Traditional African Recipes

Try these traditional African recipes when you learn about the black African tribes that make up our Rainbow Nation.

In the 21st Century in South Africa many of our black South Africans have adopted western styles of eating and living but in the African villages dotted around our country there are some traditional foodstuffs that are still eaten.

Many of the black villagers live below the bread line and thus live on very basic diets. There are many who raise their own crops and livestock and still hunt and gather from their local area.


Mielie meal porridge (mieliepap)

Mielie Meal is cooked in salted water in one of two ways: stiff wet porridge or crumbly granular porridge. Usually meat bones are cooked up in a broth and served over the porridge for flavour.


Samp and beans

The most famous maize dish in Xhosa cuisine is umngqusho. This mixture of dried maize and bean¬† is delicious when served with a meaty stew. It is said to be Nelson Mandela’s favourite food. Other typical Xhosa foods include isopho corn soup, umpoqhoko maize porridge and soured milk porridge.

Samp and beans are bought dry in packets. Soak them overnight in water. The next day strain and then cook for about 3 hours in meat or chicken stock. Stir once in a while so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

For variation pre-cook the following and add it to the samp and beans:

1 onion, chopped and fried
2 potatoes cubed,
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic
3 teaspoons curry powder
a little water

Serve the samp and beans in bowls with bread or mielie meal porridge.

Other traditional South African recipes can be found at Funky Munky’s site

And recipes from the African continent can be found at

More pages with South African recipes

South African Bread Recipes
Traditional Seafood Recipes
Cape Malay Recipes
South African Braai Recipes and
Back to Traditional South African Recipes