Samp and Beans or Umngqusho is a traditional Nguni (Zulu/ Xhosa) dish that is a staple food for many people in South Africa. It is usually made with samp (dried corn kernels, similar to hominy, but that have been stamped and chopped until broken) and Sugar Beans. Sugar beans are not available in the UK, so I made mine with Black-Eyed Beans, and Samp can be bought at a South African shop. This is a really tasty, comforting side dish to have with a stew or curry. It is also gluten-free, which is a bonus.
I have never actually had Samp and Beans before this. It is something I have always heard of, but never got to try it. When I made this, I totally misjudged the proportions and landed up making enough Samp and Beans for about 20 people! So far we have had it with stew, curry, mixed in with salad for packed lunch, and I still have bags of it in the freezer. One of my South African friends said this week that she loves it on it's own in a bowl mixed with a vinaigrette salad dressing, which I have yet to try.
Samp and Beans Recipe (Serves 4)
200g Dried Black-Eyed Beans or Sugar Beans, soaked overnight in water
200g Samp, soaked overnight in water
2 Chicken Stock Cubes
Salt & Pepper
Butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
Drain the samp and beans and rinse well until the water runs clear. Place in a large heavy-based saucepan or pressure cooker and add your stock cubes and enough water to cover (about 2-3cm higher than the beans). Do not add salt or the beans will never soften. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 2 and a half to 3 hours, topping with water when necessary. If you are using a pressure cooker, cook at high pressure for half an hour. Once the beans have softened, drain and stir in your butter or olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with stew or curry or as a side dish at a braai.