South African Comfort Food – Umngqusho

This yummy mixture of samp and beans is a traditional South African Favorite. It can be served as a main meal or a side dish and is perfect for those mid-year SA winter nights. It is also rumored to be Nelson Mandela’s favorite dish. Although there are many variations of this recipe – I have included 2 below, 1 as a video tutorial. (Recipe units given using Metric System)



  • 500g samp (substitute: hominy) – rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 500g sugar beans (substitute: black-eyed peas) – rinsed and soaked overnight
  • salt to taste
  • oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 potatoes
  • 50 ml butter (optional)


  1. Mix the samp and beans together and soak overnight.
  2. Drain the water after soaking and place the samp and bean mix in a large pot. Add 5-6 cups of water and allow to simmer slowly, allowing most of the water to evaporate. Cook until the samp and the beans start to get soft. If not soft enough, add more water. Season with salt to taste.
  3. While the samp and beans cook, sauté the onion in a little oil until translucent. Add the garlic and curry powder. Allow to cook for a 1 -2 minutes to get flavor out. Add the tomato, vegetable stock , ½ cup of water, and potatoes. Allow to simmer until potatoes are slightly soft.
  4. Drain the slightly soft samp and beans and add to the mixture. Allow to cook slowly until the potatoes, samp and beans are soft.
  5. Stir in the butter. Serve hot with a main course of choice.




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Shakeela - Cape Town

Born in Johannesburg, lived in East London, grew up in Port Elizabeth and living in Cape Town for ten years now, I love to think of myself as an all round South African! I received my BA Degree in Motion Picture in 2010 ...

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