Samp and Beans Recipe

Samp is an African food consisting of dried corn kernels that have been pounded and chopped until broken, but not as finely ground as mealie-meal or mielie rice.

The coating around the kernel loosens and is removed during the pounding and stamping process. It is eaten across South Africa and by the Lozi and Tonga people of Zambia with sugar and sour milk.

It can also be served with gravy and various additives. It is cooked with beans in the Xhosa variant of umngqusho and sometimes eaten with chakalaka. It can also be served with beef, lamb, and poultry and in stuffings.

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 South Africa, it is also said to be the late Nelson Mandela’s favourite dish.

Samp and Beans recipe
Image from The South African

Samp and Beans


  • 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 chili 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 skin 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.


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Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
ABOUT ME: My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.

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