Spicy pilchard stew

Some people call this a pilchard stew and others know it as a smorrie or smoortjie. It doesn’t matter what you call it, you will enjoy this tasty meal.

Ready in

45 mins

Serving size

Serves 4


  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies or to taste, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 x 425 g tin pilchards in tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp (2,5 ml) sugar or apricot jam
  • ½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
  • lemon juice and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion and garlic.
  2. Add chillies, curry powder and cumin and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, pilchards with the sauce, sugar and salt. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Season with lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with a small portion of brown rice.


  1. Try this stew with a pasta of your choice. Pap or samp is also delicious.
Spicy pilchard stew

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 1st edition

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