Nelson Mandela’s favourite food


It was in our restaurant Cucina Carolina in South Africa where we decided that once a month a staff member was going to cook. It turned out that it was either Lee, Sylvia or I.

When it was Sylvia’s turn, we asked our “Master Chef South Africa” to make Nelson Mandela’s favourite food. Nelson Mandela, dearly called Madiba, loved Samp & Beans. In his own language Xhosa it is named Umngqusho.


400 g Imbo red speckled beans

500 g Champion samp

1 T Hot Rajah Curry powder

2 Knorr beef stock cubes

2 t Royco Rich Oxtail soup

salt to taste


Wash the red speckled beans separately.

Wash the samp separately.

Bring the samp in leveled water in a cast iron pan to boil.

Simmer for 2 hours.

Add the red speckled beans for 1 hour.

Add 1 T Hot Rajah Curry, 2 Knorr beef stock cubes. Boil for 15 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons of Royco Rich Oxtail soup.

Add salt to taste.

Once most of the moisture has evaporated, it can be eaten.

TIP: Sylvia told me it is a good dish to make when she cleans her house in the meantime

TIP: Add beef (knuckles) together with the beans. Or if you like chicken, add diced chicken breasts fillet half an hour after the beans

TIP: Add chopped onions, potatoes and/or carrots together with the beans

DRINK: with a cup of Five Roses Tea and cold milk

Romance of this recipe: Samp & Beans reminded me a bit of the Dutch Brown Bean soup. When I asked my mother, born in Sleen in The Netherlands, about her most delicious childhood food it was the memory about frying bacon in the pan as it sizzled and she loved the sound of it. The bacon was then added to the brown bean soup. Lee’s favourites from her childhood are Imifino with putu and mahewu, traditional Zulu dishes as she was born in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

MUSIC The click song by Miriam Makeba


Aikona! Which means no way in Xhosa.

2 thoughts on “Nelson Mandela’s favourite food

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