Heritage Day is South Africa is fondly known to locals as ‘Braai Day’. On this day, we recognise and celebrate the cultural diversity and richness of our country. It’s a day filled with pride across provinces, towns, communities and homes. The braai (our style of barbeque in South Africa) is one of the country’s unifying traditions that transcends cultures and unites communities. It has become a symbol of unity for the nation, and on Heritage Day, homes across South Africa ignite fires and grill their food together. And at Brookdale Estate too, we will be braai’ing with family, friends and guests.

One ingredient that embodies South African cuisine to me is the humble mielie, or ‘corn’. I constantly find myself reminiscing about the mielie peddler that used to ride on a bicycle or push a cart around our neighbourhood whistling and shouting “Mielies, Mielies!” You knew that at dinner there would be delicious steaming hot buttered pile of delicious kernels on the cob. And so, my first recipe explores the humble mielie as a part of our heritage in South Africa, a staple food in many homes.

My next recipe for the perfect braai side is charred broccoli which perfectly compliments the braaied corn. This is a delicious side for anything you might have on your grill this weekend. I hope you enjoy the recipes and find something to complement your braai this weekend!

Brookdale Braai Day Mielie



4 mielies
1/2 a small punnet of cherry tomatoes
1-2 avocados
2 tbls chopped fresh coriander
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to tastein a roti!


Place the mielies directly on hot coals
Once soft and charred, remove
Cut the corn off the cob
Chop the tomatoes and coriander, and avocado and mix together with the corn
Drizzle the mix with olive oil and lemon juice (or vinegar)
Season with salt and pepper and serve with your favourite braaied meat

Brookdale Estate Heritage Day Recipe Gary Coetzee Broccoli



400 g long stem Broccoli
Neutral oil of choice (I used peanut oil)
Coarse black pepper


Rinse and allow the broccoli to dry
Trim the hard ends at the bottom of the stem no need to remove the leaves
Drizzle with oil
Season with salt and pepper


Place on the grill of your braai (if you are using a kettle braai – close the lid to introduce a little smoke)
The broccoli should be turned after 2 mins and cooked for a further 2-3 minutes (you still want it to be al dente)
OPTIONAL: I toss the broccoli with some rocket and added cubes of Boerenkaas and finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon
Season with salt and pepper and serve with your favourite braaied meat

Brookdale's Braaied Chicken by Chef Gary Coetzee



2 x chickens (spatchcocked)
250 ml plain yogurt
125 ml neutral oil
4-6 heaped tablespoons of Tandoori Marsala or curry powder
125 ml freshly squeezed lemon
3 tbls chopped garlic
3 tbls chopped ginger
4 tbls salt
Season with salt and pepper


Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the chickens and ensure all sides are well covered. Marinade for at least 8 – 24 hrs before you braai (I use ziplock bags as it makes easy storage in the fridge).


Remove the chickens from the fridge about an hour before braaing.

I use a kettle braai and cooked the chickens at med to high heat to get a good char beginning with the birds breast-side up.

The chicken should take approximately an 1 hour and a half, depending on the size of the bird and the heat of your fire (watch it closely and remove when juices run clear on cutting into the drumstick).

Once removed from the heat, carve and squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon.

My favourite way to eat it? With the charred corn and broccoli above