Traditional Xhosa Recipe
Tradition, it's important to many South Africa and that's why we hold onto and share our traditions and dishes from generation to generation and guest to guest. Few flavours truly grasp the spirit of South Africa as much as Xhosa dishes, and that's why we love love love them!
Samp and beans, or Umngqusho in Xhosa, is a staple and favourite starch dish across our beautiful nation, it is also said to be the late Nelson Mandela's favourite dish and we can see why. Umngqusho is traditionally served alongside a Nyama (meat) dish and a sauce for a truly balanced and tasty meal, so we've taken the liberty to mix things up a little and throw them all into one delicious, low GI stew. Get ready for the flavour and energy of South Africa with this samp and bean stew.
- 1 cup of samp (soaked overnight)
- 1 cup of sugar beans (soaked overnight)
- 500g cubed soft beef shin
- 2 large onions (finely chopped)
- 3 tsp crushed garlic
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil of your choice
- 2 chilli beef Knorrox stock cubes (diced or crumbled)
- 1.5 litres of water brought to the boil
- 2 tsp powdered Paprika
- 1 Tbsp of mild curry powder
- 4 large carrots finely grated
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy-based, large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic until tender.
- Add the cubed soft beef shin and bones and allow to brown before adding in the crumbled stock cubes, bay leaves, and water.
- Drain the samp and beans from the soaking and add to the pot along with the Paprika, curry powder, grated carrots and can of chopped tomatoes.
- Cover and allow to simmer on a low heat for about two hours, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until the samp and beans are soft and a thick, rich gravy has formed.
- Taste test the gravy and add salt and pepper to your liking, then allow to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
This recipe is a guaranteed delight for any gathering and best served along with a fresh salad and local beer or wine of your choice. Remember that while this is a take on the favourite Xhosa dish, there's no rule against playing around with ingredients you prefer to create your own. Try swapping the sugar beans for chickpeas, the beef shin with chicken thighs, or even using a hotter curry powder for a bigger bite.
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Author: Lillian Rencken