South Africa : Samp and Beans (Isitambu) Zulu Style

What you need

For a serving of 5

  • 3 cups of samp (i.e., dried, dehusked maize kernels or hominy) to 2 cup of sugar beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 a green, red and yellow bell pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder, ground red and black pepper and onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • salt to taste


  • Include 500g of cubed beef
  • 1 beef stock cube or 1 tablespoon of beef seasoning


Soak the samp and beans overnight.

When you’re ready to start cooking them, rinse and transfer into a large pot. Add water and salt, cover and boil the samp and beans for 45 minutes at medium heat. Check that the water does not dry up. If it does, top it up with warm water. (Optional: After this time, add your beef). Cover and boil at medium heat for a further 1,5 hours. Again, ensure that there is always enough water. When the samp, beans and beef are tender, cook to allow the remaining water to dry up. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate pot, fry the onion and bell peppers together at a low heat, adding the spice blend. Add the tomato purée and cook gently, adding a little water. After ± 10 minutes cooking time, stir this into the samp, beans and beef. Cover and cook at a low heat, stirring intermittently for 30 minutes. The samp and beans should be soft and the meat should fall apart easily.


And that’s samp and beans, Zulu style.



    Recipe and Preparation

    Philile Shandu is an open, funny and friendly lawyer and mother.

    “What cooking means for me: Cooking is, firstly, an opportunity to relax (because I don’t consider it a chore) and to show love to family and friends. In the kitchen, I get to be creative and expressive. At the table I get to share moments with loved ones while enjoying a shared passion – good food.” (03/2015)

    Recipe courtesy of Philile Shandu.

    Camera and Editing

    Tuleka Prah


    Title: Gentle Melodies

    Artist: Alex Collier and Joshua Lee

Video Transcript