• Small handful of flaked almonds
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • About 3 oz vermicelli – broken into pieces
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp sago*
  • 4 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup bleached sultanas (I can’t stand them, but add them if you wish)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence


Toast the flaked almonds in a warm pan. In another large pan, melt the butter and gently fry the vermicelli and the spices over a very low heat until golden and aromatic. Remove from the heat. Pour the sago into a deep pot with a cup of the milk and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes for the sago to plump and absorb the liquid. Add the remaining milk, the vermicelli mixture, the sugar and sultanas and gently simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the vermicelli is tender and the sago transparent. Stir occasionally at first, then constantly as the boeber thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and vanilla essence. Reheat and spoon into bowls. Garnish with a sprinkle of the toasted almond and serve warm. At Gold, they add a light dusting of Gold Dust. If you’re feeling decadent – do the same.

NOTE: If you allow boeber to cool, it will stiffen. Heat gently over a low heat and add a little milk to loosen and get it back to the right consistency.

*Sago is the starch that is extracted from the Sago Palm; it is a staple of the people of New Guinea. Talk about global fusion – vermicelli from the East and sago from Oceania meet Africa and become an integral part of Cape Malay cuisine on the southern tip of the Dark Continent.

PS: If you were wondering why I say without the sultanas, I can’t stand cooked sultanas – they always remind me of ticks exploding in my mouth. Weird, I know. But that’s me


About the Show

Cooked in Africa

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Cooked in Africa producer and host Justin Bonello describes himself as a “cook, traveler, father, husband, filmmaker, gardener... and not particularly in that order.” Bonello works on projects that bridge his love of travel and food. The self-taught bush cook is a fan of the slow food movement, and in his work on the show has covered over 5,000 miles. As Bonello himself puts it, “Cooking, travelling and filming is all in a day’s work.

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