Potjiekos (literally meaning pot food) has been part of South Africa's culture for many centuries. When the first Dutch settlers arrived in the Cape, they brought with them their ways of cooking food in heavy cast iron pots, which hung from the kitchen hearth above the fire. Long before the arrival of the early settlers in the Cape, the Bantu people who were migrating into South Africa, learned the use of the cast iron cooking pot from Arab traders and later the Portuguese colonists. These cast iron pots were able to retain heat well and only a few coals were needed to keep the food simmering for hours. They were used to cook tender roasts and stews, allowing steam to circulate inside instead of escaping through the lid. The ingredients were relatively simple, a fatty piece of meat, a few potatoes and some vegetables were all that was needed to cook a delightul meal.