RECIPE: Mmabatho Molefe’s comforting istambu nobhontsisi

Chef Mmbatho’s istambu nobhontsisi (samp and beans with mince) is the ultimate comfort food, it’s not hard to imagine why this was on the menu for Chef Mmbatho’s home kitchen. Here’s the recipe for istambu nobhontsisi:

Chef Mmbatho’s istambu nobhontsisi. Image shot by Shavan Rahim


For the samp:

  • 1 cup samp
  • 1 cup sugar beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1L water
  • 1L water

For the mince:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Knorrox beef stock cube
  • ½ green pepper
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ packet of Knorrox Brown Onion Soup


To prepare the samp:

Start by making sure that there are no pebbles in your beans

Soak the samp and beans with 1L of water for 3 hours.

Strain it, and place in a large pot, pour the the remaining 1L of water and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Or until the samp is soft and most of the water has been absorbed.

To prepare the mince:

Heat oil in a separate pan on medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned, then add spices.

Cook spices for 2 minutes, then add ground beef. Cook until beef is completely browned. Add green pepper and cook fir 5 minutes with the lid on. Once the green pepper is soft, add chopped tomatoes and stock cube.

Cook for a further 5 minutes with the lid on.

Mix 1 cup water with the soup packet and add to the beef mixture.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the mince mixture to the samp and beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes and dish once the samp is slightly cooled.

*Notes: use ground beef because the fat adds flavor and helps set the samp which is was usually made with beef lard.

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