Sotho Traditional Food

Sotho traditional food includes African traditions as well as British influences. Because Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa, it has similar culinary practices.

Like Zulu traditional food, Lesotho’s food culture is diverse, but some popular dishes include likhobe (a stew with beans, berries, and sorghum), meat, and vegetables. Corn-based dishes like papa and motoho (fermented sorghum porridge) are also common in Lesotho.

Basotho cuisine includes sauces that are less spicy than those in other African countries. Side dishes often include beetroot and carrot salads.

sotho traditional food

Popular Sotho Traditional Food

Below you’ll find some of the most popular sotho dishes which will leave your taste buds in awe.


Papa is a popular food in Basotho culture, made from maize or corn. Maize meal is cooked with water until boiling, then left to cool and form into a stiff porridge-like consistency.

Because papa is so devoid of nutrients, we only serve it with greens, beans, or (very occasionally) meat. Papa is eaten traditionally with your fingers.


Nyekoe is a sotho traditional food that consists of beans, sorghum, pumpkin, oil, salt and pepper. To make Nyekoe , the beans are soaked overnight then cooked with sorghum. Once the beans have softened, small pieces of pumpkin are added to the pot along with the other ingredients.

This vegetarian stew can be served either hot or cold, and it’s usually prepared in winter, in large black cauldrons. To the pot, add oil and your desired seasonings, slightly mashing the combination to reach your preferred consistency.



Borotho is a Lesothoan wholemeal bread leavened with yeast. white flour, sugar, and salt are combined to create the dough, which should be kneaded until it spring back before being left to rise. Once risen, Borotho is then baking in either an oven or heavy pan over low heat.

The dough can also be steamed. Once the bread becomes nicely browned, it is usually served with barbecued meat, stews, or eaten with fruit jams.

Basotho Burger

Basotho burger is indeed delicious, but don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a burger. This dish is made with chicken meat that has been rubbed with oil and spices, then ground into patties. The specific seasonings used are curry powder, salt, pepper, peanut oil, and cayenne pepper.

Cook the dishes in a skillet until done, then serve with side orders like pap pap (corn, garlic, ghee, salt, cornmeal) and kale mixed with onions and peas.

basotho burger
Basotho Burger


Lekhotloane is a savory African dish that comes from Lesotho. The main ingredient is bashed beef, which is usually served alongside boiled potatoes. Other ingredients in Lekhotloane include oil, onions, and beef stock cubes. To cook the dish, the beef is first boiled until it’s very tender. Next, it’s cut into portions and pounded with a pestle.

Sauté the onions in oil with the meat and stock, and simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Serve the potatoes with the spinach, spring onion, water, salt, pepper, and peanut butter sauce. Lekhotloane is served so that the meat is surrounded by cooked potatoes in the center of the plate.


Butha-buthe soup is a traditional dish from Lesotho, typically eaten for its health benefits. The town of Butha-Buthe, after which the soup is named, is renowned for this particular recipe, made with spinach and tangerine being the principle ingredients.

To cook, split peas are boiled in water until soft before adding onions, rice flour, turmeric,, spinach and coriander to create the distinctive flavorings associated wth this healthy mealtime favorite.

The zest and juice of Tangerines make this soup’s flavor complex but still refreshing. yogurt is typically added as a topping before serving in Butha-Buthe.

butha buthe sotho traditional food


Makoenva is made with flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, vegetable oil, raisins and cinnamon. The dough is prepared and shaped into small pieces then fried in hot oil until browned. Serve these fritters hot, rolled in cinnamon sugar, with a warm cup of tea on the side.

Afrikaanse Stoofschotel

Traditional Afrikaanse stoofschotel is a dish from Lesotho that includes onions, potatoes, white cabbage, tomatoes, curry powder, salt and pepper. To make it you first fry the potatoes and cabbage in oil before adding the onions, curry powder water and tomatoes.

After the dish has cooked and all of its ingredients have become tender, salt and pepper are added for flavor. This vegetable stew can nourish as a standalone meal or act as a side to accompany another dish.

1 thought on “Sotho Traditional Food”

  1. the grace headshot


    – We do not call bread “borotho”, in Sesotho bread is “bohobe”.
    – Spelling correction: the correct spelling is “Botha-bothe”

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