Nosipho’s Fancy Samp and Beans

Nosipho Samela
Nosipho Samela

Samp and beans is something that would happen in my home on weekends in winter while rain lashed at the window-panes, the paraffin heater glowed in its corner of the lounge and my mom and dad would be sitting watching the rugby. The smell of it cooking always takes me back to those days. The way my mom made it was with separate grains, a bit like rice, and she served it like my granny Doris did, with a bit of vinegar and a dollop of butter. But one day my girls’ nanny, Nosipho, made it for us for supper and it was so creamy and rich and delicious with a texture like risotto, I made her show me how she did it, and since then I’ve never made it any other way. Sometimes we eat it as it is, but when I make it for supper I like to serve it with a hearty lamb stew. It’s healthier than rice and so much tastier. Here’s how Nosipho made it:

Ingredients:
A packet of samp and beans
A cube of chicken or veggie stock
An onion, a carrot and a clove of garlic
Fresh or dried herbs (I like basil, oreganum and thyme)
Olive and/or cooking oil

Method:
Boil the samp and beans according to the cooking instructions on the packet. When they’re about half-way done (they’ll be softer, but still chewy), add your stock cube plus a finely chopped onion, a finely chopped carrot, your herbs, a chopped clove of garlic and two tablespoons of oil. Using the right amount of water can be tricky – you don’t want it to dry out and burn, or to be too runny. Err on the side of too much liquid, you can always cook it away. But it’ll probably stick to the bottom of the pot a bit anyway. This is normal. Let it all boil up together and the flavours infuse. It’s cooked when the samp is no longer chewy and has the creamy texture of a risotto. Season generously with salt and pepper, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Nourishing and delicious.

A South African staple.
A South African staple. White people can eat it, too.
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5 thoughts on “Nosipho’s Fancy Samp and Beans

  1. Just ‘happened upon’ your blog this morning browsing through my Fb – watched the PE Flash mob video and ‘sobbed sussie!!’ Sshnot en traaane!! Seriousa!! Living in the North of France (after 10 years in Scandanavia – yes, I know Sweden… blerrie mense is so gevries soos hulle winter! But not all bad. About the ‘samp and beans’.. I salivated reading this.. tell your lovely Nosipho to try adding some chicken pieces when cooking the samp.. Deeeelectable!! LOVE your work Susan – had some really great lags today – Thanks girl for your sober writing and ‘telling it as it is’ – your blog, your perspective! Merci Beaucoup – Dankie Skattie ;-)

    1. Sisi, you totally get the cool comment prize of the day. Looooved reading this, and laughed out loud at your gevries description! Sending you a big ol’ South African hug xxxxx

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