Samp and Beans Recipe | PBS Food

Samp and beans is a traditional South African dish, and was a favorite of Nelson Mandela.

This recipe is courtesy of Stephen O'Keefe.


Prep time: 8 Hours, 20 Minutes

Cook time: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes

Yield: Serves 6



  • 500 ml (2 c) samp and beans
  • 5 ml (1 t) fennel seeds
  • 5 ml (1 t) cumin seeds
  • 2 ml (1Ž2 t) coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cardamom pods
  • oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 each red, yellow and green pepper, chopped
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 400 ml (1 can) coconut milk
  • handful of fresh parsley


  1. Cover the samp and beans with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the samp and beans, transfer to a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 60-90 minutes over medium-low heat until the water has been absorbed and the samp and beans are soft but not mushy.
  3. Toast the seeds and cardamom in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind in a pepper mill or with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Heat a little oil in a separate pot and fry the onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms and chilli over medium heat. Add the ground spices and coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir the mixture into the samp and beans and serve sprinkled with parsley.
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