spices, and delectable filling, have become an iconic dish in South African cuisine. So, next time you’re craving a taste of something truly special, why not give Oozies a try? Whether enjoyed as a snack or part of a festive feast, these South African delicacies are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more!