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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Types of Cuisine in Lesotho - Exotic Delights

The kingdom of Lesotho, encircled by South Africa, is an enchanting land of many delights. Some of these are its types of cuisine, which as you will find out are quite a delicious mouthful!


Fruits and Vegetables

Being the world's tallest country at 3,281 ft (or more) above sea level, Lesotho is a mountainous land with many emerald green valleys that produce an amazing array of vegetables and fruits. You can see many of these integrated into traditional Lesotho dishes. For example, peas, chopped greens, and vegetables are put into a thick sauce which is taken as an accompaniment for pap-pap or papa, the daily staple of the Basotho (people of Lesotho). The Basotho love vegetable preservation such as the mangangajane, sun dried vegetables.

Due to the landlocked geographical position of Lesotho, the importation of food items is rather costly. Thus, many have resorted to raising their own crops such as peas, beans, peas, and cabbage. Walnuts are harvested as a valuable food source during the winter months during which families would cosily huddle around the fireplace roasting dry ears of corn. When winter ends and the warmer months prevail, seasonal fruits such as quinces, apples, peaches and pears are relished.



Like with many other countries, grains play the part of a daily staple in Lesotho. Corn and wheat are grown by many to supplement their daily food requirements. In addition to the above mentioned pap-pap porridge, the Basotho consume wheat bread and makoenya, a home-made doughnut-like cake; as a daily staple. When in Lesotho also try out Motoho, a sour porridge that's made out of freshly-ground sorghum mixed with boiling water and sugar and served cold following other dishes. Other grain-based foods include Lesheleshe- porridge made from sifted sorghum and Bohobe and Maqebekoane; both of which are types of freshly baked bread.



Meat is food item that's considered as a luxury in Lesotho as owning cattle is an indication of high social status. Thus, eating meat is traditionally reserved for special occasions. But, don't worry if you're the type who can't live without burgers and bacon sandwiches, you can find meat-based cuisine in many a good hotel. Maseru in Lesotho (the capital of the country) has plenty of these and AVANI Lesotho by AVANI Hotels & Resorts; is one such option. Should you come across any traditional nama (meat) dishes they will be made out of lihoho (chicken), lipoli (goat), linku (sheep), likhomo (cow), and fereki (pig). According to their customs, when preparing nama foods, the Basotho separate the intestines and organs. They refrain from serving them to children as they believe that these particular parts arouse sexual feelings in the younger children.

Seafood is also widely relished in Lesotho. Fish such as trout are prepared into stews and curries and enjoyed with the beloved pap-pap.



The Basotho love their beverages. One of the most popular of these is rooibos or red espresso as it is nicknamed. This red latté, grown and harvested in Lesotho, is a local specialty that you can find in all cafés. Due to the colonisation of the British, tea is also enjoyed here and it is usually served with fried cakes.

Beer is so popular is Lesotho, that it is brewed at home itself! The women first grind the grains, mix them with water and cooks over an open fireplace. The mixture is then allowed to cool, and after a long period of fermentation, the brew is run through a filter. The leftover grain mash is squeezed to remove every last trace of alcohol. The resulting beer is very low in alcohol content, however, it is widely enjoyed.

A big, red latte, made with extra-strong rooibos tea (aptly nicknamed red espresso) [Recipe]. Rooibos is grown in this part of the world, making a red latte (and cappuccino etc) a very local specialty.


Other Dietary Supplements

As chickens are a rather common livestock, fresh eggs are used generally usually as an accompaniment to pap pap. Though it's not grown locally, rice is also consumed a lot. Other dietary supplements include cereals which are produced commercially using corn and wheat.

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